So hi there. Welcome to the Enough Already podcast. I'm your host, Betsy Jordyn, and this is the place where we empower consultants and coaches to forge their own paths to success. In their careers and their lives and their businesses, in today's guests, super excited to have Diane Diaz on the show. So Diane is formerly known as the brand teacher and now is an expert in storytelling and branding. And she has been a personal friend as well. Colleague, and I am so excited to have her on the show and talk about the role of storytelling and how it could help you build your consulting and coaching brand. So welcome to the show, Diane. Oh, thank you so much, Betsy. I'm excited to be here and talk about storytelling. I love that topic. So before we get into the topic, I'd love for you to take us back in time and talk about, like, first off, how you went from your previous career becoming the brand teacher and how you went from the brand teacher to being a part of speaking your brand. That's a good thing to start with because I think It's a good illustration of how our careers meander, and you don't always know where it's going at the time.
But I started out because I graduated with a marketing degree and bachelors in marketing, and then I got my MBA from the University of Central Florida. And then right after that, I started working as a marketing coordinator at a land development company and national land developer here in central Florida. Well, they were national. I worked at the central Florida location. And then I was there for about nine years, and I worked my way up to marketing director. And then two thousand eight happened, and That's right. And so then you can imagine what happened then. So I got laid off from that job. But in that job, I was doing the like, managing the marketing and promotions for the local communities that the that the land developer had here in Central Florida And in that role, I obviously worked on the marketing, but also on branding for the new startup community. So determining what the story behind the community was, what the logo was going to be, and all of that what the voice of the brand was.
So being that I was laid off, I was looking for a new job. And I knew that I did not want to stay in anything related to real estate because it I just was too nervous about where that was going. And, you know, if I got another job in real estate, would I just then be laid off shortly thereafter? And honestly, I was a little bit burnt out because it was a very corporate structure, and I don't think I'm a good fit for that because it was very much being available twenty four to seven, never really disconnected from the job, no work life balance, I learned a lot in that job and I'm glad that I had that job and I did enjoy parts of it, but it was honestly it was very challenging and a little bit soul sucking if I'm being honest.
So I was after nine years of doing that, I was a little bit ready to move to something else, but I didn't know what that was gonna be. And so I just started looking around for opportunities. Wasn't sure where it was gonna go. Just so happened to see a position posted for an instructor at a local university. And the class that they were looking for the instructor for was called something along the lines. It's got a different name now that I teach it, but it was about branding and storytelling. So I thought, oh, that's a basic I read the description of what you'd be teaching and, like, that's what I've been doing. This whole time in my job. I could feel like I could teach that in my sleep because it's just I've been living, breathing, and eating that those topics. So applied for the job. And then turns out, I I went to lunch with a friend. And when I told her that I was applying to the job, she said, oh, that's because my good friend is the director of online I think online studies there. Oh, so she's taking your resume. So I had already sent in my resume that I gave it to her as well. I had no idea she had a connection to them.
Long story short, I got hired, teaching that this digital now it's called digital storytelling and branding. Class in the digital marketing master's degree at the university. And so I've been teaching that now for fourteen years. Now, while I was there, a lot of my fellow instructors had businesses on the side because the business model at this city is that their instructors have what they call real world experience. So they actually want you to do other things. So many instructors have businesses and so that, you know, keeping your skills fresh, you bring that back to the classroom in indirect ways. Right? So I thought mission I open a business, but I was so burnt out on my corporate experience. So I just wanted to lay low for a while. So I ended up I started there in two thousand nine. I didn't start my business until, I think, two thousand seventeen, two thousand sixteen, two thousand seventeen.
In the meantime, Carol Cox, who was speaking your brand, she started at teaching at that university the exact same day that I started. In the in the bachelor's degree program. So the same department, we knew each other. So I've known her for over fourteen years. And she started speaking a brand. I hired her to help me with my create my signature talk because I had been speaking, but I thought this could really be better and I don't quite know how to make it better. And I had to listen in her podcast asking her some questions, so I hired her. She used her process and her signature talk framework on me. And my content. And once I created that talk with her help and then delivered it, I was blown away by how much more effective it was. Because it incorporated stories. And so then shortly thereafter, she asked me to start working with some of her clients on sort of a ten ninety nine basis. And then then she asked me if I would, you know, close my business and join her. So I was still teaching, but I closed the brand teacher where I was doing personal brand strategy coaching.
And then now I'm a speaking coach at speaking your brand. And so I've been there since two thousand nineteen, I think. I can't remember. But since it's been a while, And so I do both. I teach at a university, and I'm a speaking coach with speaking your brand, and I absolutely love it because I do get to use not only my knowledge of branding, but also my knowledge of storytelling, how to craft a story, how to incorporate it into your talk, and how to make a connection with the audience. So it's all all the things that I do kind of meld together and all the skills are useful everywhere. That's fascinating.
So it sounds like then the to summarize, like, what you said about your career is you are always were in marketing. So that was your degrees. And then you got into some marketing roles. And through different kind of iterations, you realize, like, hey, doing stuff like this for other people and a corporate thing isn't for me. You got a job where you're actually teaching all about how to do branding and personal branding and storytelling. And then you started the brand teacher, which seems to be a natural extension, but ultimately working with Carol is it does ring. So I picked the right topic for you, which is all around the art of storytelling. In branding, that is your thing. And it's always been your thing. Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.
