Are you a woman with a business of your own, or responsible for a brand you’re seeking to elevate further?
Storytelling is critical to your success. Here, Eloquently Her’s Debbie Watson discusses some top tips for nailing this all important creative strand in business.
Once upon a time we heard the word ‘storytelling’ and we thought it was about sitting on the carpet of a primary school classroom and hearing a teacher read from one of Roald Dahl’s wonderful tales.
These days, however, it’s a word which should mean something so much more to every business owner and entrepreneur.
In a world where every brand is fighting for presence not only on store shelves but in the social media stratosphere, there’s an increased need to differentiate, and to find the very thing which will help you better ‘engage’ with a content-swamped audience.
There’s plenty of evidence that suggests that Millennials and Gen Z’s in particular are making purchasing decisions which are, at least in part, fuelled by the ethos of a company, its vision and its visionaries, and its ability to resonate with their world.
Storytelling, therefore, is the craft of articulating what that ‘resonating’ feature might be.
It takes the journey to a consumer’s heart (and cash) from being one which is just about ‘selling for selling’s sake’, to developing a relationship and a motivated desire to be a loyal future customer of a brand.
Sure, some of us shop with certain brands and businesses because we’re fuelled by the wish to ‘wear that label’ or be ‘associated with’ that higher tier label or iconic badge.
Others, naturally, will also be influenced over price-point and simply wishing to get the product they want for the least possible outlay.
But when it comes to forming longer lasting relationships in business, we want a compelling reason to be engaged with a brand. We want to understand why, amid all the ‘content noise’ which we’re plagued with on a daily basis, one particular business should be our stand-out choice over any other.
However small your business, and whatever audience you’re trying to reach, here’s five key storytelling considerations:
1 Emotion Helps Engage
Facts matter, but so does emotion and the ability to really spark empathy with your audience. In the year 2018, we want a business which can speak to our hearts as much as to our bank balance. Help your audience understand what it is your brand is all about and why it should resonate with them.
2 People Buy People
Yes, it’s something we talk about often, but do we always apply it when we think about communicating to our customers? Do you immediately go into ‘corporate voice’ when reaching out to your clients or future audience? Consider bringing more of ‘you’ and your story into the brand ethos.
3 So What?
The ‘so what’ factor is really important in your storytelling tactics. You should be considering what people are going to ‘get’ from reading any sales collateral you distribute, or what they’ll read between the lines of any blog. Your job is to help them understand why you are different, why you deserve their time, and why you are a more worthy brand than your competitors.
4 A Two-Way Street
One mistake that’s so easy to fall into when you get under way with storytelling, is to feel that it’s all about YOU telling stories to THEM.
Here’s a big error.
Instead, look at how you’re engaging in a way that makes THEIR stories just as relevant as yours. Storytelling means sharing your customers’ stories and their experiences with your brand. Look at how you could encourage that as part of your future strategy.
5 Brain-Block and Blank Sheet Syndrome
Stuck for ideas? Know that creativity just isn’t your thing? Worried you haven’t got a single thing to say?
We get it. Just like some of us go numbers-blind whenever we’re faced with having to add up our expenses, some of us don’t feel comfortable having to find our inner wordsmith.
Consider bringing in a storyteller to help you with your journey on a regular basis, or taking part in a workshop which will encourage you to expand your mind and find new techniques to use going forward.