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349 – Integrating Our Love of Stories into Your Brand with Chloë Thomas
Episode 34918th December 2021 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
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what is storytelling in business? These days, "storytelling" is a buzzword online. But you may wonder what it's really all about. If so, stick around, because today we're diving into what is storytelling for business. We’re always searching for ways to stand out and be recognized. Particularly when there are probably thousands of others who make a product similar to yours. Here’s a secret … most people approach the visibility issue the wrong way. They try to make their product “better" or price it lower. But that's not the way to go. After all, what does "better" even mean? What people consider better will be different for each person. So how do you pin down better? It’s a stab in the dark and will resonate with some and not others. And dropping your price? That’s diminishing your product quality and skill and ultimately leads to a very sad financial situation. Nope – "better" and lower-priced aren’t the answers. But storytelling? It's a different strategy entirely and can be a real differentiator for you.

So, what is storytelling in business, actually? 

It’s a no-cost way to endear people to you. To deepen the connection between you and your customers and to give people stories they can pass on to “could-be” customers they know. Think of the season we’re in right now. Holiday stories get told and retold. I bet you have a favorite or two that you read or a movie you watch year after year. It brings back wonderful memories, it’s emotional and meaningful. Now I’m not suggesting you make a holiday story of your business. But you can incorporate the feelings that stories bring, into your brand. When you do this, you become share-worthy and more people discover you. And the more people know about you, the more people buy. So, let's dive into how you can become a storytelling business. That's where my guest, Chloë, comes in. She's a storytelling expert and has been in eCommerce since 2003, meaning there’s barely a part of the eCommerce landscape she’s not involved with. From the start, Chloë’s been solving eCommerce marketing problems. Tiny problems such as where to spend your advertising dollars. And more sophisticated issues such as identifying how to adapt to big opportunities like emotional commerce and storytelling. Chloë is a bestselling Author, International Speaker, and host of the Award-winning eCommerce MasterPlan and Keep Optimising Podcasts. Both of these shows are regularly included in lists of the top eCommerce & marketing podcasts in the world. She’s also one of Scurri’s Top 30 eCommerce Influencers for 2021.

What is Storytelling in Business?

  • As consumer trends and consumer needs have changed, we all now need to take account of storytelling in our businesses. Because it's what consumers want to hear from us.
  • Why? Because consumers want more than just the features of your product.
  • Storytelling is about getting the humanity of your business, the story of your products, and the goodness of things you're already doing out in front of people.
  • It's how you answer your customers' questions about whether they want to buy from you.
  • Trust is essential for a successful business and storytelling is an important way to develop trust.
  • Using storytelling is a less 'salesy' way to communicate about your offerings.
  • Storytelling has its biggest impact early in the customer journey. The impact happens before the customer even interacts with your business.
  • Customers should be able to see what's going on in your brand, especially behind the scenes. That’s where storytelling comes into play.  It helps people relate better to what you do and your product.

How to Use Storytelling In Your Business

  • Your customers want to know who they're buying from. They want to understand where the products come from. They want to feel an emotional connection to the product and to the business they're buying it from.
  • Storytelling isn't just in one place. It lives across your social media, on your About page, in your welcome email sequence. It exists in all those places, even on your Home page.
  • It's also a way to filter out people who don't care about the same things as you. <-- Tune in for the full explanation of this!
  • There are 2 parts to storytelling in business:
    1. The "brand founder" key information you want to get across to someone who comes in for the first time.
    2. And the dynamic storytelling part. Which is what's going on behind the scenes, the evolution stuff.   <-- Listen for examples of this!
  • It's good to show challenges as well as successes. Share the humanity and reality behind things so people can relate to you.
  • Find the engagement level you're comfortable with in terms of what you're willing to share. Everyone will be different.
  • Test out what works for you, but when you test - commit to doing it right (find the hashtags, etc.)
  • With regards to your email communication, always have a link to find out more about your brand.
  • Reusing and recycling your content can be a great way of giving that storytelling piece more exposure (social post becomes blog post or vice versa, etc.)
  • Clever ideas will come up when you're busy with something else. Write down ideas whenever you have them so you always have something to pull from.
  • Don't use storytelling in everything. A good mix of sales and softer content is what leads to the greatest sales volume. <-- Pro tip!
  • 3 steps to get started:
    1. Create your foundational "Founder Story" (About page content). Who you are as the maker of your product and the founder of your business, how you got started, what your product is. Make it personable, not like a resume. Note: this will never be finished or perfect. Don't agonize over it. Publish it and tweak it every few months to reflect what you've learned or what has changed.
    2. Use portions of the Founder Story to create social posts. Don't be afraid to repost every 6 months or so for new followers to see.
    3. Share dynamic stories using all the examples in this podcast. Develop a storytelling mindset.
Listen to the full conversation to hear so many more examples of how to use storytelling in your business, what *not* to share, and specific steps to get started!

Resources Mentioned

Chloë's Contact Links

WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin

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Transcripts

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Gift biz unwrapped episode 349.

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Be yourself up.

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Cause you can't do the clever staff go and do the

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other stuff that needs doing Attention.

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Gifters bakers,

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crafters, and makers pursuing your dream can be fun.

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Whether you have an established business or looking to start one.

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Now you are in the right place.

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This is gift to biz unwrapped,

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helping you turn your skill into a flourishing business.

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Join us for an episode,

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packed full of invaluable guidance,

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resources, and the support you need to grow.

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Your gift biz.

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Here is your host gift biz gal Sue moon Heights.

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Hi, it's Sue and welcome to this week's show.

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Can you believe it?

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Next week is Christmas.

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Exactly one week away.

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And since I air the podcast on Saturdays,

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that means that there'll be a new episode waiting for you

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on Christmas morning.

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It's a special one.

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Of course.

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So if your holiday plans allow tune in for added spirit

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and joy coming your way today,

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I'm also keeping things light and in tune with the season,

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but don't let the title fool you storytelling can be a

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real differentiator for you.

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We're always searching for ways to stand out and be recognized,

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particularly when there's probably thousands of others who make a product

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similar to yours.

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Here's a secret.

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Most people approach a solution to the visibility issue in the

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wrong way.

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They try to make their product better or price it lower.

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Honestly, this is not the way to go better.

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What does that even mean?

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What people consider better will be different from one person to

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another. So how do you pin down better?

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It's a stab in the dark and will resonate with some

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and not with others.

Speaker:

And then dropping your price.

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That's diminishing your product quality and your skill,

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and ultimately leads to a very sad financial situation.