And it's funny because when I was working in the corporate world in in the land development company, I didn't really you know, back back in that time period, storytelling as a topic related to brands, yes, it existed, but we didn't really use those that terminology. So We would figure out the story of the community, but we didn't really put as much intention behind figuring out what the story is, how to use it to connect with the audience But I think now it is so much in, you know, out in the world and we all understand the value, I hope we do, the value and the power of a story. So yeah, I brought all those skills from that job. And then from teaching, which, you know, if you're if you look at it, yes, I teach storytelling, but I also use storytelling in my teaching. So storytelling become because I have to get my students excited about how to how to incorporate themselves into the work that they do, into positioning themselves as marketing experts, And so storytelling comes into play everywhere. So it is a really good fit for my knowledge and the experiences that I've had. So I think that it's obvious to see how, like, storytelling could enhance, like, a speech or something where you're upfront.
How do you see telling your stories, like personal stories or other business stories to help, like, a consultant or coach connect with our audience. Like, What's the connection between storytelling and brand building, not just on the stage, but in all the other aspects of building your brand? That's a great question, Betsy. Think of it like this. So when somebody's building their company and they're out there talking about it, You can talk about facts and features and what you do and what the deliverable is and how you help someone. And that's great. Yes. They need to know that information. But there's going to be other providers that do similar work and maybe even the same work. Right? So you have competitors. And so everybody's out there talking about what they do, talking about how they help someone, talking about what their offerings are.
So with all of the noise as consumers, as somebody looking to hire you, there's a lot of information coming at us. So how do you stand out? How do you cut through that noise to really get seen and to make a connection so that you get chosen so that you're the one that they go to. And that's what storytelling does. Facts and features are great to know, but they don't make an emotional connection. But what does make an emotional connection is a story. And you can wrap the facts and features in the story, but the story is what makes that deeper connection. In fact, because I just gave a talk about storytelling to a group of business women at a local women's group here. And in doing the research for that, I learned that there has been research done by psychologists showing that just like when you have a baby when you're with your loved one snuggling, that releases oxytocin, which gives you that that feel good hormone. Stories that we hear also release oxytocin. And so we feel connected when someone tells a story that resonates with us.
So using personal stories or even stories about how you've helped the specific client and telling their story to make that point is going to have a bigger impact than just talking about what you do using facts and features. So can you show me the difference between someone talking about facts some features and then someone telling a story that kind of supports facts and features. Absolutely. So I'll use myself. So Let's say that I want to I'm looking at I'm talking to a woman who might be a client of speaking your brand, and I wanna help her understand why she should work with us. Right?
So if I'm just talking about facts and features, I would say, oh, well, you know, you're looking to be a speaker. Well, we can help you do is create your signature talk. We would help you understand how to pitch yourself. You'd end up with this thirty to forty five minute talk that's all ready to go. And then you'd be able to pitch yourself. You'd understand how to make a pitch based on the information that you're gonna share with them. And then here's what you might be able to charge for a talk. If you're looking to get paid, this is where you might pitch yourself the types of organizations you might pitch yourself to. What does that do for you? Well, speaking will help build your business, and it will help you bring in new clients. It can also be a revenue stream. So those are facts and features. That's great. It's good information, and those things are all true. I mean, we do share that type of information with our potential clients. But now if I wanna wrap storytelling in and I might say, all those same things.
And then, you know, I worked with a client recently who who is a forgiveness coach. And she knew that she needed to start getting out speaking, but she wasn't sure how to make a talk that connected with their audience. And so we work together to help bring her story into it because as it turns out, her story is one of forgiveness. She went through a trying time through her marriage and she shares these things in her podcast. Marriage and different relationship issues. And she ultimately when she went through all these things, she ultimately ended up up realizing that she had to forgive the other person. So this is what spurred her to start doing coaching around forgiveness. And now, She actually tells her story in her talks on her podcast and that story helps other people see how forgiveness could benefit them in the ways that it's benefited her. So now I'm bringing in a client story, so I'm not even telling my story. I could tell a story about myself, but I'm bringing in a client story to show how I worked with this client to help her create her signature talk that wrapped that story into it, so that when her audience hears that story, they get the benefit of being able to forgive. So the forgiveness coaching becomes much more meaningful. So that's kind of the difference between just talking about facts and features versus putting a story into the content. Okay. So this is fascinating.
I feel like that there's a two things in here. So thing one is that I don't I've ever thought about it this way is it you could actually use storytelling to help you even in a sales conversation. Oh, yes. You could enhance storytelling is not just what you do on the stage, but it's just more of like incorporated. And so telling the story, you could even enhance that. So I definitely wanna explore that a little bit more. But I wanna talk about your particular client example because it feels like that there's a connection between my actual story and the business that I wanna do. So it's also helping uncover, like, your authentic narrative because this particular client, her whole business model is based on her business her personal story.
Not necessarily even her, you know, her skills as a coach. Like, we didn't you didn't mention anything about her podcast of saying, oh, well, she went to ICF and she got certified. And She's got an ACC behind her name and she's got this. You talked about her personal story around her previous marriage learning how to forgive and that has become not just her signature talk, but it is her brand as well. Yeah. So I'm not sure which way you would wanna go a little bit more around how you can use storytelling in your marketing and in your sales to stand out or how you tap into your personal narrative. And how your personal narrative actually fuels what your actual brand is. So I'll let you decide which way you wanna go. I have those two questions. Yeah. As well so the personal narrative is a good one because I think that that's probably one of the hardest things for clients to understand.
