Make Your Marketing Stand Out By Sharing Your Past

Your Story Makes You Better

Have you ever considered how your diverse background can give you a unique edge in business marketing? I recently read the book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein and found myself nodding along throughout. Did you know that three-quarters of American college graduates end up in careers unrelated to their majors? This statistic highlights a powerful trend: many of us have more diverse skills and experiences than we realize, and these can be key assets in business marketing.

Embracing a Broad Skill Set

I’d guess you’re path to your current business hasn’t been linear. You’ve probably had a variety of jobs, hobbies, and maybe even other businesses along the way that have lead to where you are now. We tend to be people who’ve done a lot of different things and have a toolkit full of varied skills and perspectives.

As entreprenuers, we also wear a lot of hats and learn a lot of skills because we have to. We’re not only the service provider or the creator, we’re the marketer, the accountant, the HR department, and the tech team.

These two facts don’t just make you well-rounded—it makes you flexible and innovative. When you’re faced with a business problem, you’re more likely to come up with a unique solution because you can draw on a wider array of experiences than someone who has only ever focused on one area. Epstein emphasizes that “breadth of training predicts breadth of transfer.” Meaning, the more contexts in which something is learned, the more the learner creates abstract models, and the less they rely on any particular example.

My Journey: From Art to Entrepreneurship

Take my journey for example. Before I launched my coaching business four years ago, I spent years acquiring the very skills I use to help small business owners build their own websites. In college, I started at Colorado State University as an art major, particularly interested in photography. Turns out that art school took the joy out of art for me. However, during that time, I also discovered a passion for understanding why people buy (consumer psychology). I switched majors to merchandising, which blended creativity with the business side of things, especially when it came to visual communication. My marketing classes were a goldmine, not just for the theories, but for how they translated into real-world examples. This ignited a fire within me – marketing wasn’t just about selling products, it was about creating connections and understanding customer needs.

The entrepreneurial spirit has always been a part of me. My lemonade stands and homemade perfume were my first taste. Right after high school, a friend and I co-founded a jewelry business, selling our handmade creations at local shops and fairs. I learned that having a business wasn’t just about making the thing but also the operational aspects, like pricing, sourcing materials, and getting into shops and events.

Earring display card from my first official small business leading into my entrepreneurial journey.
The Earring Display Card for my first official small business.

This love of jewelry led me to a job at a high-end jewelry store. Here, I honed the art of sales, a crucial skill for any entrepreneur, but especially for website owners who need to convert visitors into customers. Working on commission meant that I had to learn how to sell if I was going to get a paycheck. It pushed me to refine my approach, ensuring I communicated effectively and exceeded expectations. Each sale became a lesson in human psychology and the art of persuasion, both of which are essential for creating compelling websites.

Even after becoming a stay-at-home mom, the entrepreneurial itch never left. What started as a hobby – capturing photos of my daughter – turned into a successful photography business that has thrived for over a decade. Through photography, I learned valuable lessons in visual storytelling, branding, and customer service, all of which are crucial for creating a website that resonates with your audience. I also learned the value of being an entrepreneur and that while it can mean freedom and flexibility, you have to be intentional in everything you do to get there.

My photography business branding over the years.

Looking back, every step of this journey, from art to merchandising, to selling jewelry, and finally capturing memories, has been instrumental in shaping the skillset I use to help small business owners build their own websites through DIY coaching. My background in visual communication, understanding customer needs, effective communication, and storytelling are all essential tools in my coaching toolbox

This is how your past experiences can become the building blocks for your unique coaching style!

Leveraging Your Background in Your Marketing

Here’s how you can use your own varied past to enhance your business marketing:

  1. Recognize Transferable Skills: Reflect on your past roles and identify skills that can be adapted to your business. Leadership, empathy, and creativity are just a few examples of transferable skills.
  2. Understand Different Customer Perspectives: Your varied experiences give you insight into different customer needs and desires. Use this to tailor your marketing efforts to speak directly to diverse groups.
  3. Craft Compelling Stories: Use your unique background to tell stories in your marketing. Sharing personal journeys and lessons can make your brand more relatable and engaging.
  4. Embrace Continuous Learning: Epstein notes, “We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.” Stay open to new experiences and continuously seek to learn from them. This mindset will keep your marketing strategies fresh and relevant.

Dive Deeper in Our Workshop

Interested in exploring how your diverse experiences can inform your business strategy? Join our Your Marketing Field Guide Free Workshop. We’ll delve deeper into aligning your unique history with your business goals.

Every job you’ve held, every hobby you’ve pursued, and every life challenge you’ve faced has equipped you with unique insights. By embracing your full range of experiences, you can craft a marketing strategy that is not only effective but deeply resonant with your audience.

What unique experiences have shaped your approach to business? Share your story in the comments below. Let’s discover together how our past can illuminate our path forward in business.

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