It’s 2017. Brussels, Belgium. Veronica has come to this decision that she will write a book. She’s not just going to write any books. She will write a good book and is going to share her story about herself and her business. She’s a small business owner of a fashion brand, and this book is going to take her business to the next level. To make sure it becomes one of those books that really going to get there, she reaches out to editors, publishers, previous authors, friends, family, and some strangers to make sure she really learns how to get that book out there. She launched on an eight-month journey in where she’s taking social media courses, marketing courses, book writing courses at the same time as she’s writing that book. Then in June 2018, she has finished the book. She has learned how to host a book launch party. It’s going to be one of those parties that will bring her attention to the heavens.

She books, caterers photographers. She invites friends, family. She hand writes, written personalized messages. She’s sending it out and inviting people to come to this book, launch party. She’s booking this venue that really has the ambiance that she wants. The day off she’s coming in a white and red summer dress. Her hair is on point, make-up and she is shining. She walks up to the venue and I’m standing there. I’m watching Veronica come towards me as I’m feeling so proud that this is my friend. She made it. The clock strikes the hour. We are ready. Friends are arriving, families already there. Photographers are shooting pictures. Half an hour later though, I’m starting to feel that nugget that something is wrong. I’m watching Veronica and I can see how she’s standing there tapping her heels and watching around as she’s holding her talking to her friends, having this smile up here. I can feel it. 20 minutes later, it’s obvious. Nobody else is showing up. And now we’re from the moment she opened the doors, she calls the party and she’s sitting in the corner crying her tears out, ripping her hair and she can’t understand what happened. I’m doing what I can to boost, comfort her, and getting the photographers and catering staff to close it out.

Why did nobody show up? That is what I want to share with you in this story of you. This is where I share insights to why you are the one of the greatest assets in your business, in your brand, in your life. And if you get, if you forget you, then it doesn’t matter how great skills, how much knowledge, how many people you have, all this great fancy stuff around you.

Why did nobody show up? Somebody introduces a new product to you. Someone introduces a new friend or a person to you. And you’re looking at that friend. You look in the product or you maybe want to go for a trip somewhere. You want to go for a restaurant visit, who knows? And you sit in there thinking, “Oh, I don’t really know. I don’t really know. Shall I, shall I not? Shall I, is this a person I should work with?”

Whatever it is, what is the core to you deciding if you will go to that restaurant, if you will do that trip, if you will be working with this person or that business or not? Trust. And by now, I think you’ve listened to some of the other amazing storytellers those who have all this wisdom storytelling. You should maybe have taken away this golden nugget that instinct emotion drives all our decisions, reptilian brain together with the limbic system, there’s where your instinct and feelings are being processed and you make the decisions based out of that trust. Is that a logical thing, or is it feeling? Is trust a logical thing that you are pragmatically analyzing and can make a decision based off from, or is it a feeling?

Let me ask you this. Do you trust the one you know or the one you don’t know? Which one do you trust the most? That was maybe a little bit too easy. Do you trust somebody or something that you Google and find these amazing reviews and websites, or the recommendation of their friend? Maybe trickier.

Let me put it this way. You’re in a restaurant and you sit in there with the menu. You don’t really know what you want. In from the left comes this waiter, “Hey madam, can I help you choose something to eat tonight?” And you go, “Yes, thank you. What would you recommend?” And the waiter goes, “Oh madam, everything in our restaurant is amazing. You can pick anything.”

Or would you choose waiter number two who slides in from the right and goes, “Hey, Madam, may I help you decide something to eat tonight?” And you go, “Yes, please. What would you recommend?” And the waiter goes, “Oh, I wouldn’t recommend the fish. However, our vegetarian dish has this coconut spice all over it.”

Which one would you choose? Who would you even say is the more honest one? When I’m asking this question, I often get this reply from people, “Oh, waiter number two. He was the more honest one.” I didn’t speak but honesty but you made that conclusion yourself. Do Google recommendations or the recommendation of a friend? Well, most people say the recommendation of a friend. From a stranger or from the person that you don’t know, or from the person that you know, most people choose the person that you know. Because trust is the core foundation for us to decide what we want to do.

