So many people ask me “Ted, how can I find my message?”
I tell them, your message comes directly from your life story.
Here’s what I believe:
You have a life story to tell, life lessons to teach, and a message to share with the world that can change lives.
Your life story is unique, your life lessons are unique and your message is unique.
Your message is so powerful, you can build a celebrity brand around it, attract high quality clients and earn multiple streams of income doing exactly what you love.
If you’re a coach, speaker, expert, artist, author, service-based business owner, or entrepreneur, your story is your message to millions.
So how do you go about creating your message from your life story?
Ultimately, there are no rules for creating your messaging. Think of finding your message as an opportunity for you to explore your story.
Your message really comes alive when you are connected to your story, because when you go deep into your story you transform and that transformation helps your messaging becomes more powerful.
The key to making your message impactful is to share it from a place of passion and inspiration. Your messaging will succeed when you touch people’s hearts and truly connect with them.
How to craft your story
There are 4 components an effective story contains, but before I go into those I want to tell you about the 2 ‘magic ingredients’ of great storytelling:
Your story needs both of these elements for it to be truly compelling and impactful.
Vulnerability is power. When you’re prepared to get vulnerable, it creates human connection with your audience.
Without expressing your vulnerability in your story, you can’t ever really get into the transformation you experienced in your life or the truth of how you learned the lessons that you can teach others.
Without vulnerability, your message loses power.
If vulnerability helps your audience get connected to you, credibility helps convince them you’re the one they want to go on a journey of transformation with.
Credibility comes when you share your own transformational results, or the results of your clients. It’s about the outcomes you experienced as a result of your own journey.
Now you know you need to incorporate those two elements into your story, let’s get into the structure. Your story will contain:
- The Call
- The Pit
- The Search
- The Breakthrough
The purpose of great storytelling is to take your audience on a journey from the Call (which is the beginning of the story when you’re called into a situation where you realise you need to create change), to the Pit (your lowest point) to the Search through to the Results.
As you tell your story, you’ll lead people through the steps of what you actually have to teach them.
Begin with the Call into the story for your character (you):
“When my parents divorced when I was six years old, I created this story that I was unlovable and I wasn’t good enough.”
Next, you go into the Pit of your story, what was a dark moment for you, where you get super vulnerable with your audience:
“When I got into the working world at 21, my boss said to me ‘I believe you can make 6 figures in this business.’ And because all I really wanted was his approval, I went out and put my head down and made 6 figures my first year in the insurance business. I found myself, that night, overdosed on 15 drinks of alcohol, a bag of cocaine and 2 pills of ecstasy with my soul coming out of my body, looking up into my brother’s eyes, gasping for my last breath.”
Notice how I tell my story in the present tense – that’s the great thing about storytelling, that it presences the audience. Talking in the present tense means your audience will stay engaged because you’re bringing them on the journey with you.
As they’re listening to you, they’re becoming the character in the story and experiencing what you experienced. They’re becoming emotionally connected to you.
After you take them into the Pit with you, take them out again to experience your Search and Breakthrough:
“A few years after that, I was literally sitting on the couch and my house was in foreclosure. I had $1000 left in my bank account. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.
I had this massive shift with this transformational process that allowed me to shed the unworthiness. All of a sudden it was like the unworthiness and a million pounds of weight just fell off my shoulders, and I stood up and was like, “I can do this thing!” And I created a Blueprint to get my message to millions and I sold my first product for $3,000 and today my clients pay me over $200,000 and I have a multi-million dollar company.
What almost sent me to my grave was the search for power, the search for fame and the search for money. When I found my truth, my life changed.”
Through listening to your story, your Pit and your Breakthrough, your audience can understand how your journey of transformation ultimately lead to you finding your truth, finding your meaning and creating a business that serves humanity around your truth.
As your audience listens, they get the experience of vulnerability from you, and the experience of your search. They experience the breakthrough results from your story, which inspires them to know they could experience their own breakthrough results.
You create rapport and trust through sharing your story and your vulnerability, and that’s what inspires people to take action and create transformation in their own lives.
Take your messaging to the next level: create a Brand Story
Here’s a secret about messaging (I say it’s a secret because most people don’t know it):
People want to become something more than they want to have something.
