Power of Your Story
With the surfeit of content shared every day on social media, especially, it becomes more difficult to be noticed by your target audience even if your product or the service you render solves a particular problem. This makes it necessary for you to differentiate your business from others to stay ahead of the competition, and one of the proven ways to rewrite the destiny of your business is by telling your personal story.
The art of storytelling as a form of entertainment is as old as humans. The meanings embedded in stories usually transcend entertainment value; they could be used as a business strategy to increase engagement, improve customer loyalty, and, significantly, increase profit. Stories range from our past experiences to how we envision the future and even how we describe our product or service.
Every business has a story behind them but a significant number of businesses lack the skill set required to present the story in a clear and captivating way. You may not be a good storyteller. Or you feel nervous whenever it comes to sharing your tale. You don’t have to panic as storytelling is a skill that could be learned. Business leaders that are successful were simply able to make their mindset attune to the process of engaging their (prospective) customers through storytelling.
Importance of storytelling in business
Stories convey a sense of purpose which helps to win customers’ loyalty. Thus, your story is important for the following reasons.
It helps to develop your business.
Every business idea has a story behind them, and telling the story gives worth to your product or service. What was the existing problem that motivated you to develop the product? If your customers are not able to find your product or service worthy, they may not invest in them. Make your story relatable using real-life situations. This makes prospective customers realize how much impact or value your product or service will add to their lives. Beyond this, they also see themselves as a part of the story. With this, they build trust in your brand.
It gives simplicity to a purpose or goal.
Ideally, every piece of content is built around a purpose and value proposition that supports a business goal. Sometimes, a brand vision may be complex and, therefore, difficult to present across to the audience. However, telling such a vision through story helps to simplify the message. It makes your business to survive being buried under the sand of inattention.
It places you ahead of the competition.
The wide range of information consumers are exposed to, every day makes it difficult for them to remember brands that only follow the bandwagon. When consumers hear about a brand, they make decisions based on how such a brand affects their emotions. When you are smart with your storytelling approach, you will be increasing the perceived value of your product or service. In other words, people will be willing to pay more than they would normally pay. This gives you a competitive edge ahead of other businesses or brands.
It captures people’s attention as well as connects with them.
Generally, stories are engaging. They are an effective way to capture and maintain people’s attention. You may try to find out why public speakers often start their presentations with stories. As you share your story, you gain the maximum attention of your audience, increase their understanding, and build in them trust and brand loyalty.
It is an effective marketing approach.
Marketing or advertising product or service has gone beyond using the old tactics of offering discounts, for instance. People now want to connect with brands or businesses that are able to evoke strong emotions in them. When this occurs, they care about you, and, consequently, about your product or service. However, you have to maintain a great deal of consistency in your brand story; otherwise, you may lose their loyalty.
It creates a lasting effect.
More than any other form of communication, people remember stories. Think of the period when there was no technology as a phone or computer. How did people transfer knowledge? Or how did they communicate? When your audience is exposed to content that offers a particular product they may need, for instance, they filter the content and remember only those expressed in the form of stories. This is because they can easily identify with such tales, most times. Besides, stories are not easily forgotten.
Tips for good storytelling
Definitely, you are not the only character in your brand or success story. Who are your characters – your friends, your family members, or your employees? What roles did each of them play? Develop your characters in such a way that each of them is given an identity. With this, people realize that they need other people around them too.
Values and beliefs transfer
While telling your story, you must be able to transfer values and beliefs to people. What were your previous beliefs? How did they change? Your audience may also have a range of erroneous beliefs. The more you are able to tell your story well, the more you are able to change the minds of your audience.
Every road to success is marked by bumps, twists, and turns. Everyone is quick to celebrate people’s accomplishments but the same people are caught by surprise when they hear about the challenges every successful business owner or leader faced at one point or the other. In relating your story, you need to hold your audience in great suspense. This makes them stay glued to your tale – they will always want to learn about what happened eventually.
Every story must not be based on fiction – in fact, it should be all shades of truth. Though this may make you to be vulnerable as you may be forced to talk about your bad moments, however, you still have to say them. Everyone wants to know how you managed to navigate your way to success. These details will help you connect more with your audience. The relationships you build through this will impact your business positively. Be honest, truthful, and authentic in your story.
Revealing your vulnerability goes a long way in making your audience realize your human part and the truism of your business story. Everyone has been vulnerable at one point or the other; so it doesn’t make you less human to share those moments. It strengthens how people will relate with you and your brand.
Steps to Write your Story
Writing your story requires you to master the art of storytelling. The narrative guides prospective customers in making powerful decisions about your brand. Below are the steps you require to write a compelling brand story.
1. Highlight your business background and future prospects
Every business idea starts with a need or an attempt to solve a problem. What are those needs that need(ed) to be met or the problems that need(ed) to be solved? What was the dream behind the business? What are your expectations in a few years’ time? Start writing the background on a historical note. The more detailed you are able to go with the purpose of your business, the more it becomes easily to develop a statement around it.
2. Develop a statement around the business
A business statement is a detailed, well-constructed offer that is made to prospective consumers. It answers the question of how you intend to create value for people, solve their problems, or meet their needs. While creating this, you would want to make it creative and fun. Remember you are utilizing this to create a story that will evoke strong interests in your brand in prospective buyers.
3. Build a story around the statement
Now that your business has a background and statement, you need to build a story around them. You should be able to succinctly tell your brand story without missing out on any point. While doing this, avoid making up stories. Rather, be authentic as much as possible. One of the ways to build brand loyalty is by building trust. People trust your brand when you provide them with true and honest information about your brand.
Businesses that understand how much humans crave an emotional connection with a brand will do everything within its power to clothe their brand vision and aspirations in a compelling story. The most powerful stories are those that talk about passion and transformation – everyone has a passion and also wants to experience transformation in all facets of life.
It might not be easy to uncover your story; however, whatever time, money, and energy expended on the quest will be worth it, in the end. When done in an effective way, a brand story positions your business such that it has a competitive edge, is able to build trust and loyalty, and helps to better connect with your consumers or customers.
Though stories are powerful, you can get stuck in them such that you neglect the intended value. Rather than serve as a trap, make them a catalyst for success. Infuse your story with your personality, leverage on the potentials of social media in getting the story shared to many people, tell the story everywhere, and encourage your consumers to also tell the story. Real stories do not die – they keep on living.