What are we talking about here? The art of influencing decisions. Trust is the greatest. The greatest of those influencers, the more trustworthy you can become and be. The more you can gain trust, the more people would choose to work with you, buy from you, follow you like you, whatsoever. And the sooner that will happen as well. So my question now is if those questions I asked you before were fairly easy.

Why should someone trust you? Because I’m trustworthy. What makes it trustworthy? Because I’m respectful. No, why should someone trust you? Begin with that. Why should someone trust you? And here’s the thing, the golden key with is Veronica, what did she do? She took all the courses. She was talking to the right people. She did everything right. Nobody showed up. Was it because she’s not trustworthy? Not per se. At this stage, nobody knew because there was something else that Veronica did, but this was the first part.

Let me now share with you the four key influences that we use to influence others, to decide to do something that they’re not already doing. Like go to my website, buy my product, follow me on social media, listen to me right now. We are influencing people to do something that they are currently not doing. Now, the four key influences.

Number one, fear. Look at it in marketing at business in social settings. Fear is an extremely common and effective way to drive people to make decisions. If you don’t buy right now, you may lose a discount. Make all your sales by the end of the month, otherwise, you won’t get the bonus. If you’re not home on time, you will lose and miss out on whatever is happening tomorrow. Fear is right there. If fear is effective, so is the reward. If you are making the sales by midnight tonight, you will get the bonus. If you buy the product by 5:00 PM this afternoon, you’ll get the two for one special we have for you. If you’re part of all those social clubs, you will feel part of the gang. Reward is a commonly known and used tool to influence people to do something.

The question is, is it really the most effective ones out there? And is it really targeted to make people do things that they like to do and want to do, or is it more what I want you to do? Fear and reward are manipulative. They often cause stress, anger, frustration, and temporary salts. They do that more than anything else. They push you to decide and Veronica (Brussels, Belgium, 2017) takes all the social media, social marketing courses. She learns that she needs to create this content and she needs to push her voice out there. She’s sending invitations. She’s writing handwritten notes to push people to come to her party because it’s a great book launch. There are two either ways I would love to invite you to consider.

Number one. Duty. By now, you may have heard it from data storytellers too. Lead with why, lead with the cost to believe the values. Why are you doing this, Veronica? Why are you writing a book? Did you say that to someone? No. Why would someone like to know why she’s writing a book? Why did she decide to write a book? She didn’t talk to anyone about that.

What about your business, your project, your service, your latest one, the latest course that you taking? You’re on this Business Storyteller Summit. Have you shared with anyone why are you here and that you’re here? If the one is a duty, there is a greater consideration.

And so is number two. Love. It doesn’t have to be romantic love. It can be, but it can also be this love in terms of a strong, emotional affection to things or compassion, empathy, feeling heard, listened to, and seen that we recognize one another and appreciate one another. Appreciation. Gratefulness. But it also can be, “Oh my God, I love this pillow.” How many times have you had that? When you see something or see someone and you just love it? Which one of those four now do you consider is a little bit more effective and stronger for you to decide to do something?

Fear, reward, duty, or love?

Through psychology, love is the strongest, fear is the weakest. They are all effective yet do they love or inspirational, they are pulling people in and they are causing this. They are influencing trust, positivity, long-term results, and loyalty.

What did Veronica do to inspire her audience, to inspire her potential clients, to inspire a team? Did she say anything about what she was doing, why she was doing it? No. We have said already that trust is the core to all our ability to influence decisions. The greater we are at gaining others’ trust and being seen as a trustworthy person, the greater we can grow as a person, as a business, as a brand, as an organization, as a team. If you can influence that from the core key elements of fear, reward, duty, or love, the more you focus on love or duty, the greater that trust will be there. And here it comes to key to the golden keys. So now what, how do I do it?

It’s actually quite simple.