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Nope, better and lower priced.

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Aren't the answers,

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but storytelling,

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ah, that's a different strategy entirely.

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It's a no cost way to endear people,

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to you to deepen the connection between you and your customers

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and to give people stories that they can pass on to

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who would it be?

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Customers that they know,

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think of the season we're in right now.

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Holiday stories get told and retold.

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I bet you have a favorite or two that you read

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or a movie that you watch year after year.

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It brings back wonderful memories.

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It's emotional and meaningful.

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Now I'm not suggesting that you make a holiday story for

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your business,

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but you can incorporate the feelings that stories bring into your

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brand. When you do this,

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you become share-worthy and more people discover you.

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And of course,

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the more people who know about you,

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the more people who will buy.

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So let's dive into how you can become a story telling

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business Q Chloe,

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our storytelling expert Today.

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It is my pleasure to welcome back.

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Chloe Thomas from e-commerce master plan.

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Chloe has been in e-commerce since 2003,

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meaning there is barely a part of the e-commerce landscape she's

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not involved with.

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From the start Chloe's been solving e-commerce marketing problems,

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tiny problems,

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where to spend your advertising dollars to more sophisticated issues,

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such as identifying how to adapt to big opportunities like emotional

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commerce and storytelling,

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which is what we're going to be focusing on today.

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Chloe is a best-selling author international speaker and the host of

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the award-winning e-commerce master plan and keep optimizing podcasts.

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Both these shows are regularly included in lists of the top

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e-commerce and marketing podcasts in the world.

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She's also one of Scurry's top 30 e-commerce influencers for 2021.

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Chloe. I am so excited to have you back welcome to

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the gift biz on repped podcast.

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Thanks. So it's great to be back catching up with you

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again. So just to fill our listeners in last time you

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were on the show was just over a year ago,

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and we were talking about email marketing.

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If you want to catch what we did the first time,

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that will be episode number 290.

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You can just go back in the list and catch that

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one at your convenience.

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Chloe, I'm so excited that you have a new candle ready

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for us.

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I do.

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I do.

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I can come on your show and not have a candle.

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And I figured it would be wrong to give you the

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same answer.

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Well, we just wouldn't have done it then,

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but you know,

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our lives change things that inspire us change as we grow

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and develop too.

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So I really appreciate you having something prepared for us with

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that. So I know I don't have to explain it to

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you. Let's go ahead and dive into a motivational candle that

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resonates with you and is guiding you as you move forward.

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Okay. It's a green candle this time.

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Cause Green's kinda like my second favorite color after pink blue,

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which doesn't totally make sense,

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but it's a green one.

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It's a nice relaxing green color.

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And the words on it are should not could.

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So three words should not,

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could Give us an explanation behind that.

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I describe myself as a marketing problem solver and I try

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and drill down what's at the core of all the problems

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people are dealing with.

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Cause you know the problem isn't usually how do I do

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Facebook ads?

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It's usually a bigger,

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it's usually below that and what I keep coming back to

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more and more over recent months and in my own business,

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as well as with the retailers I speak to is there

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is just so much that we could be doing what makes

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the difference is what we should be doing.

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So the candles like a visual reminder of hold on is

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what you're doing at the moment,

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what you should be doing,

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or just one of the hundreds of things you could be

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doing in your business,

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because we could all be busy fools working on something we

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shouldn't be working on,

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but to not be a busy fall,

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you have to constantly say to yourself,

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oh, should I be doing that?

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So it should not cut,

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Love it and should in a very specific light.

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Cause you know how you get some people who say you

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should be doing this,

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you should be doing that.

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You should be doing this.

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That's not what you're talking about here at all.

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That just giving you a list of things to put on

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the curd list.

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And then you have to look at the Curt list and

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go, actually,

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what out of that should I actually be doing?

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What's going to make the most difference to me.

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And you decide on what you should be doing based on

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I'm thinking something that's closest to the sale or closest to

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whatever current goal you're working on.

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Okay. Yeah.

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And that fits with your vision and your mission.

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It also,

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it fits in personal life as well because I've certainly found

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as we come out of lockdown and restrictions,

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all of a sudden there's so much you could do.

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And it's really easy again to just do stuff for the

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sake of stuff.

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So working out,

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actually, what do I want to fill my time with?

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So it works on a personal side as well as the

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business side.

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And the one thing I always see for myself is Al

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gravitate to things that I like to do or that I

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know how to do versus the harder stuff that I should

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be doing.

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So throughout the day,

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I, and I seriously honestly do it.

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I'm not making this up for this conversation.

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I will stop myself at a point in time and say,

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okay, is this really what I should be doing right this

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minute? And oftentimes I have to reset myself on the right

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course because it just naturally easy to gravitate to those other

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things. Yeah,

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I do the same.

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And then the other thing I do is I end up

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doing what's noisiest.

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What Does that mean?

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Noisiest in your head,

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As in,

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you know,

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if I've got someone I'm doing a webinar for and they

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keep emailing me stuff,

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I'll just keep replying.

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Yeah. That was the only hour I had of solid time

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during the day,

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I should probably be spending on something more strategic.

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All of a sudden my hour of strategy type has gone

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because I kept listening to the inbox or I looked on

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my upcoming podcast episodes list.

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I went,

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oh, I haven't done the social media for that one yet.

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I better write that even though it's not coming out for

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a month because it's noisy.

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And once you've ticked it off,

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it's one less thing on the Assata board.

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Is this a trick that if I need to get something

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from you,

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then I'm just going to bug you until you give it

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to me.

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Yeah, I get,

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yeah, just bug me,

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everybody though.

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But yeah,

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I do like to tidy things up.

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So if it looks Cigna in the inbox,

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it's probably going to get done before something that should get

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done. Hence the candle.

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Yeah. I mean,

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I know we're kind of just riffing here,

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but it's also a nice productivity conversation because I'll also do

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some of those things that don't necessarily need to be done

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right away.

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If I've been working hard all day and I'm still going

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to put in more time,

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but maybe I shouldn't be doing things that are really going

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to take a lot of brain power because I'm maxed my

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decision capabilities are over,

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but there's some things that I can tick off the list

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like you're talking about and get taken care of.

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So they're not still sitting in there.

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And those would be good times to do that when you

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don't need that really focused energy,

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I guess I'll say.

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Yeah, totally agree.

