The 3 stories you need to tell in business | Podcast S3E8

Feeling stuck with where to start with telling your Story to connect it into your business? Fear not. In this episode of Permission to Leap, I share with you the three stories you need to master in business. We cover – how to truly talk ABOUT YOU so that you activate connection and empathy in your audience, your story about where and your story about what…Hint: when you nail these three stories, most of the rest of your messaging becomes easy peasy. 

Specifically, in this show, we will talk about: 

  • How to tell your About You Story – the common pitfalls people have when talking about themselves and how to avoid them 
  • Where your Story takes your audience and why it isn’t about your geography or your products
  • How you tell it and the story that helps people decide between you and your competitors

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript is auto generated and is nowhere near perfect. There will be typos and weird words in the transcription. It will however, serve as a guide to the contents of the episode.

So are you feeling stuck with where to start with your storytelling and how to connect your story into your business? Listen, if that’s you. Don’t worry, you are in good company. It’s basically every single business owner I have ever worked with, who says I have all of these stories in my life. These lived and learned experiences. And I can’t understand a.

How to tell them and B how to connect them into my business. So over the next couple of episodes, we are going to unpack all of these questions. And I’m going to give you all of these answers, because this is fundamental. This is fundamental to your content strategy. Working. This is fundamental to you.

Truly feeling. Ventek in your business and in how you communicate with your prospects and your clients. So today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the three stories. You need to tell in business, we are going to go through what they are, how they work and how you can master them.

by the way, this is permission to leap and I am your host, Erin Trafford. This show is for creative entrepreneurs and business owners who are ready to understand. Truly understand content strategy. And to learn. From a pro and unlock that power of story to fuel growth in the show. I will share with you my absolute, no BS approach to business building content strategy lessons from my decades in newsrooms as an award-winning broadcaster journalist.

Insights actionable steps you can take right now, like as you’re listening to the program. To create true momentum in your business, simply by shifting the energy around your content. And the strategies you’re using to share it with the world. So get ready to leap. Into being bold. And to being strategic and to pushing the boundaries of what you think and believe is possible.

Okay. So today’s episode, we’re going to really hone in on these three stories you need to tell in business. And in fact, for the longest time I had a masterclass that I taught all about this. And as I’m doing this episode, I’m thinking that I should maybe resurrected and put it up on the website, um, and make it available for download.

However, we’re going to talk about them today. So if you are sitting in your listening and you’re taking notes or you’re on your phone and you’re able to take notes, I’m just going to drop the three stories for you, right? Right now. And then we’re going to go through them one by one as we go through the episode so that you can start to see how they work in context. Okay. So the three stories we’re going to talk about. Number one, is this story about you.

I cannot tell you how many times I have come up against a client. And sometimes it’s like weeks and weeks after we start working together. And they’ll say, listen, you know what? I’m still feeling really stuck about how to write my about page. And also how to tell my about story so that it actually makes sense in a business context. So that is the first beast we are going to slay on this episode today. We’re going to talk about, about you stories because it’s very important. Don’t let anybody tell you that it doesn’t matter. Don’t let anybody tell you that there is no reason to have an about page on your website or to have an about you story in your back pocket.

You absolutely need it. And if this is the only story that you learn, how to master. Then this is the only story that you learn how to master. Okay. So put a huge, like highlight this one, circle it, put a big heart, you know, around it in your notebook, whatever this one is really important. And I want you to take this away from our podcast experience today, wherever you’re listening to it this morning, this afternoon, this evening, over and over again.

Okay. So the first one is the about you. The second one we’re going to talk about today though, is something that’s. Often misunderstood. But it’s very important in terms of priority. I’m giving them to you so about you. And then the next one you need to understand and master over time is the story of about where.

And this one trips up, a lot of entrepreneurs, this one trips up, a lot of service providers. This one trips up a lot of creatives. But this one is very important in only for the fact that it’s so freaking powerful for your client. And when we say about where this has nothing to do with geography, okay.

