Stories have become a part of people’s lives even when we were kids, where we enjoy listening to children’s books. As we grow up and learn how the world works, we should be aware that stories are still an important part of our everyday lives, even as entrepreneurs. Join Victoria Wieck in this episode as she discusses how mastering storytelling techniques can help generate more sales in your business. Know how to craft compelling stories relevant to your brand and make great impressions for a job interview, sales pitch or anything else. Master the art of storytelling and experience its numerous benefits!
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Achieving Storytelling Mastery To Increase Brand Awareness
Welcome to another episode. If you haven’t done so already, I would love you to subscribe, share and spread the word out because I am so excited to be sharing this time with you every week. Without further ado, let’s get into our topic. I want to talk about the topic of storytelling. It seems to be a big topic out there now. I’m delighted that the topic of storytelling is something that’s taking off now because I have been doing exactly that, telling stories, sharing my stories, inspirations and mastering the art of storytelling for many years on TV. Let’s talk about why storytelling is important. Many of you who own a business, think about owning a business, maybe you work for someone or a large company if you are going to be successful in selling anything, including making a great impression about yourself, to somebody for a job interview or anything else, the best way to do that would be to master the art of storytelling.
Now, let’s think about what storytelling is. It is the oldest form of communication. Think about that. I imagine, maybe 2,000 years ago, even longer than that, people didn’t have digital computers, even written books or anything. If you go back to human history, they communicated by telling stories. Our history is recorded by oral history of some sort. It’s a lot of stories. I ask, “Why is that?” There are so many incidences. If you go back for 10,000 years, I’m sure people can remember. There were a lot of things that are not written in books that we don’t know anything about.
My theory is that stories could be very interesting, compelling, make you cry, laugh or sad. All those things that move your emotions to a different place, good or bad, have to do with human stories. I would say that most of us can remember incredible stories. We don’t remember a lot of statistics or data but we remember stories. I’m not saying that data isn’t important. In fact, I will get to data about storytelling. Data is important but remember not to overwhelm people with data. I do quite a bit of speaking engagements. Whenever I do speak, I usually have a warmup person or I’m not the first person to speak at an event.
It saddens me when speakers get on the podium where everyone has done all the work. All they have to do is shine and they get lost in statistics. There are so many percentages and 3 out of 5 or whatever numbers that they have to quote, those numbers mean nothing. Just remember that numbers are boring and stories are interesting. What is storytelling in terms of how you create a brand, a company or enough of an emotional connection for millions of people to connect with you and fall in love with you, your brand and your brand story? I am so excited to get a deep dive into this.
By the way, if you have not checked out my YouTube channel, it’s called Million Dollar Hobbies with Victoria Wieck. I want to be very specific on YouTube. I’m starting that channel so that we can dedicate it to amazing episodes. My vision is to create that whole thing into a free mastermind class that you guys can join in. It’s not just my story but also a lot of other people’s success stories and what they have learned throughout their journey. Let’s talk about stories. Stories could be very factual. Factual history would be all fact-based.
Some stories are factual but fictionalized with a character to emphasize a point. Those would be based on true stories, which have been fictionalized. You will have stories that are completely made up that are fictional. There are all these different kinds of stories. We remembered each one of them. I would tell you that think about things that we remembered like what’s your favorite movie that usually has to do with a story about a person. I’m not going to pick one and I have different reasons for it but my personal favorite movie is Godfather, for example. I love that movie for the music. I love the soundtrack. I’m a big music fan. I also love how flawed a person is like Michael Corleone, the whole Corleone family and even though they were so flawed, you want to almost root for them because, among all the bad people, there were the ones that still had love and all the other stuff that’s going on in their family.
I digressed in there but the point is the iconic movies and songs all have stories. Obviously, this is a business show so we are going to talk about how you tell stories artfully with the idea that you share enough stories to be memorable but you also have to cause them to take action. Think about some of your favorite movies, favorite books and what made you remember those things. I love the story about Jane Eyre and James Michener’s Hawaii, which is a fictional novel based on facts about how Hawaii was formed and all that but there are a lot of fictional characters in there. He does quite a bit of research on those too.
Differentiating Your Brand
First of all, before you even get there, what storytelling will do for your business? Number one, if you are a small to medium-sized business, your best bet in differentiating yourself versus all the big companies or corporations, or you were coming up with a new spritzer, for example, you don’t want to be competing with a Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi or all those companies for ad budget. You are better off telling your story. It’s the same thing with a lot of other small businesses because most of us before we were business people or vice-presidents of any company, we are consumers of amazing stories and inspiration. If you can generate that time after time, that’s great.