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That's one of the big things I've learned over the 15,

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20 years I've been in business is if you're feeling kind

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of sapped of energy,

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do the sapped of energy tasks,

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don't beat yourself up because you can't do the clever staff

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go and do the other stuff that needs doing.

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Yeah. And then when you do have the energy,

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then you go back to that and it takes so much

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less time to get it accomplished so much easier.

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So good conversation to get started.

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I liked that a lot.

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I wasn't expecting it,

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but from you,

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I never know what to expect,

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Chloe, but it's always great.

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So there you go.

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Let's dive into storytelling and you talk about the fact that's

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one of the focus topics that you like to talk about

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and guide your clients through.

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Let's start for my audience about what specifically we mean about

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storytelling and why it's important.

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She also,

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one of the reasons I'm so fascinated by storytelling,

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I think it's partly because I've spent most of my career

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doing direct marketing,

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be it Google ads or sending catalog mailings and that kind

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of stuff.

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So I'm very much about the numbers,

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but increasingly I see how important the storytelling.

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So the fact is kind of more amorphous and harder to

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get your head around is one of the reasons I find

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it so fascinating.

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And it's something which over the last,

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I think I've probably been talking about it for four or

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five years now,

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but it's an area which initially it was kind of the

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leading people.

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You know,

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that the early adopters were into storytelling marketing or the,

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you know,

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the lucky,

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accidental ones who just liked doing it.

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We're seeing the benefits.

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And now as consumer trends and consumer needs have changed,

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it's something we all now need to take counts of businesses.

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Not just because people like me,

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people like USI say it,

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but because it's what consumers want to hear from us.

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And you said to explain what I mean by storytelling and

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why I think if I explain the why it will help

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making the walk,

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make a bit more sense.

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Okay. So why is storytelling so important right now?

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It's because consumers want more than just the features of your

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product. They want to know who they're buying from.

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They want to understand where that products come from.

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They want to feel an emotional connection to the product and

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to the business,

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buying it from.

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And you know,

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that's not necessarily going to hug you in the middle of

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the street level of emotional connection,

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but they want to know more than just the fact it's

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a pretty necklace.

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They also are increasingly into,

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I guess you could group under the broad remit of ethical

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considerations, be it kind to the planet,

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be it sustainability,

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be it,

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you know,

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no toxic stuff in there,

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no plastic.

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There's all these kind of tick boxes that consumers have.

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And research shows that increasingly they are checking these things before

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they buy.

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So storytelling is about getting the humanity of your business,

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that the story of your products and the good things that

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you're already doing out there in front of people.

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So they're aware of it.

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And so that pulls them to you,

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but also so that when they want to find the answer,

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they can find the answers.

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You know,

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when they're doing those last few checks,

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is this a company I want to buy from?

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They can find that goodness before they check out Quick question

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for you here.

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I used to talk a lot about storytelling and just building

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a relationship with your audience,

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because then that also develops a level of trust because people

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in the past have been very,

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very skeptical about who were they ordering from online.

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If I give my money,

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will I even receive the product?

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Do you see that still being an issue is,

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has it increased,

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decreased? What are your thoughts there?

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I'm very glad you asked me that question because trust was

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the word I forgot to mention.

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And just story time,

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because it's so central to it.

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Trust remains.

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One of the key reasons people don't check out online is

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because they don't trust the person,

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the business that they're buying from.

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And yes,

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we have things like you have secure checkout logos.

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We have customer testimonials,

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user generated,

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content, all that kind of stuff we can use to increase

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the trust status,

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but also a hugely powerful part of it is who is

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this person I'm actually buying from?

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If I go to the about us page on the website.

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Oh, that pictures of them.

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So I can see they actually exist.

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Is there why they created this?

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Who they are?

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Can I tell that they're real?

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When I send them an email,

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do they actually get back to me?

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So yeah,

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the trust definitely comes into the importance of storytelling.

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Okay. And you know,

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if someone doesn't trust you and make the decision to take

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the next step by even putting something in your cart,

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you're not going to get to that other stuff anyway.

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No, no,

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you don't even have a chance to show those logos and

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that you're secure and all of that.

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If people don't make that next step,

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it's just walking the path towards the sale in a strategic

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way, through storytelling,

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which feels much less salesy and much more comfortable too.

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Most of your storytelling,

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you know,

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where it has its biggest impact is early in the customer

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journey. You know,

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if you're doing the storytelling,

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well, the storytelling impact happens before the customer even interacts with

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your business because they hear it from a friend who already

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knows your story.

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And he goes,

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oh my God,

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I know the most amazing leather goods manufacturer.

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Not that they put it that way.

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The person who makes wallets and purses and handbags,

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I know they're amazing.

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I bought this from them.

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They do this and that.

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And she's called that.

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And this is why they do what they do.

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And all their leather comes from a ranch in,

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I dunno,

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Argentina and the person you previously sold to starts the storytelling

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for you because you've already got that across.

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And we all know we've been chatting to a friend and

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they recommended a product.

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And if they go,

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yeah, this handbag is really pretty great.

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If they get these handbags really pretty.

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And it was made by Claire and Claire gets all her

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hides from Argentina and they dye them in eco-friendly ways and

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they have no waste because the way they turn into these

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tags or whatever it might be,

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then you're so much more going to remember that You're giving

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them something to talk about to their friends.

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And it can't be in like just a bullet point on

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your website either,

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because then they're not going to really capture and retain the

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information that's done through storytelling.

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Right? I got it.

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It lives across your social media,

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across the about us page to be a website in your

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post sign up email sequence,

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the welcome campaign before someone purchases,

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it exists in all those places at quite possibly.

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Some of it exists on your homepage,

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but if you get those elements right,

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then you're training your ideal customer to understand the reasons they

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should buy from you.

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And you're also filtering.

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So in the example of the handbags,

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where the hides come from,

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Argentina, if there's vegans landing on your website,

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they very quickly know this is not the right site for

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them because these handbags are not vegan.

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So you're also filtering out people who don't care about the

Speaker:

same things as you.

Speaker:

And it is an awful lot easier to sell to people

Speaker:

who care about the same things that,

Speaker:

And you also were able to talk to people easier because

Speaker:

you're actually talking with people who your product is in alignment

Speaker:

with what they care about.

Speaker:

They have filtered themselves out and you know exactly who you're

Speaker:

talking to.

Speaker:

So you can adjust your messaging accordingly.

Speaker:

Exactly. So you kind of setting the ground work,

Speaker:

building the trust,

Speaker:

building the understanding and on we go and what goes into

Speaker:

the storytelling.

