This week, we’re talking storytelling for your business, even if you have no idea what stories you could tell.

Check out my story in ⁠season 1, episode 8⁠.

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Hello, and welcome to season three, episode four of the Grow your side hustle Podcast, the podcast to help women grow the business of their dreams, whether they want to run that business as a long-term side hustle or build it into their main business, so they control their time with their families, and control their money.

I’m your host, Jennifer Roland Cadiente, here to provide short actionable episodes that will help you build your business.

This week, we’re going to talk about storytelling.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re listening to podcasts in the business arena, it seems like everyone seems to put up episodes on the same things at the same time. Last month, it felt like everyone was talking about storytelling in your emails. It was like everyone just did a reread of Donald Miller’s Story Brand and thought, Ah, this is what we need to talk about now. But I do also think that it’s becoming more and more important to use your story and the story of your business, to really set yourself apart.

Authenticity has been something that’s really important and sharing your specific story can really, really help prove that you’re an authentic person, you’re an actual human person running this business. And, you know, making these products, doing these services, helping people all along the way in the ways that you do. But it can be really challenging for a lot of us to really understand what storytelling means in the context of our marketing, specifically, our email marketing.

So if you look at, you know, telling your own story, people want to know why you’re doing this, why you started your business, what it means to you, they also want to hear from your customers, you know, what does your business your product or your service? What does that mean to the people that buy from you. So you can incorporate this by, you know, sending emails that include things about you, you know, some people send out a newsletter that talks about, you know, what’s happening in their family, like a, like a mini Christmas letter, every week or every month when however, often you send out your emails. Some people send out emails that tell the story of a product. So you know, say, you just started offering case studies, you can talk about how much joy you get in speaking with happy customers, of you know, the your clients and translating those stories into something that is relatable to a large group of people, you know, the people that are like the person that had this wonderful experience with the business that you’re helping promote. You can do that with your own case studies, your own customers, you know, talk to them about what, you know, what things were like before, what things are like now, and how they got there with your, your guidance or your product, your service, whatever, whatever you’re offering.

But what if you’ve run out of those sorts of things? You know, what if you’ve already told your story? Like, I mean, I could tell you my story here, but I already told it to you in season one. So instead, I’m just going to link back to that so you can go back and listen. So that link will be in the show notes. So I don’t have to spend a lot of time here today, talking again. You don’t have to listen right away. You can listen when it’s a better time for you. What if you don’t have new products? What if you haven’t, you know connected with any recent customers to get case studies.

One of the things that that is helpful is going to the Back to that Story Brand framework Donald Miller created and trying to find the seven basic elements of story. And that can help you figure out new things, or new ways to say the same things that really will connect with your potential customers. So you have a character, you have a problem, a guide, gives them a plan and cause them to put that plan into action, then you have your results, and either the failure or the success, or both. Because sometimes it’s not just a clear-cut, black-and-white, you failed, you succeeded. Sometimes it’s a story of going through failure to success. Sometimes it’s success leading you to an ultimate failure that moves you in a different direction.

So what are the characters in your business? There’s you. There’s your products, there’s your customers? How can you craft a character that encompasses the thing that’s going to speak to your people? What’s the problem that that character has? How do they move through that problem? How do they take action? What results do they have? And where do they end up?

I know last week we talked about uniqueness and finding novel ways to solve problems that are affecting the market. So to tell a story about that, it’s not just oh, here’s this thing. And this is, these are the benefits of it. These are the features of it actually, is what most people will talk about is like, you know, I created this product. It has this, this and this behind it. It’s awesome because of this. But what made you create that product? What was the story that made you think, Oh, this is a problem, and I totally need to solve it. That’s a story. When you were testing this out, you probably tested it on yourself first. That’s a story. Then maybe you gave it to your spouse, your best friend? How did they interact with the product that you created? How did it help them? How did they, their feedback, lead you to do something different? That’s a story. Then when you’ve gone to market, and you’re, you know, you’re getting feedback from not just the people that know you best? What are they saying? How are you changing your product, to provide something that is better for them? Those are all stories.

So think about your business, not just as the thing that makes you money. Think about the story of it, how does it make you money? How does you making money affect the world in a positive way? How can you communicate that. So sometimes, you know, you may be able to come up with these things yourself. Sometimes you may need to hire a copywriter who will sit down and talk to you and help tease out the elements of your story. And then write them up in a way that will really connect with your audience of potential customers, or a former customers who could help share your story with their friends and family. And sometimes, you might just grab a friend for coffee, and talk through some of these things. And then you can help that can help you tease out the elements that you can use as a story.

The one thing that I do want to caution against is that sometimes our stories feel long. And if they feel long when we’re telling them they’re absolutely going to feel long when someone is reading them most likely on their phone screen in their email program. So try to condense it down or break it into multiple parts. Pull out just the tiniest element of each story until that every week. Not only does that keep your emails digestible and easy and fun for people, but it also lets you gives you content to last for a long time. So, you know, maybe you’ve got three months before you have to go through this process again and figure out more stories to tell. So I hope that this discussion helped you see how you can actually use storytelling. Instead of just hearing Oh, you really need to tell stories in your emails. Here’s how you can actually figure out what your stories are, and how you can tell them.

If you’ve got more questions about storytelling, in your marketing, let’s talk about it in the Grow your side hustle community on Facebook, you can always shoot me an email also. And I might use it as a future asked me anything episode. My email is Jennifer at Jennifer hyphen, roll That will also be in the show notes, along with the link to the Grow your side hustle community on Facebook.

If you liked today’s episode, make sure that you have subscribed so that you don’t miss any future episodes, share it with someone that you think might enjoy it. And leave a review in your podcast app. That’s super helpful, and helping more people find us. You can also sign up for my email list so that you get notifications of new episodes and new things that I’ve got on offer. You’ll get the Grow your side hustle Resource Library, which has the tools that I’ve created to help you achieve what you want with your side hustle. And anything new that I create will end up in there so that you don’t have to just sign up again every time I come up with something new. We’ve got to leave your day job checklist, mindset, reset goals, cheat sheet and some other things that are useful. So I’d love to see you on that email list.

All right. Talk to you next time. Hope to see you in the Facebook group.