I’m going to get into a systematic way of getting this done but you should have a brand video. I was approached by someone who wanted me to coach her for a mastermind class. I did not end up working with this person because I didn’t feel that she could benefit from me. She wasn’t quite there yet to waste the money that she was going to have to pay for this particular mastermind. When I was probing her about her business, her brand, where she was going and what it stood for to see if I could help her quickly, she told me that she had her brand story. It was all done on her website.
Stories have to be interesting and compelling. They should make you cry or laugh.
On our website, in terms of a blog and a brand story, it was about three-paragraph long explaining a little bit about our brand. I didn’t see a story about why she does what she does, the genesis of the company, what their mission was or how committed she was to either the product line or to serving the customer. Those were number 1, 2 or 3 mistakes that you make when you have a website. You want to have a compelling story. If you can, have a brand story that tells customers how you’ve got started, who you are and why you do what you do. It doesn’t have to be lengthy.
For example, in my own brand story, my daughter and I have a bridle Millennial business, which is 100% dedicated to conflict-free stones. Many of you don’t know about conflict-free or the word conflict-free. Just to give you a little backstory, a lot of your bigger stores will tell you that they guarantee it’s conflict-free but there is no way anyone can guarantee it’s conflict-free if it’s Earth-mined. A lot of the stones are mined in Africa. It’s cut in India then it’s polished to somewhere else. All these stones get mixed up. There was no chain of custody for every single stone or diamond that is a dot size. There was no way they could have a chain of custody papers for every one of them.
She and I started a company to educate a lot of the Millennials who think that if they get that piece of paper, they are getting something that’s 100% conflict-free, which is not true. In our brand story, we talk about how the mother, that’s me, who has been in this business for many years and has seen the devastation, destruction and confusion in terms of the consumer and what that does when you don’t have clear communication. She and I have decided to change the world, at least our own world, starting with our own little circle of friends. One engagement meeting at a time to bring awareness and also bring high-quality materials to their engagement process. Our whole mission is your love story is unique to you so why should you settle for something that some designer created to fit 10 million people out there?
That’s our brand story and we talk about the mother’s experience and the young girl’s hopes and dreams mesh them together coming up to a beautiful brand. With that story, we’ve been covered by a lot of the big companies like ABC and NBC. A lot of the affiliates have covered our story based on that. If you’re going to talk about starting a company, start with your brand story because that tells you a little bit about the personality, the genesis of your company, who you are and who you hope to serve so you can do this. I will do a whole other series of videos on how to do a great video.
Identify Who You Want To Serve
If you can, at least, write them down because even if you do your video, you are going to do a text version of that. Secondly, clearly identify who you hope to serve. In our case, we have several brands. I have a different brand altogether. My core customers are 45 to 65 years old. Her customers are about 25 to 35-year-old. On her website, she identifies who our customers are and who we hope to serve, which are Millennials who want to get educated and make an informed decision. We don’t judge anybody for buying an Earth-mined diamond. We don’t judge anybody for doing anything but we want to inform them of the choices that they have.
We hope to be one of the choices that they have. Clearly identify who you want to serve. Sometimes, you could say who you don’t want to serve or who you are not for. For example, you are selling anti-aging skincare. I have a lot of friends who are in that business because we are all aging and they have discovered some secret to anti-aging. If you are selling anti-wrinkle or anti-aging products, you have no business selling them to the twenty-year-olds. They are not aging yet. Their skincare routine is going to be very different than somebody who is already dealing with fine lines, wrinkles and everything else. You might actually say something like, “If you are twenty-some years old, we are not for you.”
I tell you why you do that because when you do that, you get credibility. Having been a 20, 30, 40, 50, 60-year-old woman in my life, I’m over that now. I know that my skincare routine changed when I was 20, 30 to 40. All those times, your skin and body change. When somebody says, “I’m not for you when you are twenty. As a 60-year-old woman, I know that this company is serious about taking care of the people that are 45 to 65 years old.” You get a lot of authority by being honest. That’s amazing. Secondly, nail down your story, meaning that all of us have amazing stories. I say that to you because you do each person.
You may not think you do but you have amazing stories and moments that shaped who you are, who your company is and your vision for creating the company that you have. A lot of times, you are like, “I want to do this in one paragraph. They tell me I could do it in 3 or 4 sentences something about my story but I have this long, old story that could take 1 or 2 hours about me.” You have to pick and choose what’s important to your brand. For example, I could talk about the fact that I immigrated from South Korea, I’m a mother and a lot of different things but when it comes to my own brand story, my own joy brand, aside from my daughter’s and mine, is The Victoria Wieck Collection, which caters to the 45 to a 65-year-old woman. We have two different websites for those.
