Storytelling is universal. It is as old as humanity.
Too often in business, we forget or don’t know how to tell our personal stories, which is a shame. The lack of storytelling is many times a cause of lost sales. That’s because personal stories are one of the best ways to connect with customers. Storytelling strongly encourages and motivates purchase decisions.
Emotions Matter – Storytelling Touches and Motivates Us
In marketing, we often focus on objective data, facts and figures, product features, technology, and engagement through social media. In art, it is easy to give details about the size of the artwork, the media, the frame, the price, and the shipping without ever telling the artist’s personal story. It is unfortunate because the personal story is the emotional part, which helps to enhance perceptions and drive purchasing decisions.
Don’t make the mistake of confusing personal storytelling with backstories about individual works of art. Backstories help sell art, too. Personal stories sell the artist. As you gain mastery over storytelling, you will weave them with backstories about your art. Together the combination creates a persuasive selling scenario for you to sell your artwork.
Storytelling is so important because it reaches people on an emotional level. Stories communicate to the listener exactly what you do and what you stand for. Therefore, it’s super helpful to craft compelling stories, both about yourself and your art.
Why We Love Personal Stories
Humans love stories. Stories make a piece of art or person relatable. Just like the characters in a book, we project ourselves into certain aspects of the story’s characters. We identify and empathize with them. For an artist, personal storytelling works to break down the barrier between the artist, the art and the buyer.
For example, we love rags-to-riches stories. There are many books, websites or businesses that tell this classic story. The owner was down and out, and all the odds were against them, they didn’t know what to do and were nearing rock-bottom when inspiration came knocking. This spark of an idea led to them to rescuing or founding a very successful business. Such rousing stories nearly always follow the classic conflict-to-resolution plot arc.
Consider the example of a social worker starting a fundraising organization. Social work is hard, and as she begins to grow into her role, it all seems like too much for her. Then, she has a breakthrough one night while walking home from work. She encounters a homeless woman asking for money, and it hits her. She discovers that it indeed is her calling and she needs to do whatever she can to help those in need. This story of her epiphany can help her raise money for her fundraiser.
Stories Are Like Fascinating, Transcendent Cosmic Glue
Stories also work well because they’re exciting and engaging. You can take any content that may be slightly dry or dull and weave it together with a story to make it much more exciting and dramatic. We love TEDx Talks so much because they are story-based. TED Talks often present very difficult or technical information, but it’s put together with the personal story of the presenter to give it life.
Personal stories often follow the hero journey. It is a classic plot line that you recognize in books and films. A character has some problem or dilemma. A wise guide is introduced to the character who offers a solution or plan. The character acts or goes on a quest to fix the problem. The result is the action eventually leads to success and transformation. Classic motion picture examples using this storyline are Star Wars and The Matrix.
Your Personal Story Is Richer and Has More Nuance Than You Know
Your story may not be on a par with a blockbuster movie script. It doesn’t need to be for you to use it successfully in your career. What is nearly always the case is your personal story is more interesting than you realize.
We are each a natural storyteller at heart, but sometimes it’s hard to discover stories that will help our businesses build relationships, stir emotions, and engage our customers.
Founding Stories – What Motivated Your Business Inception?
A founding story is just one example of the different kinds of personal stories each of us has.
A founding story is an excellent opportunity for storytelling. Typically, businesses start with humble beginnings. Your business genesis provides a unique template for a founding story. You started on a shoestring budget in a basement studio with no staff and gradually found success, growing to become the success you are now.
Your founding story could be a story of us that goes back to your life before founding the organization, highlighting the beliefs, experiences, and decisions that led to its founding. The critical element to this story was that crucial moment when you knew becoming an artist was what you had to do.
Through a founding story, you can highlight essential choice points as well as drive home the value you’ve brought to your customers and community. Through a founding story, you can also convey your vision, benefits, and other things that make your company unique.
The genesis of so many huge brands trails back to humble beginnings. Hewlett-Packard and Apple started in garages in Silicon Valley. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard to work on their startups. David Geffen began in the mailroom at Universal and went on to become a music and film mogul billionaire.