Speaker:

It's you think about it?

Speaker:

If you're at a craft fair and someone comes to your

Speaker:

stand and it's one of those lovely,

Speaker:

quiet moments,

Speaker:

I don't have any wonder if any of your list is

Speaker:

really thick.

Speaker:

A quiet moment at Crawford is lovely,

Speaker:

but when there's moments,

Speaker:

when you've got the time to speak to the people who

Speaker:

are there,

Speaker:

and you have an interesting conversation with them about the product

Speaker:

and who you are and where you've traveled from and all

Speaker:

the rest of it,

Speaker:

it's all that kind of stuff we need to be doing

Speaker:

in the digital space.

Speaker:

And you want to bring it up in certain places.

Speaker:

It's kind of a subtle unconscious way of relaying information.

Speaker:

In other words,

Speaker:

your potential customer is receiving that information just through what you're

Speaker:

talking about.

Speaker:

You're not saying,

Speaker:

okay, let me share everything about you so that you know,

Speaker:

and can tell your friends,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

exactly. It's not that at all,

Speaker:

but it's a much more subtle way of relaying the information

Speaker:

over. And I was going to just say,

Speaker:

Chloe, that this idea of downtime at a craft show would

Speaker:

be a great time to pull out your phone,

Speaker:

do a quick Facebook live showing you're at a craft show

Speaker:

and doing some storytelling there as well.

Speaker:

We'll completely Because there's kind of these two parts to the

Speaker:

storytelling. You've got the brand found a key information that you

Speaker:

want to get across to someone who's coming for the first

Speaker:

time. You know,

Speaker:

the bit that sits on the about us page and that

Speaker:

you then use in the welcome campaign and you occasionally use

Speaker:

across social,

Speaker:

then you've got the dynamic storytelling part of it,

Speaker:

which is what's going on in the brand,

Speaker:

the behind the scenes,

Speaker:

the evolutionary stuff,

Speaker:

which yeah,

Speaker:

if you were in a Croft and when you're set up

Speaker:

before the people have come in or it's early enough,

Speaker:

there's not many people around or your team are coping with

Speaker:

things. That's the time.

Speaker:

Yeah. Like you say,

Speaker:

get the phone out,

Speaker:

do alive,

Speaker:

do a video,

Speaker:

take some photos.

Speaker:

So as you can explain to people,

Speaker:

you are at the event because any events,

Speaker:

there's the opportunity of the factor there.

Speaker:

And you've got the people in the room,

Speaker:

but there's also the opportunity of marketing.

Speaker:

The fact you're a real business who goes to these places

Speaker:

who have local,

Speaker:

all the stock lined up.

Speaker:

We're not someone who's created one bracelet and is trying to

Speaker:

flog it on it.

Speaker:

See? Right?

Speaker:

I love that you put it into two parts,

Speaker:

your brand founder story,

Speaker:

why you started your business,

Speaker:

what your business is about.

Speaker:

Maybe even there,

Speaker:

you might even put like demos of your product,

Speaker:

but then under dynamic,

Speaker:

gosh, that's just open to so much.

Speaker:

That's everything that you just described.

Speaker:

But also day to day,

Speaker:

things that come up are as part of your story too.

Speaker:

And your story might even be like,

Speaker:

let's say you're a painter.

Speaker:

And by accident,

Speaker:

you spill the paint all over,

Speaker:

right? That's not something that you're going to talk about forever,

Speaker:

but gosh,

Speaker:

take a photo of it,

Speaker:

keep it.

Speaker:

And that could be a story about everything.

Speaker:

Isn't all beautiful and colorful in my life.

Speaker:

Look what happened last week.

Speaker:

Things like that,

Speaker:

that builds a relationship.

Speaker:

It makes people understand your personality.

Speaker:

Yes. And I think you make a really good point though,

Speaker:

which is it's good to show frailty as well as success,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

oh man,

Speaker:

I can knock over the paint pots too,

Speaker:

or this hasn't gone as well,

Speaker:

or I've got the kids in today.

Speaker:

So I'm not going to get anything useful,

Speaker:

done. You share that reality,

Speaker:

that humanity behind things.

Speaker:

And that helps people relate even better because,

Speaker:

oh gosh,

Speaker:

yes. I'm having a terrible day to,

Speaker:

Yeah. I think it also speaks to the trust factor because

Speaker:

I think we're all getting tired of those picture.

Speaker:

Perfect images and everything is so fabulous,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

in the post text.

Speaker:

And because we all are trying to get over the fact

Speaker:

that we realize that it's not.

Speaker:

And so being able to show that just increases your level

Speaker:

of trust with people just to be honest with them Completely.

Speaker:

And it means it also,

Speaker:

if you want to think about it,

Speaker:

analytically. Yeah.

Speaker:

Great. You just threw the paint all over the floor,

Speaker:

but yes,

Speaker:

we've got some social contents.

Speaker:

There's a bright side to throwing vain all over floor.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

seriously, I would.

Speaker:

And you might not be in the mood to talk about

Speaker:

it right now because you might be really angry,

Speaker:

but just take your phone,

Speaker:

take some pictures if you use them.

Speaker:

Great. If you don't,

Speaker:

that's fine too.

Speaker:

At least you have them.

Speaker:

So they're ready.

Speaker:

So, okay.

Speaker:

We've started talking a little bit about different types of topics

Speaker:

and I think they'll continue to come up in the conversation,

Speaker:

but is there a point where,

Speaker:

of things you shouldn't share or that you're sharing too much?

Speaker:

I think there's a level you have to be comfortable with

Speaker:

and I'm not suggesting anyone share anything they're not comfortable sharing.

Speaker:

So there is some people will share more than others because

Speaker:

that's the level they feel happy with.

Speaker:

I think,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

sharing things that happen within your working space because we can

Speaker:

share an awful lot of personality without it having to be.

Speaker:

Here's my breakfast,

Speaker:

here's me on the weekend,

Speaker:

going for a walk.

Speaker:

There's an awful lot.

Speaker:

We can share within our business that shares that personality without

Speaker:

having to encroach on our personal lives.

Speaker:

So I think you have to try and work out where

Speaker:

you feel comfortable yourself in terms of what you're willing to

Speaker:

share, but it should be more than the perfectly stylized photo

Speaker:

from your latest photo shoot.

Speaker:

So there should be something in terms of how much,

Speaker:

what sort of quantity I think that comes down to how

Speaker:

much interaction you get and how much engagement you get on

Speaker:

those. There's certainly a testing period or what do people react

Speaker:

well to?

