I read an article today titled, How to Find the ‘Goosebumps’ Moment in Your Startup Story, by Brian Keplesky of Entrepreneur.com. The article hit home with me as my company Virable is a start up and I believe I have a ‘Goosebumps’ story worthy of sharing.
You see in my daily life as a web developer and marketing consultant I have seen an increasing number of business owners and individuals struggling to maintain a standard of living commensurate with the hours and energy they pour into their businesses. This economic cycle we are in, you can call it what you want, has affected everyone. From rising costs to weaker consumer markets retailers and wholesalers nationwide are competing more to reap less.
In short, that’s what I saw. People struggling, people trying to figure out how to get ahead of this elusive curve that seemingly never straightens out to reveal the daylight ahead. And for many people, if not most, when it comes to getting ahead of the social media curve it is simply too daunting a task to surmount. So I decided to do something about it.
I set out to create a content-driven social media marketing platform so affordable that anyone looking to gain a foothold in this social media frenzy could afford it. After some months in formulation, I knew I had a winner. I knew I had something so valuable that it would be irresponsible of me to forgo putting it to market. And here’s where the Goosebumps come in. You see I was one of those struggling people. When the financial crisis hit in 2007 circumstances in my life caused me to lose everything I had worked for, financially speaking. Five years later, I am thriving again.
I would never wish upon anyone the financial challenges I faced. I would however wish the lessons I learned to be known by everyone. You see life comes down to a few pivotal events, a few hard knocks, a few victories, and a few realizations. So after I took a few financial dingers on the head, I realized this. I have a lovely wife, a beautiful four year old daughter, a wonderful twenty year old son, and an abundance of love within and surrounding me that makes me the richest man alive. There is no amount of money that I would trade for love. So my advice to you is to pick up that phone and call your wife, or your mother or father, or go home and spend an extra half hour shooting hoops with your son because love can get you through anything.
And with that in my heart I wanted to help other people, help themselves. So Virable was born.
I don’t know if that qualifies as a ‘Goosebumps’ moment, but it’s my story and it gets me through every day.
The words below are from an Entrepreneur article by Brian Keplesky. They were the inspiration for this article. Brian wrote:
1. Speak from the heart. It’s OK to get personal. Look deep down, and figure out why you are doing what you are doing. And then share your answer with other people. Most people will want to see you succeed. An authentic level of honesty about yourself and your company can go a long way.
2. Evoke emotion. This step is about making an emotional connection with someone else. Make ample use of personal anecdotes, video, photography or other imagery to help drive home your story.
3. Be receptive to feedback. Graft calls this “Avoiding Ugly Babies.” Basically, everyone who has a baby thinks his or her baby is the most beautiful baby in the world when common opinion can be quite different. Avoid the trap of believing that your story is already great. Peer feedback from people who are not as close to your brand is the easiest way to hone your story and give it greater impact.
4. Find your champions. These are people who feel empowered to share your message with others, to weave their own stories into your content. If your brand narrative can start with your own story and finish with someone turning it into their own story and passing it on, then you have all the proof you need to know you’ve answered the question, “Why should I care?”
Want some more food for thought? Lyn Graft recommends these sites as great storytelling resources:
What about you? Has your story found its own “Goosebump moment” yet?