Storytelling 101: Who Are You?

Nov 2014

Storytelling 101: Who Are You?“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,
Lewis Carroll

Imagine you’re at a networking event, and — Hey, where are you going? Come back, please? We won’t stay long, promise!

OK, so you’re at this networking event when someone you’ve never seen walks up to you and asks, “Who are you?”

Like Alice, you may think this an unorthodox opening for a conversation, but you politely respond with your carefully prepared elevator speech.

Then she leans in and says, “No, I mean, who are you … really?”

You think “Ummm, okay, this is weird …” but then you check the person’s name tag and notice she works for a company you’d kill to have as a client. So you keep the game going, telling her a bit about your background and what you do for your current company.

She nods slowly. “Better,” she acknowledges, “but I want to know who you really are.”

You resist the urge to call security and take a deep breath, ready to give it another go …

Aaaand, scene.

Now, granted, in real life this conversation would be off the charts on the Creep-O-Meter … but it’s actually taking place just under the surface every single day, with the role of your inquisitive conversation partner being played by your potential customers.

Simple Question, Tough Answer

Who Are You?Here’s the deal: In today’s marketplace, customers don’t just want to see a slick image and a catchy tagline — they want to know who you are before they even consider doing business with you. And much like our eager friend in the example above, they won’t be satisfied with your glib, rehearsed, PR-committee-approved answers.

So how do we even start to think about answering this question “Who are you … really?”

We tell stories.

Think about the people in your life whom you know really, really well. What is it that makes you say you know them? Knowing their stories.

Copy Tells, Story Sells

So, how do we start telling the stories that honestly answer the question “Who are you?”

I’ll give you a couple of ideas to start with, with one word of admonition: Remember that you’re creating stories to connect, not to paint some slick picture of They Who Can Do No Wrong. Keep it real, keep it honest, keep it human.

Tell the Origins of Your Company

Tell the story of how your company was founded, from the very first notion up to the day it opened its doors. Who were the players involved? What obstacles arose along the way, and how did the founder(s) work through them? What was that first office/store/location like? Was it a suburban retail space, a tiny downtown office, or a dining room table?

When you tell the story of your company’s origins, especially the struggles and pitfalls, you put a human face on your brand, one that your audience can truly relate to.

Tell the Story of Your Product or Service

How did the idea for your main product or service come about? Nike’s founder, Bill Bowerman, was a track and field coach whose athletes needed shoes with better grip but were still lightweight, so he tried pouring rubber into his wife’s waffle iron … and the rest is history. What story can you tell?

When your audience knows the story behind your product or service, they get a deeper understanding of its value and the passion behind it.

OK, your turn: How has storytelling enabled you to create deeper relationships with your potential customers? Tell us THAT story in the comments — we’d love to hear from you!

Ready to Learn More About Storytelling?

Storytelling 101Save the date! On Wednesday, November 19 at 12 pm CST, you’re invited our next free VIP Webinar, Storytelling 101: Tell Your Story, Grow Your Profits.

You’ll learn why storytelling is the secret to cutting through the noise in today’s marketplace; the 5 keys to creating an engaging, impactful story; and how to use your story to build long-term relationships that lead to business.

Save the date and stay tuned for details!

Sign up for the Resonance Marketing Tip of the Week EmailGet Content Marketing Tips Delivered to Your Inbox

Each Friday, we deliver a simple but impactful tip to boost your content marketing mojo.

About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content MarketingA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.

content_marketing_50 BizSugar KredFeatured Author on Business 2 Community


  1. […] Part of that story is to explain who exactly you are. Here, Rachel Parker shares some methods for telling your story effectively. And BizSugar members talk more about the post […]

  2. […] Part of that story is to explain who exactly you are. Here, Rachel Parker shares some methods for telling your story effectively. And BizSugar members talk more about the post […]

  3. […] Part of that story is to explain who exactly you are. Here, Rachel Parker shares some methods for telling your story effectively. And BizSugar members talk more about the post […]

  4. […] Part of that story is to explain who exactly you are. Here, Rachel Parker shares some methods for telling your story effectively. And BizSugar members talk more about the post […]

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.


  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.


  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • Produced ROI Result needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

Free Tips
learn more...