August 28th, 1963. Washington, DC, United States of America. A quarter of a million people gathered from around the nation against all odds against people that are telling them they shouldn’t go. They can’t go. It’s forbidden to go. They still make it. A quarter of a million people. No social media ads, no marketing per se that way. But there’s one strong voice, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is holding his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. How many people came across the nation to watch him and go, “Oh my God, he’s so pretty. Look at him. So handsome. Listen to his voice. Amazing.” Versus how many came there because they shared his values. They shared his vision. They wanted to go that direction with him. They were on the journey with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That is your story. That’s the power of you when you are sharing from your values, from your course, from your vision, from your belief that when the people around you are coming towards you. Veronica sat at home behind closed doors, planned her book, wrote her book, ran her business, and made sure everything was perfect. I meet a lot of these people on my journey around the world giving these speeches. So many say to me, “Yes, but Eric, I don’t want to tell it yet because it’s not ready.” That’s the beauty. People want to feel part of the journey. Bring them with you. The more they feel part of your journey, the sooner and the more they can feel and make that decision themselves that they can trust you. You opened the door for them to step into and say, “Hey, this is a person I can trust.”

Now, do you trust the person who you don’t know anything about who suddenly opens up and says, “Hello world, here I am. I am amazing. I have two doctor’s degrees. I have a PhD. I’m the most influential social media figure on LinkedIn or TikTok, and you should totally buy it from me.”

Is that the person you feel that you can trust, or is that even maybe the person you feel quite intimidated by, scared by with all these grandiose titles? Compared to this person who goes, “Hello, world. My name is Eric. I have an idea. What if I write a book about all my struggles and successes and findings of managing my business, and then I share that with you.”

But if I do that, and this is how I’m going to do first, I will take this course. First, I will go to this event, The Business Storyteller Summit. I’ll go to this event and I will share with you what I learned. You go to this event, you share a little bit of what you learned, and then you come home and say now I have figured out. The next step in the process, I need to say, I need to take another course or you’re doing something else. And you’re sharing golden nuggets with your audience on your own journey. You don’t have to share everything that you might see on social media right now. Some people just share to take selfies every single way and go, “Hey, look at me, look at me.” It’s about finding that fine balance between, “Hey, this is my journey. Please take part in it so that you can feel that you can trust me.”

That’s what I’m encouraging you to do. That’s how you build trust. Trust is not built in this one presentation that I’m having with you right now, or this one meeting that you have, or this one thing. Trust is built in between, in the grains, in the ups and downs, in between alleys, between the doors ups and downs. Consider your sportsmen and sportswomen. Consider the sports teams that you’re following. They don’t even have to win. They just have to show you that they are doing it. That’s how you gain trust. That’s how you earn other people’s trust. The story of you pulling people in on your story, that’s how you do it.

So ladies and gentlemen, Veronica, she did everything right. She just forgot this one thing. To share during those eight months with her audience, with her potential audience what she was doing. Why was she doing it? Why is she writing this book? What is this book about? She didn’t say, and the result, we all know.

So all of you out there who are aspiring entrepreneurs, you are fierce business owners. You are dedicated to what you’re doing. Share the story of you. What is the current normal that you’re in? What is the destruction to your normal? What are you fighting? What are you trying to overcome? What are your attempts to overcome that? And what’s the new tomorrow that you are looking for? What is your vision? What is that thing that you want this product, this service, your business to be able to do?

Please don’t do Veronica. Here’s the normal, that’s today. And she jumped straight to her vision, the book launch.

Share what are you struggling with? What are you finding out? What are you fighting with? What are you finding out? What are you finding with? What’s the need tomorrow?

Ladies and gentlemen, trust is the foundation to loyalty. The story of you. Your personal brand is what’s going to take you the furthest of them all. I’m encouraging you and I hope that this little insight to you now has showed you why it is so powerful, as well as how you can do it.

Your story matters. It’s not only about the brand logo, the brand name, the brand, the mission statement. There are people behind that and people want to know who you are before they decide to buy from you.


Connect with Erik on LinkedIn:

Connect with Erik on Twitter:

More Episodes

The Magical Science of Storytelling (featuring Alexander Grabner-Jarlung)

Alexander Grabner-Jarlung, a presentation expert and the Head of International Business at David JP Phillips shares why storytelling is so powerful and how do we use it to our advantage.

Building Personal Brand Through Authentic Storytelling (featuring Aazar Ali)

Aazar Ali, a growth marketing expert, shares his insights on how to build your personal brand through authentic storytelling.

Influencing Through Story (featuring Nancy Duarte)

In this episode, Nancy Duarte shares a skill that anyone can master on how to use storytelling principles to influence people.

Ready to try Piktochart?

An infographic maker, presentation creator, and report builder in one online platform. No graphic design skills needed.