When you’re trying to reach new customers and retain existing ones, one of the most powerful methods of communication is storytelling. And yet it’s one of the most underrated tools in small business. To take advantage of it, here are three essential power stories you need to add to your marketing arsenal.
1. Your Passion Story
This is about why you do what you do. What makes you get out of bed each day? It’s likely that you have a great story about why you started your business in the first place. Maybe you have a deep passion to change people’s lives. Maybe it’s because of an incident in your own life that drove you to create your business.
The reason your passion story is so powerful is because passion is palpable. When you’re genuinely excited about something, it’s infectious. It’s a way to connect with people. When you share this story, your prospects and customers can see that you’re bringing a level of enthusiasm and passion that goes beyond the bottom line.
2. Your Customer Story
Your prospects and customers will resonate with stories about other people just like them. So make sure you tell stories about how the lives of your customers have changed as a result of using your product or service.
In order to have an effective customer story, you need to show a transformation. So always think of having three key parts of your story: before, during and after. Always tell people what your customer was doing before they found you or your product. Then cover what their experience was like working with you or using your product. Then discuss what has changed in their lives since using your product/service.
3. Your Media Story
When you get coverage in major media outlets, this can expose your business to a whole new audience. And if you don’t have a big budget to spend on marketing, this kind of free publicity can be invaluable. But how do you get the media interested in your business? The biggest mistake business owners make when pitching themselves to the media is that they send the same information about their product/service to all media outlets, hoping one of them will take an interest.
This is a fast track to nowhere. If you want success in the media, it’s vital that you tailor your story to each outlet. Let’s take the example of a dog grooming salon. The angle you would send to the local paper might be about how your salon also supports the local dog rescue organisation by providing free grooming services. If you want coverage in a women’s magazine, it might be about how dog grooming is a great career option for women who want flexible hours. But if you want to appear in the Australian Financial Review, you might pitch a story on the growth of the pet grooming industry and how your business has opened 18 franchises in four states over the past year. Tailor your media story to each media outlet and you will increase your chance for success.
Where Do You Tell These Power Stories?
The key is to tell the right stories at the right time. If you’re talking to a prospective customer, you might share a customer story. If you’re delivering a keynote speech, you might tell your passion story. And, of course, you would tell your media story in a press release or during an interview with a journalist. Make sure you showcase your stories on your website and even on social media. This might be in written form, but you can also showcase your stories in videos, podcasts, infographics and more.
The beauty of storytelling is that it’s free, easy and can have a powerful effect on your business.
Learn how you can grow your business by reading these five proven methods.