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Why it counts to share your business’ story

April 30th, 2012

Everyone loves a great story. The film and publishing industries are based on stories, friends get together to share stories, and people remember events through stories.

For a lot of smaller businesses, the most frequently visited page after the homepage is the About Us page. So why do those businesses use words like, “largest” or “newest” to establish who they are? Why don’t they just tell their story?

When people ask about your business, don’t give them a description like, “we sell widgets to parents.” Don’t give them an analogy either, like “We’re the Netflix of posters.” Instead, tell them a story. Tell them how you got involved in your business and what you’re trying to accomplish. Show them a vision.

There are reasons why stories resonate so well:

  • Stories give context. Information that is not shared in a story is just a data point.
  • Stories reveal patterns and causes. Without a story structure, causes for wars throughout history would be lost.
  • Stories communicate ideas. Concepts are easier to understand and remember when told as a story.
  • Stories are relatable. People love rooting for an underdog.
  • Stories are comforting. Why else would we watch movies multiple times, or re-read books?

You will win people over significantly faster if you tell them a story.

Follow these guidelines to craft your story:

  1. Where were you when it started? Where you getting dinner with an old friend? Or, were you stuck at the office? Establish an environment people can imagine.
  2. What did you realize? What were you working on when you came across your idea?
  3. What was the catalyst? People have new ideas every day? What made you decide you could turn your idea into a business?
  4. How did you get started? Did you take $100 and run with it? Did you launch your idea out of your home?
  5. What is your vision for your product? What makes you think you’ve come across something big? What’s the potential? If people have followed your story up until this point, they could be mesmerized by the potential.
  6. What has been your success to this date? Have revenues doubled each year or quarter since launching? Are you hiring or growing a team? Are you getting recognized in the press? Are investors or partners contacting you to partner? Show success to establish credibility.

No matter what you’re selling, people are more interested in the stories behind the business and the people involved. They’ll be more engaged, and they’ll likely ask more questions. That could lead to more publicity, or more sign-ups, or more sales.

Love, refine and share your story. It’s among the easiest ways to market a business.

 

The photo of this post is copyright (c) 2011 by rubberdragon and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

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