Speaker:

What are they interested in?

Speaker:

What gets the engagement?

Speaker:

And I would suggest that behind the scenes or content from

Speaker:

a gift fair,

Speaker:

I always find at events,

Speaker:

I get a lot of social engagement if I communicate from

Speaker:

events because they have kind of got interesting photos to share.

Speaker:

There's usually a hashtag or there's the organizer's handle that you

Speaker:

can use,

Speaker:

which gets you more interaction as well.

Speaker:

And I haven't met an event person running an event yet

Speaker:

who isn't really pleased when you use those two.

Speaker:

So that can get when you some brownie points as well.

Speaker:

And I think the whole concept of testing,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

see how the engagement goes is really good.

Speaker:

I'm going to share with you something that I just did

Speaker:

and it was uncomfortable.

Speaker:

I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not,

Speaker:

but I decided I'm going to try it out and see.

Speaker:

And that is,

Speaker:

we were just talking about the fact that we took a

Speaker:

trip to Croatia when this airs it'll be about a month

Speaker:

ago now.

Speaker:

But I told all my listeners and people who are in

Speaker:

my Facebook groups for both of my businesses,

Speaker:

that I was gone.

Speaker:

And if they were interested in seeing my antics,

Speaker:

follow me on my Instagram stories and I shared there each

Speaker:

day, some of the things like not silly,

Speaker:

crazy, like I think maybe there were seven or eight stories

Speaker:

up, not where there's all those lines,

Speaker:

all the crosses and you go like a million trillion.

Speaker:

But I did like a small amount.

Speaker:

Some of them where they were really learning situations like here,

Speaker:

we're at the corner where the first shot rang that started

Speaker:

world war one.

Speaker:

Like that's kind of interesting,

Speaker:

I thought.

Speaker:

And so I did that for the whole two weeks that

Speaker:

we were gone and I was surprised how many people told

Speaker:

me that they enjoyed seeing that I wasn't expecting it.

Speaker:

I felt like it was too much,

Speaker:

but I decided to do a test and I got more

Speaker:

followers from it.

Speaker:

Surprisingly, I'm not exactly sure how that happens in stories.

Speaker:

And some of them were actually the right followers,

Speaker:

too. Some of them I tagged based on the locations I

Speaker:

was at.

Speaker:

So they aren't necessarily the right followers.

Speaker:

But the whole point being is I consciously tried something different

Speaker:

and I got positive feedback from it.

Speaker:

So there's one example About that as well as you committed

Speaker:

to it for the duration of the trip,

Speaker:

you didn't commit to,

Speaker:

we'll be doing something interesting on stories for the next five

Speaker:

years, right?

Speaker:

A test could be,

Speaker:

you might say to yourself,

Speaker:

right, for the next two weeks,

Speaker:

I'm going to find something interesting to share on my Instagram

Speaker:

stories. That's kind of behind the scenes and just try it

Speaker:

and see what happens.

Speaker:

But if you're going to try it,

Speaker:

you have to do it properly.

Speaker:

Spend the time to do the tags,

Speaker:

spend the time to leverage whichever platform you're using it on.

Speaker:

Don't just put up the image,

Speaker:

put up some kind of hashtag or something on that and

Speaker:

see how it goes.

Speaker:

But to test this,

Speaker:

you don't have to be committing the rest of your life

Speaker:

to whatever thing you decide to test first.

Speaker:

That's a good point.

Speaker:

I'm not good at that because when I start doing something,

Speaker:

I feel like I have to continue.

Speaker:

This was different because it was just vacation time.

Speaker:

But you do need to get rid of some things.

Speaker:

If you're adding in new things that are working.

Speaker:

So the idea and the concept that you're presenting is it's

Speaker:

just a test.

Speaker:

It's a limited amount of time.

Speaker:

And from there you're going to evaluate,

Speaker:

I think is a great example of something we should take

Speaker:

for everything that we do in our business Completely.

Speaker:

And of course this isn't just on social.

Speaker:

Cause it could be that you're going to commit to one

Speaker:

email broadcast.

Speaker:

So send to your list a month,

Speaker:

which talks about something,

Speaker:

the creative process or your inspiration rather than as an author

Speaker:

or as a list of products.

Speaker:

So a content based email,

Speaker:

or maybe it's going to be one blog post a month.

Speaker:

You're going to commit to writing about the inspiration behind something.

Speaker:

It doesn't have to be social media.

Speaker:

Although social media can be hugely powerful,

Speaker:

but it doesn't have to be social.

Speaker:

It doesn't have to be social.

Speaker:

That was going to be one of my questions for you.

Speaker:

Where could we be doing this?

Speaker:

And you're saying social email,

Speaker:

and we already talked about lives,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

with the craft chosen all,

Speaker:

should it be in every single communication that we send out,

Speaker:

some type of storytelling or no,

Speaker:

I wanted to pause this discussion for a second to let

Speaker:

you know that I recognize you may be feeling overwhelmed right

Speaker:

now. I mean,

Speaker:

I bring on great guests who are specialists in their fields

Speaker:

and we get into fabulous conversations that,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

can help grow your business.

Speaker:

So after the show,

Speaker:

you have all the full intention of grabbing a download,

Speaker:

making an adjustment to your website or any other number of

Speaker:

ideas that arise as a result of the podcast.

Speaker:

But what happens,

Speaker:

you get back to all your other activities and the momentum

Speaker:

you had gets lost.

Speaker:

What you plan to do is forgotten.

Speaker:

Then you feel bad because your business is going on as

Speaker:

usual without implementing anything that you know,

Speaker:

would help grow your business.

Speaker:

You're just too busy doing all the things like a robot,

Speaker:

moving from one thing to another without thinking,

Speaker:

because you have to,

Speaker:

I get it.

Speaker:

I've been there,

Speaker:

but guess what?

Speaker:

There is another way since I recognized this exact behavior in

Speaker:

my own business,

Speaker:

I set out to do something about it.

Speaker:

And now what works for me,

Speaker:

I'm sharing with you.

Speaker:

It's the inspired daily planner made specifically for gifters bakers,

Speaker:

crafters and makers,

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but it's not your ordinary planner.

Speaker:

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Speaker:

plus it's undated.

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So you can start using this planner.

Speaker:

The second it arrives at your doorstep and that's not all

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included for each day is a motivational tip and plenty of

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Okay. Let's get back to the show.

