The Importance of Knowing Your Story
Now let's talk about a different side of p r which is knowing your story because your story has so much to do with the success of your p r campaign so the best brands are built on great stories and this is a code that I wanted to share with you because if you think of some of your favorite brands you all know a story associated with those brands it's not just a product that's not just a pair of earrings that there's some story that's behind it that we all know and are so familiar with when it comes to some of the big brands and the important thing about this is that knowing your own personal story your product story because your products have their own story to believe it or not which is why you're going to have to tell them hag a zine editors when you're reaching out and how they fit into the media landscape which is technically their story their readers they have their own story to we all have stories so how dowe your product and your story fit into their story and that really is wha...
t makes a great match with pr so let's look at your brand story because we talked a little yesterday about the why you do what you do but your brand story it goes beyond your content it goes beyond your logo your tag line your products your color scheme your fonts, it really goes everywhere that your brand is seen and it's also what your customers believe that your brand is about, so you can have an idea of what your story is. But if you are portraying it in a way that your customers think you're brand is something different, there's a really huge disconnect there, and your messaging is actually not going to reach them and it's not going to make sense to them. So your story is not only what you put out there from your own perspective, but it's also what your own car customers think about you and what they perceive about you as well. Do they think that you're a brand that provides value? Do they think I your ah corky brand? They think that you're upscale or luxury? Do they think that you're a brand that's on the go what they think about your story? And how does that fit in to what you know and what you portray about your story as well? Because if you are clear about your story, then you can sort of put that message out when you're pitching, and then the magazine editor is really clear about your story as well, so let's. Talk a little bit more about this brand story so what does your business stand for and I want you to start thinking because I want to call on some of your I'm hoping some of you will volunteer a little bit to share your story but what does your personal business stand for what makes your products actually stand out why are they different and what are you really selling other than your product and I'll give you an example with my own t shirt business so you can sort of see what I mean by that so when I started my business I was sharing the other day that I started because I was really inspired when I saw someone wearing a be present t shirt in a yoga class and that was part of my brand story I was reaching out to yoga studios and connecting with people do yoga and all of that sort of stuff but what I was really selling other donna t shirt was inspiration that's what I was selling I was selling a t shirt yes but my message that I was trying to get across it was inspiration and trying to inspire other people through my products and if you think about your own product what are you really trying to sell because yes it's maybe a necklace or an earring or something like that but what really are you trying to sell so I would love for you a few of you here maybe, and the online audience as well are in the studio audience to really think about this and share with us some of the things that you really are trying to sell. Yes, ours is photo slabs and so it's photographic art. So I would say more than just photographic are it's the memories that they're going to see on a day to day basis pain in their home great great one anyone else want to share? Yes, ashleigh, um I suppose my what I'm trying to sell it is like to inspire people to make unique things through sewing and then the product I sell is something unique. I've made myself okay through selling grow, then teaching skills that people need to do the same thing themselves awesome and that's something keep that in mind, because as you reaching out to magazine editors that's the story, you need to be pitching them and you too as well, because, yes, it's this product but water the benefits what does it do? So does anyone else want to share what? Yes, it was. But I was just thinking, you know, my husband's a life coach and he's always coaching me that I am my product, you know that that I'm the face behind my product and that people buy what who I am so so I feel that, you know, I'm spiritually and I have fun, and I'm very light hearted, and I feel that that's what I bring teo my products and that's what tape people take away from their products is that spirituality and healing and love and fun, yeah, great, great. Thank you for sharing and, um, you wanted to share. So for my jewelry line, the tagline is jewelry for badasses. And is it supposed to inspire your inner vatis? Come on, not necessarily that it's. Only for about s o I'm constantly trying tio kind of, you know, paint the picture that notes it's about inner strength and and choosing something that is maybe more color from more bold and maybe not, but maybe it makes you feel, you know, strong and ready for what you have to take on the day. Yeah, I love that. And I think if you were to share that with a magazine editor rather than just saying here's, the new line of necklace is that we just launched if you tell them that immediately you stand out from the hundred other e mails that they're getting that day. So this is why it's so important I'm so glad you said that because it is so true, we're all going to remember that I think about your jewelry, right feel like next time I run into are all of us. We know that that's exactly what you