The number one reason clients hire me is because they want to know how to stand out. Whether you’re a coach, a graphic designer, in the health and wellness industry, or have a jewelry line, your industry is saturated. Why? Because everyone is online in order to reach more people. And getting a presence on the web has never been easier and more affordable than it is now.

So when everyone is just a URL away, how will you and your business get the attention you need?

The number one and most effective way is to share your story. And before you say you don’t have one, stop. Everyone has a story and so do you. And to help you find it, I want you to ask yourself the following questions:

1)  Why did you start this particular business in this particular industry?

Deciding and starting a business is no joke. It’s not for the faint of heart. And when us entrepreneurs hit the enivatble slumps, we go back to our why to garner motivation. So why did you start your business? Out of every thing you could have done, why this? Were you a mom with a child who suffered from allergies and developed a natural baby line? Did you have severe health problems and decided to teach others how you turned your life around? Are you an artist who every time you saw what others considered great design, you died a little inside?

Write all of your reasons down and get specific. If you’re a jewelry designer, when was the first time you were drawn to accessories? As a child did you play dress up with your mom’s earrings? Did you pull things apart only to put them back together in a way you thought was more beautiful?

2)  What upsets you about your industry?

This is a good one and how many successful business owners set themselves apart. What are others doing with similar products and services that you think is wrong? Or maybe not wrong, but just sloppy or ignorant?

The example I give my clients is why I changed my business model.

I’ve spent my entire career in marketing, PR and sales for for-profit and non-profit organizations. When I went out on my own, I continued that work in the form of campaigns, meaning I would help a client with branding, website design, copywriting and pitching the media. Not only did I not have to market myself much, I had a waiting list at times.

But things started to change. I was getting restless and the clients that were coming to me either couldn’t afford a PR retainer or had paid tens of thousands with a PR firm only to walk away extremely unhappy, so they wanted to learn how to do it themselves. At the same time, many things in the PR industry were changing. It was starting to get a bad rap because people who had no experience were toting themselves as experts. Others were selling social media help as the only PR you needed. And the strategists that came up old-school were not able to change with the times (read:  no more press releases). So I—and my business—had to make a change if I wanted to help these entrepreneurs. I have sharp instincts on what consumers and the media want and I knew I could teach my clients the same, especially since no one else was.

By answering this question for myself, I have part of my story that I use to market myself in a variety of ways. And it brought me more ideal customers than I had before.

3)  What are your clients’ stories before and after working with you?

If you are in the coaching, health or beauty industry, this is your best marketing. Ask yourself why clients are hiring you? What are their pain points? What is going wrong in their lives? Then once they’ve worked with you and have seen improvements, what is their new story? What changed? Why are they happy they hired you?

Again, get specific. Are you a health coach that helped reverse someone’s diabetes or hypothyroidism? Did you create a skin care line that gets rid of acne? Are you a business strategist that got your client to reach their revenue goal?

Don’t forget that every client’s before and after can be turned into a blog post or an angle used to pitch the media. And don’t be afraid to show yourself off. Remind yourself that you have something wonderful to offer that others are looking for. The only problem may be they just don’t know how to find you.

P.S. If you need help figuring out your story and how to leverage it to grow your business, my new service, Stories that Sell, is now available.