You might think story telling is something you do to get kids to sleep, with them heavy eyed tucked up warm in bed, while you read them pages from a colourful book in different voices to make it come alive …
But story telling is also crucial to help your business to grow.
I recently met one of my heroes at a business convention, Jeffrey Archer, and I’m slightly embarrassed to say I was more star struck by him than I have been meeting any film, TV or Music star. I think he is one of the most talented men alive today. Why?? … Because his stories come to life when you read them.
In listening to his speech, where he spoke in short, thought through, sentences like he writes in his book, I found that he has sold more books than The Beatles have sold records.
To me that just seems incomprehensible .. but its true.
He also told how, in the beginning, with “Kane and Able” he had to fight in different publicity venues to make his story heard to get his book sold.
This made me think of all the times, as small businesses, we have to fight to make our story heard, to get our business airtime to help sell our service or product. Having people become empathetic with your story means you will have loyal customers who will become your sales team by sharing your story with others.
How many of us overlook how crucial this is in our marketing?
The easy part is finding our story, all businesses have one, finding a compelling way to tell it is where we often come stuck.
Spend some time to really think about what your story is … what is it that makes your business unique?
Once you have your story, here are some tips on making it fascinating to your target market:
Only tell the necessary parts of the story, no one will keep their full attention through War and Peace. Having one clear message in your story telling will help with ease of understanding.
Not everyone has to start at the beginning. Starting in the middle of the story can sometimes help to grab the listeners attention as this section is often much more enticing.
Use dialogue in your stories. This brings people to life in the same way that putting voices on when telling kids stories, the variation keeps interest. Also people relate to people, so by having characters in your story will help with empathy.
As with your Logo you need to be consistent with your story, it is part of your brand. If you tell it in different scenarios and you start adding or changing parts, even slightly, people will become sceptical of it’s authenticity. Consistency builds trust.
You need it to be real. It doesn’t need to be elaborate and earth-shattering to make customers buy from you. It’s needs to be genuine and connect with your audience.
If you are anything like me then you cry more at happy endings that you do at sad ones. Use people’s emotion to connect with them. Whether it be of fear, strength, happiness, sadness.
Put humour in your stories if possible. If you think about stand-up comedians, all they do is tell stories for a living and it’s all in the way they tell them.
Get customers involved – if they have been part of your story then get them to do a short testimonial to say how they benefitted. You know they say what someone else says about you is worth so much more that what you can say about yourself.