This is not, where am I located and where are you located and where you’re going to travel to. Uh, this is actually about where you are going to take them from a transformational standpoint. And here’s the key and we’ll get into this in a bit, but there is a key to this story. That’s so many marketers, miss.

So many copywriters, miss. One day. I’m going to tell you about the story. What happened in our business? When I hired out for our copywriting and we actually grossly missed the mark. On telling this story because I took my eye off the ball and I didn’t stay connected to my story. And you know, that that’s key to success. I am a fallible human being, so I let the ball drop on that.

And we did not hit the mark on this story. And we went out to sell something and it did not work. So this is this about where story is very important. And then the last one we’re going to talk about today. Is the, about what? And this is truly about what you do. And how you do it again, lots of marketers gloss the surface of this. Don’t actually go deep enough into the emotional elements of this story.

Uh, in order to extract its true power. So those, those are the stories we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about, about you, about where and about what, and if you nail those three stories, if you nail them and you practice them and you stay in touch with them for yourself, I can guarantee.

All the rest of your messaging, all the rest of your content, all the rest of what you’re doing in your business is going to start to feel easy peasy, lemon squeezy, because these are the three stories that lead to clarity. You talk about people selling clarity. So many coaches and consultants say, come work with me and you’re going to feel clear and you’re going to feel confident.

Listen. I say that because I know that when clients work with me, that they end up feeling more clear and therefore more confident, but what it comes down to is clarifying these three things. Nobody ever says that what we’re going to clarify is we’re going to clarify who the frig you are about. You.

And we’re going to clarify what you actually do for people about where, and we’re going to help you clarify how you do it and what you do that makes you different. Story about what? Okay. So these are the three stories that if you, when you nail, you can kind of, I say whip out of your back pocket at any given time in order to make an impact. So it’s, there isn’t really an order of operations. Once you figured them out, you have these stories to tell. So if you’re at a networking event, if you are presenting somewhere on stage, if you are doing a media interview, or if you’re doing a podcast interview, if you are writing an about page, you’re doing a media kit.

Uh, writing an email, whatever. You’re doing, you have these stories that you can root into and connect to adapt and add to over time. But you have to do the work to figure out what they are to begin with. And so many. Entrepreneurs. Just think about, I want to make money. What can I do therefore, and go out into the world without actually doing this.

Foundational work. And it falls flat. I mean, this is why. The workshop that I sell for $47 is called content flow foundations, because it truly is about. Hitting these three stories, having them in your back pocket and putting them onto a content plan. As you see fit in order to meet your objectives. This is foundational. If you’re not doing this work, you are missing like huge opportunities.

Okay about you. Let’s talk about some common pitfalls because you know, everybody’s about you. Story is different. That’s what makes human race beautiful. Right? We all have. Uh, different experiences, every single person. So I’m not going to be able to tell you right now exactly what parts of your life story to bring forward into your business. But I can tell you what to start avoiding when you’re talking about yourself. And there are two key things that people, mistakes really, that people make when they’re talking about themselves and telling their about you story that cause other people’s eyes to glaze over and the connection to fall flat, or even the connection to be lost.

Frankly, and that is first of all, I want you to hear me say this and maybe write this down your, about you. Story is not chronology. Chronology does not equal storytelling. If you’ve worked with me for any length of time, you know, that we follow. The, the tried and tested, you know, Odysseus trope of the hero’s journey. There’s a reason we talk about the hero’s journey. So often when we talk about content,

It’s because it’s not linear. It is, it is linear in a sense that it has a beginning and an end, but it’s not flat. It is not like looking at, you know, going to the museum and looking at a timeline of things. Right. Stories don’t happen in a timeline. They happen in three dimensions, they happen. They’re in multi dimensions. They’re multifaceted.

