So why did you start your business? There are as many reasons as there are people. You, the entrepreneur, are the single most valuable asset to your business. People will love your chocolates because they are “awesome” but they will remember you because of your story.
Each of your products has a story… and that story starts with you… the maker.
A quick story for you.
I make amazing muffins. My blueberry muffins are filled with luscious, sweet-tart berries that have a touch of tartness from buttermilk and a sparkling top from a big crystal sugar topping. Everyone who has ever eaten one of these muffins adores them. I came up with the recipe by adapting a simple muffin recipe I found in an old cookbook in my (seriously out of control) collection. I worked on that recipe every Sunday for two years. You see I was in charge of the coffee ministry at the church and my little bit of specialness was to make them hot and fresh every Sunday. During those years perfecting my recipe, I got feedback from the congregation; I learned exactly how many blueberries to add. Exactly how much sugar topping was needed. I learned to leave out the lemon, because the buttermilk in an of itself was perfect. The folks at my church LOVED them and I know you will too.
So know that you know this story… do you want to try my blueberry muffins? Think about how much more you want to try the muffin now that you know how it came into being. Let’s be honest here, a muffin is a muffin. Its when you build a story around the muffin that you create something that has a chance to be shared, maybe even bragged about!
Take a good hard look at your business and yourself and ask yourself:
1. What makes my product so special?
In other words, what is unique about your product? If you can’t think of anything that makes your product special, it might be time to rethink. Don’t fall into the easy trap of just saying a brownie is a brownie. Its not. Did you raise the goats yourself on a diet of flowers and grass before you made the cheese? Is your bread based on your Nona’s recipe that she brought with her from Sicily? Dig deep and look at the whole evolution of your product. Its special… you know it… now tell us!
2. What makes ME so special?
You are special. Don’t ever forget it… but more importantly, tell your customers what you bring to the table. Did you learn to make guitars as an apprentice? Were you a corporate drone who decided to make a break for it and bake cookies? Are you a self-taught baker who won the local bake-off? Who are you? People want to know.
3. How do I (and my product) make people’s lives better?
Do you make paleo ketchup… thereby saving all paleo foodies from the time and effort of making ketchup and forever saving their sweet potato fries from boredom? Awesome, make sure you highlight that fact.
4. What inspired me to start this business?
A good origin story is always riveting. You were content making your world famous kombucha for yourself for years… why suddenly bottle and sell it? Share that with your customers.
5. How is the sausage made?
Show them your process, tell them about your ingredients, and take them behind the scenes. Just like your origin story has power so does the story of how it’s made.
John Davis, British hairdresser turned Canadian haircare manufacturer has an awesome video on his site where he makes shampoo… and BONUS, explains why they don’t use salt in their products. Telling the story of the product, and reinforcing their story of quality haircare made by them in their plant in Canada. Sure makes me want to use their shampoo instead of the drug store brand in my shower!
Another quick story
When I lived in Chicago years ago, I took a walk and noticed a small chocolate shop was opening on my little route. One Saturday I decided to stop in and check it out. It was a small little humble storefront with chocolate truffles laid out like jewels. The gal started telling me about each of the chocolates. How the chocolate maker learned her craft, how she developed her unique flavors (wasabi, tea, lavender and more!) I had never seen anything like it and I was in love. Fast-forward ten years and I start seeing bars with her logo on them at my local Whole Foods and the next thing I know I drag my boss into the airport shop so she can try them. More than 10 years later, I am still an evangelist for Vosage Chocolates (It helps that they are delicious!)…
That’s the power of your story. Let people see you. Tell them what you are about. They will repay you with loyalty, love and product sales!