are selling so great, great examples, yes, from our online audience as well, adrian, you jewelry, who says, I think I'm trying to sell everyday luxury lady k's selling self esteem and self confidence, joey says, I sell being unique and expressing themselves for my customers know other bride will be wearing her shoes, since they're completely personal to them, trying to make it a special shoe for brides to be, willow is trying to create positivity, adventure and everyday wearable find silver jewelry awesome! Those are all great messages behind everyone's branding so to everyone who shared, keep that in mind as you're pitching magazine editors. As you are creating your messages across your website, just keep driving that point home towards to your customers and the media, and they'll start to get it to and want to be a part of it. So thank you to everyone who's sharing that. So I wanted to share a couple of examples to off some of my favorite brand story, so this is from three bird n'est, and if you haven't been to her web site, her business as super, super successful, I think millions of dollars, and if you read her story, she saying, like all things we love three bird nice was born from a I know from a whim nurtured by passion and grew from the unexpected, unpredictable twists that life has gifted us along the way. So just stiff that statement alone, you kind of know what you can expect when you are buying something from this website, right? We all sort of even without reading everything else, and she does a really great job of going into her story, why she started her business, but she is so great at give or sharing this message of unpredictability, you know, twist unexpected, and you can really see that in the outfit that she sells on her website, too. And then she goes on here, and I love the fact that she has a picture of her kids and what inspired her to have the name of her company. So if your kids inspired the or if anyone that you one highlight has inspired, you definitely go ahead and put it out there, and I would, I would think let's say you're a mom and you see this picture, you automatically have that connection with her, and even if you're not a mom, all of the other stuff that she still describes you can connect with her as well, and I think she just really listens to it. And she also does a great job of saying you. We talked a lot about using you throughout here about page on your web site, and she really draws you in here, and she talks about, you know, we create for the woman that will make our styles her own, so she wants people that are individuals that want to have their own style, that one express themselves through their style that's, who she envisions, asked her ideal customer and that's what she attracts. So when she pitches the media, I don't know what she that's the page. But when she pushes the media that's such a great story because I could say almost every magazine editor feels like their readers want to be unique, and they want to have unique products and discover really cool things, and she just does all off the great should just really does that really great here. And she says, for the woman who wants to make a statement without saying a word, even that statement alone is so powerful because the clothing that we wear, the jewelry that we were, the things that we were really way put those things on every morning because we want to make a statement without saying a word, right? And that is just so powerful when you get that across with the media that's exactly what they want to do as well and it's just I guess a coincidence that her brand is so well positioned for the media by your brand khun b this well positioned for the media as well if you just really think about what inspires you what drives you? What is that message that you really are trying to get out and the branding that you have across every single part of your company? So that's your brand story but then you also have your own story as well there's reasons why you started this business and why someone else didn't start it. So why do you do what you do? This is a question that I often ask myself I'll stop and also okay, why am I still doing this and it's different from when I started? It totally has changed because when I first started I had a different reason for doing this, but now as my company grows, my reasons are changing and yours can can be changing as well. And more importantly, why are you the right person to be doing what you're doing there's a million other people out there who can be doing the same thing, but really is there anyone else who can do it the same way that you do it? The answer to that I think we're all pretty sure that it's no so why are you the right person to do this particular product, this company, this business and what inspired you to start your business? Why why why are you doing this? What drove you to actually started because it's one thing when something's an idea in your head but it's another thing to actually we'll sit down and get it done and implemented so why did you actually started? Why did you take action on doing what you're doing right now and what motivates you to keep going? This is where we talked about your story sort of changing and your motivation can keep changing throughout your business as well. So these are some questions there's obviously a lot of other questions that you can ask yourself to figure this out but this is so important if we bring this back to the media they love stories and yes they all their featuring a product. But every product that they feature has a story and your story is what attracts them to feature your product and I can tell you how many times with my t shirt business I part of my story was that I also wanted to give back so for every t shirt that I sold and I put this into my still business as well I would donate money to have a tree planted so every time I would reach out to the media because that was so important to me, I would say and also for every product we sell, we plant a tree and to date