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044: How to be a Storyteller for your Business – with Elizabeth McGuire

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One thing you should know, is that my coaching clients are small business owners and solopreneurs around the world. And what I find fascinating is that my British clients sometimes struggle with telling the story of who they are, and what they do.

They say things like, “Yikes Mary, it’s a moment of CRINGE that I have to sell myself” or “I’m pretty rubbish at tooting my own horn… can’t I just do the work that I love, and clients just come to me?”

Gosh, wouldn’t that be nice?!

The trouble is… that’s not how business works. No matter how big or small your company is, you need to be actively marketing yourself.

So yes, you do have to talk about yourself.

Commence horn tooting now. Because it bears repeating…

No sales = no business.

In episode 036, we asked some questions to help clarify your brand’s message:

  • Who are you?
  • Who do you serve?
  • What benefits would clients have if they worked with you?

And now, we are simplifying how to be a storyteller for your business. This involves how to get the word out in a way that feels right for you.

My guest, Elizabeth McGuire, teaches us how to use photos and words to tell the story of you, and your brand.

This can be a powerful tool in selling your products and services in an authentic (non-icky) way.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What it means to be a ‘storyteller’ and why it’s such an important skill for small business owners to cultivate
  • Simple, practical tips on storytelling in business; setting people at ease, and sharing deeper insight and emotional connection with your stakeholders
  • How much (or how little) you should share – the rule of thumb
  • How to tell the story authentically without it being too glossed over or filtered, but still staying positive and uplifting

Plus, you’ll learn about her latest photography creation – Sibling Revelry Project, what it taught her about creative storytelling and revealing the messy (and beautiful) layers of life. It’s inspired Liz to fundamentally change how she approaches work she does for her other clients.

#DoTheThing!

My challenge for you this week:

What’s your story, and the story of your brand? Start jotting down key points in the story, and think about how you can share it authentically with your clients.

Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Newsletter subscription: Sign up for siblingrevelryproject.com (scroll to the bottom of the linked page)

Elizabeth’s preferred tools: Canon camera. Snapseed if using her iPhone (photo editing app for iOS devices)

Inspiring influence to Elizabeth: Austin Kleon – a writer who draws.

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[10:08] “It’s really important to know your topic, know the central nugget of what you’re trying to convey or the mission of the project or organization.” – Elizabeth

[11:23] “Ultimately your job as a storyteller is to listen, observe, and sort of facilitate their story. Help them tell their story, not necessarily inject yourself into it so much.” – Elizabeth

[13:06] “Remember, there’s room for a narrative arc, no matter how small the story is, how small or big.” – Elizabeth

[27:14] “How can you incorporate these deeper storytelling elements into the photos you take, the words you put on your blog, the marketing materials you put out to the world.” – Elizabeth

[32:40] “There’s real power in being in joy, and being able to look at something messy and still find the beauty in that. It’s sort of liberating.” – Elizabeth

Start 2019 strong!

I’ll be in Austin, TX in the first week of January 2019, running a 1-day in-person retreat – helping you set goals for 2019 like a hero!

Head over to The Simplifiers’ Facebook page to vote on which date we should have the event… either on Thursday, January 3rd or Friday, January 4th from 10am-4pm.

In this interactive, all-day workshop, we will:

  • review how 2018 went for you
  • vision cast what you truly want to achieve in 2019
  • whip out the art supplies and create a vision board
  • help you create your road map for the journey ahead

Connect with other like minded business owners, enjoy a tasty lunch, and take part in this business retreat to help kick your year off on the right foot.

Start 2019 STRONG… the simple way.

Vote – Thursday, January 3rd or Friday, January 4th?

About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth McGuire is a writer, photographer and mother of three. Over the years, Liz’s work has appeared in print, online and on stage.

Her favorite projects weave together her love of language and photography, and she enjoys helping businesses, nonprofits and families tell their stories in powerful, personal ways.

Her most recent undertaking is the Sibling Revelry Project, an ongoing photography project capturing the spirit of siblinghood through images and interviews.

Elizabeth’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Nancy Davis Kho – podcaster of Midlife Mix tape; For the years between being hip and breaking one.

Where Elizabeth hangs out online:

Website: ewmcguire.com

Website: siblingrevelryproject.com

Facebook: @ewm.creative

Sibling Revelry Project on Instagram: @ewmmcguire

Video version of the episode

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