Telling your story when you are not your clients' hero

How to tell your story when you don't share the same experiences

“I know exactly how to do this because I’ve been there too!”

You probably have read this or a similar line hundreds of times. It is an approach that is commonly taught when writing your bio section on your website, ads or content on social media…

If it is true, it can be a powerful story, full of authentic emotions and details that are so raw that they instantly create a connection with your reader.

But what if you haven’t shared your clients’ reality?

What if your life has been completely different because you never had to experience what your clients are going through - because you had the knowledge to prevent or avoid it?

Does that mean that you’ll never create as strong a connection with your audience as the “I’ve-been-there-and-done-it” service providers?

Does that mean that you can’t achieve the same credibility and expertise?

Absolutely not!

Sharing experiences and living the same story is not a must – as long as you tell a good story and as long as you do have the knowledge and expertise that you need to help your clients to solve their problems.

Knowledge and expertise as a substitute for shared experience

Your prospects want to know that you have the knowledge and expertise that allows you to help them solve their problems.

There are alternative ways of gaining that knowledge.

One of my clients is working with parents who are struggling with teaching their young children how to independently fall asleep and create healthy sleep habits.

She has 4 children and never had to suffer through bed-time dramas or sleep deprivation – because she knew how to teach her children how to develop healthy sleep habits from day 1.

Kate is one of the world’s most knowledgeable sleep experts. She holds a PhD in sleep psychophysiology and has spent her whole previous career researching and teaching about sleep in places like Harvard or Standford.

Or Julie, a visa expert who helps couples get visas to emigrate to Australia. She’s Australian and gained her knowledge during her over 25 years of working with the Australian immigration authorities.

Either lady is extremely well qualified to help their clients solve their problems because they have gained their knowledge and expertise through learning and application.

So, what story should I tell instead?

There are different stories that you can tell. One story is your origin story. This story needs to contain the usual details that make a good story like:

  • Authentic emotions (emotions create connections!)
  • Relatable characters (the reader needs to get the feeling of “she totally understands me”!)
  • An “Aha” moment (that made her realise why she needs to take this path – and that doesn’t need to be the total meltdown moment that you read about in most of the “been there, done it” stories)
  • Specific details (that bring life to the story and make it realistic)
  • A storyline (that walks the reader through the different phases of the story)

If you would like to learn more about business storytelling, then you can take a look at the mini-course I’m offering by clicking on the image.

When telling your origin story from the angle of a knowledge expert, you need to make sure that it contains your motivation. Your big WHY.

It’s also good to write about your beliefs and values because these are factors that allow people to develop a sense of belonging with you. A belonging that stems from having something in common and being part of the group that believes in a certain value.

Your goal is to give your prospect the feeling of being in good hands.

If you think about it – you rather go to a dentist with really good teeth rather than one with terrible (or missing) teeth and bad breath.

You want someone who can prove that they know what they are doing.

Which brings me to the second type of stories that you could tell.

Customer stories add credibility…

Because they are proof that your service works. They are like a powered-up substitute of an “I’ve been there & done it” story.

They are more powerful than personal stories because you can’t manipulate them (as easily as your own story). And if you tell these stories with backup links or as screenshots from social media, then they lend you even more credibility.

If you would like to learn how to collect powerful story-based testimonials, then you can find a little workbook when you click on the image below:

So, remember:

You don’t have to be your customers’ hero!

But you need to be credible and prove that you can solve your clients’ problems along with a strong motivation that emotionally connects with your audience.

If you’d like to ask me any questions, you can always complete the contact form below to get right into my inbox!

Categories: Storytelling, Brand Storytelling, Origin Story

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