Every business owner has a story. How you tell the story directly relates to your brand development. To create a compelling story, one that connects with your audience, you must choose the right elements—a challenging task if you don’t consider yourself a writer. Here are a few tips to become a storytelling rock star and win more business.
Why Use Storytelling?
Human beings, explains Jonathan Gottschall, are addicted to stories: “Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” Stories are creative and intriguing, and, as a result, they communicate facts more effectively. In business and in life, telling a story is often the most effective way to deliver a message. When done well, a story simplifies what can often be complex or dull, sharing your message in a more interesting and meaningful way.
Use Stories to Inspire
Your content is designed to motivate people to act; therefore, your company brand and message must inspire action. When your message humanizes your brand, you become authentic and trustworthy. The more human the stories you tell, the more likely you are to make real connections with people.
Inspiration triggers emotions and compels people to act. Market your business in a way that is true to your brand so people understand what you represent and feel good about choosing your brand over the competition. When you inspire people, your message becomes less of a selling tactic and more about showing people how you are helping them.
How to Tell a Story
Not everyone is born a storyteller, but we all have stories worth sharing. If you feel storytelling is not one of your innate gifts, consider using common elements of great stories:
- Entertain your audience: No story worth reading is boring; create interest and build intrigue so people can’t stop reading.
- Teach readers something: Sharing information that educates the reader entices them to continue reading.
- Appeal to more readers: Experiences that ring true with most people always make better stories because they are more relatable.
- Carefully construct format: Organize your story so it follows a logical progression; take your reader from one fact to the next, allowing them to absorb the content and follow along without losing track of what’s happening.
A good story, whether it is funny, tragic, intriguing, scandalous, or unique, triggers emotions, making it easier to remember.
How to Get There
Understanding the storytelling process is key to becoming a competent storyteller. It is particularly important to develop strong content that reflects your brand and sends the right message about it:
- Audience: Know who you are writing for to ensure you write stories they’ll appreciate.
- Message: Have your message in mind to avoid rambling.
- Story type: Keep the purpose of your story at the forefront when you write—whether it is to incite action, introduce yourself, share the values of your company’s culture, create a sense of community, educate, or entertain.
- Call to action: Know where you want your audience to be when they finish reading—whether it is to read more, click here for information, get a quote, etc.
- Use the right medium: If you don’t feel you’re a good writer but you can tell a story orally, consider using video instead of a written blog; you can also record podcasts or even put together some form of digital presentation.
These storytelling tips will help you develop your brand and create compelling content to grow your business.