And or anybody speaking or not even speaking on a stage per se, but even just in the content that they share is why would my story matter or like my clients don't care about that, but that's not true. Because when you tell your personal story, it doesn't when I say tell your personal story, I don't mean that you have to full on tell every single detail, but you you should work little bits and pieces into it because you're humanizing yourself and your work to your audience. So rather than just being this person behind a screen or, you know, behind a podcast microphone or behind on the stage, you become human because you have a human story. We all have a human story. We're all we're all in the human condition. Right? We're all in this. Right? And so we we all have something that is going to be relevant to our audience.
And even if you think that, well, you know, like, let's say, I tell my story, well, maybe my audience hasn't gone through being laid off during the housing crisis and you know, then finding a new job that was so, you know, fulfilling and then that transitioning into being a speaking coach. I'm sure they probably have not had that exact experience. That is true. However, you know, they have these stories that they wanna share and we help them understand that even though your audience might not have had that exact same experience, they will resonate with the story because we teach our clients how to transition the story from the self, so the stories about me to how that relates to the audience or from self to us. So when they make that transition, that's how you get the audience bought into it. But the audience is always going to relate to story. It's just how you tell the story and how you help them see the deeper meaning in the story that's meaningful for them. So how would you tell that how would you go from that universe that self story to the universal.
So let's say you were talking about that one particular client, and she talks about her divorce and learning how to go through the forgiveness, how would she take that that story to make it more universal? Yes. So that might be a situation where and I don't know all the specifics of the story, but let say let's say I'm I I've been divorced. So I just say I'm talking about myself. I went through something. I might say something like this. You know, I tell my story. And I might say, now, you might not have been in a position where you woke up one day and realized I don't want to be married to the person I've been with for nineteen years, but I'd be willing to bet you have been in a situation where things felt different. So it can be a simple statement like that so that it it then gets the audience and then that that transition will relate to what you're then gonna go into in your talk. Whatever you're gonna share with them. So it literally could just be a simple sentence like that. So I could see that this would make a lot of sense for someone who's like coach and who's working with somebody, and it's a very personal thing.
What about somebody who's working with corporate? You know? And they wanna tell their story. Like, what would be relevance stories that you would tell to a corporate audience that would make you still stand out? Yeah, that's a really good question. So I would say, well, first of all, it probably depends in some part on the topic that you're speaking on. So if you're speaking on a stage as a corporate let's say you're a corporate marketing person and you're speaking at a conference that has something to do with corporate marketing, you know, the topic of your talk is going to be relevant to whatever stories you pull out. So if your talk is about moving up through your career in the field of marketing, in the corporate space or career change, then obviously, you're gonna pull stories from that.
But with that said, you can also pull in stories from childhood. So maybe it's a story about something that you did. So here's a great example. When I was a child, I loved to play teacher. Ironically, I am now a teacher. Right. Who would have seen that coming. Right? So that depending on what I'm talking about and depending on where I put it in the talk, that that story could come in. Right? So so story always has a place. It's just what story you tell, where it belongs. You can also just use it as an opener. Right? So a story could be a good opener to a talk. So I could save.
If I'm if I'm talking about let's say I'm giving a talk about career change, I might say to my audience, you know, who here you know, who here wanted to be a fireman when they grew up, who here wanted to be a a rocket scientist when they grew up and then say, you know, it's funny when I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. Always wanted to be a teacher, and I never knew that that's where I'd end up. And then I could tell my story. So if I'm talking career change, that's really relevant. Now that's a story from when I was, you know, six, seven, eight years old. You might think, well, who cares? But it makes it interesting. It makes the talk interesting. And everyone on Earth relates to what they wanted to be when they were little. Right? What did they wanna be when they grew up when they were little? Everybody gets that story.
So so what if you're talking to corporate person in, like, a sales situation. Like, you mentioned that you could use it to stand out. How would I use story? So let's say I'm trying to pitch work. And, like, would it be, like, a case study of saying, you know, what this is what my best clients do. So let me give you a story. So now here's how let's how let me tell you how we could work together, that kind of thing.
Case studies with clients make excellent stories because they're good examples to your potential client of how you could help them. Because we'll always we will always identify more with a real person who was helped by you than by you just saying I can help you. Right? Because it's almost like third party credibility. Even though you're telling the story of that person that was helped, but you're showing a real example. And then then I, as the potential client, think to myself, gosh, you know, can really identify with that struggle of not knowing, you know, not knowing how to solve this problem. And I could she she definitely helped that person. So I want that too. I want I wanna feel like, I'm not in this alone. And I wanna feel like I have a solution that I don't have to try to figure out. Right? So that's client client examples, case studies, they make excellent stories.
I think that's a good starting point too with storytelling because I picture a lot of the people who I work with are corporate refugees, and so we're so used to the mask. And I know that they're probably all listening and freaking out a little bit of saying, oh my gosh, you're asking me to let down this corporate mask and let my real self shine. And there's a lot of vulnerability that is involved there, but it feels like at least if you're dealing with a corporate scenario, you could start easy, you know, with the case studies or talk about different stories that relate to you going up the ladder, what you did in your career, maybe not go into a lot of your personal stories, but it feels like with coaches. I don't know if you can get away with not having a personal story. Or, you know, can you? Like, what what's the impact of, like, not using storytelling if you're at all around your personal story? If you're trying to create a coaching business, where you're really helping create a transformation in somebody else? That's a really great question, Betsy. Because I think you're absolutely right.