Most of us can remember incredible stories. We don’t remember a lot of stats, statistics, or data, but we remember stories.
That brand story talks about making incredibly beautiful, stylish jewelry at affordable prices with their little artistic flair. The artistic flair is very unusual because of my background. I lived in South Korea until I was basically a teenager. I came to America where I had to embrace and honor both cultures. Being multicultural where East meets West, I have a very different eye. I use that to my advantage. My brand story would talk about how I love history and other cultures. I am a curious person with an artistic flair. I bring the best of all the world into amazing designs that they could buy at affordable prices. Also, those pieces become heirloom pieces because they are of very premium quality.
You can read the exact wording on this because it’s a very short story but they are very effective. I can tell you that because I have built a $500 million business off of that brand story. It’s very important to nail down the story that’s relevant to your brand. As I said, I will do a series on video on how effective communication on video, which is a little different than how you write. The third thing I will tell you is If you can tell your story, tell it on video because when you say things on video, you collapsed the number of words you need to. If you were elegantly dressed, well-mannered, quiet, somebody who takes time and you speak with a lot of authority but you speak at a very slow pace with a lot of patience, you don’t have to write those in words.
People can check that. If you are hyper and you are like, “I’m so excited to talk to you,” and you are going wild if your branding is about that Millennial excitement and all that, that’s great. It fits perfectly. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Videos can do a lot with the same story because they can also add context, tone, pace, speed, delivery and all of that. You should tune into that and the other thing, too is if you are listening to me on audio, make sure that you check out the video version of a video series because we will teach you about lighting the makeup, how you address the audience and the whole thing.
Storytelling, as I said, is something that you should master. I also say if you ever want to pitch for a TV station or if you want to sell your things to a major department store, maybe like Harrods London or Galeries Lafayette, you may not have a ton of volume from there but you get some beautiful prestige. You get the global street cred pretty much right away because I have experienced that too. You can do that by effective storytelling again. Storytelling is something that you should master. If you are interested in learning about storytelling, come to my website because I will be loading up a lot of those mini videos that you don’t have to pay for. It’s not going to be like a masterclass on its own but if you are somebody who needed a little extra help or you are curious about this and you want to add a little extra pizzazz to your website or all your branding pitches, they should all be around a story.
If you are uncomfortable telling your story, there was a back way around that. You could have other people tell your story. Ideally, it could be your past customers, best friends or people that will be character witnesses, like maybe in a courtroom type of thing. If you are starting your company, it doesn’t have to be about 2 million people you have served. It could be about one person who got transformed based on what you do. That’s important as well. For this particular episode, I hope that I opened your ears and eyes to storytelling and why that’s important.
In the future, I will be sharing with you a deep dive on how to master the art of storytelling. When I’m on ShopHQ, we have to tell lots of stories. Every single design I present on TV has a story, where I was sitting and what I was inspired by. I love certain colors, for example, blue and green. A lot of designers use them. I happen to love those colors. I talk about how, for me, the tranquility, the majesty of all the palm trees and the greeneries around the beach, which is very blue. Mother Nature created those colors to be almost like a perfect fit for me. I used them very extensively in my collection. Again, that’s a very small story but it makes a lot of sense. A lot of people can relate to that.
When I go to Hawaii, one of my favorite places in the world, you are surrounded by blue. The song I will be singing is blue Hawaii, blue ocean. It’s so majestic and beautiful but it’s also surrounded by lush greens all over the place. That’s my dreamland, my heaven. Whenever I have certain pieces, especially hibiscus designs or things like that around me, that transports me emotionally to a completely different place. Again, that’s one example of simple storytelling that has been very effective for me. I hope that this lesson has been very helpful. Even if you are working for someone in your company and you are doing a lot of sales presentations, try to incorporate at least one story the next time you are faced with that task.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading. Please come to my website, www.VictoriaWieck.com or you can go to MillionDollarHobbies.com, give us some comments and also, if you can, please write a review. I’m not asking for a great review. I’m asking for a very honest review so that we can continue to improve our shows. It could be as simple as, “I’m going to hear more about betrayals or self-improvement.” It could be about, “I didn’t love such and such episode. I want to hear less of that.” It’s okay. You could give me a negative review but I want a review and hear from you. Until next time, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice and I hope you all make great choices as we move to the next episode. Bye.