Do you need to add some verbal flare to your brand’s identity and content to really set yourself apart?
Michael Hauge, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, and the famous author explains that
“All a business story is, is telling what happened to someone who you worked with who benefitted from you, where they were at the beginning, what they went through, what their journey was and where they were at the end.”
If you can manage those five steps, you have the potential to be a compelling storyteller. Lucky for us, unlike a movie script, business stories are simple to make. Now more than ever, storytelling is critical to consumer connection. While there are many different stories your business can tell, there are two, in particular, every brand should clearly communicate to their audience: The story of how your business came to be, and the story(ies) of those positively affected by it.
The Story of How Your Business Came to Be
If you are a business owner, you are very familiar with those long hours of planning and the challenges you faced when you started… but your audience isn’t. Don’t be afraid, to be honest, if you had a hard time converting your dream into reality, or if the money just wasn’t there at first, or if you hit rock bottom before you found your stride. EVERYONE loves a comeback story or can relate to tough times. By being genuine and authentic, you are already communicating the type of business you run and building trust with your clients and internal stakeholders. Explain why you do what you do. Make sure your hard earned work is given credit and communicated with the passion that drove you to create it. Use these five steps to keep your business story well organized and understandable, you don’t want to the customer to get lost in all of the twists and turns, a complicated story is not always a compelling one.
The Story of a Customer Positively Affected By the Business
Another word for this type of story is a testimonial. Your business may have received various positive client testimonials. Hopefully, you have even posted some on the businesses’ website. However, to really be an excellent storyteller you not only want to show the testimonial but advertise it. For example, if the testimonial reads,
“Thank you so much for getting me through what started to be a really frustrating experience. You really turned my situation around.” -anonymous
That is awesome and very telling of your care and passion for your customers, but to go the extra mile, you want to include the three foundations of every good story: the character, the conflict, and the goal which ultimately, the same foundations of why a business exists. The above testimonial lacks each of these foundations and therefore while it is kind, it is not compelling. Hauge explains in his podcast that in order to really hit home with a potential buyer, “get the buyer to live vicariously through existing customers.” To advertise such an uplifting testimonial, ask permission to tell more of the story. Allow what is sweet to become inspirational. Give life to the comment by including a name (even if it is a fake name to protect his/her identity), explain what their situation was, how they found you, and the solution you were able to offer in order to change what was a gloomy outcome into a positive one. This is the kind of story that other, potential consumers will see and really resonate with.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story, you might even find others have had similar experiences. No matter who you are or what you do, we all have a story to tell and one life to tell it. Start simple and work your way up, remember you don’t need to write a movie or novel, just be authentic and allow the consumer to see why your business matters.