As a professional speaker and storyteller, Linda Lord talks for a living. As with any service based company, describing what she does, exactly, has been a challenge for the entrepreneur now in her 16th year of business. “I bring hope to people so they are better able to handle life’s circumstances.” It is one of those businesses that just saying, “once upon a time there was a woman who could tell a good story and therefore started a business,” isn’t enough. It would make Michael Gerber cringe, but Lord has found a way to make Once Upon a Time enough.
“I have been very fortunate that clients have referred me to others. I tried advertising once a long time ago, but saw zero return for my investment. What I do is create a personal experience, so the best marketing tool I have are those I have helped, telling others. Stories bond people in a special way. Each workshop or speaking engagement allows me to create a safe community where we explore what it means to be human.”
Lord continues, “Like any other business, I solve problems. From the platform I provide a learning experience that supports individuals in their personal growth. I used to call myself a human agriculturalist and storytiller, which was clever enough, but I still had to explain what I do. Clever branding and creative wordsmithing may make great copy, but if people don’t know when to call you, then I believe I have still failed in getting the message out. It is my task to connect the words and the message to create hope for the future. ”
As a storyteller, Lord knows how important it is to choose the right words to deliver messages. As a business owner, she knows that stories can also bring businesses to life and create community between staff and clients.
Lord provides a few tips for those who want to incorporate stories into their marketing message:
1. Listen to your staff and clients’ experiences with the intention of providing support and assistance.
2. Know very clearly the benefit you bring and be able to express that to your clients.
3. Be willing to experiment with the stories you tell until you find one that personally connects you with your potential clients.
4. Remember how powerful stories were to us as children and recognize that same power is available to us as adults in business.