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When you’re growing a small business, you’re looking for any way you can stand out and draw more people to you.

But many people forget one very compelling way to attract clients.

Their personal stories.

Your personal story can help you attract your target clients, give you something in common with those you want to do business with, and relate to those around you. In today’s world of increasing interest in the lives of others — as displayed by the popularity of reality television and social media profiles — you could be missing an opportunity if you ignore your personal story. This isn’t to say you need to blab all your personal business to your customers — that would just be weird — but do consider being more open about who you are as a person and how that influences the work you can do for them.

Sharing your personal story is especially important for your writing business, because that writing business could very well be based on your personal brand — the idea your customers and clients have of you.

Here are 5 reasons why your personal story is important to your business

1. It humanizes you. People don’t do business with companies and brands as much as they do business with people. They do business because of an expectation that you will be able to help them, that you will make them feel good, that you will behave in a certain way.

2. It connects you with your customer or client. Your personal story may give you the reason why you do the business you do. This, in turn, can touch the heart and soul of your potential client, who chooses you because she identifies with your why and your values. Your personal story can also show your client what you and she have in common.

3. It makes your business stand out. There may be many service providers doing the same thing you do — writing, creating content, etc. But your potential client may choose to work with you because he sees something in your personal story that causes you to rise above other similar competitors in his mind.

4. It inspires. Your personal story can inspire others to see a better version of their lives or themselves through your experience. Now, this isn’t something relevant to every business relationship, but if you are in the business of moving others as a speaker or writer, then your personal story is important to that work.

5. It defines your expertise. Your personal story can also define your expertise, by showing why you work the way you do or why you have certain systems and processes in place in your business — systems and processes that can help your customer or client reach their goals more quickly or more easily. If you neglect to share that part of your personal story that is relevant, then your potential customer or client may not be able to evaluate you on anything other than price, forcing you to compete based on lowest rate, rather than on the value you bring.

Consider sharing your personal story in your business — on your website or blog, in your books, even in your sales calls, as appropriate. Choose to stand out based on who you are, and find that you connect with customers and clients in a different way that goes beyond dollars and cents.

How do you share your personal story in your business?