Coaching is one of those areas that I feel I I like to call it an intimate, you know, role because you're getting into some deep stuff, right, as a coach. And I don't think you can get away with not sharing some of your personal story. I I think I have I know from having done my own, you know, when I was the brand teacher and I was working with clients and now also working with speaking your brand. And just frankly, it as an as an instructor at university, I see that there is this tendency to wanna say, well, I've got the business me, and the corporate me, or even if I own my own business, the business Diane, and then I've got the personal Diane and that never the twain shall meet. I never will mix the two or tell people about one or the other. Right? So they have to be separate. Because there's two separate means. But that is not the case. We all have the one personal brand and that one personal brand has multitudes of stories. There are some business stories, professional stories, personal stories.
Again, it doesn't mean that you have to tell every, you know, you don't have to air your dirty laundry. But you do need to be human. Because even if you're selling business to business, you're you're selling to people. Alright. Right? So even if you're if you're a coach and you're pitching yourself to companies to be a coach within that company team, Those are still people that you're selling to. So they need to feel connected to you. And especially when you're in fields that are more intimate, like coaching. I think I think real estate agents could benefit from storytelling because what's more intimate than spending three hundred, four hundred, five hundred thousand or more on home? I mean, that's pretty that's pretty involved in pretty intimate. And it's a big it's a big commitment. So I think there's certain there are certainly certain fields where storytelling from a personal storytelling standpoint is going to be more effective. But with that said, I think storytelling belongs in every industry, in every field, in every realm, because it is the way because we're we're all just people. Even companies are just full of people. That's all a company is. Right? So storytelling belongs everywhere.
I like how you said about the brand is that it's a one thing. It's not like your professional self and your personal self. It is the combination. And I think a lot of times we think we can control our brand by controlling like sort of like this mask version of ourselves when the real version is still there and Actually, what people really wanna buy is that more of that internal side, your gifts, your strengths, and all of those kinds of things. I like what you said about that. Okay.
So attain let's let's go through a typical customer journey, you know, of somebody forming a relationship with you. Where are all the places? Like, let's imagine your you know, like all my audience are consultants and coaches, and they're looking to improve their ability to stand out. So I like how we're setting this up as storytelling is a key way to make your brand stand out, to make you stand out among the crowd. So take me through like, let's say, you know, your online presence. You know, somebody might connect with you through your online presence, your LinkedIn profile, your website. Where can you bring out stories at that that place? At that part of the customer journey? That's a great question. And so on your way website. Tell your tell your about me section or your, you know, bio section whatever you call it or just call it my story. Right? And tell your story of how and why you got into this work that you're doing. And then connect it to how that then is meaningful for the person on the receiving end of that that's looking at your website that might want to hire you.
So tell your story there and make sure that your make sure that your story comes into play I would say everywhere your brand lives, so whether that's on your website, of course, but also on LinkedIn, you can tell your story in a variety of places. Your story can be part of your bounce section on LinkedIn. You can do LinkedIn lives where you incorporate little bits and pieces of your story. You can make sure that your your, like, your personality and story comes through in any pictures that you share, even, like, your headshots or are, you know, clearly you and and, of course, you know, professional, but they should reflect who you are. You're story can be in any social media posts that you're making. If you have a podcast, tell your story on your podcast. You know, in in any in any pitches of anything to clients in networking that you do literally everywhere. There's always an opportunity to incorporate some form or format of story into your brand everywhere that it lives. So that at every touch point, you're making some sort of personal connection with your audience. And I would say too that that means that some posts that you share even on LinkedIn, and I know this might be controversial, but some posts can be of a more personal nature. Let me give you an example of this.
I walk a lot. Every morning, I go for a walk. And so you might think, well, why would you share anything personal in LinkedIn? I think if you can make a connection to something business related, you can do it. And I have noticed in my post that personal Post that have a personal connection, but then that are also connected to business, get more engagement than just very straight business posts.
So I walk every day, and one morning I was out for a walk. This is when I lived in a different part of town. And I passed by this tree that I had walked past, I don't know, thousands of times before I never noticed that on but normally, I would walk in the street this time it was on the sidewalk. So I was on the other side of this tree. When I passed by this tree, the person that lived in the house where this tree was had put a little face, a little, like, almost like mister potato had eyes and mouth on the tree. Never had seen it. I'd walk past this thing for years, never ever saw it. So I thought to myself, well, that's weird. Interesting how just a change in perspective completely changes how you look at it something like a tree. So I took a picture of it and like a picture of my like, feet or or I sell feet or something. So it was clear that I was out for a walk.
And I posted that on LinkedIn and connected it to this idea of changing your perspective. You know, when you're looking at things to get a different view and how you might be looking have been looking at something for a long, long time, one way, but then when you shift perspective, you see things that are only light. Now, that's pretty vague, but yes, it's very business related, but it's also personal. So I'm out walking, shared a little bit of that. So that's how you can share personal things in a platform that you don't think is necessarily for personal things. So those are the places where story can come into everything that you're doing it. It serves to make me a human being. Right? It shows another side of me than just oh, I'm a person who's teaching branding, working with clients on their talks, on storytelling, and that's all I do. I don't have a I don't have a life beyond No. We all have personal lives, so let a little bit of it come out. So it's not like you have to tell, like, all your deep dark stories and all of your you know, all of your failures and mistakes.
