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Entrepreneurship

How Important Is Your Story When Building Your Brand? A Storytelling Expert Explains

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I recently interviewed Celinne Da Costa, a Brand Story coach who helps visionary leaders and entrepreneurs master the art of storytelling.

Celinne has worked with leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world, including Fortune 500 companies, to create content that deeply connects with their audience, build unforgettable brands that sell, and scale their business with impact.

There are countless brands out there competing for consumers’ attention. To stand out in this sea of sameness, you need to capture people’s attention by differentiating yourself with what no one else can copy… your story.

Celinne shares how you can leverage your story to create a brand that resonates (and sells!) today:

 

Understand your hero’s journey

If you want your audience to stick around and remember who you are, you need to take them through a compelling journey full of insights, lessons, and emotions.

That’s where your hero’s journey comes in — it is the narrative that shows your audience who you once were, what drove you to a point where you realized you had to change, the breakdown/breakthrough that caused you end up where you are today, what obstacles you had to overcome to succeed, what you achieved as a result, and how you can guide others through a similar transformation.

Your hero’s journey is the foundation for your brand so make sure you understand it. Most importantly, know how to explain it to your audience in a way that keeps them engaged and invested in your brand.

 

Get crystal clear on your vision

You may spend a lot of time doing things — running a business, paying bills, creating content, marketing your products or offers, and so on — but how much time are you spending connecting with your reason “why”?

I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs get incredibly stuck because they disconnect with why they started their business in the first place. They stop attracting clients, making as much profit, and get snuffed out by their competition because they’ve lost touch of what makes them unique.

Your vision is your compass. Get clear on why you do what you do, who you’re doing it for, and what the transformation that you’re providing for your audience is. Once you do, then you can wrap that vision around a story that captures your audience’s hearts, connects them to you, and moves them to action.

 

Find the connection between your journey and your business goals

It’s not enough to know how to tell a story. If you want to build a brand that people remember for years to come, you need to be strategic about how you tell that story.

Once you’re clear on your hero’s journey and your vision, it’s time to put that into practice by aligning your brand’s story with your business goals. For example, if you’re a business coach and you’re selling a program about problem-solving, then you need to share stories (in both your personal life and career) about the many times where you were able to a find solution where others thought there was none. Something like that.

This will help reinforce your credibility and expertise with your audience while also making you relatable and memorable.

 

Tell stories that give value

Whenever you share a story, your audience should walk away with value. Your brand story is not meant to be a sob story or a long narrative that people get lost in. Be clear on what you stand for, your values, your ideal audience, and what you can offer them, and make sure that your content communicates that.

When storytelling, respect your audience’s time by giving back to them: this could come in the form of inspiration, an opening for connection, a fresh insight, or a list of tips they can apply to solve their problem. This will train your audience to always look out for and consume your content, and become loyal to your brand as a result.

 

Share your story with the world

Now that you understand your story and how to use it to grow your brand and business, it’s time to get it out there in the world. Your brand is as powerful as it is known, and that’s why publicity is your friend.

Your story will take you far when it comes to getting featured on publications, interviewed for podcasts, growing your following, etc. The better you learn to package and market your story, the more attention your brand will get.

To build a powerful brand, you’ll need to be remembered and admired for what you do, as well as how you make people feel and the transformation you bring into their lives. That begins with the story you choose to tell.

 

Celinne’s bio:

Celinne Da Costa is a brand story & life design coach for visionary leaders who want to master the art of storytelling so they can deeply connect with their audience, create a captivating brand that sells, and scale their business with impact.

Since leaving corporate America to design life on her own terms, Celinne has helped her 6 and 7 figure clients become confident leaders with powerful stories, influential brands, international media coverage, and thousands of raving followers.

Celinne graduated from University of Pennsylvania, is a master NLP Communication practitioner, and a certified Life, Social and Emotional Intelligence, and Motivational coach. She has visited 50+ countries and now travels full-time while running her business.

Celinne has been featured in major publications around the world, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider, and has a loyal community of 50,000+ dreamers following her adventures around the world. Follow her epic story on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @CelinneDaCosta.

Quiane Crews is the founder and CEO of LPG Technology, Inc. Quiane found his success in 2016 after partnering up with a friend drop-shipping on sites like Amazon and eBay where he grossed $1.2M in just 4 months. Mr. Crews partnered up with Shenzhen Communication Co. as a founding partner in China that developed smartphones, laptops and other technology. In 2017 Quiane parted ways from Shenzhen Communication Co. and started developing his own technology for his new tech startup LPG.