Uh, which means there are ups. There are downs. There are flats. There are highs. There are lows. There are multiple things happening at the same time. Right. Think about some of your best. Uh, in favorite television programs, my guess is that they’re not just the linear storylines. They probably jump all over the place.

And so when you’re looking at your about story, if you’re going to do an audit of one that you already have up on your website, And it says, well, if it starts with anything like, well, I grew up in Minnesota. I want you to rewrite it. I want you to rewrite it. Focusing on. One or any of the following. These are prompts that we use in my program. So there’s lots that we, lots of tricks.

You know, in my hat that I can pull out for you, but this one tends to be the best on blocker for writing it about you story. I want you to sit down and write about the time in your life. When you changed your mind about something that you didn’t think you’d ever change your mind about. And I want you to try to start your about story there.

Instead of starting your about story. Where you grew up now, where are you? Grew up, may be integral to your about story. Don’t discount it. But I want, what I’m wanting you to avoid is telling your about story, like a chronological sequence of events, because that is tantamount to reading a phone book and that is boring, boring, boring.

Okay, so work on your, about story. That is the number one thing I want you to do. So chronology is not, is not storytelling. The other common pitfall that I see people fall into with their about story is being to what I would say is pithy in the sense that they have written it. Uh, whether it’s on their website or, you know, if they’re doing one of those, like here are 12 things you need to know about me posts on Instagram that you see all the time is that they are a disconnected string.

Uh fact. So if your, about story is, Hey, I L I have two dogs and I love to drink coffee. I’m like join, you know, 30% of the world who has two dogs and 80% of the world that drinks coffee. There is nothing defining about that story. And therefore it is boring. And therefore it is not doing you any service. So if your about story.

Even if you’re doing one of those, Hey, how are you? There’s lots of new followers over here on Instagram posts. And, uh, you’re gonna list out five things about you. Be very careful to not fall into. These are five disconnected, random facts that can be true about anyone. Because your about you story is about you.

It is a story that can not be about anyone else. So read those facts subjectively. If that could be anyone, the story is not about you. If your about page reads like a Twitter bio, I want you to revise it because it’s probably not actually capturing what you need it to capture. Okay. So I’ve dropped two super great tips there for you in terms of approaching your about page.

So the next story that we’re going to tackle here is this about why story. And I said at the beginning that this is more about the transformation that you offer your clients and prospects. Through your product or service now transformation doesn’t have to be like, you’re turning somebody from a caterpillar into a frickin butterfly. It can simply be that you’ve made a part of their day or a part of their life. More joyful, simpler, easier, beautiful, whatever. You’ve probably done the work to figure out what it is that you bring to your clients.

Here is the part of this storytelling though, that so many marketers forget to tell you that you need. Okay. Your client or prospect. Not only needs to see what transformation you’re offering to them. Let’s use an example. Let’s use an example. Let’s say that you are selling your client. Uh, I don’t know, copywriting services. Okay.

And you want to make, have them believe that you’re going to come into their business. You’re going to take everything from their brain into a brain dump, and you’re going to transform it into a whole bunch of content. And it’s going to be great at the end. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to look like you’re on while you’re off and all those things that I say, right?

Like copywriters are magical beings. But that is not the transformation. The transformation there, you might be saying, here’s the relief I’m going to give you, is that transformative? Yes. Yeah, it is. Okay. I can believe that that’ll give me some relief in my business. But here’s what you’re missing.

The person purchasing from you needs to believe the transformation is possible. They need to believe it’s possible. So if somebody came to me and said, right now, I’m going to sell you something. That’s going to transform you into a, you know, five foot, nine supermodel. I’d be like, great. Sounds amazing.

Not possible. Right. Show me that that is possible. Give me some evidence. Talk about this all the time. Show me evidence that this is true. Dig into your story bank and find evidence. That the transformation that you are projecting and suggesting that you are going to sell or offer. Is actually a transformation that’s possible.