I'm like, if you could just talk about simple thing. I wanna go back to the website. Yes. Oh, yeah. Because somebody might be thinking, like, oh my gosh. I'm a I work with I'm a consultant or I'm a qualified. They need to know my certifications and my personal experience. Nobody's ever cared about my master's ever.
And when I talk about, like, my credentials, like, I don't talk about my credentials, I tell about my story. Like, I bring up my dunchles, like, I might say, like, on my website right now, I tell my about story is, like, hey, I when I left Disney, it's been fifteen years since I left Disney and I started my business. And, you know, yay, I grew it from zero to three hundred thousand, but it was a wrong business. So I kinda like get my credentials in there, but I'm not talking about my eventuals. Is that a good way of using an about page of just telling, like, why I care about people in in instead of worrying about my credentials. Because some people might be like, well, all my clients care about is my credentials, and on my experience, my clients have never cared about my credentials. Yes. I that's you asked a very good question, Betsy. And so, yes, that is an excellent way to get credentials in. But in a way that is telling a story so that it's not about listing credentials, but instead talking about, like, how you arrived at doing this work. Right? And you're still talking about your credentials, but you're talking about them in a way that's telling your story. I agree with you that, so unless you're someone that's a brain surgeon or something like that, where it's like, okay, I need to know you're board certified, not of course. So do They're just hiring you from your website if you're doing that. Exactly. Exactly. Well, that's a you know what? That's a good point. They're going to other people and saying, who do you know? That's a good brain surgeon. Right? So you're absolutely right.
Credentials are important. I'm not gonna say they're not important. Put them somewhere on your website. They don't need to be in the story that you tell. I mean, you can work in something, like, if I'm telling my story and I'm talking about, you know, when I graduated with my MBA, I started working in LendingClub.
So I just said NBA. Like, I don't I don't need to, like, have a laundry list of, you know, talking about my credentials. I agree with you though literally no one has ever asked me about having an NBA ever, ever, ever. And I think I think I will say that I think particularly as women, we sometimes get hung up because society tells us we have to be better, do more, you know, try harder and do all those things. And so we kinda get hung up sometimes and like, oh, I gotta get that next certification. And I I can't I can't do the thing I wanna do until I get that certification or until I get that specific credential or whatever it may be. That's fine if you want to get all those credentials, but I don't think that that's gonna be the reason someone does or doesn't choose you. Right. If they feel connected to you and they feel like you get them, and they will, if you tell your story, that's why they're gonna choose you. And other people are going to recommend you to people And that's a form of storytelling as well.
And so having your story out there and sharing your story is what's really gonna resonate with people, not a laundry list of credentials. So, yeah, put them on your website, but tell your story from a human standpoint, not from a not from a all my achievement standpoint. Those things are great. But, you know, I always say too when when I'm talking to my students that, you know, if you're talking about a company, Yeah. It's great. The company's been in business for a hundred years and that it has, you know, two thousand locations across. That's not why people go to certain places or choose certain businesses. That's not that doesn't move you. That doesn't make you feel a certain way. What makes you feel a certain way is hearing about a client or a customer who worked with that company and how that company solved that problem for them and what that made them feel. That's what you resonate So practically then for your website is you can then in your about story, you can tell your story about your credentials in a storytelling way, you could tell your client stories, your case studies, and all those kinds of things on your website.
On your LinkedIn profile. Instead of in the about section, you could tell your story of your business, not necessarily just the I have this kind of degree and that kind of degree You could do LinkedIn lives. You could do simple things like just telling doing a simple post like you did around, like, your aha's for the day to just show your personal life. So those are some ways you can improve it from that standpoint. Let's talk about the sales experience. You know, what other tips? So you mentioned instead of saying the features and the facts, you can tell the story of a client. What else can you do in the sales process to use storytelling to help you stand out and create that connection with your clients? That's a good question. So I I definitely make sure that you make sure that you are giving them the features and the facts, but that be in a document that you handle them. It doesn't have to be like you're you're sharing, you know, if they've come to you, they probably have already researched you to some degree. Right? So Yes. Tell your story though. Make a human connection.
When you're in the sales process, look for opportunities let me just give a plug to Nikki Rausch, who's the sales maven because she is very very skilled at language to use. So I'll leave that specific sales language to her, but you're looking for opportunities to incorporate sales language and your story into your talks with potential clients. So you don't wanna be salesy but always listen for cues from them as to what they're looking for and what problem it is they're trying to solve. And then you know, flip through your rolodex of client examples or maybe your own personal story and look for ways you can interject little bits and pieces So that and not in a fake way that's disingenuous. Of course, you wanted it to be real and true, but there's always an opportunity to make that connection with someone. So you know, I look for even opportunities.
I remember a couple of times, I'm from Pensacola, which I almost never meet people from Pensacola, but I know on a couple of opportunities I've met potential clients and people who have become clients where I find out early on before they become a client that they are either from Pensacola or from an area nearby. So I use that as a connection point to say, oh my gosh, you're from for Walton Beach, gosh, that I'm from Pensacola that's in all of a sudden we have a connection because that's part of my story. Right? So you it can be a little tiny things like that or or, you know, oh, you're half Italian. I'm half Italian too. I didn't. That's so cool.