Speaker:

I think as you progress as a market and you progress

Speaker:

as a business owner,

Speaker:

that ends up being some element of storytelling in everything you

Speaker:

do, because you start to build it into everything,

Speaker:

but it's not the description of the mug.

Speaker:

Isn't this is a porcelain mug with a design by blah.

Speaker:

It, this is a porcelain mark.

Speaker:

We designed in response to our trip to Indonesia and the

Speaker:

inks are based on traditional.

Speaker:

It just becomes storytelling as you go.

Speaker:

I think it's important in every especially email communication to always

Speaker:

have a link,

Speaker:

to find out more about the brand or find out more

Speaker:

about me as the maker that takes someone through to your,

Speaker:

about us page.

Speaker:

So with that,

Speaker:

at that point,

Speaker:

they see something in the email.

Speaker:

They go,

Speaker:

oh, that looks interesting.

Speaker:

Maybe they haven't bought from you before,

Speaker:

but they're thinking,

Speaker:

oh, I can't remember who these people are.

Speaker:

It's really easy for them to go and get that founder

Speaker:

fundamental story piece.

Speaker:

And then on social,

Speaker:

I would just mix it in.

Speaker:

Ideally we're not doing a month of story and a month

Speaker:

of product it's mixed up.

Speaker:

Obviously events happen when events happen,

Speaker:

but I would mix it in rather than force yourself to

Speaker:

try and make everything story because it's the mix of sales

Speaker:

and softer content,

Speaker:

which leads to the greatest overall sales volume.

Speaker:

Yeah. I've been working on integrating storytelling in more.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

it's really become a topic I'd say over the last four

Speaker:

or five years,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

just gathering and understanding the value of storytelling and why it's

Speaker:

important and gaining trust,

Speaker:

all the things we talked about in the beginning.

Speaker:

And I'm thinking in my experience,

Speaker:

it's getting easier because I'm getting more comfortable and natural with

Speaker:

it. Like even when you were talking about you're new and

Speaker:

you're not going to share every single thing you do,

Speaker:

like what's for breakfast,

Speaker:

but if it makes sense and I'm in the mood and

Speaker:

I feel like it,

Speaker:

I might share with you the coffee that I'm drinking for

Speaker:

breakfast, because it's what I do every day gives you insight

Speaker:

into something about me then,

Speaker:

right. Or if I have something special that I normally eat,

Speaker:

because it gives me energy and I know it's healthy for

Speaker:

me. I might share that as well,

Speaker:

suggesting that,

Speaker:

Hey guys,

Speaker:

if you've never tried this energy bar power smoothie,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

whatever, this is something that I use,

Speaker:

maybe you'll like it where you're always bringing it back to

Speaker:

the viewer and why it would be interesting for them Completely.

Speaker:

I do occasionally post about what I'm eating or maybe it

Speaker:

will be a reaction to someone else's posts.

Speaker:

So the last thing I think I put up about what

Speaker:

I'm eating is someone had put something about,

Speaker:

oh my gosh,

Speaker:

the biscuits are calling me again.

Speaker:

And I replied and went me too,

Speaker:

but at least their cakes,

Speaker:

cause I was eating cakes rather than full fat cookies.

Speaker:

So it's not necessarily always having to originate with you either.

Speaker:

Could be you see a really interesting discussion on a topic

Speaker:

that you think fits.

Speaker:

So you join in on that one.

Speaker:

It happens on.

Speaker:

So, so there's,

Speaker:

that's the good thing about social is it doesn't always have

Speaker:

to originate with you with your own email,

Speaker:

et cetera.

Speaker:

It does.

Speaker:

And you can also kind of cross pollinate these things as

Speaker:

well. So there's no reason you can't send an email out

Speaker:

about on Instagram.

Speaker:

We were having a really interesting debate about energy bars,

Speaker:

go and have a look at our interesting debate on energy.

Speaker:

You know,

Speaker:

the content you're using on social can end up being what

Speaker:

makes a blog post.

Speaker:

What makes an email so reusing and kind of recycling across

Speaker:

content could be a great way of giving that storytelling piece

Speaker:

more. That's excellent.

Speaker:

And I feel like we get to those types of things

Speaker:

when we just become comfortable with our days,

Speaker:

knowing our audience,

Speaker:

what we're sharing,

Speaker:

keeping them in mind,

Speaker:

and then just always keeping a mindset about looking for things

Speaker:

as we go through our life that could be storytelling,

Speaker:

not creating it from scratch for the purpose of having something

Speaker:

to storytell about you stumble upon it as you're going through

Speaker:

your days.

Speaker:

And then you're like hot.

Speaker:

This could make for something good for stories.

Speaker:

And then you capture it,

Speaker:

use it right away,

Speaker:

use it later,

Speaker:

but it's a mindset then that you develop as well.

Speaker:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker:

If thinking where are the ideas?

Speaker:

Because we talked about energy levels for certain tasks.

Speaker:

I certainly don't always have the energy to come up with

Speaker:

something clever to put on social or something,

Speaker:

clever storytelling piece.

Speaker:

But occasionally my brain is on fire and it's going,

Speaker:

oh, we should tell people about this.

Speaker:

We should tell people about that.

Speaker:

Oh, you should rewrite the about us page to include this.

Speaker:

Now the trick is to actually make a note of these

Speaker:

things, inevitably these ideas crop up when you're busy doing something

Speaker:

else. So you've got to keep a note of these,

Speaker:

ready to then use it when you're then going,

Speaker:

oh gosh,

Speaker:

I've not said anything interesting.

Speaker:

Which kind of I do mean,

Speaker:

but I really mean I've not shared anything that the audience

Speaker:

could emotionally connect with in the last four emails sends the

Speaker:

last X blog posts the last two weeks on Enstar what

Speaker:

did I have on my backlog of ideas?

Speaker:

Oh yeah.

Speaker:

There's that one.

Speaker:

I took a photo of that too.

Speaker:

Brilliant. Let's do a last week.

Speaker:

We were doing this.

Speaker:

Yep. That's so good,

Speaker:

Chloe. I absolutely love that.

Speaker:

And I agree that we don't do it.

Speaker:

We forget.

Speaker:

It's so easy just to go through the time.

Speaker:

Think you're going to remember and you don't.

Speaker:

It happens all the time.

Speaker:

All right.

Speaker:

I have something that I've heard that I love implementing.

Speaker:

I don't remember Chloe.

Speaker:

It might've even been from you.

