You Have a Story to Tell…
...and telling it could be a game changer for your business.
During the last few weeks, we’ve been doing some really personal work. Figuring out what we believe in and the “why” that drives us to do what we do.
All this introspection can be uncomfortable. I get it!
When I started in business, I assumed the results I got would be directly correlated to the work I put in. And nobody was going to out-work me!
I had no idea that signing up to be an entrepreneur would mean having to dig around in my psyche to examine all these deep seated emotional beliefs and ideas.
Sometimes, I’d really rather do the nuts-and-bolts work and leave rummaging around in my brain and my heart to a shrink.
But the deal is, I’ve done it both ways, and I can tell you that the inner work really is just as important as the outer work. It sets up all the roots so that your business can flourish.
The outer success really begins to flow once you’re aligned and clear on the inside.
So, hang in there with me one more time. This one is REALLY important.
Today, we’re going to reveal your story and why it’s a critical part of your marketing.
What’s “Your Story?”
There’s a certain trajectory that takes place when an entrepreneur decides to create a business.
Remember in 4th grade when Mrs. Whatever said in order to create a story you need a beginning, middle, and end?
Well, we’re gonna do that here, too. Mrs. Whatever knew what she was talking about.
You had a life before. What was going on at that time? How did you feel about it?
Then, there was a stimulus for change. If there weren’t, you wouldn’t have made the big leap to opening your own business. What happened then? What prompted the leap?
Finally, there’s your present reality. You’ve done it, you’ve opened your business. How has your life changed? What do you hope to accomplish with this business? Why should it be important to others?
Your story should be a little of your history, the impetus behind what made you take on this new endeavor, and a whole lot of what you and your company stand for, your beliefs, your vision, and your values, all wrapped up in a compelling tale that plays to the emotions you felt throughout your journey.
Heartfelt Storytelling is Both Profitable and Human
Your business is so much more than a product or a service. People have other resources for the things you have to sell. What will set you apart is your ability to “sell” people on a vision your audience believes in.
As said in Forbes, “People would rather invest in a human than a company, and in fact, some of the most admired and financially successful companies are known for delivering financial returns and building people and society. It is both an ethical and strategic move for businesses to do the best they can to humanize themselves through their messaging… and mean it.”
How to Write a Story that Inspires People to Believe In You
Above all, be honest and authentic. Your story doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Don’t make up stuff to play on emotions...that’s just DRAMA, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Your story has all the dramatic elements it needs: where you were in life, the impetus for change, and where you are now (beginning, middle, end). You don’t have to follow this recipe verbatim, but it’s a good starting point.
Don’t be afraid to speak to how those experiences made you feel, how they shaped your thinking, and the fear and the excitement of embarking on a new venture. Describe the conflicts, struggles, setbacks, and successes you went through.
This will help customers see you as the human you are, not a cold, impersonal business.
And They All Lived Happily Ever After
The end of your story is a happy one! You’re now working for something you believe in! You’re going to help solve problems and make people’s lives better!
This is the time to incorporate all the things we’ve been talking about, your beliefs, your value propositions, your mission, vision, and values.
Since these things will be incorporated in other parts of your website, you don’t need to go into exhaustive detail at the end of your story, but these things should be mentioned as a way to genuinely tap into your customer’s emotions, giving them a reason to believe in you.
And once they believe in you, you’ve built brand loyalty.
Where Should You Talk About Your Experience and Credentials?
Take a look at some companies on the web. If they have an “About” page, and you’d be stunned to see how many don’t, it will likely be a paragraph or two listing the years of experience, the accolades, and the letters the owners get to put after their names.
Who wants to read a resume? No one, unless they’re looking for your credentials.
You’ve earned the right to highlight those accomplishments. These things will define you as an expert in your field and should be proudly displayed!
Just don’t do it in your story. You can list these things separately on another page, such as a “Bio” page or a “Meet the Team” page. These achievements lend you credibility and should be listed, but they don’t belong in your narrative.
Where Should Your Story Be Displayed?
Most people highlight their stories in their “About” page on their website. If you have a particularly compelling story, put it on the home page! Use it in your social campaigns, your ads, and in your product briefs.
Wherever it makes sense for you, put your story out there. Hang it up in your business so that everyone can see it. Talk about it with new customers. It can be a great way to introduce your company’s values. People will relate to your struggle and will admire how you overcame it.
Don’t Forget The Pictures
What’s a story without illustrations? Don’t be afraid to include pictures or illustrations when appropriate!
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” - Steve Jobs
If you’ve been following Emotive Pull for any length of time, you understand the power of human connection. Long-term brand loyalty is created by business owners who understand this inherent craving and can relate their story in a heartfelt way.
If you need help creating a captivating story about your business, please contact us! We love helping businesses share their passion, vision, and story with the world.
Next up, some great stories from some great businesses...