Scroll social media for even a minute and you’ll quickly notice a theme.
From your high school friend sharing their latest experience at the grocery store to your old co-worker sharing a funny moment that happened with their child, social media is filled with stories.
And for good reason – stories connect.
This isn’t a new phenomenon since social media became so pervasive in our society, though. For thousands of years, storytelling has been a powerful form of communication, as stories were shared around fires from one generation to the next.
Back then, stories preserved history and culture.
But they were also a way to bond with others. And that’s the common thread with stories today.
I mean, haven’t you ever been filled with emotion when watching a video on social media (of a stranger, no less) when they overcame an obstacle, shared their heartache, or vented about their experience with a local business?
Surely I’m not the only one who chokes up watching soldiers surprise their children at their school’s pep rally, or brides on their wedding day dancing with their brother because their dad passed away.
Stories are powerful.
But what does this mean for sleep consultants?
I’m so glad you asked.
How Stories Can Impact Your Sleep Consulting Business
Last month, I sat down to create content for my sleep consulting business. But I felt stuck.
I felt like I had nothing new to share, nor did I have much time before my daughter woke up from her nap and my precious work time would vanish.
So I created content around things I already had. I shared tips about loveys. Navigating nap transitions. Using white noise.
You know, the usual.
I was creating content for the sake of creating, plain and simple.
While sharing tips can absolutely help reach your ideal client or serve your existing clients, your content marketing doesn’t have to be a “Tip Distributor,” solely dishing out sleep tips. Not only can that be overwhelming for your audience, but it can also attract only people seeking free tips.
And not to be too blunt, but sharing just tips can be…boring for your audience.
Can you imagine a clothing boutique only sharing tips about how to style clothes? Or a restaurant only sharing tips about dining out?
If we were following those accounts, we’d lose interest.
Yes, tips are great! But we also want to hear about the visit to New York where they explored the latest trends in fashion – not just how to tuck your shirt into your jeans.
Let me be clear: Sharing sleep tips is absolutely an amazing content pillar for your business. I’m not saying to ditch the tips.
But I am saying to broaden what you’re sharing.
And that’s where stories come in.
How to Share Stories in Your Sleep Consulting Business
Okay, so we know that stories can help your audience connect with you and add variety and interest into your content. But how do you actually share stories in your business?
Or rather, what types of stories should you share?
My answer: Any and all stories.
For example, you could share the story of a recent family you worked with. Paint the picture for your audience and tell the story from start to finish. What was sleep like for the family before working with you? What did you help them accomplish? How is sleep now?
By sharing your client’s stories, you’re helping your ideal audience see themselves in that same scenario. They’ll start to imagine, “If she could do that for them, surely she can help us!”
You can also share your personal stories that have nothing to do with sleep and then tie it into how it relates to your ideal client.
For example, let’s take a story from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Since this is a long piece of content, I’d save this for an email or even a live video.
The theme: One in a Melon (Watermelon, of course). I went all out. Mind you, this was before the watermelon craze that hit the stores. Literally the only watermelon item I could find was a $3 watermelon cup at Party City.
I stayed up all night getting the house ready. I hung pink and green streamers. I made a balloon garland with watermelon-colored balloons. I made a tassel to hang on the fireplace with watermelon colors. I even added black seeds onto said tassels to really sell the watermelon theme.
I made a huge #1 sign that I painted to look like a watermelon. And let’s not forget the Mickey Mouse pinata that I repainted to look like a watermelon.
So of course, for her cake, it had to be decorated like a watermelon. But no way was I handling that. Luckily, I found a grocery store that could. It was so cute – a round cake with pink/red frosting all around and black seeds on top.
The day before the party, my husband went to pick it up. And when they asked him if he’d like to add anything to the top, he said to write “Happy Birthday.”
What I didn’t know (this WAS my first rodeo) was that…that was a mistake. We put the cake in the fridge and the next morning, all of the lettering had started to bleed because of condensation.
It looked like the tattoo I got from an unknown tattoo parlor when I was 19 (but that’s a story for another time).
I was stressed, worried I had ruined my daughter’s first birthday party, and thought my family would think I was incompetent (okay, exaggerating just a tad here). But I was very anxious about it.
Luckily, my mom stepped in with a toothpick and cleaned up the lettering. Something seemingly simple, but I was too deep in the trenches to be able to find that solution myself.
When it comes to your child’s sleep, the same can be said. You’ve likely stayed up all night doing all the prep work (reading the blogs, following the accounts, saving all the awake window charts you find online). You’ve let it consume you because you just want things to be perfect.
But when you’re deep in the trenches, it can be hard to identify what exactly needs to change. Maybe a recent trip got your little one’s schedule off track. Or maybe some sickness meant you let them sleep in bed with you.
Can I tell you a secret?
Nothing – not even an imperfectly lettered cake – is unsalvageable.
Luckily, I’m here to step in (just like my mom did for me) and show you solutions to your child’s sleep struggles. Together, we can ensure everyone has the sleep they’ve always dreamed of.
So there you have it. A story about a ruined cake and how it relates to a journey your ideal client is on.
You can take any story (literally) and tie it back to how you serve clients or why they should work with you.
How to Structure Stories in Your Sleep Consulting Content
Obviously, my cake story was a bit long, so I wouldn’t necessarily post that whole thing to social media – although I could break it down into a smaller story or multiple posts. But longer stories make great emails, blogs, podcasts, or even live video topics.
And when you have shorter stories (or when you’re sharing a client story), you can incorporate those into social media content.
Not only are you sharing a little about how you can help your ideal client, but you’re letting them get to know you, which is a huge component of whether they will trust you enough to buy from you.
So now that you have an idea of what stories related to sleep can look like, how do you actually structure one?
I’ll make this a piece of cake (get it?):
Start with your story
Just like your English teacher used to say, start in the middle of action. You don’t need to build too much background information into the story. Taking it back to my cake story example, I started with the theme and how I wanted to go all out (I didn’t start with the back and forth my husband and I had about what theme it should be, or whether my one-year-old even needed a party).
Relate it back to your ideal client
How does your story relate to your ideal client? Tired families don’t care about cake lettering.
But they can relate to the feeling of stress I had. Just as I stayed up hours trying to make everything perfect, they’ve also lost sleep trying to solve their child’s sleep problems. Just as I felt like I was in the trenches and overwhelmed, they do too…in a different situation.
Remember, stories connect people and can evoke emotion. So even if your story doesn't relate directly to sleep, the emotions from your story are relatable.
Share the solution
You’ve shared your story. You’ve related it back to your ideal client. Now, you share the solution (aka - YOU!).
You can do this very straightforward: If you want to see the same results as the Smith family, book a discovery call with me today!
Or you can do it in a roundabout way, related back to your story: Luckily, I’m here to step in (just like my mom did for me) and show you solutions to your child’s sleep struggles.
Regardless, you want the last “taste” of your story to be that you can help your client reach their goals.
And don’t forget your call to action! Be very specific with what action you want your audience to take (book a call, fill out this form, send me a DM, drop a cake emoji in the comments).
Although stories live in every one of us, I know not everyone feels like they are a storyteller. Or maybe you just know systems are more your thing and you’d rather focus your time on that.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever share stories.
Maybe that just means you need to hire out your storytelling, like I hired out my cake baking.
And luckily, the team at Market St. Creative can help you communicate your story. Whether that’s through email, blogging, social media, your web copy, your website design, or taking things off your plate so that you DO have time to create your content, we’re here to help.
All you have to do is click this link to get started.