we've planted over ten thousand trees so automatically you are inviting them in you're letting them know that you have a mission beyond just selling this product and it's crazy how many times whenever my product would get mentioned, it would say, you know this tease for change t shirt made from equal friendly cotton organic cotton and for every t they sell, they plant a tree, so it was so important for them to share my story with the readers and that was just part of my story. There are other stories that I would focus on depending on one magazine I was pitching so your products have their own story and it could be multiple stories and you just have to choose which one you want to focus on based on the magazine that you're pitching so it's just crazy how many times they would say for every t sold the company plans a treat because they knew it was important and you would make my products stand out and their readers would really understand why my t shirt was featured on their pages? Yes, my business partner and I are personal friends in addition to being business partners, I'm always kind of wondering is it it's a good idea or maybe we should be strategic about who we are pitch is saying, you know, well, it came from us, you know, over a glass of wine and dinner being in need in the market that we weren't able to fulfill ourselves. Is it a good idea, tio sort of pitch that we have that personal relationship, or is it better to keep it in the business? I think the more personal you can get with whatever you feel comfortable with sharing, I think the better and the more connection in a way you're going tohave and the more human interaction you're going tohave with that editor, so definitely share that in your about paige, and also when you reaching out to the media and I'll give you an example later about why you concern your email, but you couldn't really sort of weave that, and it could just be one sentence. It doesn't have to be your entire story, but absolutely, yes, ok, yeah. So now I want to give you some examples of some really great stories that I love, and then I want you to start thinking, because I want to call in some of you to share your story again, so this I think we're all familiar with warby parker and the awesome business that they have running. But they're saying warby parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. And then they tell you why they're the right people to do it and why they started this particular business, and I love this because you see this and they're branding you see it every time they get a media mentioned, some sort of a version of that story is in that media mentioned as well, and everyone talks about their story and why they're the right people to be doing what they're doing. So I loved for some of you to share why you think you're the right person to be doing what you're doing and maybe in the online audience as well. If any of you want to chime in. Elizabeth, I was looking at you looking at me, I am a psychic, cosi auras and energies and colors on dh at school day, you know, for for career day that there wasn't that idea of becoming a psychic, lots of other things, but it's part of who I am so eventually have come to this place, you know, over the last thirty years, really, that this is what I need to do and be on dh. To bring color into people's lives not just say this is the color in your energy field but also to bring color into their lives to help them to heal and because I see and sense and connect with who they are in that soul level, I feel that what I do is really unique on especially a simon artistas well, so I create silks and put their colors into their silk so they can wear those colors on the jewelry that I create a swell is all unique for them it's all handcrafted and and it's coming through my energy as well into my hands and sending it to that so I feel I have a very strong connection to each of my customers my client, that friend andi, you know, as far as I'm concerned it's different for everybody, but I feel that we've known each other in other lifetimes that's my belief on I'm being of service to them, so it really I could feel tears coming by as it really fills my heart with joy to know that I'm being of service to them. Yeah that's really an amazing story and I'm so glad he sure that because I feel whenever I looked at your web site and I know I profiled your side allied and I've been on your side and I totally can feel that too and you do a really great job of getting that across to people when they're trying to decide if they should work with you or buy your products or have you designed something custom made for them so you're exactly the right person doing the right thing so thank you for sharing yeah yes s so you know, I've been selling on amazon for many years now and just this year did I start my own website about how to teach people how to sell on amazon and I think what I bring to the table is I like to tell people you know, it's best to just stop and pay attention for once in a while, you know, taking life experiences, connect the dots and somehow that's taught me how to sell on amazon very well it's been seven years now and so you know, I think well, you know what I bring to other people is just to kind of yeah teach them a little bit of the technical sides have had to sell on amazon but also how to just pay attention to conversations with other people pick up on different things and find their way into that e commerce world is what I'm trying to teach them but um you know and that's why I'm here in this class because just me learning something new you know, it might connect the dots something else that might help me sell another product well on amazon yeah, yeah that's amazing, thank you for sharing that and I know well I've been on your website a little bit and I can sort of see that through on your website that you have right now where you really have this awesome experience and you have you found something that works and now you want to show it with other people too, and teach them how they could sort of do the same thing and now you're so much more credible because you have that experience rather than going to someone else's website who says I want to teach a teacher how to sell on amazon and be successful, but they don't share the story of white they're the right person to be doing that so it's so important to along with your brand story. