Would you like to stand-out, gain trust and connect instantly with your prospective customers?
Too often, I see businesses selling, selling and selling. You see promotional items emblazoned with “Buy this now!”, “This is better than the others”, “Discounted”, “Today Only!”, “Why buy from us?”. But what happens? Potential customers get ads popping up on social media; they receive emails that are nothing but sales pitches, half-baked promises and product advertisements. There’s no take-home information, nothing beneficial that they can utilise. In no time they start feeling like they are just a number to you, another sale, one more customer, rather than a living, breathing person.
Before anyone can sell anything, there needs to be an emotional connection. If you want people to become your customer for life, you need to know who they are, what they want, and you need to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you are honestly interested and that you understand them.
It’s about telling your story.
Tell your story so well that your best customers can easily and quickly tell others about it. No one else has your story. This makes you different than your competitors. You have a unique perspective — your business should be unique and portray your story.
Storytelling is a powerful way to build relationships. It’s an age-old concept that brings people together and keeps people interested.
Your business story can pull the people you want to attract to your business and make them say, “Yes” and immediately forget about everyone else.
Stories can be broken up into sections. For example, you can divide your website About page with one section or page on the company and then other sections or pages about the business owner/CEO/key leaders.
7 Different Types of Stories
There are different types of business-related stories which you can write to gain the interest of your prospective customers.
Origin Stories (which this article has been prominently about)
An origin story is a story about how your company came to be.
Essentially, an origin story is a brand’s most important story as it’s the one which all future stories and events are based.
Customer Stories or Case Studies. These are more than just quotes or testimonials. They give a story about a client, shows what problem they needed to solve and how it was solved by you.
Something new that’s happening in the business. This a story and details about something coming up, or what you are doing right now and why you are doing it. Introducing a new product to your range is an example of an event story. Moving factories or offices is another example.
How We Did/Do It Stories
How you make the product or deliver the service. Giving people an insight into how you do your job is fascinating for many. It’s a great way to invite them in and to gain their trust.
Product Stories shows people how a product you have is beneficial to them. Each product you have should have its own story.
News to media outlets. These are news items or press releases.
Stories can be in either a mix of written, audio or video formats.
Adopting the First Person Point of View
In this article, I have mostly been focusing on are the first type of story: The Origin Story.
Origin Stories should be in the first-person point of view. For example: “I started gardening because I wanted to give back to Mother Earth”.
Many people know the rules of the first, second, and third-person point of view, but many don’t write their material from the correct viewpoint. Read Grammarly’s article called “First, Second, and Third Person” to learn more about these rules if you need – grammarly.com/blog/first-second-and-third-person
3 Simple Steps to Writing a Powerful Story
Here is a 3-step formula that will show you know how to write your Origin Story, and what you need to say to get a positive response such as a new customer making contact, a sale, an opt-in or even just a click.
1. How Did it Start?
It’s much easier for a customer to trust a company that’s open and honest about how it got started. It’s hard to trust a company that says, “We made 10 million dollars last year and are making 20 million this year.”
What can people relate to about your past so that they understand you and in return, feel you understand them? Show them you have felt and reacted like them; you “get” them. Just saying “We understand you” or “We got you” or “You’re safe with us” is corporate patronising dribble.
Hollywood makes all superhero films using a background story about a hero or heroine. Superman was from outer space, but he had a human Mother and Father. Batman’s parents died, Bilbo Baggins was bored and wanted an adventure, the list goes on.
People can relate to people quickly with a similar background to you. They appreciate that you have overcome a life obstacle because they have lived it too.
2. How Did You Get To Here?
People want to know what happened to make you want to do this business. Just giving the and origin is simply not enough. It’s best you informed them about what happened in between then and now.
Tell people what the low points in your life were when things were confusing, frustrating or made you angry. Find the first moment and tell people WHY you were like that, and you will connect with them.
“This is how I feel!” “Yep, I agree with that too”, “What else does he have to say about this?” is what people will start saying.
Find when the moment you knew something needed to be done? Again, Hollywood does this perfectly in films. Quite often, the first thirty minutes in the main character begins his journey because they have a mission to solve a problem; if they don’t, there’s going to be big problems.
What prompted the decision to get here?
Once you have that nutted out, now tell people how you solved that problem. That problem should be the same as what your customers are trying to solve.
3. Ask People To Take Action
All good marketing gets people to take action on something. How can you use your story to do that?
Connect to them by communicating:
- What happened to you to make you want to change something
- What are you doing now to fix the problem
- What solution you have
- Who you are
- The core values of the business
- Show that you know what you’re talking about and know how to do it
- How you understand about their problem
Then give them a direction and get them to take action. Curiosity is the best way I know to get people to take notice, look and take action. Ask things like:
- “Do you feel the same way?”
- “Want to know how I did it?”
- “Want to learn more?”
- “Interested in getting yours?”
Keep the story ending open, so people feel it’s still evolving, expanding and that there’s a future with you.
A good business story invites your audience to share their own similar stories.
What is Business Really?
A business provides a solution to a problem, and human-to-human connections are the heart and soul of all businesses.
You’re dealing with people — your business solves their problem. Whether it’s a big problem or a small problem.
Revenue is something that happens as a byproduct of business — it means you are supplying a wanted product and delivering it with good customer service.
Stop Being A Marketing Person
Storytelling is much more than marketing. It’s the foundation of how companies communicate who they are in the world and what they stand for.
Stop trying to sell your product, and instead, focus on developing human interest. Be persuasive and appealing to peoples feelings and emotions.
But don’t be boring. Don’t let words hide the personalities of your organisation. If you’re overly formal or on guard, you’ll lose trust with your audience. That is because consumers can sense insincere messaging from a mile away.
Pretend that you’re talking to a new friend over drinks or coffee.
Go deep. Be vulnerable. Sometimes stories are imperfect, just like people, and that’s okay. That’s great because it’s real.
Be real. Be human.
Customers don’t care about company history; they care about how the company and product will benefit them now.
Tell people your story on how you solved your problem so that it identifies to them as a solution for their situation.
Good stories give prominent voices to small businesses. It is vitally important to take the time and fully develop your story before spending time on marketing.
Keep your business identity as unified and consistent as possible across all forms of your promotions. Your story should be a part of all your promotions.
Share your story to everyone, everywhere, always when promoting your business.