Why Every Business Needs Powerful Storytelling to Grow
When you start a business, you are telling a story. It starts with an idea — filling a gap you see in the market, creating an innovative new product, or providing services you know your customer can’t get anywhere else. Your story begins when you have the idea and continues as you open your doors and begin serving your customers. But, if no one can hear your story, it probably won’t end well.
Here are some tips on how to best tell your story, including what platforms to use and when:
Being a good storyteller starts with being a good listener. To define what you’re saying, you need to know what your audience is hearing. Your customers, your employees, and any vendors you deal with are the key to understanding your story. They all have their own experiences and will be happy to share them with you if you are willing to listen. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll see just by listening and using that information to craft your story.
Share Your Values
Your business’ values are the foundation on which you’ve built your success. They are the guiding principles that determine who you are and who your customer is. Any good business story leads with these values. They create an honest, emotional connection with your customer and will give them the “why” when they are deciding what business to patronize. Make sure your values are clear and easy to understand and your customers will hear you.
Show Your Emotions
We don’t mean posting a video of you crying while watching the first 20 minutes of “Up.” What we do mean is create a genuine emotional connection with your customer. People make buying decisions based on emotion, plain and simple. If you can create a connection between your product or service and the customer’s emotions, you are telling the right story. Don’t focus on a product’s qualities, focus on what they will do for your customer and, more importantly, how they will make the customer feel. If they can relate to and feel connected to your brand, they’re more likely to commit to a purchase.
Speak To Your Customers, Not At Them
Separate yourself from the noise of advertising by using story to sell, instead of selling. Don’t yell deals out into the darkness and hope for a spark. Instead, build a campfire and invite your customers to sit at it while you share stories with them about your business. Share content in multiple formats — photos, video, livestreams, and blogs. This will keep your customers engaged and listening and will build a community around your brand.
Your Employees Tell Your Story
Happy and engaged employees are your most valuable assets and they will tell your story better than even you can. They are your best brand advocates so make sure that your team knows and lives your values and that every team member feels happy and engaged. They are the front line to your customers and, if they believe in you and your organization, they will be the real heroes of your story.
Listen As Your Customer Would
Sometimes, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in telling our story that we don’t even notice that no one is listening. By taking a step back and evaluating your story from the customer’s perspective, you will see gaps that you may be blind to from the inside. Look at what is engaging your customers and, also, what is disengaging them. By identifying these missing pieces, you’ll be able to capture their full attention and make sure they are a big part of your story.
Tell The Truth
Some business owners get so caught up in the story they want to tell, that they disregard incredible opportunities to build connections through honesty. Everyone has struggles. By sharing the successes AND challenges you have had, your story is much richer and far more relatable. By relating to you, your customer is building important emotional connections to your business. Your honest story with all its twists and turns is far more interesting and effective than anything you can make up.
Use the Right Microphone
The number of ways you can tell your story are endless. From social media, to blogs, TV, radio, print… the list goes on and on. So how do you determine the right one to use and when? While there is no rulebook here, each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses. For larger stories you want to tell people who may not know you yet, conventional media is still king. TV and radio have broad reaches and, despite all the talk of cord-cutting, still reach most consumers. The downside is they can be pricier and may not fit the budget or needs for your story. For smaller and more personal stories, look to your social media and/or digital ad placements. These avenues have a much lower cost of entry than conventional media and can be targeted to specific demographics or areas. That said, you also don’t want your social media feeds to just be ads, so it’s vital to strike a balance between content that is directed to drive to purchase, and that which is meant to build and grow your community. In any social or digital storytelling, photos and video are excellent tools to enhance and reinforce the story you want to tell. For more in-depth tips on levelling up your business’ social media game, check out our previous blog.
While there is no one right way to tell your story, by using the methods and tools above, you’ll be far more likely to succeed and to move forward, happily ever after.
But Wait, There’s More!
Flagstaff County is very excited to be launching a business branding opportunity that will provide your business with a fantastic way to share your story. Apply now! Deadline to apply is February 8, 2024.