Your founding story does not have to be of epic proportion like those mentioned above. It’s likely there are some similarities in one way or another regarding what you did to get lift-off with your business.
Every one of us—regardless of where we were born, how we were brought up, how many setbacks we’ve endured or privileges we’ve been afforded—has been conditioned to compete to win. Ironically, the people who create fulfilling lives and careers—the ones we respect, admire and try to emulate—choose an alternative path to success.
They have a powerful sense of identity. They don’t worry about differentiating themselves from the competition or obsess about telling the right story. They tell the real story instead. Successful organisations and the people who create, build and lead them don’t feel the need to compete, because they know who they are and they’re not afraid to show us.
An excerpt from Bernadette Jiwa’s excellent book, Story Driven
Learn How to Use Personal Storytelling in Your Art Career
The exercises and training in this course are designed to pull out your unique story so you can use them in your daily life and your art career. This guidance you receive in this training will help you in your career and your personal life.
Register for the How to Sell More Art with Personal Storytelling Course
Imagine If Selling to Buyers Was More Like Talking to Friends
Why Personal Storytelling in Selling Art and in Business Works So Well!
“Those who tell the stories rule the world.”
-Hopi American Indian proverb
Storytelling works because most people, no matter who they are, or what business they’re in, find it incredibly challenging to form a connection with their audience. They struggle to engage people and get them to listen to what they have to say. It’s not because they can’t. It’s just because they don’t know-how.
Your story and your connection to your art are important. Imagine a buyer who loves your work and has bought a piece. She also knows your story. Now when she tells someone about it, she sprinkles in details from your story.
Think of it as emotional connective tissue. Stories enhance the experiential value of everything, especially art,
Personal Storytelling Opens Doors.
It Creates New Opportunities with Ease! What Makes It So Powerful Is Anyone Can Do It!
You see, people who tell compelling stories about themselves are able to capture their audience’s attention from the first moments – whether it’s in a one-on-one meeting or a live webinar or presentation. And once they’ve established that emotional connection, it’s far easier to persuade an audience to take action later on. You can learn how to captivate, engage and create bonds with your easily learned personal storytelling skills.
Let’s Put Our Cards on the Table. Personal Storytelling Is a Skill Worth Knowing and Doing!
Yes, it is a challenge to identify the right personal stories to tell. And, it takes a little work to perfect your skills so when you tell your stories you get the response you want. Fortunately, with a little help, anyone can uncover and create compelling personal stories that get better with each telling. But, the payoff is a lifetime of improving results and relationships.
You can learn to use the How to Make Personal Storytelling Successful for Artists training to get maximum mileage from your story… and you have a story. One that is far more intriguing than you imagine.
By the time you’re done with the course, you will identify and tell your most relevant and high-impact personal stories. The wisdom and insights you gain will help you build your reputation and start getting you fantastic results… you’ll be thrilled to feel your self-confidence grow and see your business take off!
There are five thorough, easy-to-follow modules in the course:
- Why We Love Stories: You’ll start by examining the benefits of using personal stories in business, so you can conceptualize and fully appreciate the profitable impact stories can make on your relationships with art buying patrons, prospects, and customers
- The Different Types of Personal Stories: You’ll dive into the most popular personal story types, so you can choose the most important ones that will impact your business
- Writing Your Story: You’ll love the story prompts and writing tips. You will use them to draft personal stories to begin using them to tell to others right away, no matter what situation you’re faced with
- Tell Your Story: You’ll explore different methods for practicing and telling your stories, including how to tailor them to different audiences. That way you’re prepared to tell at least one story by the time you finish the course.
- How to Start Using Your Stories: In this final module, you’ll recap the key points of the course and be guided through useful action planning. You’ll wrap up knowing exactly what you need to do next to start telling a variety of personal stories in your business.
Successful Art Sales Are All About Making Relationships
The knowledge, wisdom, and experience you gain from this course will help boost your confidence that you can relate to anyone. Knowing you have learned these unique skills of personal storytelling will allow you to progress your relationships with potential new buyers and repeat customers with ease.
Selling to buyers directly is the key to your long-term success. Building a relationship with buyers is the glue to make that happen. This course will put you on the fast track towards connecting with your ideal buyers and selling your art to them.