"My Story. Your Story?"
WHY YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR STORY
An integral part of marketing in 2018, is the concept of narratives and story telling in making clients feel 'you are for me'. You want your clients thinking "you understand me and can help me" from the stories you share.
Our interactive session at YTM on 20th March is based on "How to Create Great Stories to Connect with Your Clients". In preparation, I have been thinking about my own story. My past experience definitely has equipped me to help my clients build bigger and better businesses by seeking conversations that move them towards their goals.
My diverse career portfolio and past experience has equipped me to help you and your team. I know how to create communities, develop conversations, see connections and share knowledge.
I’d like to share some of my story here-
HELPING BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS FIND THE SOLUTIONS THEY NEED
For the past 8 years, I have run Your Time Matters. The original tagline of my business was “Do what you do best and delegate the rest to us”. I helped individuals, business professionals, and families manage their "to do" lists and the time consuming things that took their focus away from their core needs. As YTM, developed, the tagline changed to “Finding Solutions for your Lifestyle and Business" as my extensive network and resourceful approach meant I could, and still can, find a solution for anything, or at the very least know who can solve the matter at hand!
Five years ago, I changed the tagline to “ Learn Grow Achieve”. I recognised, my teaching and organisational skills could add value and support in generating opportunities for business owners, professionals and teams, wanting to grow personally and professionally. I knew how to help them identify their needs, grow their business confidence, have better converations, and increase their connections and opportunities. I had all the skills to make networking events more than transactional and established an environment, building relationships through a community that also could enrich lives, make a difference and use time efficiently.
Looking back, the three phases of YTM clearly interelate as YTM continues to help business owners and professionals
- do what they do best
- help find suppliers, referrers, clients and friends
- boost confidence, through mentoring, strategy and events
- create deeper and better conversations
- equip them with the knowledge they need to work both "in" and "on" their business
- and , improve relationships, both internally and externally of an organisation.
NETWORKING BUILDS YOUR CONNECTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE
Interestingly, when I started Your Time Matters, I knew the most cost effective way to build my business with a limited marketing budget, was to build a network. To increase brand awareness and visibility of my service, I needed to meet people. I knew it was important to engage with other professionals who could help me develop my business skills, and build relationships with others, who in time would become my advocates, suppliers and clients. I recognised then and still firmly believe, no one achieves anything alone. You need to create a network with those you, know, like and trust.
Since 2013, I have been organising monthly YTM events in Brighton and Kew. The formats allows participants to connect in a relaxed and effective way through the unique structure that take conversations from “awkward” to “awesome”. The environment is relaxed and friendly, and my past experience has played a large part in the development of YTM products and services.
JOINING THE DOTS IN YOUR STORY
If you have read or seen Steve Jobs’ speech to the graduate students of Stanford University you will recall he told the graduates, that you can see your path by looking backward and are never sure where the future path will take you. I can certainly relate to that. I never would have thought I would be running networking events to assist business professionals!
My first full time role, after leaving school was in the Travel Industry, where I spent many years arranging domestic and international travel and escorting groups overseas. I helped travellers find their dream destination and handled all the arrangements making the process easier. Escorting groups meant I often spent weeks with strangers making sure they felt included and comfortable in strange environments.
Since childhood, I had always wanted to be a teacher, so when time permitted, I returned to college and spent time learning, growing and achieving my teaching degree. Involved in school communities as a teacher and later as a parent, I was actively involved in community activities and know how enriching those connections can be.
I also established a craft market organising monthly markets which brought together over a hundred stallholders to promote and sell their products. I learnt a lot about myself, and others during this time as I engaged with a range of personalities, handled the marketing, dealt with local council, managed logistics and further developed valuable skills in event management that I continue to apply at YTM to make every event run like clockwork.
Retiring from the classroom, I spent time assisting relocating International Executive families move into a new city and community and establish new supportive networks. I witnessed how crucial a support network is, and how isolating it can be if you do not belong to a community or have the support you need. The YTM event model encourages and supports even the most reluctant networker to feel comfortable.
I recall helping a mother who had recently arrived from the UK, make new friends at her child's school . We role played the conversation she could be having and the questions she could ask to break the ice. I was delighted to hear, a few weeks later, that her world had turned around and instead of feeling isolated and alone, she told me she had made a "friend".
ESSENTIAL SKILLS WE ALL NEED
My ability to develop relationships, create community and make conversation are skills I have developed throughout my life. Today with online technologies playing such a big part, I recognise that not everyone finds conversations with strangers easy. Making conversations and connecting, face to face, are essential life skills we all need to develop. I know how enriching it is to hear stories and learn from the experiences of others and so I enjoy equipping people with these skills and know that networking can be "daunting" and even "terrifying" , but there are strategies you can learn.
Learning is very important to me. As a teacher, I knew that my role was to help others learn. However, I believe a teacher's role is very much facilitation. It is imposssible to know everything. Know where to find the answers and who can help is the key.
LEARN, GROW, ACHIEVE
At YTM, I seek out presenters to extend knowledge and challenge our thinking because often “we don’t know what we don’t know”. We have had well over 75 diverse speakers and presenters that have helped participants learn, grow and achieve.
I know that as a business owners, it is possible to spend too much time “in” our business and easily delay working “on” our business. YTM's three formats use your precious time wisely, allowing time each month to reflect, develop and work “on” your business as you gain insight from expert presenters, who may challenge your current systems and processes or introduce you to new concepts and ideas to implement, and build and maintain your network of connections.
The common thread when I look back as Steve Jobs suggested, is a strong link between
· Love of people
· Teaching and facilitation
· Building community and networks
· Finding solutions
· Event organisation
And, helping others achieve what matters to them.
I thrive on helping others develop their skills, have the knowledge they need and am constantly encouraging business professionals to reach out, have better and deeper conversations and uncover the expertise and knowledge they need through authentic, honest relationships.
CREATE YOUR OWN STORY
So….does my story help you understand my drivers and how I can help you? Can you create a story that will connect with your clients?
I am sure after attending the interactive session on the 20th, you will be able to refine or know how you construct your story. I look forward to connecting with you face to face.
The interactive session with Karen Hollenbach, from Think Bespoke, will show you how you can create greater traction with your target market by understanding the 3 Key areas-
1.What is Storytelling for Business?
2. How to connect using Storytelling
3. Where Storytelling Can Be Used
Read more and book your spot HERE today.