In a fast-paced and demanding world, people are busier than ever. Between work deadlines, kids’ activities, and family needs—it can be hard to stand out and make an impression. If you want to get ahead in business or in life, you have to find a way to connect with others.
So how can you build connections that build value in business and life? It starts with a technique that is as old as humanity, and it has even greater relevance today with our busy lifestyles.
You have a story to tell. And everyone you meet has a story. Our stories are what connect us to each other on a deeper level.
These stories represent our common struggles and our common victories. Stories reflect our shared humanity and help make authentic connections.
The most persuasive marketing strategies focus on connecting at the story level because stories represent how our lives work: this is how my life was, then something happened, and this is how my life is now.
Tapping into the power of story helps you make a real connection, and serves to make you stand out in a crowded business world.
Because people are so busy, your encounter with someone may be limited to only a few minutes or even seconds. So when sharing a story it needs to be clear and concise. Follow these tips for optimal story sharing results.
Yes, your story can be about your own personal experience or business results. But it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes the best stories are the ones you pass on. It can be about how a friend discovered a product they love or a colleague’s recent success. It can be as simple as, “Did you hear about how…?”
Making a connection can also be in response to what is shared with you. “I had that happen too and here’s what I found…”
A connection is more likely to be made when the story you share is relevant to the person and what’s happening in their world.
Do they have an interest in business trends? That’s a perfect opener for how recent growth in the organic marketplace is creating new opportunities. “Did you see that organic is growing by double digits…?”
Or maybe someone is more into health and wellness. They may be interested to know how organic whole foods can make a difference. “I heard about this new trend in nutrition…”
If you’re new to the idea of storytelling as a means to raise your personal or business profile, just know that practice makes progress. You don’t become an expert overnight, but every effort will help you get better.
You can even start small on social media or on a text message by sharing a blog post or article on a topic you care about. It’s a conversation starter that you can expand upon.
You can also join online groups on LinkedIn or Facebook and use those as a forum to add your story to the conversation.