What’s Your Story?
Have you ever heard of the “garage story”? Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably heard several of them over the years. Garage stories are the classic rags-to-riches tales of companies that started in the garage only to become multimillion (often billion)-dollar corporations. Think of the origin stories of these three companies: Amazon, Google, and Disney. If you’ve heard their story before, they all started with just an idea and a garage. Fast Company did a great write up about the garage myth, which you can read online here.
At the end of the day, every business has a story—whether you started in a dilapidated garage or at your kitchen counter with your laptop. At the core of a business is always a person or a team of people who had an idea or a way of solving a problem, and they did something about it. For some amazing and inspirational stories about remarkable businesses with cool origin stories, check out the podcast How I Built This. You might be surprised by some of the ‘ordinary’ ways that the world’s most influential companies launched. And my favorite part? Nearly ALL of the businesses featured have a year or two where they have no idea if they are going to make it (and I think we can all relate to that!).
The point is this: Your business has a story, and you should be telling it.
When we work with our clients, so many of them get stuck when writing their own business story. Here are some of the things I hear all the time from clients who don’t know what to say about their own business: “I don’t know, I just started my business.” “I’m not really solving problems in a unique way.” “I don’t really have a story.” “It’s not that interesting.”
TRUTH time: it is interesting, and I DO want to hear it! Here’s what a good brand story tells a reader: the why behind your business. Where did your inspiration to start your business come from: in other words, what did you experience or observe that you wanted to change?
Here’s what a good brand story is NOT:
A fairy tale or made up story. You don’t need to embellish your origin story. Whatever your reason was for starting the business is as good a reason as any!
A biography of dates or a resume of jobs/qualifications. A story should be engaging and connect with your readers through shared experience.
A great brand story shares insights to your primary motivation for doing the work that you do, and trust me—it’s a story worth telling!