Telling your business story is a compelling way to get your audience more invested in you and to help build know, like, and trust. But your business story shouldn’t be a dry About Us page filled with dates you first opened and how many locations you’ve been through over the course of your business history.
Your business story is a lasso that draws people in and holds them there. But it can also be a feel-good moment in a sea of dread. With the pending recession and economic struggles most are enduring, now is the perfect time to cultivate and share your business story.
Creating Your Best Business Story
Your business story must be true. This is not a time to take liberties on the facts but as I always say, what you leave out of a story is as important as what you put in. Here are a few ways to create a stellar business story:
A story without friction is simply pretty words. You need a struggle to make a story. Having said that, your business story is not the place for a lot of negativity. Paint the picture of the struggle (yours or your customers’) and then move to positivity and solutions. Spend most of your business story talking about the positive. People really need that right now.
Use Words That Convey Emotion
With shorter attention spans, you don’t have the luxury of creating an epic business story. You must hook them fast. Use words that are laden with emotion—words like love, pride, joy, etc. When people hear these, they associate their own experiences with them. These words carry stories within them. When words are at a premium, you want to use those that already carry a certain message to your audience. Make each of them count. Don’t drone on with long lead ins.
Do Your Research
Telling a compelling business story means knowing your audience. Who are they? What are they looking for? How do they spend their free time? Knowing these things can help you make connections with your ideal customer and draw them in. An easy way to do this research is to look at your social media posts. Which ones get the most shares or likes? What do those posts have in common? How can you translate that knowledge into crafting a better business story?
Usually, this advice would be given about the importance of posting or sharing consistently over social media, and that’s true. But when it comes to creating a successful business story, you need to ensure the story you tell is in alignment with everything else you post. You can hire a talented marketing writer to create a masterpiece of a business story but if you’re posting daily about things that contradict your story, a disconnect will occur and it will eat away at the trust your audience places in you. They will wonder which is the real you and they will most likely assume it’s the daily posts, rendering your beautiful business story a work of fiction.
A strong business story will connect you to your audience. Today, people are looking for positivity. They’re looking for someone who’s overcoming challenges. They want assurances. But this is not a time to brag about how wonderful you are. It’s the time to show how you are helping, what you’re doing for your customers, and how you’re all in it together. Show you understand the struggles but are optimistic about what can be done when you help one another. While there are many worries in the world these days, it’s those very worries (and the assuaging of them) that will help you make connections quicker and hold onto them longer.
It may seem strange if you’re struggling in your business to work on your story—especially if you’re not sure where your business will be in the future. But it’s for that reason that you should start telling it. Customers need a reason to buy from you—outside of a bargain. They’re longing for something to believe in and if you craft a strong business story, you might just become that for someone.
Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?
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