Tired of Repeating Yourself?

There are days when I wish I had a science-y, futuristic hologram of myself programmed to repeat those most common phrases to come out of my mouth. Honestly, this happens more in parenting than in business (i.e. "Pick up your dirty socks!" "Take your dishes to the sink!" Bring your bike in from the driveway for the love of ...."). It would save me so much time and energy. And the same can be true for you in business. We're not talking about holograms though. Just video and using it to save your breath. Two ways to do that are with Signature Stories and FAQ videos.

#1 telling your Signature story

Not long ago I listened to barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln share her entrepreneurial story with a room full of people in Portland's start-up community. As she wove her commune-like upbringing into a captivating tale of the birth of her mind-body business, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "I bet she tells this story a lot." You probably have one too. Whether it's how you got started, the cautionary real-world story of a client that we all can learn from, or an analogy that really resonates, Signature Stories can take on a life of their own. Just think about Steve Jobs and his garage.

Steve Jobs in the Los Altos, CA garage where he founded Apple.

Steve Jobs in the Los Altos, CA garage where he founded Apple.


Everyone knows his wildly successful business (yes, I'm writing this blog on a Mac) began when he was tinkering with friends in his family's garage. Telling your own stories can make you or your company seem personable. Even if they don't involve a garage. And when you create a video out of your Signature Story, you not only capture it in a way that can be spread digitally instead of just through word of mouth, you don't have to repeat yourself as often since people can just hit play. Jesse Scroggins had a story about a puzzle and a first date that we call his Signature Story. Watch and you'll see why:

#2 answering those frequently asked questions

The longer you're in business, the better you get at crafting your standard responses to those most-asked questions. The whole reason FAQs exist on many websites is to save you the trouble of answering and answering and answering the same questions again and again and ... well, you get the picture. Creating content that answers your clients' or customers' questions saves your energy for more productive work. At The Meakem Group, Traci Richmond, CFP® found herself going over the same Estate Planning basics with client after client. Instead of getting frustrated, she got busy making a video that would cover the most important things her clients needed to know. If you don't have your Estate Plan in order, just watch Traci's tips:

How do you make your story come to life?

Recording your Signature Story or FAQ answers is one thing, but making that video visually interesting is another. That's why we sometimes lean on the motion graphics animation skills of Ben Ausmith. He's our secret weapon when we get backed into a video corner. When we asked him why he thought telling your story was so valuable, he told us:

"Thanks to social media, small businesses can have a life that they've never had before. Instead of just a brand, it's also a face, a story, and a voice. We've all heard the phrase 'connect with your customers,' but with social media, it's actually possible."

If you're going to connect, you need to keep your viewers' priorities in mind and make sure you aren't boring them to death. That was never a problem for John Olson of TeSoAria Winery, who frequently has a rapt audience of 20 or 30 wine tasters hanging on his every word. One of John's Signature Stories is about Bull's Blood -- a wine with a fascinating history. Ben helped bring the Bull's Blood story to life with animation. He says he wanted it to have a unique look, something organic, and evolving. That's why he used growing lines and a dabbled watercolor look to bring it to life. Your own Signature Story might not be as dramatic as Bull's Blood, but it will definitely get you thinking about the possibility of using video to tell your story. Be warned though, watching it might just make you thirsty.