Why Storytelling Belongs in your Business
Poet Muriel Rukeyser famously said “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms,”. In one way it’s a crazy suggestion that in a world where we seek proof that a + b=c. But the truth is, our natural instinct to find a relationship between ‘a’ and ‘b’, is exactly why storytelling appeals to us and sits at the core of who we are.
Storytelling in its simplest form is a connection of cause and effect.
Whereas the narrative of those stories, helps us make sense of the world around us.
In fact, our conversations are dominated by stories; it’s been suggested that 65% of our conversations are made up of personal stories. Unfortunately, gossip is mixed in there a little bit but .. also shows how dynamic storytelling really can be.
The power of storytelling is something so many network marketers fail to realize in their marketing, their brand and their products. You see, when information is communicated in story form, studies show people can better relate and will retain the information far more effectively.
Storytelling has the Ability to Spark Emotions
Whether those emotions are;
(…and so on).
When listening to stories not only are the language parts of our brain activated, but the experiential parts of our brain awaken too. Stories about food activate our sensory and motion stories activate the motor where our brains are more engaged when listening to stories.
Storytelling isn’t new; companies have used it to evoke emotions through storytelling for years (with still a long way to go!)
However, the look of it has changed a little. The digital world created new platforms, channels and devices where we can share and tell stories and this opens up greater opportunities, but on the flip side — greater challenges.
How do you break through the noise, get your stories heard and relate with your audience?
Here are my top tips for Storytelling in Business
1. Uncover your stories
This question is among the most common one: “What does our company have to say on social media and why will anyone care?”
Firstly, everyone has stories. It’s the day-to-day things that you take for granted, which allow for great content. From your customers’ stories, events you’re attending, an exciting project you’re working on, to a new product or service you’ve launched, stories can be found everywhere.
So why will people care?
By pulling in real life examples and telling stories through [non-fiction] characters that your audience will resonate with, the stories will be ones people want to hear. (over n’ over again!)
2. Share your Values
What is your brand about? Do you pride yourself on excellent customer care? Are you innovative, funny, or do you just simply believe that your products or services are THAT great? Define what makes your business great, work out how you are least like the competition and tell that story.
News Flash: people want to know the person behind those amazing products, so PLEASE don’t lose sight of that. By sharing your values, people who see things through a similar lens or outright respect your perspective, etc. will connect with you (and this is what we want, right?)
This is especially beneficial in the network marketing space — what sets you apart?
3. Make your Stories Colorful
The basic principles of storytelling apply here: they have a beginning, middle and end. In the beginning set up your story; who, what, why, where, when; in the middle present a conflict or dilemma, followed by a solution that ends in a happily-ever-after.
Overall, a good story is one that creates an emotional reaction.
Make the reader/listener share in the pains your customers were facing, show how your product or service will make their life less stressful, wonderful, more luxurious, and get this across through your story.
Remember it’s all about them not you. (Be the guide, not the hero) You need to understand your target market and audience and engage with them as you would in real life; relate to people’s hobbies, problems, interests and needs.
4. Use the Right Format
While content is king, how you make this content consumable is the pivotal piece of the marketing challenge. Your stories need to be not only relevant and engaging, they must be easily digestible – whatever format they take on, whichever platform you choose.
A story that’s right for Facebook isn’t necessarily (could be though) the content of an Instagram post. Remember stories don’t have to be just words. They can be;
… and, can be fantastic ways of sharing a story and engaging your audience. How are you going to deliver them? Straight to someone’s inbox, via social media, or maybe even in a newsletter.
Consider the share-ability of the content you create too.
Consumers don’t go sharing the technical side of your content. Instead, they tell stories of the benefits, the impact your product or service has on their life. Make your stories easy to share across multiple channels and good stories will speak for themselves.
And don’t be afraid to create generic content too — valuable yes, but not that sales-y stuff we continue to see all too much of in the network marketing space. (I currently have a strategy I’ve been working on with clients who are CRUSHING it, just comment below if you need access!)
5. Leave People Wanting More
Your stories need to give people a reason to come back. This is where content like curiosity posts, behind the scenes, FOMO or otherwise come in.
Consider teasers like; “watch this space,” “sneak peak,”, etc. and remember when people come back for more they need to find more stories. You may have one really good customer testimony but unless there are others, it starts to feel less believable.
Meaningful and consistent content will give people a reason to return again and again (and again!)
Stories have become an essential part of creating valuable engagement with audiences’.
So what are you waiting for, tell me/us your story!
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