If you think that storytelling is only for authors or writers, you’re wrong. Storytelling can be used to promote your brand and your business, which is why the topic is so important for business owners. And Joey Held is the perfect person to discuss what businesses need to know right now about storytelling.
Why is storytelling so important?
Think about how many products and services are out there now. With so many different options available, your business needs to be relatable, transparent and inspiring to get people interested in your product or service.
No longer can you just start shouting, “Hey! Look at me! Look at this!” You want to find a connection with your clients and customers. And for the most part, that connection can be built by sharing your story, sharing how you got to where you are now, how you started your own business, and the things that you’ve seen along the way.
You need to show you are relatable to your clients and customers. For instance, you’re listening to a presentation and the speaker tells you a story of sipping a margarita on top of the Empire State Building. He’s there with multiple billionaires and tells you what a great time they had laughing and eating caviar – and what happens? You immediately disconnect from them. It’s just not relatable.
But let’s pretend you have a computer repair shop, and while your life story may not be relatable to your customers, you can share stories from your business. For instance, someone who came into your shop with a malfunctioning computer and they had no idea what they were doing. They were panicking. They were sobbing – and you helped them with the situation. Most people can relate to a story like that – and you and your business create a connection.
“How are you currently communicating with your clients and customers? Emails? Blogs? Social Media? Have you made storytelling a part of your marketing plan?
Forbes Magazine says that storytelling needs to be a priority in marketing for three reasons:
- Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience.
- Storytelling is a powerful method for learning.
- Storytelling can be an important tactical tool that lets marketers engage consumers in a fragmented media world.
If you’re constantly going for the “sell, sell, sell” approach, you may find it’s not working for you anymore – and it’s time to make a change.”
What should you look for when honing your message or trying to share it through storytelling?
Storytelling should aim to either inspire, educate, entertain – or all three.
When you tell a story that has one or more of these as the goal, it will keep you from rambling and help you to advance your brand message.
Remember, you want to be relatable. This is a huge aspect of brand storytelling. Customers have options for almost any type of business or product they are seeking. Nowadays, they’re going to look for the one that appeals to them the most. Storytelling can lead them to you. It’s not strictly about price these days, but also connection.
“Have you ever had a new client or customer tell you about themselves, and then ask you to tell them a bit about you? They probably weren’t doing that as a way of making small talk – even if it seemed that way. They were looking to see if you were relatable, if there was a synergy – because being relatable builds the relationship. And business is about relationships.
Storytelling is just another way for you to have a conversation with your customers – and develop that relationship.”
How can businesses use podcasts to share their story and help promote their products and services?
Doing a podcast is really not that different from writing an article – you just have a platform where you can go more in-depth and share more.
Podcasts allow you to go into the details. If you have a podcast with guests, you can start a really nice conversation – especially if the host asks good follow-up questions that help to steer the conversation in a way that allows for stories to be shared. Also, hearing a voice helps to develop rapport.
“Storytelling doesn’t just have to be about the written word. Podcasts are a great way to share your story. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, take a look at this article that Podcast Insights shared: How to Start a Podcast: A Complete Step-by-Step Tutorial.”
3 Action Steps
- Review your current strategies for communicating with customers and clients and make sure that storytelling is a part of your plan.
- Create stories that inspire, educate, entertain – or all three – and share them to build connections with your clients.
- Research whether a podcast would be a good platform for sharing your story.
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