Ready for a great story?
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.
– 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.