There’s something exciting about being told a good story – whether it’s from the screen, the page, an ipad or a friend. That’s why movies turnover more than AUD$10 billion a year in revenue and the sale of eBooks is growing 18-fold annually – we all just love a good story.
So what’s yours? Who are you as a person, what are your core values, what’s your identity – your personal brand… what’s your story?
In my experience, I’ve found a good personal story allows me to speak directly to my customers and reveal the human side of my business. When I deliver it with emotion and authenticity, when I make it memorable, my customers come on the journey with me – often for life – because it’s a story that reflects who I am and my personal brand.
Chances are, whether you know it or not, your brand is telling a story about you right now. It might not be the one you want to tell or the one your customers want to hear – but through the way you speak and dress, the paint on the walls and the music in the practice – your story is being told.
Chances are whether you know it or not, your brand is telling a story about you right now… So you might as well tell it right
Therefore, you need to know your story and you need to know it well… and, if the story you’re telling is not the one you want remembered and retold, you need to figure out how you can change it. Take a look at the foundations your business is built on – is yours a boutique family-run business that has lived and breathed eye care for 50 years? Or do you have a story of transformation – were you a lawyer or an accountant in a previous life who packed it in to work in the optical industry?
Get the foundations right by looking at your personal values. What inspires you? What motivates you? Figure out the purpose of your brand. Look around you and listen to what others have to say – from your staff to your patients. What has their experience been? Why do they keep coming back?
But content alone is not enough. It’s how you deliver your story that really counts. Brands like Apple, Virgin, Nike, Google and Facebook are masters of this. They have distinctly different and appealing voices, which inspire, excite and engage their audiences.
To find your brand voice, take a look at the language and tone you use, and the feelings you instil into every conversation. Make sure this message emanates from every channel of your business: local marketing, your website, the way your staff welcome customers, the way you interact with patients. Everywhere.
Importantly, try to hold a little of your story back – if you give it all up front you risk ruining the experience for your audience. Let your patients fill in the blanks for themselves when they experience your practice. Then, with a little bit of luck, they will become part of your story too – not only will they hear it, but they’ll help tell it as well.
Eric Breda is the Business Director for Transitions Optical Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Breda has worked in marketing roles with advertising agencies and financial institutions. He is married to Katrina, and they have two children, Elise and Alex. He says outside of work he’s a taxi driver for his kids… And that’s just part of his story.