How to Grow Your Business with Storytelling
Companies Must Become Better at Storytelling. Enjoy the podcast below to learn more about how you can grow your business by becoming a better storyteller.
Howard Leonhardt of Cal-X Stars once said that whether we like it or not, all companies are media companies.
This statement is so true. No matter how great a product or service you have, if the story doesn’t get heard by the people who need to hear it, it doesn’t get traction…it will not get off the ground.
When I work with a new client, sitting in that first meeting, I typically hear all about the capture and conversion they desire, but so little about the feeling they want a customer to have. What is the story they really want to tell? Who are they trying to reach? They have been told how important content marketing is by some guru, and they demand a strong call-to-action lead capture on every piece of marketing collateral on every channel on the web they can possibly reach!
While this might work OK for some products in the short term, it’s an expensive disaster over the long haul. It’s not great for your reputation either.
Let me ask you this….
- Real Estate Brokers – Are you selling a house, or place where a family can be happy and grow?
- Chiropractors – Are you selling a chiropractic care plan, or the ability to throw a ball in the yard with your grandkids pain free?
- Dentists – Are you selling a root canal, or a big happy confident smile that will make your life more complete?
You see the difference? Too many companies are selling the product or service, and not the story. The story is what connects us with our humanity. A story helps us to celebrate culture…and a story inspires us to take action, to do what is needed to live the life we want to have.
Now, I fully understand that crafting a story intimidates a lot of people, but know this; Storytelling is not about inventing the story, it is about sharing the very reason why your business exists in the first place. The story is already there….
- Why did you develop this product, or why do you believe in your service? You either had a challenge, saw a challenge, or wanted to be part of a solution enough to create a product or sell a service…correct?
- Why do you do what you do? Real estate agents share new listings every single day, but few share their actual “why” – Every listing tells a story, even if the names have been changed to protect the identity of others….LOL
There are plenty of stories available to you in those simple questions….
Don’t invent. Find. Dig. Stories are just data you already have with a little soul added to it.
So how can you become a storyteller?
- Identify a couple of stories you would like to tell – The story must be personal – It must connect with the prospect. How was your brand born? What inspired you to create the company What is your personal mission?
- Pick the right medium to share the story – Now, this is a whole conversation, and I’m working on an entire training around this topic…but for today know this…..There are so many to choose from. A great place to start might be a written blog post. It could be a series of tweets. A few photographs on Instagram, a video on youtube, or a live audio like I’m doing right now. Each medium elicits a different reaction from your audience, and stories must be tailored to fit those channels. There is no one size fits all here. Some need to be super quick, 30 seconds, some 2 minutes or less. Other channels might allow you a larger runway, like a conference or webinar.
- Listen to your audience – I can tell you Amplify is listening. My personal focus is to fully grasp the desires, concerns, beliefs, and attitudes of the people, the companies I’m serving. Even as this Amplify story unfolds, listening will still be key to our success…..Listening is how you gauge the reaction of your audience so you can shift, plan new goals, and propel the story forward to inspire new calls of action and solve difficult challenges you did not see beforehand. Companies, people…need…to….listen….more. I can not say the enough.
- Understand fully that emotion, authenticity, and personal connections are what drive action. – You might trick a few people with pop up ads, and disruptive lead capture techniques for now….but it’s not what is going to sustain you in the future….and this style of marketing will soon fade.
- Pixar offers the 22 rules of storytelling – If you have not heard of it please read it on Pixar’s website here, study it, and apply it. It’s incredible. It will inspire you. It will make you a better storyteller. If you learn to tell better stories, you will earn a more loyal brand following.
OK, that’s it for me today…Remember folks, be yourself, because everyone else it taken.
Now get to work and LOVE IT!!!
Harrison Painter is the Founder/CEO of Amplify Indy and serves as Marketing/Communication Committee Chairman to non-profit COFFE (Community Outreach for Financial Education). He is a U.S. Navy veteran and Google Certified marketing professional who has had two of his marketing companies acquired, one privately and one publicly.