Every day, more and more people turn to freelancing and join the gig economy. Whether out of necessity, the inspiration to quit the 9-5, or you’ve gone back to work after retiring, telling your story is the best way to build a personal connection with potential clients.
According to Michael Margolis, CEO and founder of Get Storied, your “story is your ultimate currency. You are trading on your story. This is why people buy your message, or buy your product, or even hire you to do a job.” Each and every freelancer has a unique story of how they started and why they do what they do, and any freelancer can use their story to market their business.
While storytelling is undoubtedly a powerful tool for you and your freelancing business, telling the right story can prove challenging. But you don’t have to be a professional writer for it to be captivating and remarkable. Learning how to tell your story in the most effective and intentional way is not only important, it is invaluable.
Here are a few tips to help you tell your story effectively.
Have engaging content
Customers, clients, and employers connect with you and your business based on what you identify in your story. Construct a testimony through events, details, and information that are relevant to the bigger picture.
- Your profession and mission
- Your passion and inspiration; what drives you
- What you do, your skills and talents
- How you started your career
- Your challenges and triumphs
These are the building block of your story that make you stand out. When you put these elements together, your story begins to take form.
Build a bond
Storytelling strengthens your brand and your bond with your clients. In fact, as a freelancer, you may be telling someone’s story through your skills, talents, and crafts. For instance, a wedding photographer’s life work is telling the story of the bride and groom’s most special, monumental day.
You can choose to share your story through a “history” section on your website, a promotional video, or even with a series of photos. Moonlighting, an online and freelance marketplace, allows users to share their biography, photos of their work, and share public reviews from past clients. Take advantage of technology like Moonlighting to get your story out there and begin connecting with clients.
Simplify your message
Specific details, examples from your daily life and experiences help create a more distinctive story and communicate your perspective to clients or partners. Be specific and keep it simple.
If you aren’t able to describe your overall message or mission in a short paragraph, you are most likely overthinking it or are heading in too many different directions. Aim to tell a collective narrative that includes only the most relevant details. Revealing a vast array of details is not only a difficult task, but it can confuse your reader.
Speak in narrative
Don’t be afraid to be personal and speak from your own narrative. The most powerful stories are those that are genuine and true to the storyteller. Try to insert one or two unique truths about you written in your unique voice. No need to invent or reinvent yourself. Real life truths have the most impact.
Another tip in telling your narrative is speaking your story out loud. Tell your story to yourself. Once you’ve finished writing, speak it out loud. Are you able to get through your story smoothly? Does it flow? Going back to oral communication is a great way to determine whether you are saying what you mean.
Know your audience
Who are you speaking to? Aim to connect and reach your audience on their terms, making it relevant to them. Think about what you have in common and build a bridge. Regardless of your approach, know and speak to your specific audience.
Keep writing your story
Your freelancing story is strengthened by time, experience, trials and tribulations, and of course your successes. Don’t stop writing. All of your experiences build your freelancing story, because your story never really ends. Professional writers say that the best way to get better at storytelling is practice. Share your story and work with others, network and strengthen your impact.
Regardless of type and length of content included, your story should be authentically you. That’s the most critical component. The idea is to share a narrative that introduces you and your career. Sharing your challenges, passions, starting place and mission goes a long way to connect with others, and gives an insight that will ultimately get you hired.
This article was originally featured in the USA Today.