And so little things that are part of your story and ways to connect with people because every time you make that connection, you're just you're just making a deeper and deeper human connection. Human to human connection is a bond. Right? It's why when we meet someone from the school we went to that we they could have gone to school, you know, twenty years apart from us, but we feel bonded instantly. Right? And that's why because it's it's that sort of kinship that we have with one another. Because we're we both have similar elements to our story. So just look for little ways to connect with people on tiny little things like that, commonalities, which is another reason why it's good to have a fleshed out LinkedIn profile because then you can share little bits and pieces throughout your LinkedIn profile, gives other people the opportunity to kind of see things about you, And even on their own, they can connect with you and see like what you might have in common, and that's a way to sort of form that bond through storytelling.
And I love what you just said is that you don't have to tell this big long story. You could just say, I see this in you. Oh, we have that in common. Oh, you have those earrings. I really like them. Yeah. I have earrings like this that I got, and you don't even have to go into a whole big thing. It's not like It's just gonna go like this and go, okay, come into me see, you know, or, you know, we're not doing that kind of storytelling with businesses. It's just it's relevant to the situation. Yes. And you're just you're just keeping your ears open and really I will say that I I know most people probably struggle with listening.
Because all of us are waiting for the next time we can speak. Right? And I'm I have a bad habit of that. So I've had to practice better listening because if you want to sell, right, if you want to pitch yourself to speak, you want to pitch yourself to clients, get to listen. And so when you listen, you can listen for those cues of when, you know, little bits and pieces and snippets that they share with you that might be an opportunity for you to make that connection.
And like you said, it doesn't have to be that you're opening up and showing them every single thing about you. People don't want that either, frankly. But they do wanna feel like you're human and like you get them and that you get where they're coming from because to them, if you're up on that stage speaking or you're behind the podcast microphone or you are the expert that they've come to to help them with something, you feel removed from them. You feel like the quote unquote spurred. And so it feels not intimidating necessarily. I mean, it can. But it also feels like you're not necessarily real. So find a way to make yourself real to them, and that's through those little commonalities to start with, and then also telling your story on your website and everywhere else, and making sure that making sure that you're coming across as a human being, not as a robot automaton that does the work that you do because we're all human.
It seems like no matter what, using storytelling will make you stand out, not just your story itself because most consultants and coaches aren't. They're hiding behind their credentials. They're hiding behind that experts that is. And you're saying you're gonna stand out because people wanna work with people that they have a connection to. So step outside of it. So let's say somebody's listening and they're like, oh my gosh. I love this Diane. I really wanna get started with storytelling, but I don't even know where to begin.
Where would you say are just the initial steps that they should take? Oh, that's a good question. So I would say Maybe first, just write down some stories that come to mind about yourself. And know, think about how they might connect to the work that you do, why you do the work that you do, how you got into the work that you do, even some client stories. So just create like a little story bank that you have. And, you know, you don't even necessarily have to do anything with that at the moment, but just have them because when you think them through, you'll be more top of mind.
And then I would say the next most important step is to to always be listening. Make it be more intentional about listening. Because when you listen, you'll see places where you can interject that story. Places you might not have thought of. Right? So just be listening to what your clients are saying. Listen during sales calls, listen when you're networking with someone, listen when you're at a networking event, and you've introduced yourself, listen for what people are saying, and then take the opportunity I think you have to get past that fear too.
I would say that's maybe that's step number one. It's getting past that fear that that you think maybe nobody cares about my story or I don't want to share my story and I know it can feel a little uncomfortable, but trust me, when you start doing it, it becomes easier And when people start opening up to you because you shared something about yourself, it just makes it easier for everybody and it'll become more natural than more that you do it. When you don't practice, sharing things about yourself and telling your story it feels unnatural. And it does feel like, well, why would anybody care about this? But when you start doing it, it just becomes second nature. And then when you see people respond to it, that's when you know it's you've got them.
So it seems like though there's some basic stories though that every business needs to have. Like, one of the things that I work through with my clients in my brand messaging and positioning program is we work on these foundational stories of what I think the business needs, and I'd love to get your opinion on that. Yeah. Like, I think there needs to be one story on, you know, your what I do story. That when you go to a networking event, you're not just saying, you know, I'm I'm part of speaking your brand, and we do we help thousands of people. Like, you would talk about it differently.
Seems like there's another story, especially for mid career professionals that you have to answer the question that's on people's minds, which is why in the world would you leave corporate to start your business? So there's, like, that big business transformation story. It seems like there's a bigger why story, like, why why you do what you do story. Those are some of the basic You know, what are of the other basic stories that everybody should have on the ready? Because you're gonna get the ask them anyway. Are you gonna get the question to ask anyway? So you should have a story, like, ready to go on that. Mhmm. No. Those the ones you listed Betsy are great. I would say one of those might be like that that why you left corporate. That's sort of like your pivot point story, you know, why you made that pivot. So like that pivotal moment in your life, I think it's Carol refers to it as the dark night of the soul. So what what was that, like, what happened? Right? What caused you to leave court? Because that's a big change. So that can be a really inspiring story to share. They could just be humorous stories.
You know, we we We don't all necessarily think of ourselves as funny. I happen to be very funny, but but we don't all think I think I am anyway. That's because you want to stand up comedians. I went to an improv class. Interestingly, I will share that I did recently sign up to do the empowering night of laughter coming up next January where I have to do a five minute comedy set that I don't yet have written. So I don't know how I'm gonna manage that, but that's what I already signed do so I'm gonna do it.
