How to Craft Your Business Origin Story
Think back to the beginning of your business journey. Why did you go into business doing what you do?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer, teacher and artist. In high school, I job shadowed a graphic designer for a sewerage agency. I didn’t know what graphic design was all about. I had never heard of it at the time! I figured since I was creative and loved art that it was something I’d be interested in.
It was a dull and drab cubicle with a lot of crazy passion despite it. The designer even shared an interest in one of my favorite bands at the time – Alice in Chains! For my high school mentality, that was everything. It was enough passion and common interests to have me convinced; I needed to take up graphic design!
My favorite class in college was publication design. The teacher owned his own vegan-inspired magazine-turned apparel company, and personally told me that I had a lot of potential with the work I do and could see me becoming very successful. That gentle nudge of encouragement meant the world to me, and I went from graduating with a graphic design degree to working in a one-woman print shop, then starting a web design freelance business and on to what you see today.
Your business origin story is part of the why behind what you do, and it’s an essential part of branding. It’s also what helps connect your audience to you, and gives people a story to feel the know, like, and trust factor. In other words, your business origin story helps you seem more relatable.
It could be a pain point that you struggled with for a long time, and then found a solution to solve (hint: your business), or it could be something you feel passionate about and wanted to help contribute to (hint: your business).
It even can go back to childhood and remembering the sparks that made you feel more alive.
I am all about going on your hero’s/heroine’s journey. Thinking of your life and business in this story arch is a great way to dream and do, not only with where you’ve gone but where you want to go.
Besides About pages, you can also use your origin stories in:
- Sales pages
- Sales emails
- Blog posts
- Podcast interviews
- Your bio
- Products you create
In my Manifesto Workbook, I provide journaling prompts to craft your Origin Story and help you brainstorm. You can get that here.
Once you’re done filling it out, you’re ready for the meat and potatoes (not sure why I said that since I never use that phrase–maybe I’m just hungry).
A good origin story draws you in with emotions.
Write about your rock bottom, or your Come to Jesus moment.
What was that tug in your soul that called you to do more? What were the challenges along the way? How has that transformed your life?
For a great example of a good Origin Story, look at Kimra Luna’s story on her About page.
Digital Storytelling Strategist/Designer