A simple, 5-step framework to craft a signature story that sells
If you’re exploring life coach branding and developing marketing strategies for your coaching business, consider this…
People want to work with coaches that they know, like, and trust.
Effective personal branding will help you achieve levels of know, like, trust that no other marketing tool can. And the fastest way to utilize personal branding in your coaching business is with a signature story.
Your signature story helps potential clients know you, because you allow them to glimpse into a part of your journey. They like you because your story resonates with their own, helping them feel validated and understood. And your story builds trust because you’ve walked the path to transformation yourself.
How to Craft Your Signature Story: 5 Step Framework
The first moment of transformation that you offer people as a coach is your message. And the most powerful marketing tool you have as a coach is your signature story.
A powerful signature story will:
- Build rapport and connection
- Demonstrate authority and competency
- Ignite your audience to a new decision or action
But how do you craft a high quality, signature story that accomplishes all three of those components?
This 5-step framework will help you craft powerful, signature brand stories that build connection and inspire action in your potential clients. I call it the “5 D’s of a Dynamite Signature Story” and it’s a great place to start your personal branding journey as a coach!
1. Discontent or Despair
The first part of your signature story speaks to the discontent or pain that you help your ideal clients overcome. Your story begins with your personal experience of the same longing and discontent your audience is experiencing as it relates to the work you do.
- Identify a personal experience you have with the same struggle your ideal client is experiencing
- Limit your story to 3 pain points impacting your ideal client
- Start your story with the pain- skip the backstory or the setup
- Describe the discontent or despair in story-telling language. Include descriptive, emotional, evocative phrases about the pain and longing you experienced
With this part of your story, you are grabbing people’s attention, speaking to their own pain, and piquing their interest about what happens next in your story.
People will respect you for your success… but they will bond with you through your struggle.
2. Defining Event
The defining event is the catalyst to the decision that eventually helped you change your results.
Bring your audience into the moment that everything shifted. What happened that caused you to act?
Even if your transformation happened over the span of several months or years, choose the moment that sparked the process.
Don’t limit this part of your story to a catastrophic moment or trauma. This moment is about the depth of your emotion and what the experience meant to you and your journey.
Describe this moment and how it impacted you in as much detail as possible, including where it happened.
3. Decision Moment
Describe the moment when you actually decided to change. Tell your audience what your decision was, and include details about how you felt when you made that decision.
In this part of your signature story, you are modeling for your audience how you stepped up and made a choice. This is important because you will be offering them an opportunity to make a similar decision about your coaching services.
Take this opportunity to talk about any fears or reservations you had in your own decision moment. Remind your audience that great opportunities rarely come when it’s comfortable or convenient. That’s why so few people actually change their lives.
The next part of your story bridges the gap between your moment of decision and the results you eventually experienced. How did you discover the solution to the problem?
Consider the following questions for this section:
- How did your journey to this discovery empower you to offer the proven, reliable system you now offer to your clients?
- What system or framework did you create or become certified in to access the solution?
Build confidence by helping your audience realize that there is a repeatable, proven system they can also use for their pain and discontent. Your audience wants to know that you have a clear path that they too can follow to the results they desire.
5. Dream Realized
What results have you created from the program or system you discovered?
Align the dreams realized with each of the 3 points of pain and longing you included in Step #1. Be sure to close the loop on each despair you introduced at the beginning of the story.
The closer your results are to your ideal clients’ desired results and the more they align with the audience’s dreams, the more inspired they will be to work with you!
Personal Brand Story Example
Here’s my signature story… one that I’ve used in my own relationship coaching business. It has helped me impact thousands of lives and generate millions of dollars.
See if you can identify each of the 5 D’s as you read it!
When I was in my mid 20’s, what I wanted most in life was to find the love of my life. I wanted to have a family. I wanted that future where my little kids would run down the hallway on a Saturday morning, jump in bed, and snuggle with my wife and I. I’ve always been a romantic.
But, when I was in my mid 20’s, I was going through breakup after breakup after breakup… and it felt like everything I did, failed.
Then, I finally met the person I thought I was going to marry. I was so in love with her. But one day she called me out of the blue and broke up with me. She said, “Mat, I’m just not in love with you. It’s over.”
It felt like a wrecking ball had slammed into my heart and split it in half.
That same summer, I was spending a lot of time with my grandparents. And my grandmother’s favorite thing to do was to go antiquing.
Just a few days after that breakup, I was heartbroken, but had agreed to drive my grandparents to this antique shop.
Now, I hadn’t spent a lot of time with my grandparents before, so I was still getting to know them. And I was learning what an amazing marriage they had. They had been married 63 years…
We got out of the car, shut the door, and walked up the sidewalk toward the shop. I watched them shuffling up the sidewalk, hand-in-hand, and something shifted in me. All I could picture was them as kids, who had fallen in love 6 decades before. And it was like everything around them blurred away and I could see the love they still had for each other.
I felt my heart melt. All the anger and resentment from the breakups and the walls I had built – just melted away. And I thought, “Man, that’s what I want in my life. That’s what I want.”
And on the drive home, I got an idea for a book. It was a book that would interview America’s greatest marriages. I made a decision that I was going to find out for myself what really makes love last.
Now– I wasn’t a writer. I had never written a book. It was a crazy idea and I was scared. I thought, “What if this doesn’t work out? What if this flops? Who’s going to care what a bachelor has to say about marriage?”
But here’s what I know. Great opportunities never come when it’s convenient or comfortable. They come because you feel called.
So I said “yes” to that opportunity. I spent 5 years and drove 12,000 miles all over the United States interviewing married couples.
And I began to see common threads…
Things that they were all doing that I wasn’t. And they blew my mind.
And when I began applying them to my life, everything changed.
In fact, after the book was published, on the last stop of the book tour, I ended up meeting my wife.
We’ve been married 11 years. We have 3 adorable little kids. And just last Saturday, I heard the pitter patter of little feet running down the hallway to jump in bed with us.
And I realized, this is my dream. And I am so blessed to have been able to share these principles with tens of thousands of people all over the world.
So, today, I’m going to share with you 3 of the 10 principles that I learned from America’s greatest marriages that have changed my life.
I’m going to give them to you in the hope that they impact you and your love life like they did mine.
Did you catch the 5 D’s? Here they are, in case you missed them…
Experiencing so many break ups despite my longing to meet the love of my life and start a family. Finally meeting the woman I wanted to marry, only to have her tell me she didn’t feel the same way.
Seeing my grandparents shuffling up the sidewalk together and seeing how in love they still were.
Deciding to interview America’s greatest marriages and discover for myself what made love last.
Traveling the country, interviewing America’s greatest marriages, and discovering the 10 common threads successful marriages had.
Getting married to the love of my life, and, in direct relation to the longing I shared at the very beginning of the story, the experience of our kids running down the hallway to jump in bed on a Saturday morning.
It’s Your Turn! Master Great Personal Branding & More
A great brand story will work with and enhance the other parts of your business.But, your signature story is just one step in developing strong personal branding for your life coaching business.
If you’d love more exclusive content on topics like crafting your signature story, mastering your message, and others, to help you build the life coaching business of your dreams…
Without the struggle and costly trial-and-error trying to do it all yourself…
I want to personally invite you to join our next 5 Day Challenge!
These immersive, live virtual events are designed specifically for aspiring and growing life coaches. They’re jam packed with valuable information and priceless insights learned from decades spent creating success in the coaching industry…
And it’s absolutely free.
See you on the inside!