Why a good story can help your business stand out from the crowd

Once upon a time there was a storyteller for businesses

This post’s going to be a quick one.

It’s been a very busy few weeks.

You don’t want to hear about what makes this freelancer tick, do you?

What I’ve been getting up to that’s a bit different to the usual work/play thing?

Or do you?

Once upon a time there was a storyteller for businesses

Do you really want to hear about the first week of Thurso Players’ Juniors annual drama workshop. The one we call Whoops! The one where around 30 kids ranging from 8–18 are helped to create sketches and skits that culminate in two full-length shows put on in our very own theatre, housed in an old mill. The one where the kids create everything themselves from start to finish in only two weeks. The one that builds confidence, friendship and leaves adults and children absolutely shattered, but very happy. The one where McVities Gold Bars are fought over, where there’s a recurring gravestone appearing on stage and this year some of the cast have written a devilishly catchy song?

reading

You may or may not want to hear about it, but I’ll bet it’s created a picture in your head.

Stories and story fragments do that. And a well placed story can help you and your business stand out from the crowd.

Woman Reading a Diary --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

What types of story?

Different types of story can help your business stand out and create engagement with your clients, customers or audience.

  • Testimonials are little stories in themselves. And they don’t have to be boring (let’s admit it, some can be very formulaic). Have any clients shared incredible stories about your products? There are stories to tell that can place your potential customers in the shoes of your reviewers.
  • Employees and business owners have stories to tell – is there a story behind your business? Was it set up in a way your customers would like to hear about? Do any of your employees have interesting anecdotes they could share?
  • The genesis of your services or products – is there are story behind their origins? Why did you call you latest product what you did? Do you use special ingredients, processes or premises? What’s the story behind the story?

These are just three types of stories, but I’ll bet you can think of others.

Editors Highlighted Section of Book

Why stories help

Business stories provide an opportunity for connection with your audience or your customers.

You’re not talking about case studies and the like though *yawn*.

I’ve been a professional genealogist for around 20 years, and have been researching families and buildings for a lot longer than that. I graduated as a professional librarian in 1991. I’ve worked in local archives, a picture framer’s, a large art gallery and an art school library, a gift shop, a pub, a marine laboratory, had a very brief stint as a TV extra, and was an academic librarian before I became an indexer, editor and writer.

Over thirty-odd years I’ve learned something that connects us all.

Stories.

People love to feel a connection.

Wherever you go, people are telling stories or listening to them.

library full of stories

Your story is unique

No one else has a story quite like yours.

When you tell your story, you allow potential customers to see behind the business and to connect with you.

Now, it’s not always appropriate, and over-sharing is a definite no-no, but brand storytelling can convert interested buyers into brand advocates. Business storytelling helps you get your message across, but also builds a connection with your audience.

I’ll say that again.

Storytelling in business builds a connection between you, your services or products and your customers or clients.

Storytelling helps you stand out from the crowd, it gets people nodding and seeing themselves using your products or benefitting from your services.

Storytelling can help people make an informed decision about your business and product

Storytelling waves goodbye to stuffy, sell-sell-sell business practices.

Happy businessman designer

Examples of good storytelling in business

Good business stories are everywhere. You just have to open your eyes to see them.

Everyone knows Apple.  Their ‘Think Different’ campaign used emotion to create a huge following in the late 90s and early 2000s. Their adverts put users to the forefront – the latest adverts show Macs being used by musicians, creating sounds that move the world. They put simplicity and passion at the heart of their campaigns – so much so that unboxing the latest iPhone is an experience millions of people look forward to (even if their pockets don’t).

The latest round of lotteries use emotion in their story-laden TV adverts. It’s a saturated market. There are lotteries raising money for everything these days. They’re the little pink and yellow raffle tickets for the 21st century.

What better way to stand out from the crowd than by using stories to hook you in?

The poor unfortunate animals needing your money pull at the heartstrings (cue animal actors staring sadly at the camera, as a narrator tells their story of mistreatment and how only your money can help them). The health charities that promise to bring an end of suffering while you can win big and transform your life. The lotteries that help local communities, with the stories of areas they helped, getting you to dip into your wallet.

These are all stories that are there to deliberately engage you.

sad dog Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

So what’s your story?

If you’re looking for a way to engage, tapping into your unique story can help.

And there will be something unique to you and your business.

Are you an artisan maker who uses locally sourced ingredients? Why do you do that?

Is there something interesting about your production process?

Did you start up your business through passion or circumstance?

Is it a family business, a long-held passion or did you decide to do what you do on a whim?

Did you win one of those lotteries and use the money to pursue a passion for making purses?

thinking businessman

See, everyone has a story. Your brand doesn’t have to ‘Think Different’ like Apple, but brand storytelling can bring your business to life – for your existing customers and those you hope to attract.

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One Comment on “Why a good story can help your business stand out from the crowd

  1. Pingback: Why storytelling builds connections with your customers – Northern Editorial

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