PHYLLIS SMITH: We all have a life long story to share and it’s interesting to see how we can narrow that down to a nugget for sharing with others. How do you help your clients find that nugget?
TANYA TARGETT: The first thing I share with people is isolate where are you going? Because where are you going dictates which aspects of your story that you are going to be sharing. Phyllis, when we were talking about this we talked about domestic violence, because if I was going to another outlet, and if domestic violence wasn’t suitable I would’ve pulled other aspects of my story. The big thing is to match the angle/hook of your story to the outlet that you’re going to.
The second thing is that while the same information is often put out there, the same tips, the same advice. What is unique to you is in fact your unique story. A lot of people that are concerned about sharing their story aren’t quite sure how to do that, but it is in fact your hero’s journey. I use that language because they’ll be a lot of eWomen and eMen on here who are in the online space that are familiar with that hero’s journey. That hero’s journey which is what we see in the movies, the Black Panther and the Avengers. That’s what people want to hear about and every single one of us has that hero’s journey story.
What is unique to you is in fact your unique story.
Please don’t compare your hero’s journey with mine. If there was someone standing next to me and going, “Oh, Tanya’s standing right next to me with such a great story and mine’s not very good.” But to the other person standing next to you your story’s very good and they don’t have a great story. Just as they say the grass is always greener on the house next door. The story is always better for the person next to you.
PHYLLIS SMITH: Right, and for somebody who’s wanting to get publicity for their business, online for example and they’re not on stage telling a story, but they want to tell the story of their business. Do you agree, it’s also important to be personal and tell your story as well? For example, on your website "About" section. I don’t know what to tell. I’m not interesting. How do you find that interesting story to tell that will be relevant to the business and to people coming to your website?
TANYA TARGETT: The first step is; what brought you to this moment? My first questions would be, what brought you to this moment where you are at today? What made you decide to do this business that you are doing? Because in publicity even when you’re trying to get it for your business it is never about your business, it’s always about that back story. It’s the story behind the story. The story behind the business. Did you have a health scare? Did you have a family situation? Did you have a change in fortune? Did you go through a recession where you went in quite well and had all this property and then you came out the other side and you had nothing? So, you had to pivot and as a result of that pivot this is what you learned. Now it’s very important that you do that because number one no one else has your story and number two people buy from people they know, like, and trust. If you’re not sharing elements of your story, then they’re not going to know you and their going to be least likely to trust you.
In publicity even when you’re trying to get it for your business it is never about your business, it’s always about that back story
The other thing is that we are looking for a connection. Never before in such an age of connection have we ever been so disconnected. By sharing that element of your personal story you’re also giving people the ability to connect with you. The key thing is which parts of my story do I bring to my website. Well, you might have multiple websites and landing pages based on the different products that you have and therefore max the elements of the story with the product that you have there and the audience that is coming.
PHYLLIS SMITH: Also, in the news business and you know this is finding the sound bite. That 10 second piece of clip from a video that tells the story and honing that skill to find the story is very difficult. That’s why they hire people like you. So, you can help them find that story. I think it comes down to curiosity. I’ve seen people where, tell me if this is true, on the outside you look at them and say what’s special about them. They’re just sort of "Joe Anybody" and then you just start asking questions and you suddenly get their story. Where they were, what matters to them, their trials and tribulations. I do this all the time because I am generally a curious person. Would you agree that someone could do that with themselves? They must pull themselves out or have someone like you ask them questions, so that they can pull that story out of themselves.
TANYA TARGETT: Yeah, absolutely. It starts and comes down to 5 W’s and 1 H. Which many watching this would be familiar with. You’ve got who, what, why, when, where, and how. A great way to prep for media interviews or a great way for pulling your story out is to say, “Okay. Who am I? What happened? What brought me to this? When did that happen? Where was I when that happened? Where did that happen? And how?” And then you just keep diving into those.
Another key question I use with my students and to find those sound bites is we need to convey to our audience what we see because what we see they don’t see. We have this thing called the curse of genius, and when we dive behind that envelope of the curse of genius that’s when we get those great sound bites. That is where the gold is.