We've all gotta have it--that obligatory website bio, the "About Me" page. It's got to be impressive but not obnoxious, engaging but not awkward, thorough but not lengthy. How do you accomplish all that in two or three paragraphs?
Tell your story of course! But in a particular way.
I'm going to let you in on a BIG story secret. It's a certain way of organizing a story that can actually change the brain chemistry of your listeners, triggering an emotional response in your audience that leaves them feeling emotionally connected to you!
What is this magic formula? It's the deceptively simple, all-powerful narrative arc.
You're already familiar with this story structure from novels and movies. Think of how most fictional plots unfold. Often there's a little surge of excitement at first, like the action sequence before the opening credits of a James Bond movie. But then things level out for a bit as you meet the main characters, get a feel for their world (the setting), and find out what big challenge they must overcome. Because there's ALWAYS a challenge. Conflict is the heart of a riveting story. You know. . . David vs. Goliath. The Titanic vs. the iceberg. Star Fleet vs. the Borg.
As our heroic characters set out to meet their challenge, they encounter a series of obstacles before finally facing the ultimate trial. This is the crisis or tipping point of the story where everything's at stake, that part of the movie where it looks like James Bond is doomed for sure. Amazingly, however, 007 always manages to find a solution to his dilemma, the dramatic tension quickly ebbs, and our handsome spy returns in style to his posh, playboy lifestyle.
You can use this same structure to make your own story memorable and effective in connecting with your perfect prospects!
Think of the narrative arc as a bell curve or a roller coaster hill. First comes rising action, and then the tipping point, followed by falling action. Listeners who climb aboard this story coaster first experience a boost in cortisol, the stress hormone, as the tension escalates. At the tipping point, however, cortisol is replaced by a rise in oxytocin, the BONDING hormone, as listeners empathize with the story's main character in his or her hour of crisis. From there, it's a warm and fuzzy whoosh down the hill toward the resolution or ending.
Wouldn't you love to create that sort of emotional connection with your perfect prospects, enabling them to feel they know you, like you, and trust you--enough to buy?
You can! Here's how to use the narrative arc to tell your own story, in your About Me page, or any other marketing materials, including your speak-to-sell talk.
Start by pinpointing the life experiences that led you to develop the solution which is now your offer. Usually, you'll find a series of incidents led to a single decisive experience--your personal tipping point. Maybe it was a crisis, a problem or loss you had to weather. Maybe it was another person's crisis that affected you. Perhaps a loved one encountered some difficult situation that you determined to ease, for instance.
Another way of identifying your tipping point is thinking back to a time when something blew up in the path you were traveling, forcing you to blaze a new trail, either through or around the crisis. Along the way, you learned something or discovered something or invented something that now you want to share with others through your business.
What comes to mind as you think through these questions?
Whatever your tipping point was, think of two or three additional incidents that led up to that crisis, and two or three steps that flowed from it, that is, the steps you took to arrive at your solution to the problem. That's a narrative arc. Add a pithy intro sentence and a clever conclusion, and you'll have a complete "About Me" bio!
Keep in mind, it's always harder to pinpoint our own stories than someone else's. If you're coming up empty, you can try asking a friend for help. Or sign up below for a complimentary, hour-long Story Strategy Session, and we'll talk about working together to create a professional signature story you can use throughout your marketing and positioning materials to build trust, boost sales, and change the world!