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Entrepreneurship

Bark Up! A Look Inside America’s Top Doggy-Treat Delivery Service by Sean Kelly

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pooch perks

The premise of the dream varies for every player in the game. Life, the ultimate simulation, as referenced by entrepreneur Daniel Barrios is “turning nothing into something; beating the odds by constantly challenging yourself” The million dollar question we can all ask ourselves is something along the lines of: “What is my calling?” Today, we will examine some of the strategies and methodology of successful business “Pooch Perks

Commonly, we see business owners fail time and time again by making the same mistakes; Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Why not succeed from the first month of business? Barrios is a strong proponent toward structured approaches whenever even $1 is involved. From the moment he wakes up to the minute he falls asleep, his mindset is calmly approach his desired goals by completing incremental steps to set himself up for the big goal. We are all aware, being successful in business relies on two things: who you know and how much capital ($) there is to invest. Barrios shared with me that in addition to these two essentials, it is important to acknowledge the importance of growing and developing professional relationships with investors. Ideas are wonderful. Some human beings are naturally gifted; abilities to network and sustain professional relationships are often difficult because they require equal interest from both parties, frequent communication, and responsible transparency.

I was DMing Barrios on Instagram before we spoke via Video Call. I asked as a preliminary inquiry “What do you think of the phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ & does it have any significance in your start-ups?” The established Pooch Perks co-owner had a lot to say- he picked up my video chat. Letting him have the floor, I came to many new conclusions about this popular rhetoric. Barrios cites it having an inverse significance to him, refuting the expression completely. His explanation was predicated on how nothing can be faked; products cost money, ads cost money, promotion costs money, and progression takes time. I followed up by asking him “Hypothetically, why can’t a beginner flex a connection that he may not totally have? Example: Fabricating being close friends with Lebron James?” Barrios held his standpoint by going to say how the desired connection would have further inquiry about (X) relationship with Lebron- even to the point where the desired connection may ask for screenshots proving this relationship is indeed alive and real. Barrios went on to say how “It is impossible to fake a bank statement, and doing so would only harm the credibility of persons involved.” Additionally, Barrios mentioned how “Almost 99% of free shoutouts will be totally garbage- having 10k followers is irrelevant if the engagement rate on that is 0.1%” After this conversation with Barrios, I was interested enough to schedule a follow-up interview including his ride-or-die business partner, Chris Maura

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Entrepreneurship

5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores

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Jaime Flores is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). He is best known for his portraits but also does a variety of different types of photography. In just a span of a year, he grew his two instagram accounts to have 10x more followers than he had we started. Before photography, Jaime was going to college with no real idea of what he wanted to do for a career. After receiving his Associate’s degree with an emphasis in business, Jaime decided not to continue school and look for something new to pursue in life. He bought his first camera in April of 2018 and quickly gained the knowledge needed in order to be commercially successful in his hometown.

At first his focus was only portraits but later on he began doing product photography, events, landscapes and more. In May of 2019 he started his own Media company called Digital Trends Media. The company provides photography, videography, graphic design, and social media management services. Jaime hopes to inspire and help others find skills that are needed in today’s world driven by social media.

 

1. Carry your camera at all times

It’s actually really important to always have your camera with you. Pretty often, people get curious and will ask you: “Are you a photographer?” or “What kind of camera do you have?”. Use that as a chance to show them your work and/or hand them a business card (you should always have some). Take your camera everywhere you go and learn to take candid photos of people out in the city, take pictures of your food/drinks, take pictures of nature, etc. This seems pointless but people are willing to buy print versions of those types of photography. Expand your skillset beyond portraits.

 

2. Leverage your personality

Don’t rely solely on your work to catch the attention of potential clients. Your work will only get you so far but you have to be willing to put your personality out there as well. If you take a look at some of the most successful and well known photographers, you’ll notice that they not only take amazing pictures but they also have huge personalities. People love to see what the person behind the camera is like.

 

3. Make your photography stand out

Editing is crucial, spend lots of time learning new editing techniques. Also, when shooting portraits, take your time and really analyze backgrounds. Take pictures from numerous angles to give your pictures unique perspectives. Combine a unique editing style with new angles/ideas, and you will gain popularity.

