There is a trend towards the use of storytelling in business – and it’s easy to see why. People love a good story.

Consider your favourite book, film, play, opera, cartoon, comic or musical. They all tell you a memorable tale that has you gripped from beginning to end.What’s Your Story?

Humans are hard-wired for story so it’s no surprise to see a business taking advantage of that.

It can be used in networking, presentations, speeches, blogs, videos, emails and sales campaigns.

When we talk about ‘story’ it’s something different to what you’d share with friends over dinner, or in a bar or café. And it’s about more than your ‘back story’ of how you got to where you are now (although that is one element of it).

A storyteller friend suggests you can break down your whole business story into sections, like chapters in a book. One way to do that is this.

The Story of You

This covers different aspects of you, your business, and your goals.

Here is where you can talk about your vision and mission. For example, I am on a mission to help many, many more VA’s become superheroes to their clients.

You can set out your values and the principles you apply in your dealings with others, in life as well as business. This could form part of your content marketing strategy.

I might talk about integrity, honesty, drive, quality, and family, for example. These are some of the things that are important to me.

The Story of You also includes your ‘why’ and your back story. How did you get to where you are today? How has it shaped you? Why is that relevant to what you are doing? Why do you do what you do?

When you are providing services, especially one to one, people want to know something about you. They want to get a sense of who you are and feel they can trust you to do the job or provide the solution for them.

What is your story?

How did you become a VA? Are you just starting out or well-established? What is your approach to life and business?

The Story of Your Client or Buyer

This is all about your market and your audience. Who is your ideal client or prospect?

What’s Your Story?This is the ‘chapter’ where you give thought to avatars, personas or profiles. How in-depth you go is up to you.

It can cover things like gender, marital status, family, profession, role, religion, location and income level; what social media platforms they use, and what magazines or newspapers they read; where they go networking; what films or TV they like.

More importantly, avatars or personas look at the challenges, problems and issues your ideal prospect has. What that means for their business and life right now. And how they might express that in their own language.

This profile can also explore how the person might view your market, industry or profession. Perceptions of the world are very much part of the composition of this characterisation of your ideal client.

You may, of course, have more than one ideal type of client. That’s quite common. You create personas for each type – and adjust your marketing story accordingly.

Or you might work in a specific niche. I focus on working with VA’s. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some corporate clients or executive assistants, PAs or other administrators. It simply means I have a clear idea of who I am most looking to help.

Who is your ideal client? Are you serving a niche? Have you given this any thought?

The Story of Your Services

When you boil it down, a business provides a service, a product or both. In the online world, the distinction can get blurred.

For example, an online training course is a product yet it also provides a service. Services can be packaged a bit like a product.

List the services you provide.

Do you manage a leader’s diary? Do you write or type up reports, papers or meeting minutes? Do you put together PowerPoint presentations? Do you handle emails and other communications? Do you create lead magnets, guides or eBooks? Do you manage social media channels?

Make a list. Make sure that people know what you can offer them.

People know that I provide a range of online courses but not everyone, for example, knows I also offer one-to-one training.

With each service, you can cover its features (what it is, what it does) and the benefits (what advantages or results it brings). People also want to know the price, of course.

If there is an interesting story behind a new service, you can build that into how you promote it.

The Story of Your Products

Products can be physical products or digital products.

For example, whilst you might provide some one-off social media services for companies, you may also have a package or two you can offer clients who want a more regular service.

What products do you offer? How did they come about?

What are the features? The benefits? The prices?

As with your services, you want to give people every reason to want to invest in your products.

It’s why I keep talking so much about the quality of my range of online courses and the exceptional value of Tomorrow’s VA Hub, otherwise known as ‘The Full Monty’.

The Other Stories You Can Talk About

Other ‘chapters’ you can explore in the ‘story’ of your business include delivery and customer service.

How do you deliver your products and services?

How do you communicate with your clients? How do you follow up with people?

How do you deal with complaints or an unhappy bunny?

The answers to these kinds of questions will help to shape the story you tell – and the story your prospects and clients see.

So – what’s YOUR story?

Shelley Fishel

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes