How long should your story be?

When you are ready to share your story, there are many questions that come up about how the story should be shared. One of those is usually: how long should my story be? 

I’ve heard this question from my coaching clients many times and I always like to answer with another question: where are you going to share your story? 

Where you share your story is as important as its length

From a logistical point of view, sharing your business story on a Facebook post is not the same as sharing your business story through a 500-word blog post. And I guess you know why: 

  • You don’t have the same space on the two platforms 
  • People don’t digest information in the same way on the two platforms

Think about it from your perspective: you don’t expect a Facebook post to be 500 words, do you? 

In the same way, you want to be aware of where you are sharing your story so that you know how much space you’ll have and how people are going to react on those platforms. 

This means one thing: you probably won’t be able to share your entire business story on every platform. Sooner or later you’ll have to select shorter parts of your story to share with the rest of the world. I know, the idea of trimming a story you have worked so hard to write, can be daunting but it’s necessary. Chances are that at some point you’ll need to articulate your story for: 

And who knows how many other interesting opportunities are ahead of you. And each of these spaces requires a different length for your story. 

How to trim your business story 

There is a very simple strategy to trim your story so that you can adapt it for any occasion. All you have to do is follow the steps below: 

  1. Create a longer extensive story that includes everything about your business story (and I mean everything). Work with a coach to get it done but don’t share it with anyone; 
  2. Pick the events in that extended story that have shaped you into the entrepreneur you are now and that have helped you create the business you have now. Keep this version of the story less than 500 words and park it on your about me page;
  3. Write one line describing what you do, who you help, what you have achieved and use it for social media (see what I’ve done with my IG bio);
  4. Expand the social media story into three full sentences and use it to pitch yourself for speaking events 
What to avoid doing 

As you go through this process, remember to: 

Avoid adding unnecessary elements, descriptions are helpful but we are not writing Lord of the Rings here

  1. Avoid thinking about yourself, put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never met you before
  2. Don’t self deprecate, but fully embrace your achievements
  3. Use your own voice, you know: be yourself no matter what they say
  4. Keep your sentences short and to the point 
  5. Forget about jargon 
What does your story look like? 

There you go, you now have the perfect way to find the right length for your story. What are you going to do with this information? Email me to let me know. And if you want to keep working on your story, join hundreds of people in the newsletter so that you can receive tips, suggestions, and inspiration to shape your story.