Ready for a great story?

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This eNews comes to you from a secluded bay in N.W. Ontario. I’m sure I’ve shared a few tales from the lake with you as part of my story. Do you have such a place where your stories unfold?

In the best two-way relationships, everyone should have the opportunity to tell their stories to someone who cares. In business relationships however, it isn’t just about the stories we have to tell. It’s about the stories we can tell together with our clients.

This starts with knowing the questions to ask and listening to the answers. It’s about finding a role for your product in your clients’ lives – and taking them from the story they are in to the story where they want to be thanks to what you have to offer them along the way.

The art of story

Storytelling is how you reach people where they live. I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague Paolo Fabrizio who believes story telling is an art form. He writes, “Regardless of the topics that we describe, we have infinite ways to approach and tell them.”

Many business people are paralyzed by the blank canvass of content and story creation. Fear is good. It means you’re likely onto something. But you have to get started and here are some tips to make the task a little less arduous:

  • Focus on the audience and what’s unique and useful to them. What’s the problem that needs to be solved and again, how do those concerns fit into your story?
  • Start small – sometimes it’s best to break a bigger message into bite size pieces that are easier to develop and digest. These can grow, sometimes organically, over time.
  • Optimize every opportunity to tell your story. Every email, blog, social media post or live event is a chance to educate others – one story at a time – about how your products and services can improve their lives.
  • Have a plan. I intentionally put this last. While I’m a strong believer in the power of an overall content strategy I also have come to believe that preparation shouldn’t slow the process of actually doing the work and writing those stories. This should be happening even as the plan develops. The fact is, you will probably never feel completely ready. You just need to get started and accept that you might not be perfect at the beginning.

Another colleague Judi Knight dug up some great stats, courtesy of Hubspot, that help make the case for consistent and generous sharing of stories, even in short form:

– Those who write just 3-4 blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook Likes than those who only write 2 blog posts per month.

The trust factor

The stories we share also help build trust and authority which in turn, can result in more sustainable and profitable business relationships. People who trust you will follow you, recommend you and best of all, buy your products or services. The better you are at earning that trust by placing your audience and their problems and concerns into your stories, the more likely you are to convert them into customers and loyal fans.

If you aren’t doing this, it’s a missed opportunity that may be costing you customer loyalty, brand awareness, traffic and sales.

What’s stopping you? I’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment or email me.

Comments 4

  1. yzzkaxc@gmail.com'
    gay

    September 15, 2014, 4:54 am

    First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.

    • LeanneAuthor

      September 17, 2014, 12:43 am

      I wear headphoones a lot to help me focus alongside my favorite music. If you’re having trouble focusing try to put your thoughts into an editorial calendar. This will force you to stick to a topic, do the research and get a draft done. Good luck!

  2. quentin.brient@live.de'
    Broderick

    May 23, 2015, 10:29 am

    Nice blog here! Additionally your website loadss up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link for your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  3. marina.dingle@gmail.com'
    Camila

    May 26, 2015, 8:12 am

    Great post. I stumbled upon your blog
    and truly enjoyed browsing your
    posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I
    hope you write more soon!

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