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah, now we have some from online as well, so so straight says that they're they're big ideas that they don't recreate they innovate, so they're always thinking about that in every aspect of their business sassy streams that stream seamstresses who better to make nerdy products than a fellow nerd will be made with all the love of someone who gets why this product is awesome so it's really making that connects in their product and with their audience and just bringing it all together awesome, yes so it's all about putting you and your brand that's the point that I'm trying to make and I think that's the thing that the media loves because they just thought they don't just want a press release, right? They don't want a press release with no personality, they want a story they want someone to connect with, but in addition to your brand having the story and you having your own story, all of your products have their own stories to and these are mostly the stories that you're going to be sharing when you're pitching a specific product to the media. So if you had to think about your own products and each of their stories, what problem is a particular product solving? And even if you have hearings or jewelry or home to court, those are all things that are solving a problem for people. So what problem is your product solving and what promises does a product make? What are the benefits when someone buys your product? What do you promise them that they're going to get from it? We talked a lot about benefits, but really think about that. Yes, they're buying just a t shirt, but what is your promise with that particular t shirt or dive bar of soap? And most importantly, why should someone buy this product, which is your product as opposed to someone else's product that is similar? So these are some questions that I constantly ask myself, as I'm creating products as I'm launching things, and I wanted to share with you another example of a really great product story. So if you look good this product from a stubbly basics, I share this yesterday to her about page in her home page, but even here, she really knows what her products do for people, and she shared her story. She shared her brand story, but this is the product story so she's saying at s w basics, we use the simplest possible blends of impeccably source whole ingredients to create products that truly work, why fewer ingredients equals less chance for irritation, higher potency and a smaller overall ecological impact. So just from this one sentence, you know what this product stands for, but he also know what her whole company stands for. Two so how can you look at your own product descriptions? And when you're pitching to the media, how can you use those to really get this message across? She does such a great job of doing this year and there's so many other brands, aa lot of times the brands that get media attention are the brands that no how to communicate this exact message, although it's their own version of the same message to the media and to magazine editors and really influential bloggers. So there is one other story that you have to keep in mind, too, as you're doing pr, and that is their story. So this is not only the magazine editor story, but the magazine reader story, and this is really who you have to keep in mind, even more so than the actual person you're pitching. You have to keep in mind the person who is going to be reading that magazine, looking at a product description and deciding if this is the right product for them or not. So who is your product for, and why do they care? And yes, this is sort of a story about your product, but how does it fit in to your customers product, or to your customer story? And why should they care about this? And what did they want? And why do they believe? I know for me, most of the people I'm assuming coupon, my t shirts, and I'm only assuming there's biggest sell many of them would email me and tell me how my t shirts had impacted their lives. Most of them bought my t shirt because it fit into the story that they were going through at that time, so someone would say, I just body a t shirt because I thought about my mom, who really needs to see this message or I was just had this event and I had to buy your t shirt because this is what I was trying to get across and I was there or I don't even know why I bought your t shirt, but I felt like I had to have it and it spoke directly to me and I would hear this all the time. So how do your customers feel when they buy the products for your products? What are the stories that they're telling you? Are you getting e mails from them? I'm sure a lot of you are of them saying I love your jewelry or I love you know the scarf that you created for me and pay attention to why they tell you they love it so much and use that throughout your messaging both in your company's story, your own story, your brand story and the story that you tell the editor about why they should be writing about your product. So all of this is about story, and sometimes I often hate the word pitch because it just seems so cold. It seems like I'm pitching you here's my message it's up to you to do whatever you want about it, but I haven't found a different war maybe connect might be better, but think about it not as pitching, but as sharing stories that are beneficial where everybody really benefits from that story and everybody has something that there's some things at stake everybody wants you win because you get to share your products, they win because they get something awesome, the magazine editor wins because they've just shared a product with their