Ep. 26: Curating Your Brand Story with Michelle Kuei

Storytelling and marketing go hand-in-hand. Effective marketing is all about telling a story that resonates with the audience and makes them feel something. However, many entrepreneurs find themselves struggling with how to weave their own story into their company and product. 

In today’s episode, we are joined by coveted international speaker, certified visibility coach, author, and expert content marketing strategist Michelle Keui. Michelle is the founder of Elevate Life Coaching, where she mentors women on how to use the power of storytelling to attract clients and turn their passion for coaching into a profitable business. The goal is for her clients to gain clarity on their message, and implement profitable and authentic marketing strategies through storytelling.

Listen in as we speak about:

  • How to start building your own story to emotionally engage with your audience
  • Steps to prepare for a public speaking event by engaging emotionally with your audience
  • How to tell more engaging, emotional stories with your brand
  • The most important aspects of storytelling

And much, much more!

Additionally, Michelle’s book, “Perfectly Normal: An Immigrant Story of Making It in America,” shares her own inspiring stories of love, courage, and connection, with the goal of empowering her audience to let go of imposter syndrome and make a significant impact. 

Michelle’s amazing story that led her from a debilitating car accident, to hiking through Machu Picchu

Michelle wasn’t born a great public speaker, a positive force, or an expert storyteller. She explains her journey into two parts of her life. In the first part, she struggled with negative self-talk, doubts, and imposter syndrome after a car accident when she was 11, which left her with permanent disabilities. She had to go through rehab and multiple surgeries before being discharged from the hospital with a pair of metal braces. Feeling embarrassed about being different, she refused to wear her braces in front of her friends. 

In the second part of her life, she went on a personal discovery journey to find out who she is beyond her body. Embarking on a transformational journey, she found new hobbies, new life, and discovered her passion for fitness. Despite many naysayers, she set a goal to hike 26 miles in Machu Picchu… which she accomplished.

How to start building your own story to emotionally engage with your audience

The stories we tell reflect our values and become the anchor points for our content. By centering our content around our values, we can create relatable stories that connect with our audience. 

Incorporating emotion into storytelling is powerful in building connections with others. Michelle emphasizes that storytelling does not have to be linear but can be circular, following the pattern of the hero’s journey. She suggests that the hero’s journey involves waking up to a calling, going on a journey, encountering challenges, and returning home transformed. Michelle suggests that storytelling can follow a similar pattern and encourages thinking about the transformative moments in her own life as potential story ideas for her business.

Viewing storytelling as circular rather than linear will help you tell more engaging, emotional stories 

Storytelling does not happen in a linear way but rather in a circular way. Using the hero’s journey, as explained in Joseph Campbell’s book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” Michelle explains how storytelling involves a hero encountering challenges and obstacles while on their  journey, and ultimately becoming a different person as a result. Every story matters, but it is important to find the stories worth sharing that others will connect with.

How do you find stories worth sharing? Michelle recommends looking for the biggest “Aha!” moment in your life, the catalyst moment that prompted a change, and sharing that story. She also believes that there can be multiple ”Aha!” stories to share since life is a continual process.

Steps to prepare for a public speaking event or content creation by engaging emotionally with your audience 

Through marketing her book and promoting it through public speaking, Michelle realized that she needed to provide tangible benefits to event planners and podcast hosts to get invited to speak. This process can be applied to any speaking engagement or even writing social media captions.

The first step is to identify the anchor points or key themes you want to convey. From there, you can create a presentation or talk of 7 to 14 minutes for each anchor point, with each talk comprising the speaker’s signature piece.

In each signature piece, have an important baseline message for the audience.  You can draw from your own “story bank” to find stories that symbolize the message you want to convey. These stories should be presented in a way that emphasizes what the audience needs to know about the topic at hand, rather than told in a linear fashion.

Finally, Michelle recommends selecting three key takeaways or benefits that an audience can learn from the presentation. Additionally, end the talk with a call to action, whether that’s signing up for their email list or simply doing something differently in their life.

The most important aspect of storytelling is that your story is about the audience, not you

Everyone’s story is significant, no matter how big or small. Michelle cautions to not be afraid to share stories because someone out there is waiting to hear from you. She encourages people to share their “why” and believes it is the most important and impactful message they can share. 

At the end of the day, an audience isn’t hearing your story and thinking about you, they’re thinking about how your story can impact their own lives.

Connect with Michelle: 

Michelle’s Instagram


Michelle’s Facebook

Michelle’s LinkedIn

5 Steps To Create Your Powerful Core Message That Attracts And Sells 

Perfectly Normal: An Immigrant Story of Making It in America

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