 

4. Youtube is your best friend

A question I get asked all the time is: “How can I get better at taking pictures?” My answer is always Youtube and practice. Of course you can pay to attend seminars and pay for online photography courses, but to me that’s all unnecessary. All the information you need can be found on YouTube for FREE. At least that’s how I learned everything I know.

 

5. Cameras don’t do the work for you

A common misconception that people tend to have is that having a good camera is all it takes to be a good photographer. Nowadays an iPhone camera is the best camera to use as a beginner. Anyone can buy the most expensive camera but it takes knowledge about camera settings in order to take the best pictures, as well as good editing skills.

 

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Entrepreneurship

There are 4 Ways to have Fun All Summer Long

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Three Connecticut friends transformed a dream into a booming business. While watching sports one night, something sparked their creativity and they realized that there was a gap in the sports industry. After conducting additional research, they found that they truly had an original idea, so they came together and created the blueprint for their game, and within a year, a prototype was born! Now there is a new way to enjoy summer sports whether you’re on a beach, at a picnic, gym, or park. This four- way intersecting volleyball net has all the fun of a traditional volleyball game but with a unique twist and a brand-new set of game rules.  

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The real final four.

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The World’s First 4-Way Volley Ball Net

Chris Meade, the co-founder of CrossNet recounts the journey of creating the world’s first 4-way volleyball net when the idea was only in its infancy. “A prototype that was created and tested on a beach in the summer of 2018 gained lots of attention. It went from the four of us playing and having a good time to 25 people waiting in line and me not even getting to play my own game at the beach. As soon as that happen, we knew we had a great game.”

Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

In most cases, success doesn’t happen overnight, and this was definitely the case for the Connecticut trio, they attribute their success to creating a clear set of game rules for their users, implementing strong branding techniques, and utilizing social media to build brand awareness and outreach. “We were three kids from a farming town in Connecticut. We had an idea and we were able to make it come to life, and now we’re being played in over 500 gym classes across the world. You can also find their products in some of the world’s top retail stores like Walmart, Target, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Amazon, and many more.

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The best place to meet your friends is at the net.

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New-Found Freedom

Meade enjoys the life that entrepreneurship has awarded him. Since the business has taken off, he’s able to reclaim his time, energy, and life back. When asked how has entrepreneurship improved his life, he had this to say: “I have more flexibility! “Nothing is worse than going to a job everyday and working for somebody to improve their business. Everyday I wake up and ‘think how do I improve my business?’ Which is a direct impact on my life and the life that I live.”

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Spike what? CROSSNET!

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Changing the Game of Outdoor Sports

Meade is proud of the success and attention that the CrossNet game has gained since it’s release in June 2017, he also mentions that the sports industry has plenty room for innovation, yet, despite the passing of time, the industry lacks fresh innovation, until now! “The outdoor game and sports market is a very boring industry, and I mean that in the sense that no innovative outdoor game products really came out to the market. Our parents and their friends have been playing corn hold, Frisbee, and basketball outside for the last 100 years. There’s only so many times [that a new outdoor game is developed] and becomes a game changer, and we’ve brought in a four-way volleyball net, four-square combined, and a new game of CrossNet.”

CrossNet Brings Value to Players

CrossNet is a unique game that brings value to anyone who is willing to take part in the sport. Families can enjoy this game at a picnic, or at the beach. Physical education instructors can use this game as a pre-workout tool or as a fun workout for students. Even professional athletes can find ways to enjoy this game. Its versatility and easy game rules makes this a suitable activity for anyone to enjoy. Meade says “Leisure players can now play volleyball in a one-on-one setting. Children and young adults who are looking to learn the basic skills of volleyball can now play with select friends. It’s also a great warm-up and skill and development tool as well.

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Sunset CROSSNET in Australia. (via @nbva.manly)

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Here’s to the Future!

Chris Meade is a young 26-year-old who has successfully traversed the world of business and entrepreneurship. Together, him and his friends were able to take an idea, and turn it into profit. As a piece of advice to young aspiring entrepreneurs, he says “Have a concrete idea and run it by your peers. Don’t give up! It’s been over two years in the making and we went from a company that celebrated one sale a day, to now making the news in Minnesota were sport anchors are taking our game out of the box and showing the entire state of Minnesota.”

For business inquiries and questions, Chris Meade can be reached at [email protected].

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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