Storytelling for business is having its moment in the sun right now. I’m sure you’ve seen it being touted as the “magic bullet to business growth,” at least once. I’m sorry to tell you – there really is no such thing as a magic bullet.
But it is definitely true that Storytelling can be a powerful tool for business growth. In fact, Storytelling can be just as powerful as the actual product or service you provide for your clients.
But why is that, exactly?
In the world of online sales, we continue to see more and more evidence that people prefer to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. And storytelling is an incredible way to develop this factor in your business.
Think about it. . .
- Audiences spend billions of dollars in movie theatres worldwide, engrossed in a good storyline.
- Novels are sold by the thousands to those who want to escape into a fantasy world and follow an exceptional plot.
- The popular “Game of Thrones” television show had sky-high ratings every week for eight whole years!
Why? Because we all love a good story – it’s human nature.
That effect of telling compelling stories with characters that you grow to know, like, and trust – and in some cases, even love – is exactly what you are aiming for with your own business stories.
Bottom line – powerful stories help us build better connections and more conversions.
Storytelling for business can be powerful AND daunting
Knowing that story can be so powerful, why do so many business owners struggle to utilise it?
The challenge of storytelling for business is that it requires you to get personal. And depending on your brand personality, ‘getting personal’ might not be your go-to mode. It may feel uncomfortable to share your personal life and experiences.
But if you want to increase your know-like-trust factor and grow your business, developing a story that captures your audience’s attention is one of the most effective methods you can use.
I know. It’s easy to say, “Tell a story to connect with your ideal audience.” But where do you actually begin? Do you start from the day you were born and continue through your awkward middle school years?
Most likely not. Especially when you realise that you have a short amount of time to pique their interest.
Be Strategic With Your Storytelling
The ideal way is to weave your business stories throughout your planned content. Those stories then become part of your larger brand identity.
Your branding concepts, tone of voice, and associated key messages are usually captured within your content marketing plan. So during the content creation process, you can incorporate those messages that resonate with your audience, whether you work with a copywriter or do it yourself.
Using a process like this will ensure you’re always focussed on building connections. (But remember – you need to keep it authentic because consumers can see fake coming a mile off).
By working your stories into your content plan, you will have a clearer idea of what the details are and how much of your story makes sense for each content piece.
Okay, so we have a plan. Let’s talk about how to actually craft a business story.
7 ways To Improve Your Storytelling For Business
#1: Make your story compelling
Along with quickly capturing your audience’s attention, your story also needs to be compelling. What do you want your audience to do (read more, sign up, buy now) or feel (trust, compassion, empathy) as a result of your story? Use this as a “hook” to drive that action or emotional response.
#2: Know the purpose of your story
Don’t just talk for the sake of talking. Point out the connection before your audience gets bored and questions why they’re spending time on this.
#3: Use vivid descriptions and strong words
Avoid passive voice or sounding wishy-washy. Don’t rely on too many statistics, either.
Instead, paint a striking picture in the minds of your audience to draw them deeper into the story.
#4: Don’t brag; connect instead
While your accomplishments may be impressive and set you apart from your competitors, don’t bore your audience with them. Keep these impressive feats on your resume.
Instead, build rapport when telling your story by sharing commonalities. Consider sharing a funny or awkward anecdote. Everyone has had an awkward business moment – use this common thread to connect.
How you resolve the story is what will impress your audience.
#5: Use the power of emotion
Think of all the times you’ve cried at sappy romance movies. They stick in your mind, don’t they? In the same way, people will remember you better if you add emotion to your story.
Decide which emotion you want to tap into during your story and provide information to your audience that will elicit that emotion.
#6: Avoid coming across as Ferris Bueller’s boring teacher
OK, this is a throwback from the ‘80s but in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” his teacher has the most monotone voice in the world. You can imagine how awful it would be to sit in his classroom from hearing just a moment of his dialogue.
Avoid this at all costs! You want to engage your audience, not bore them and make them run for the doors. Keep your story moving and interesting.
#7: Give your audience what matters
Whatever story you are telling, if you want to keep your audience engaged, it’s important to edit out unimportant details. Don’t feel you need to include every single detail related to your story.
Instead, pick and choose wisely which details to share and which to keep locked up so that your story keeps your audience interested.
Use your stories for more leads and conversions
When purposely use storytelling for business growth, you will see that your leads and conversions will organically increase.
That’s because when your stories are woven naturally into your content, they become a part of your overall brand personality and connect you authentically with your audience.
And that’s what builds the know, like, trust, factor with your ideal clients. Naturally leading to more sales, more leads, and more customers.
For help creating a customised content marketing plan that seamlessly incorporates your compelling business stories in an authentic way, book in a free 30-minute discovery call here.
Or, another option is to consider our Authentic Storytelling E-Course which will help you take your storytelling for business to the next level and make more connections and conversions.