But even if you don't consider yourself funny, we all have humorous things that happen humor is one of the best ways to connect with people because unless there's probably some deep dark thing happening to you most of us like humor. So humor can be a way to connect to lighten the mood. So even if even if the work that you do has a sort of more serious and challenging tone to it, there's still a way to interject some humor for levity. Right? Not making fun of, but just some humor for Levity. Right? So finding humorous stories, those types of stories can be super effective. So I would say try to put those in your story bank as well. So it seems like we're gonna summarize the things that we talked about today.
Is that number one, your story is your brand. You know, that you can't divorce your story from your brand. It's one of the same. The second thing is that when you get courageous to tell your story. It's not really about you. It's about the other person creating that oxytocin release in the other person and creating that meaningful connection. And that if you are going to get working on storytelling, the third element would be is collector arsenal of stories. And and get it ready, all the different kinds of stories, the little snippets, the bigger ones, it doesn't have to be all the deep ones. It just could be like the other day I was walking and saw this tree and it had the mister potato head on it. It was interesting and you just captured that story. You may or may not use it at that moment. You know, or what have you, or you could just get brave and just post it on LinkedIn and, you know, see what happens. Who cares? Mhmm.
And then the next thing then is with your arsenal of stories, is look at every touch point. So it feels like there's a touch point that goes far beyond marketing and sales. So you could look at your online platform what you're doing and tell your credentials in a storytelling way. Talk about yourself on a on LinkedIn and tell your story, client stories, all kinds of other stories post, do all those things. And the sales conversation get beyond the features and facts and talk about the stories of why you do, what you do, and who you help, and make everything come to life there and it sounds like them when you're engaging with your clients, you can use little connecting points if you're working in corporate and you're trying to break and with senior executives, you could, you know, find those connecting points to a lot of listening. If you're at a networking event, you could use the stories. And it seems like when you're on the stage, obviously, that's story is gonna make your presentation stand out. Even if you're doing an expert presentation, storytelling will do that.
And all of this together seems like storytelling is really just an act of human service. You know, rather than it's about me, it's about human service. I'm I'm creating this human connection even though business seems like it's just this left brain rational thing. But it really is about a human service. That's that's kind of like the wrap up of what I heard in the conversation. Is there anything that I missed? Anything substantial. You did not miss anything, Betsy, but I do I have to say I love how you said it's an act of service, a human service because that is what it is. So when we're telling our story, and we're opening up in that way, even if it's just a funny story, we're saying, you know, I'm human. Here's, you know, here's what I do. I'm a person. Your person, let's work together. Right? And so I love that.
I it reminds me of this quote from the she's a branding expert I think out of Australia, her name is Bernadette Gwa, and she also has some very good books on branding. But she said, people don't buy what you do, they buy how it makes them feel. Mhmm. And it's true. Mhmm. Because there's so many competitors for every single thing that's offered Why do why do I do business with why do I get my my my car insurance?
My homeowner's insurance? My banking and everything from USAA. When I know I pay more for insurance through them, I don't care about that because they make me feel important. They make me feel that, like, I matter because when I call, I always talk to a human being. And when there's an issue, they always solve it quickly. And then they follow-up with me. So they make me feel a certain way. Now, I could get those products and services from someone else, some other company for less money. But I'm willing to pay for that feeling. That's what I'm buying. Right? So people and so that especially when we start to go into the the coaching fields and anything like that, where it is so intimate. They are literally buying how your service is going to make them feel. So make them feel immediately, tell your story, connect with them, don't sell them features and benefits and and products and services, sell them a feeling.
So somebody wants to learn about how to tell their story either individually or on the stage. And they wanna work with people like you. Like, can you talk a little bit about speaking your brand, what you personally do in speaking your brand, and what types of opportunities can somebody get from speaking your brand to hone their speaking skills? And their storytelling skills. Yes. Absolutely. And so at speaking of your brand, we love storytelling. So we we work with women who want to tell their story through mostly through speaking, but speaking doesn't have to be on a stage. A lot of our clients do speak on stages, but it could be on podcasts, on your own LinkedIn lives, just crafting narratives for your story on your website, for your content, Maybe you're doing workshops, but all of those things involve storytelling and how to put together your message in a way that's going to resonate your with your audience and spur them to take action.
So we work with women to help them create their signature talks. We do it through the thought leader academy. And so in the thought leader academy, we we help you understand how to define your overall message, your, you know, what is your kinda help you build thought leadership. So what is your thought leadership message? How to how to craft that message into a signature talk? So we will work with you to create your signature talk, then how to pitch yourself to start giving that talk, or where to look for opportunities to do workshops or whatever it is, however you want that message to get across. And then we will, throughout that whole time, work with you on telling your story in a way that is going to not just be, you know, exposing and telling everything about yourself, but in a way that's going to be meaningful for your audience, to cause them to want to take action because that's the goal.
So when we work with clients on their signature talks, it's a lot of times, it's with an effort toward generating leads for their business, but it's not we don't create talks that are sales y -- Mhmm. -- they're storytelling. Now it will hopefully lead your audience to wanna work with you. That's the goal of it. But it's done in a way that is connecting and we use we wrap in layers like storytelling is one of them. Humor, props, cultural references, things that make the audience engage with the content. And and again, that content can become a talk on the stage, could become a TED talk, could also become a TED talk, could also become a TED talk, like, podcast, like, this podcast came from the thought leader academy.