Speaker:

I'm not even sure,

Speaker:

but this whole idea of storytelling,

Speaker:

when you have a story to tell,

Speaker:

and this works really,

Speaker:

really well with email is a fun way to capture your

Speaker:

reader's attention is to start in the middle of the story.

Speaker:

So not saying,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

I'm totally making this up on the fly.

Speaker:

I walked in the shop door,

Speaker:

looked around at the beautiful displays or,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

whatever instead say,

Speaker:

and they all came crashing to the floor and I was

Speaker:

so embarrassed.

Speaker:

And so if you start that way,

Speaker:

people are like,

Speaker:

what, what happened?

Speaker:

And they keep reading.

Speaker:

And I love that trick because it gets you going.

Speaker:

It's a fun way to write to,

Speaker:

to start in the middle.

Speaker:

There's no context.

Speaker:

And then of course you fill it in a little bit

Speaker:

later, but I love that strategy.

Speaker:

So have you used it?

Speaker:

Is this from you,

Speaker:

Chloe? I used this.

Speaker:

It didn't come from me,

Speaker:

but it is very,

Speaker:

very clever And it's a fun way to get started.

Speaker:

And you know,

Speaker:

it depends on the topic probably of course,

Speaker:

you know how there are sometimes people who just think that

Speaker:

their life is the most important life of anybody's and they

Speaker:

have to sit and tell you every single thing.

Speaker:

I want to make sure that we are suggesting to people.

Speaker:

There are some things we talked about what not to share

Speaker:

perhaps, but not everyone is interested in every single part of

Speaker:

your life.

Speaker:

And I want to make sure that we don't go overboard

Speaker:

with storytelling,

Speaker:

where we're talking about,

Speaker:

what, everything we eat,

Speaker:

how we're tying our shoe laces.

Speaker:

Like we have to be in check with how much and

Speaker:

what we talk about.

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What were your comments beyond that?

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I would say,

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Yes, we do.

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Partly because there's only so many hours in a day.

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And if you're gonna spend that much time posting on social,

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you're not gonna have time to make anything or share anything

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or do anything else.

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So true.

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Yeah. You need to watch the engagement levels with what you're

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putting out there.

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You know,

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if it's a blog post,

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how much traffic is it getting?

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If it's an email,

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how many people are opening it,

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how many people are clicking through from it?

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If it's social media,

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how many likes mentions retweets,

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whatever it may be on the platform you're on the caveat

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with the social media staff.

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Is, is it engagement that you want,

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like you were saying earlier.

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So from your holiday Instagram stories,

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you've picked up new followers.

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Some of whom are relevant,

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some of whom don't look relevant.

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And it's very easy on social media.

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If you manage to hit on a subject matter,

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which gets a huge number of interactions,

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but they're not from the right target market.

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It's like kind of the ice bucket challenge.

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She says,

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dredging the memory banks back when we,

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well, I didn't,

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but what many people did the ice bucket challenge?

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A lot of businesses went to the effort of doing an

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ice bucket challenge,

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video, quite probably the first video they'd ever made in Mississippi

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with that,

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there was the angle of we're doing something good for charity,

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which is a good message to get in front of people

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anyway. But I doubt many got as many eyeballs of the

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people who were mattered to their businesses,

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the people who didn't matter to their business,

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because it was such a big trend,

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right? Some of those people would have been worthwhile some won't.

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So you got to think about is what I'm putting up,

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fit with my brand.

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Is it going to pull in the people I'm interested in?

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Is it going to create a stronger relationship with the people

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who I'm trying to appeal to?

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And that's the one broadly,

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watch the engagement,

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see what people react well to on social ad,

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that level of hold on.

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Are they just reacting to this?

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Because it's about the Superbowl.

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And so everyone's reacting to Superbowl or so forth,

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right? The ice bucket challenge.

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And I'm coming back to your point here in a second

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is a fun way to show personality too.

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Yeah. You might attract a bunch of people,

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which, okay,

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so that's good for social credibility.

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I guess your follower numbers go up or whatever.

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They're not really ever going to be customers,

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but it also does show your customers that you're game for

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that kind of fun.

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You know,

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when people are curious about that.

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So that is fun.

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I didn't do the ice bucket challenge either.

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There are other challenges I would do that is not one

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of them,

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for sure.

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But to your point,

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it all goes back to the engagement.

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Doesn't it trying things out and seeing how your community responds

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and when they respond favorably,

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you know,

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you use zero in a little bit more and do a

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little bit more of that Exactly.

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In the ice bucket challenge.

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So since I am not saying you shouldn't do something like

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that, I'm saying you have to look at engagement levels of

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that differently to how you'd look at the engagement levels of

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you showing that you'd thrown the paint on the floor because

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they're probably going to be hitting slightly different audiences.

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Yeah, I think you're right.

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Okay. So I love making our shows actionable for the people

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who are listening.

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So if no one's ever considered storytelling before,

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how would you suggest someone get started?

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Are there three steps or something specific that they should consider?

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So that,

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I mean,

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we've talked a lot of generalities,

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a lot of examples,

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et cetera,

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but what's something concrete we can leave them with.

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I think you have to start by getting kind of the

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fundamental founder story,

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right? That one piece,

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which I always find it easiest to think of as being

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the about us page on the website,

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that's where it all comes from because that's where people are

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going to check.

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When they're going through the buying process,

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they're going to look for the about us link on the

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website, check who you are.

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And then they're checking that before they checkout.

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It's also the place you're going to link to in every

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single email.

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And it will help inspire you when you're going,

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oh gosh,

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we've only sent out sales messages.

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We need to talk about something else.

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Let's remind people of our,

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about us page That about us page.

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Absolutely. For all the things that you just said,

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you know what I've been seeing people doing a lot lately.

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Chloe is once you've got that information down,

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have it on your website,

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all that you just talked about,

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take that and do a video,

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talk with people about it.

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And I'm seeing people doing this on Instagram a lot,

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also even reels how they're doing the reel,

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where they're the same person for each part of their business,

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that reel that's going around.

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But even just a video talking to people about who you

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are and just stating almost the exact same things you've put

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on your about page because it's fresh in your mind.

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That's why I say start with the about us page because

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it's kind of like a starting line for all of this

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storytelling. It's where you're going through the process of putting it

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together really helps you and you work out what are the

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key messages we need to get across because you can do

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a video that goes,

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Hey, I'm Chloe.

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I run some podcasts.

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They kind of cool.

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Go and listen to them.

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Or you can do one that's Hey,

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I'm Chloe.

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I focus on e-commerce and problem solving.

