Erin Boerema CEO of Optimal VA Solutions, Online Marketing & Branding Expert, & Host of The Making Sense Of Entrepreneurship Podcast
A brand story is a story you build around your journey and around your business to help your audience or online community understand why you do what you do.
When you’re trying to build out a brand story that will captivate your ideal buyers online, you need to keep a few things in mind… one thing being that it’s not about you. It’s about your ideal customer or your ideal client, whatever you call it. It’s about their needs and wants and how you help them achieve whatever they’re trying to achieve.
You help them solve a problem that they had. And you know what, explain it to them like they are five years old. Literally, if it’s not clear, they’re not going to get it, and if they don’t get it, then they’re not going to buy your services in the long run, my friends. And look, so maybe they’re not aware of the problem just yet that they are having. You help them reach that understanding that that problem could be solved, whether or NOT they know it’s there yet. Once you break it down and explain it to them, It’s a lot easier to get your message across to them. Also, make sure you are speaking directly to them and make sure to speak their language.
Don’t speak to your customers in a way that they’re not going to understand… like you MUST speak their language for the message to be able to resonate with them, and I believe that’s kind of a fundamental principle in sales communications you need to understand to succeed with your brand’s message.
A brand story is a story you build around your journey and your business to help your audience or online community understand exactly why you do whatever you do and how it benefits and relates to them.
The thing is, the brand story that you are building isn’t just some long paragraph that you insert into your about page of your website then forget about – no, instead, think of it and remember it this way: Your brand story should be something that is infused into every touchpoint of your business. Every time a new client comes into contact with your brand – with your emails, logo, proposals, IG posts, tagline, and so on – your story should be infused and integrated into those aspects that should only further strengthen it.
Here are four key components you should include in your brand story to ensure you create one that captivates, resonates, and intrigues your audience.
1. A Hero/Main Character
- Someone who influences you to make your service/product offer could have been a family member or even an old client. In my personal story, the thing that pushed me to begin was actually a frustration and unhappiness with my work situation that ultimately had a straw breaking the camel’s back when I had a family member die and was asked to work the day after the funeral unless I wanted to lose my job.
- What is the problem that needs to be solved? This speaks directly to a problem or conflict you found yourself needing to resolve early in your own journey relative to the story you are telling and, at the same time, speaking directly to the problem or conflict that you provide a solution to for those clients. Whether or not they realize they have this problem yet, speaking directly to the problem or conflict that your service or product solves introduces your audience’s understanding of the problem, so this is a crucial component.
3. The Solution
- How does your product or service solve this problem? How did you solve that problem yourself early in your journey? Providing this expertise and authoritative expertise puts you in that exact position to be the one who is an expert in the realm of solving said problem or conflict because you have successfully done so in your own journey and because you lead from experience.
4. The Mission
- The mission is something that goes beyond your product or service. How does your brand impact its community, and why should a client or customer value your brand over another? What really sets you apart from your competition? Your mission is a way to get really specific about intentions, actions, and the future of your brand.
To successfully build your business and brand online, you cannot ignore the importance of figuring out what your brand is all about in the first place, which will make your marketing much more coherent and cohesive when trying to build your business and gain momentum doing so.
So, before you jump into email marketing, paid ads, social media, and the rest, make sure you first have a solid understanding of what your business is seeking to achieve, what its core values are, and how to speak directly to whomever you are trying to target with your services or products in your brand’s very own tone of voice and personality. It’ll save you a confused message and wasted dollars! And the greatest part about this is that your story lives on and continues to be a part of every touchpoint and aspect of your business and brand as time goes on. You’ll continue telling real stories and continue connecting with people.
Keep your story alive by continuing to impress your target buyers and giving them the best experience possible, which builds the foundation for trust, helping you create something that lasts.
Bio: Erin Boerema is a full-time entrepreneur, and founder of Optimal VA Solutions (a creative agency focused on helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and digital creators establish, build, and grow their brand online through branding and marketing strategies and tactics), the host of the Making Sense of Entrepreneurship podcast, and a digital creator. She’s also a total nerd when it comes to reading really good fantasy novels, and her passion lies in helping other business owners, entrepreneurs, and creators establish their online presence and build their brand and business effectively online by showing them how to harness the internet to pursue their passions with intention and with purpose so they can make a living doing what they love to do and make an impact doing it!