Claire Winter sold her magazine business and started working as a copywriter. She soon realized that she should be teaching business owners to write their own copy and content, which she now does from the comfort of her home office, or ‘shedquarters’ in her back garden.
A favorite topic for us both, Claire and I discuss the massive need for people to share more of their own stories, the inverse problem of oversharing, a simple test for knowing when to share or not, and a tip for finding your ‘lightbulb moment’ – often the most important story in your stack.
Episode 13 of Dreamchasers | Dreamchasers is the interview series for people who want human marketing on a zero budget. I’m your host, Dominic de Souza. Listen in for tips and insights, for 15 minutes a week. It’s the dreamers who make the future. Chase yours.
Meet Claire Winter
- Start with Why – by Simon Synek
Summary & Notes
60% of all conversations that we have involve a story. It’s been around for millions of years. Stories engage people far better than data.
Because of Claire’s journalism background, her newsroom experience was all about finding the hook, the essence of a story.
Today, she teaches people to storytell with their content. She used to own and edit a magazine, and would help a lot of online business with their copy and content, from cupcake stories to bigger attractions.
At first she was copywriting, but there’s a massive need for coaches and consultants who want to to be the voice of their business. She enables them to tell their business story, and find the right platform for themselves. Many create content for content’s sake. They forget that content should be inviting people to take a next step.
A lot of people are scared to put their heads up, to stand for a belief, to own their personality.
They struggle with visibility through blogging and video. A lot of the people she’s worked with used to run marketing departments, or been a part of larger corporate teams. They never had to do it for themselves.
Now suddenly they have to discover their magic, their unique selling points, and they don’t know how. They’re used to outsourcing that to others. Now they have to make it work for themselves.
On the flip side, there’s a problem with oversharing, and ‘engagement bait’. We should be sharing our scars, not the scabs. Things that are learned lessons, and done, talk about them – especially if it relates to your business. Don’t share everything you’re going through, just for the ‘vulnerability’ value. If it feels ‘icky’, don’t share it.
While there is value is sharing the human content, see if it stands up to the ‘So what’ test. Content marketing is not about us, but about our readers. If the story you’re telling isn’t being sharing in a language they use, and pain points they have, so what? It may be great for a campfire, but not for a brand blog.
There’s a difference between informal, communal storytelling, and what is told at a trade show or on your blog. People should always get a clear sense of the value from a story, a clear message.
- Is it clear what I’m offering?
- Is it easy for people to get it?
As simple as they may be, these answers are frequently missed on average websites.
She was working with a corporate coach around whitelabelling blogs. She was offered a position as a fulltime marketing manager, and realised that everything she was doing wasn’t fullfilling.
She realised she should be training and inspiring other people. That was her moment to start helping solopreneurs and coaches and consultants to start writing their copy.
Today, she runs a business where she can coach groups through her courses, all from her Shedquarters in the back garden. Her commute is 100 meters long, and for her, it’s her ‘why’; drinking hot chocolate with her girls after school.
Selling with stories is a fun way to share what you love about the world, and what you’re good at.
Her background in journalism has enabled her to quickly identify the story and help them see the headlines. So many of us can’t see our own story, and the inherent power. Everyone has a unique skillset, and things that they like doing.
She likes to look for the ‘lightbulb moment’, when they realized a change was needed, and their lives shifted from one role to another.
One Actionable Insight
Ask yourself what lights you up, and what gets you up in the morning. Talk about that.
When you have that moment, you usually don’t look back.
And don’t be afraid to share it, or yourself. Show the face behind the business. Give people a reason to pick you over someone else.
We like to work with specific kinds of people. Stories help us share who we are fastest.
This sentence in particular has me fascinated: “A lot of people are scared to put their heads up, to stand for a belief, to own their personality.” It’s sad how many of us miss out on the magic that we can bring to our work, when we bring who we are to the table. Right?