colonel sanders had a unique, compelling story that inspired othersEvery major company has a great story that you probably know, and you definitely know if you are a fan. Steve Jobs starting Apple computer in the garage, Bill Gates leaving Harvard to launch Microsoft with Paul Allen, Thomas Edison and General Electric, Colonel Sanders and his suitcase of chicken that he made everyone try, Howard Schultz and his Italian coffee obsession.

Maybe you haven’t heard these stories, but even if this is the first you heard about Colonel Sanders, you can see how the story shapes the company, becomes part of it’s DNA.

Every business, large and small, has a story. What’s yours?

You have a story, a tale of struggle and overcoming. It is a powerful way to connect with your customers, and one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart in a cluttered marketplace.

For creatives, a clear and compelling story is vital to make a name for themselves. If you are an artist, author, or designer, how else do you stand out from the millions of others? It’s your story that makes you stand out.

Even if your art is unique, you still have to share your story. Customers or collectors will make up one for you if you don’t, and they don’t always get it right.

This is the great secret of higher end sales; the story sells more. People don’t pay $20,000 for a piece of art simply because it’s pretty. They can find something pretty at Target or World Market. Or they can commission a local starving artist for one tenth that price. High end collectors pay that price because of they story they get to tell themselves or other people. Maybe it’s a famous artist so the piece brings prestige, or it makes them feel a certain way. No matter what, it’s the story in their head that matters.

You don’t need better marketing, you definitely don’t need to sell anyone, you simply need to tell your story. Tell a good story and people come running.

Find your story, make it truly yours, and you can’t help but stand out.