So I went through the thought leader academy. Yes. You did it a couple years ago. Yeah. And my speaker real, if you see it on my website came from going to the retreat. The retreat was behind your brand. So I feel like you're not you're you're you're done tell like, you're telling you you could tell the stories more. Women walk away with a whole different active on their thought leadership. So let's say, for example, so let's use storytelling to talk about the -- Yes. -- slides on the facts and the features. Yeah.
So women go to to the thought leader academy because they're trying to elevate their brand. Yeah. You know, like, that's why I did. It's like, I I need to get beyond where I'm at. Like, I'm sort of at this expert presenter status, and it's like, I wanna move into more of the thought leadership. And I knew this storytelling was not going to be easy for me because I always felt like, oh, you know, in order to tell my story, I gotta get all my crap together. You know? Like, I gotta have my personal life perfect and everybody's got everything's gotta be perfect. And you get into the thought leader academy and you realize, like, what I talked about with on a podcast with Carol. You know, it's just the whole idea of, like, what you think is in your way, you know, is the way. Like, it's your personal story that will set you apart and you really create a safe container where you could explore that. And you can get more confidence. Like, even if it's a one percent baby step towards that particular thing, I'm sorry. I I have I could go on and on a No. It's your brand. But you're you were going into facts and figures and not talking about that. Oh, yeah. You see? See, the Cobbler has no shoes. So yes. No. It's a good point, Betsy.
Because the example that I used earlier for our client, Brenda Reese, she actually started a podcast that she had she had wanted to start a podcast, but then she had the same thing, you know, I can't do it until I do this. And first, I have to do that. No. I need to have this together. I need to have that together. And so she knew that she needed to get her message out there because it it she knew that through podcasting and telling bits and pieces of her story, she could really help people. But she had that resistance. I'll say, if you have any resistance to something you're trying to do like speaking, starting a podcast, that means you need to do And so she knew that that was the case.
So then she came into the thought leader academy and through through being able to feel comfortable telling her story and and sort of working out what her story is and like how to tell it, then she was able to realize, oh, no, I have to start this podcasts. This is how I'm gonna get this message out to more people. It's how I'm going to help other people experience what forgiveness did for me, they can have the same thing. They can have that same outcome and that same feeling through forgiveness because I know they can because I did it. And so that is how she was able to get her message out there. So she started that podcast. And then now she too has a podcast based on understanding what her story was and being able to tell it in a way that doesn't feel it doesn't feel like exposing, it feels like like you said, it's a human service. Right? You're doing a service for other humans to help them have that same outcome. Awesome. Awesome. Okay.
So tell me the address people who are listening who want to check out the thought leader academy. Yes. So you can go to speaking your brand dot com slash academy. And there you can get all the information about it. Of course, if you have questions, feel free. You can feel free to email me if you like diane at speaking your brand dot com. Happy to set up a short Zoom chat.
We can talk about what your goals are with your story, what your goals are with your business, with your message, see if it's a good fit, but speaker brand dot comacademy is a great place to start. So is there anything else that you wanna tell me about? Speaking, storytelling, branding, storytelling and branding, and I just didn't ask you the right question. Well, I don't think you didn't ask me the right questions, but I'll just leave maybe one final thought and that is I often encourage clients to think about what they might be missing helping people with. So how how might not telling their story impact to people they could help? So in other words, I often say, you know, who are you to hold out on people you could help and not give them what they need? Because you have what they need they need to know about it, but you have to tell your story to make that connection with them. Right? So so tell your story and be bold.
Use your voice. I mean, I think that's more important today than ever, especially for women to use your voice. In a powerful way and your story has meaning, it has power, it has resonance, and it's going to make that change happen possibly maybe just for one person, probably for a lot more, but think about the power that your voice would have if it just changed one person's life in whatever way the changes that you had from from what happened in your story. Imagine someone else having that outcome or someone else having a resolution to something that a problem they're trying to solve Imagine if it was just one people person and then magnify that by all the people you could help by telling your story. So you have to use your voice. You have to tell your story. So get out there and tell your story.
So it's, like, start small. Don't expect that you can be Renee Brown and have a TED talk that's gonna get bazillion, you know, downloads and that kind of thing. Start small. Just use your voice because it's about helping other people. Yes. Brene Brown didn't even start out as -- Brene Brown. -- actually try to start somewhere. So just start using your reason, when you start to see the power that it has and the impact that it has, you're going to wanna do more of it. I promise. It's awesome.
Thank you so much, Diane, and I cannot recommend speaking your brand enough. If you're confused about what in the world your brand is all about as a consultant or coach You can definitely talk to me about that. And then we will work together to help because we have a close connection here with speaking your brand is if you wanna take that onto the stage and use it in a more powerful way. So I'm so excited that you are on the show. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much. And for those of you listening, thank you for listening into this enough already podcast, and I will see you next time. Thank you for tuning in. If today's episode lit a fire on you, please rate and review an offer ready on Apple podcasts or subscribe wherever you listen. And if you're looking for your next step, Visit me on my website at Betsy Jordyn dot com, and it's Betsy Jordyn with a y, and you'll learn all about our end to end services that are custom designed to accelerate your success. Don't wait, start today.