(After you dry your tears- check out my LIVE activation event cre8tive Con.)⬇️
I sit here in the deep south in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is flanked by the slow-moving currents of the Black Warrior River, wondering how did I end up here?
How does a suburbanite from Chicago end up in the suffocating heat of Alabama in August?
The answer is simple: she is dropping her baby boy off at college.
Sam, my second child, said yes to Roll Tide Nation, and the rest is history. With unabashed enthusiasm for the campus life and education that the University of Alabama provides Sam never deviated from his decision. He left Mom, with a tiny tear in her heart, wondering if --"IS THIS IT"?
Why am I writing about my kid going to college when I typically try to provide you with actionable strategies to uplevel your entrepreneurial life as a creative?
I am sharing this punch-to-the-gut because it is the stuff that makes us real. These stories are the ones that capture the attention of readers and also connect us to the bigger picture in life. Gary Vaynerchuk pontificates that our stories are the most important things we have as entrepreneurs.
Storytelling is the thread that weaves communities together. If you are a parent, you know everything halts when moving your child to college. You understand why I am wearing sunglasses right now (to hide the tears). And moms and dads, you understand the sharp pain when you say goodbye to baby child. You connect with me, because of my pain, and you champion me when I triumph.
Without a deep-seated appreciation for your story, you become a 2-dimensional character in life and in your brand. Your audience craves the grittiness of your failures and the ultimate ascension to your success. Your story is all that matters.
No matter what your expertise and industry, you need to tap into your story and weave it into your brand.
This is how you are going to start right now,
Answer these three questions:
What is the hardest challenge you have faced in your life?
What are you most proud of?
Why does this matter to your audience?
Begin by recognizing the substantial stories that have led you to where you are now and strategically align these stories to connect with your audience. Curate content that matters. Don't simply copy and paste the latest and greatest words of others, dig deep into the underbelly of who you are and share YOUR words with those who will connect with your message.
SIDEBAR: This is where Chat GPT profoundly fails. Chat GPT cannot capture the true essence of your experience as a human. I am disheartened by the dehumanizing effect AI is having on the entrepreneurial community.
The importance of creating content that reflects your story creates trust. According to Hubspot, 60% of consumers feel more comfortable when the content on your website and social media posts are customized.
Here are my top ways to share your story in a powerful way:
Blogging: Curate your story in blog form on your website. Blogging is a superpower for SEOs and then repurposing portions of your blog on Medium.com (it is like Instagram for bloggers). Medium has a strong domain authority and helps you rank higher in Google Searches.
Use your story to support your brand and business on social audio. Using social audio apps like Clubhouse is a great way to create an intimate space with your potential clients and customers.
Create visual snippets of your story to share everywhere. Use YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok. This allows access to your audience to gain trust and give them the sense that you are 3-dimensional.
Back to my story.
My little guy is gone.
He has launched.
Momma is sitting here thinking about the day I gave birth, the proudest moments we shared together, and the times I wanted to pull my hair out.
It is hard.
Remember the most important thing in life (personal and professional) are the relationships we build and the stories we share.
Goodbye Sam, I love you.