readers that their readers app absolutely love, and hopefully they'll keep coming back month after month to read that magazine so it all sorts of fits and together with everyone story, we're not just sort of existing here on our own little island, we're all connected, especially a small business owners, because we all have that and that's something that really sets us apart, I think from some of the bigger brands that don't have that personal touch or that human interaction, and this is so important to get across every time we are pitching and that's why? I think a lot of magazine editors loved the smaller and handmade product because they've been writing about the big products for years, right? And they're ready for something new and you have an advantage because you do have that new thing to offer, and then how do you product add more value is sort of taught talked about this a little bit, but your products are adding value to people's lives, otherwise I don't think they would be buying them I don't think they would be paying whatever you might you're asking them to pay if they didn't get some sort of value out of it, so those are some questions you can ask yourself, and then also we talked a lot about how your story fits into their story, and this is really word the magic happens with pr because it's, all about you sharing the right story, had the right time with the right person, who is also looking for that particular type of story. So I wanted to give you a really great example here this is one of my friends. She launched a line of veggie and meet bars it's called wild zohra, and she shares her story on her about page. But what I love about this it's, that it's her story, but if you are anyone who has sort of struggled with the same things that she struggled with, you immediately feel like your story fits right into that, and you should be the person to be buying that. So she is saying, you know, in early twenty eleven r family started to learn about gluten free pay, liam primal food, which is didn't feel good about feeding the typical sugary grateful snacks on the market to our kids. Jerky proved no better, and if you're a parent in that situation, you know all about this, you go to buy a bar first neck and it's got thirty grams of sugar or you try you think you're doing something better and you by turkey jerky, and it has emma's, jean and and all of those things that we don't want to feed our kids as parents, so she sharing her story here, but it's more in the context of I know you've been there, I know your story too, and when you're struggling with and I have just the right product tio fulfill, but you need, and so she just that's such a great way of involving someone else's story and her ideal customer story into the reason why she started this business and I just and then under this she has her own picture and her family picture, and she talks even more about why she's doing this, but this is such a great thing because when you're reaching out to a magazine editor and you could say we started this because our we're frustrated because our kids couldn't get any non sugary snacks that didn't have crap ingredients in them. If she's pitching this to him, a parents magazine, all of those parenting magazines, they're probably looking for that kind of product to because that's what their readers are looking for as well, so this is why I put this up here. Just to sort of show you how your story always has to come back to you when you're pitching when your marketing when you're selling, when you're putting yourself out there and getting your products out into the world. So now let's talk about how does your story fit into the media landscape and your mission fit into the stories that magazine editors are trying to tell to their readers? So if you're one hundred percent clear on your own story and how your products benefit your customers, how could you not want to let the world know about it? And this is where often times I feel like entrepreneurs, especially small business owners, they feel like they're bothering someone or and we talked about that before, where you feel like I just don't I know they're busy, I just don't want to annoy them, but if you know you're here for a reason, you have a mission, how could you not let other people know about it, right? And if you approach your the way you market your product, it doesn't become marketing anymore or it doesn't become sales. I know so many people hate the word sales you, especially a crafter or a maker, you say sales and they're like, not me, I'm so bad at sales, but are you good at sharing your products? And letting other people know why your products are so awesome and how they can benefit from them yes I think we're all pretty good at that because otherwise we wouldn't be doing what we're doing so it's another thing where you can shift your mindset and think about it p r and selling or marketing and this whole thing that we're all trying to do think about it as how could we not let people know about it and it's our job to do it because we really believe in everything that we're doing and it all matters so this is where when you shift your thinking to this then you're not bothering editors when you're reaching out to them you're helping them you're providing value you're making their job easier and that comes across when you're sending out that email they couldn't tell right I couldn't tell one I get an email from someone and they're really confident and they want to really just show me what they're about and have me either shared with my audience or write about them as opposed to someone who says hi I'm just writing to let you write and even just that that word just when you're saying I'm just writing to let you know this you're sort of apologizing for writing so when you're pitching up please on say I'm just reaching out or I'm just calling to do this there's no reason to apologize you're doing awesome things keep doing it. Just believe in it and make sure that gets across when you're pitching magazine editors