In this week’s post, I’m excited to be joined by Erin Trafford, a digital story strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find and tell their stories in a way that feels good and grows their bottom line.
Erinis an award-winning journalist, blogger, consultant and strategist — and she’s also based in Nova Scotia, Canada like me!. She’s the owner of Trafford Inc., which has two arms: ErinTrafford.com, a coaching and consulting company; and Story Studio Network, Canada’s first audio-on-demand talk show network.
Erin has worked with dozens of brands across North America to create and develop content and influencer marketing campaigns. She now fuels her joy and passion by working with new, emerging and seasoned digital entrepreneurs to unleash their stories and the power in their content.
In this post, I interview Erin about her journey with storytelling, how she helps her clients become comfortable to share their own stories, and how you can weave digital storytelling into your copy and content.
Erin’s journey and specialization in digital storytelling
For many years, Erin considered herself to be a content strategist. She focused on helping her clients by giving them tools and resources that would improve their content within their businesses.
After doing this for a number of years, Erin realized that there was a common challenge that her clients kept having that kept them from having true success: they were afraid to talk about their story.
She saw that the clients who would go there and touch on their personal stories in their content were the ones who saw massive transformations and faster growth.
Erin realized that the act of talking about and committing to sharing a personal story is really what makes content flow and draw people in. She had been a storyteller for most of her professional career, but it took her time to finally figure out that this was her secret sauce and expertise.
The role storytelling plays in business
When so much of the online business world is about the customer, the client, and the audience, I wanted to know how we can become more comfortable sharing our stories and centering ourselves in our business. I asked Erin how we can start making that shift as business owners.
Erin believes that content should always be about putting your audience first; however, putting your audience first means showing up as the truest version of yourself.
To put your audience first, it’s important that you feel safe, free and comfortable. Once you can do that, you’ll start to garner your audience’s trust. And, by showing up consistently and authentically, you’ll become a magnetic connector for the people who want to be closer to you.
Making this shift as business owners can be a very uncomfortable process. This is why it’s so important to practice.
Erin believes that this can be even more challenging to women, because we can have a lot to unpack in order to work through our fears. It’s all about working through your fears so you can show up in a vulnerable way. Sometimes the best way to do that is by taking the leap and trusting the net will appear.
Your story is worth telling
I then asked Erin what she would say to someone who feels that they “don’t have a story”, or who tells themself that “there’s nothing interesting in my story that’s worth sharing.” So often, people don’t feel like they have any stories to share that would make an impact on their audience. This can be such a big hang up for people.
In Erin’s business, when working with clients, she likes to uncover the questions that come up after a client admits they feel this way. Erin will work with her clients to find out why they feel that they have nothing to share and then address that.
Erin’s mantra in life is to tell the truth and never be boring. She believes that as long as you tell your truth, you won’t be boring to your audience. When you can access that level of vulnerability, you will naturally foster emotional connections.
This doesn’t mean that your story has to be some long, intense time in your life, either. Some of the most powerful stories are short stories.
The role storytelling plays in business
I was also curious about Erin’s insight into the role storytelling plays in business, specifically for us solopreneurs or small businesses. How can we use it in our businesses?
Erin helps her clients find the stories that will make an impact on their audience. One of the most important parts of this process is making the connection between the story and the business.
When you commit to touching your story and sharing it consistently throughout the content you create, you do it for two main reasons:
- You do it because it’s an act of personal growth and because you owe it to yourself to tell your story. When you come from this place, your business will feel the impacts and more success will come to you.
- You also do it because some stories act as a mirror for your audience. Humans don’t like to feel isolated, and since we all look for validation, we look to other people that share similar experiences. Stories are designed to create emotional experiences in our brains. So, the audience actually has neurological responses when they experience another person’s story. When this happens, that thought forms an emotion and that emotion will drive a connection — and, often, a sale.
When we tell stories that create emotions across the spectrum, we have so many more opportunities to connect with people. When this happens, you can connect and start to invite people into your space and then use that to make sales.
All of this can also relate to email marketing. Storytelling is so crucial for email marketing to be impactful. Erin makes sure she keeps her emails real and raw, and those emails are the ones that get the most responses and highest open rates.
Sitting down and starting with emotion helps to bring out stories that people can resonate with and that people will want to read. Storytelling is absolutely critical to drawing the audience in and then you can tie it into the email’s objective.
Are you ready to uncover your story?
To wrap up our conversation, Erin shared her top tips for uncovering your story as an entrepreneur.
If you’re someone who wants to get into storytelling and use it for your business there are so many things you can do. Erin has created a really amazing new subscription program called Stories for a year. This subscription gives you monthly content plans with stories that are meant to create an emotional response from your audience. Each one has a prompt that talks about the why and how to use it effectively for your business.
This program also gives blog posts, podcasts, videos, and social media plans. There is also the weekly plan option that has helped Erin’s clients be more committed and has helped create more momentum in their business. Each plan is about twelve pages long and there are also really amazing bonus workshops that will help you with posting content. This program packs so much information in and is so helpful to any business owner that wants to improve their business through telling stories that will help them connect with their audience on a deeper level.
Digital Storytelling: What Is It and How Can You Use It in Your Copywriting? with Erin Trafford: The Bottomline
If you want to create deeper connections with your audience, storytelling is one of the most effective ways to do it! It’s important to remember that putting your audience first means showing up as the truest version of yourself.
Thank you for reading!
If you love what you learned, be sure to connect with me over on Instagram and share your biggest takeaways. I’d love to hear from you! See you back here in the next post — and remember, I’m rooting for you, always.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can share your stories with your audience to help improve your business be sure to check out Erin’s program, Stories for a year. This training can help you learn how to effectively connect with your audience and how to create content based on stories that will resonate with your audience.
Connect with Erin:
- Website: www.erintrafford.com
- Stories for a year program
- INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/its.erintrafford/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erintrafford/
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This blog post contains affiliate links.
Meet the Host
Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.
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