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And you can hit those correct notes and give people the

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right calls to action.

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And if you've prepped your about us page,

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it's a lot easier as I'm saying this thinking,

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this is how good is my analysis page at the moment,

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does it hit the right notes?

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I've got to get out to check it before you put

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this episode out.

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So, but it gives you the thinking time to consolidate what

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that message should be.

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And as you're creating it,

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you'll go.

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Yeah. I could do a little mini video about that.

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I could do a reels about that piece.

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Actually this page would be even better if I did a

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YouTube video and put it in here of me and my

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co-founder talking about the product and giving a little mini tour

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of the workshop.

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So you start to it really consolidates the thinking,

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just thinking about it is that one page.

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And then from there that content gets repurposed across social and

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across your email,

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welcome campaigns across everything else you're doing.

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And it gives you inspiration for what avenues to go down

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with the more on the go storytelling content,

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the more dynamic.

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That's what we call it earlier.

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Wasn't it?

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The dynamic storytelling.

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Yeah, the dynamic ones.

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Okay. So I'm making this into three steps.

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Tell me if these are right.

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Okay. One the foundational founder story.

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So who you are as the maker of your product and

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the founder of your business,

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maybe how you got into the business,

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what your product is,

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make it personable.

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And it's not a resume.

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Make it personable.

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Where someone think of someone coming to your site,

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or you go into someone else's site.

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What do you want to read?

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You don't want to read a resume.

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You want to read something personable.

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So get that done.

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So your about us page,

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and then I think what you're saying here,

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Chloe, I've made this as step.

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Number two is take all that content or portions of that

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content, and then you can spread those out across social media.

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And the other trick that I forget about this often is

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if you put up that post,

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you can post it again since six months from now.

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So this can be continual content.

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You always have new people coming in and getting to know

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you and coming on your website or following you on the

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socials. So this is something that you don't have to do

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just once one and done.

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You can reuse that content.

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So your energy gets more bang for the buck that way.

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So that's the second one.

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And then the third one is the dynamic storytelling.

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The in the time capturing those moments,

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all the examples that we've shared now throughout our whole conversation

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and just start developing a mindset about storytelling versus selling all

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the time.

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I think those are three awesome steps.

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And if everyone listening does those,

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they will definitely see the impact over the coming,

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See the impact.

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And you know what else I feel Chloe is.

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It just is more fun to do it that way.

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It doesn't feel like pressure putting out information,

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hoping for a return.

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It's more just establishing friendships and relationships and getting people to

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know you.

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And then naturally they're going to be more interested in what

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you're selling.

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Exactly. And I have to add one other teeny tiny thing

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to step one,

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getting the about us page,

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right. Which is it's never going to be finished your about

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us page.

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It's never going to be perfect.

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It's never going to be finished.

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You're going to be redoing it every few months.

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So please,

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please, please.

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Don't as a result of this,

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go and spend an hour or so putting it together like,

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oh, it's not quite right.

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I won't put it live,

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put it live and then come back in a bit and

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then tweak it based on everything you've been learning while it's

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following the other two steps.

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So it will never be finished,

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but that's a marvelous,

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marvelous thing.

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So get it live and then you can improve it later.

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Yeah. And to your point about going back and taking a

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look at it,

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yourself, all of us from time to time,

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the way we speak the way we're communicating with our audiences,

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the words we choose changes over time.

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And sometimes it's just nice to freshen it up anyway.

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Yeah. So I love that.

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Wonderful. This has been such a fabulous conversation.

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I knew it would be.

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Tell us a little bit more about what's going on with

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you right now and what you're looking at for the future.

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Sure. Well,

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I am still,

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I think as per the last time we caught up running

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two podcasts,

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I've got the e-commerce master plan podcast,

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which is weekly.

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And each week I interview a different retailer about what they're

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up to in their business.

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And the other podcast is keep optimizing,

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which is all about e-commerce marketing.

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And each month we focus on a different marketing topics.

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It could be Facebook ads,

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it could be organic social,

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it could be email.

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And across the month,

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every Wednesday I interviewed different expert in that subject matter.

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And then what I'm up to at the moment is I'm

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doing quite a few events for people,

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both online and a couple of face-to-face now,

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which is quite exciting as generally as the moderator of panels,

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which keeps my brain active.

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If nothing else,

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usually very interesting panels,

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et cetera,

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he's the brain active.

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And I'm currently working on how we get some element of

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sustainability in more into the content I put out.

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So I'm getting quite excited about the potential of e-commerce to

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be a force for good in the world of climate saving,

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I suppose.

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Ooh, I'm in the education phase,

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cause I'm aware,

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I'd know very little about this at the moment.

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And then hopefully by the new year I've worked out,

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how are we going to really make that a key strand

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through the podcast?

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Well, we have to keep listening to find out how that

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evolves then.

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Yeah. It's definitely going to be a journey cause I'm not

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going to learn everything by January.

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Everyone can come and join me on the Well,

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and isn't this an example of storytelling.

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Oh completely.

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There you go.

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So you integrate it into what you're doing and you share

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along the way so beautiful.

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Okay. So we know about the two podcasts specifically for retail

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e-commerce master plan and optimizing your brand overall keep optimizing podcasts.

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So both of those podcasts,

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anywhere else,

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you'd like to direct our listeners to know more.

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If they had to e-commerce most planned.com,

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they'll find out all the stuff I'm up to,

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including the podcasts,

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any events we're running and my books as well.

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Wonderful. Chloe,

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thank you so much.

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It's always a pleasure talking with you and I really appreciate

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you coming back on the show today.

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Thanks sir.

Speaker:

It's been an utter pleasure catching up with you as well.

Speaker:

So thank you.

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My favorite thing about incorporating storytelling into your business is it

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makes content creation so much easier and it provides the solution

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that I always harp on.

Speaker:

Don't only be posting product and price all the time.

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Plus storytelling is fun.

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Thanks so much for spending time with me today.

Speaker:

If you'd like to show support for the podcast,

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It's full of so many tips and tricks that can benefit

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no matter what kind of business you have,

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Sue is amazing.

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And she brings on wonderful and inspiring guests.

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Well, thank you miss thisI.

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I agree.

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My guests are amazing and I love bringing their perspective and

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It's a place where we all gather and our community to

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Got a really fun post in there.

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That's my favorite of the week.

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I have to say where I invite all of you to

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share what you're doing to show pictures of your product,

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to show what you're working on for the week to get

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reactions from other people and just for fun,

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