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Stories go viral. That's because they matter.

The best content on the internet is based on stories.

Whether it’s the tale of the hard-luck restaurant server whose life is changed by the kindness of one patron’s incredibly generous tip, or the unexpected reunion of a military family, or a plea widely shared to help a struggling parent with their medical expenses - these are the stories that stick with us.

They stick with us because we find a way to connect with them emotionally, even when that story is about a complete stranger that we may never meet. We see pieces of ourselves or our loved ones in someone else’s story, and it resonates with us. We share them, and we remember them.

Over the past week I’ve managed to connect with over 10,000 people - most of whom I’ve most certainly never met.

A few weeks ago I reached out to a local photographer that I knew through business networking and asked if she would be willing to take my headshots. I felt comfortable with her work, and we arranged for a half-hour session.

I told her that I wanted my headshots to tell my story. I had taken several professional headshots in the past, but always as a lawyer in a full suit and tie. They worked well for the purposes of my legal practice, but that’s not who I am anymore, and no longer how I want to present myself in my business.

I received the final edited photos last Friday and was overjoyed. Elaine took the time to really capture my story through those images. I wanted to appear professional of course, but still warm and approachable. You can see my energy in my smile, and I truly believe she was able to capture me as I see myself.

I shared the photos to my social media naturally, but I also shared a line or two of my story, about how I no longer saw myself as a practising lawyer and I wanted my photos to reflect that.

While I figured I may hear a few kind remarks from friends, I did NOT expect the reaction that started coming in. I noticed that my post, which I initially thought would only reach a small circle, soon had over a thousand views. Then 2,000, then 5,000, then thousands more. As I write this that post had over 10,000 views, as well as comments from friends and strangers alike, and reached the top 1% of views on LinkedIn.

While the numbers are humbling, I quickly asked myself how why this happened.

It happened because stories matter. I only shared a small piece of mine, and clearly it resonated with people well beyond my immediate sphere of influence. Humans of New York (a leading social media publisher) receives millions of views on each of their posts simply sharing the life stories of ordinary people. We see ourselves in stories, and we connect with them.

Every business has a story to tell. Sometimes it’s the story of the owner and their ‘why’, or sometimes it’s the story of the product, but there is always a story there that is worth sharing. Those are the stories that stick with readers, whether new or existing clients, because they resonate. We form connections through stories, and those connections are the foundation of the most important business relationships.

People want to connect with others as part of our human nature, especially now after a year of lockdowns. Let them connect with your business simply through sharing your story.

If you’re not sure what your story is or how to tell it, I can help. I tell stories for a living. Now enough about mine, reach out and let’s discuss how we can best tell yours.

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