Right. That’s where you’re going to make the sale. Is when somebody not only says. I want that. But I can have that. Make it possible for them. So go back and look at all of the different ways that you’re talking about what you’re offering your client, and then go in and see if you can pepper transformation with belief. So what does that look like? Testimonials of past clients who have done the thing, and if you don’t have testimonials, then I want you to find examples of when the thing that you’re selling has done.

The thing that you say that it’s going to do, and that can just be anecdotal. That can be a friend of a friend that can be from your life. You don’t need testimonials of the. Off the get go. They’re great. On an, on an ongoing basis, but if you’re just starting. I want you to look and find proof that copywriting can actually make sales that buying this blender is actually going to make me use it that.

You know, if I, uh, invest in my back garden that it’s not going to get full of weeds or that it’s going to make my summer more enjoyable, or I’m not sure what you’re selling, but that is what I want you to do. You need to connect the transformation into belief and if your client or prospect currently is sitting in a state of disbelief that it’s possible.

A lot of coaches, consultants have this. Especially if they sell high ticket because they. There, there are people hit money blocks, right? For me right now, five figures to work with me. One-on-one. And to join my mentorship. It’s a low four figure investment. So I price myself so that people who are ready to step in and who have already got the belief in themselves.

I come to work with me, but if you’re targeting people who do not believe. Then you have a lot of work to do in your content funnel to get them to a point of belief in order to show them the transformation. This is so important belief. And transformation that’s where you’re taking them. Okay. So that’s story number two.

Story number three is about what you do and how you do it. Now, this can be where you talk about the tangible questions, where you answer the question that people will have for you. But what do I get when I work with you? Right. I get that all the time. What do I get? Okay, well, you get access to my course of vault.

You get this many calls, you get this community, you get this private Facebook group, so on and so forth, right? But the key is those are all tangible things that once again, anybody could offer those things. It’s not just me. But what you actually need to do is infuse how you show up in those things.

So, what do you do, but how do you do it? And this is where your secret sauce. The essence of what makes you special starts to come out in the way you talk about what you do. And this to be perfectly blunt is what is going to set you apart in a saturated market, because I could work with copywriter, a, B, C, or D. Why am I going to choose B? Because I like the way she does what she does.

That is very, very important and it cannot be just that. They’re all going to write me an email funnel or a sales page, or they’re all going to help me. Um, get the backlog of blog posts up on the website. Sure. They’re all capable of doing that, but why am I going to choose someone it’s because of how she does what she does.

Right. It’s her process. It’s her intention. It’s the way she interacts with her clients. It’s the. Ethos of what she brings to the table. So you’ve got to learn how to talk about these three things, and you’ve got to be comfortable talking about them all the time and you know that I also want you to couch them all in great storytelling. Hey, remember when I met this person who this happened to me the other day, all of those things make these three stories.

So stinking powerful. So you have got an about you. You have got, what else have you got? You have got an about you. You have got an about where. And you haven’t got an about. What. Slash how. And I am telling you. When you nail these.

Basically unstoppable.


You can hear the way they sound in the world. You can. Feel the way it feels to talk about these things in your body. These stories will tell you if you’re on the right track or not. If any part of these stories starts to feel off or inauthentic it’s because they probably are. Dig deeper. That’s my invitation to you today.

Dig. Dig deeper because the deeper you go on these, the more effective they’re going to be.

Thanks for listening to this episode of permission to leap. And if you like this, Please consider subscribing to the show feed on your favorite podcast platform and leave us a review also. I adore when you take a screenshot and share the show with your social media network, just make sure to tag me at it’s dot Erin Trafford, especially if you’re over on Instagram.

And if you’d like to know more, just check out the show notes. That’s where you’ll find the latest free downloads resources from Erin Trafford story and strategy plus links to any and all applications to work with me in my mentorship or as a private consulting client. And. The show notes also, where we’re going to put all the information to upcoming masterclasses events, programs, all those things that you may want to participate in that are more timely. And time-bound.

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