So for your message to make an impact and for your brand to be a game-changer, start by asking yourself this question:
Who do my clients want to become?
What is their vision of the person they want to become, the identity and future they want to step into?
At a basic level, you can use this messaging formula to craft your powerful statement:
I help people do x so they can have/become y.
For example, when people ask me what I do my statement is:
“I help coaches, speakers, service-based business owners, entrepreneurs, artists and experts…and I teach them how to find their life story and message, how to get paid for it, and then how to spread it to millions so they can have a lifestyle friendly business.”
The main mistake I see people making when they create their statement is they get too general, and say something like “I help people live a happier life.”
This is too general and non-specific. When you speak in generalities, you speak to nobody.
Think of a person – your ideal potential client – and who they want to become. What is calling inside them to step forward? What are they yearning for? Where are they currently, and where do they desire to be?
The more specific you get about who you serve and how, the more people will be attracted to your message.
I recently took my messaging to a whole new level using the power of story, by creating what I call a Brand Story.
Your statement encapsulates your message in a single sentence, and the Brand Story paints a vision of who somebody can become through working with me, using the power of story.
When I asked myself, who do my clients want to become through working with me? I came up with this idea of a ‘new celebrity’.
Now when people hear the word ‘celebrity’ they can jump to negative associations, for example somebody who is chasing fame and money and power with no deeper sense of giving back to the world.
But for me, I defined the new celebrity as the coach or speaker or business owner who believes they have a message that matters, who wants to share their voice and make a positive impact in the world today as a leader.
The Brand Story I created describes the holistic becoming of the ‘new celebrity’ and paints a vision of that person as someone who makes a difference, makes an impact with their message, has a voice that matters, who is playing a win/win game, who is making money and has power but with their power they have an ability to make a difference and provide for their family and realize their dreams and have the lifestyle they want…I knew this new identity was what my clients ultimately craved.
The Brand Story isn’t just about a becoming; you’re creating a story that builds a bridge between you audience and your program or product, so you also need to describe the problem people are currently facing and the opportunity that’s in front of them.
Here’s an example of how I would craft my Brand Story:
“Today, there’s a new celebrity in the world and it’s you. You have a life story to tell. You have life lessons to teach and you have a message to share with humanity and because of it, you can earn multiple streams of income doing exactly what you love and building a celebrity brand in the world that really makes an impact.
If you’re the coach that wants to change a life or the speaker that wants to share their voice with the world or you’re the internet marketer that wants to make a real difference with a real message…you’re in the right place today because I am going to show you how you can get your voice, your message, your story and your life lessons out to the world with a simple webinar system.
The challenge is, most people today feel like they don’t deserve to get paid for their voice. The challenge is, most people have a tough enough time offline selling their products and programs that they think I could never do it online, but what if online could be even easier? What if online was just about learning a presentation framework like the one I’m going to teach you today, and once you’ve learned it and learned a little bit about technology (because you don’t need to be an expert so don’t get intimidated by technology) and what you do need to do is step up and own your voice?
And you can do that right here, right now, today.
There’s never been a better time in history to share your voice all across the globe…the opportunity to have time freedom and money freedom and to go on vacation and let your automated webinar play while you’re not even here, you can be making an impact while you are doing other things you love. How would that be?”
Notice how I created a story that highlights the problems and the opportunities in the context of the new celebrity identity I came up with. That’s what makes a Brand Story.
How empowering is it to be able to excite people with the vision and the opportunity? The Brand Story is a movement in the world – an empowering story of what’s possible. And each person who hears it defines what that means for them, they claim what resonates with them.
So as you think through your own Brand Story, create your identity of a ‘new persona’ and think, what’s going on in the world right now? What’s the problem with that? Where’s the opportunity?
Make it possible for people to think about the new opportunities that are in front of them. Show them what might be possible. Inspire their imagination and allow them to expand their own vision for their lives.
So how should you go about creating your Brand Story?
The key is, just START. Start playing around with your brand story. Speak it into existence. Tell someone about it over lunch. Hey, I was thinking about this, with my brand. I feel like I am creating a new group of leaders who are doing this in the world. I sense there is a desire for this in people, but they’re not talking about it.
One of the best ways to create your Brand Story is to think about the stuff nobody talks about.