26 Jul Storytelling in business: a must!
Believe it or not, when done well, business storytelling gives a good reason for consumers to buy from you. A good brand can encourage trust between your business and clients, between you and the employees and so on.
Remember being in school and your language teacher asking you to write a story? Sometimes it would be about yourself, other times about someone else. As students, many of us found that assignment boring. I remember thinking: what can be so interesting about my life? Why do we need to know about someone’s life? Well, that “boring” assignment has become one of the most important aspects in business today. Tell a story! But not just any story. Your story and the story behind your business.
At Creative 7, our story started in a small office of an older commercial building with few customers, a lot of interruptions from people who did not understand what we were doing but were still curious, and really struggling for the first couple of years.
It may not be the best and most attractive of stories, but it is the true story. So, when our customers approach us, they understand and can relate to the hardship the comes with the early days of any business. By hearing our story and knowing the reason behind all we do, they come to realize that we understand their story and their needs.
Recently a young man who is launching a startup business contacted Creative 7 as he wanted our studio to work on his business’ branding. The first thing I told him was that it was not just about the branding but also the storytelling. Furthermore, I suggested that he now had the perfect opportunity to storytell. Why? Very simple: people have always been curious about someone’s life, what they do, where they come from, and the challenges they had to face. Now, more than ever, we have all these new platforms that allow for your story to be told and allows for the general public to easily know more about you. Before, you had radio, TV, you could get books, but not much more was available. It took a bigger effort to find out more about the person / business. However, think about this for a second: why did people like reality tv so much? Because it gave the insight into people’s lives. This is the reason why storytelling in business is so crucial nowadays.
First thing: set the parameters. How did it all start? What happened in the process? What is happening presently? What was and is the motivation? Next step is to utilize all these platforms to document the “day-to-day” of your business. Going back to that school assignment idea: you’re keeping a business journal online. A true, authentic and engaging journal from the moment we started our business to every single little aspect of it. See why it is so important? That’s how you connect with your audience. They will ultimately feel part of that story by just following you. Five, ten years down the road, they will consider themselves part of that story because they have been with it every step of the way. They have seen you grow and they have learned along the way with you.
Going back to the client who contacted me recently, this is what I really emphasized. Don’t wait until you branding is ready, until the pictures are the perfect ones, until your logo has been designed or until your website is done. That will only delay things for you. Instead, focus on starting to tell your story on exactly the first steps of your business. Start with the “today”, with the fact that you contacted a studio to talk about your branding. Start now and let your followers give you their opinion. See how they react to it. You don’t need to do what they are saying, but you need to listen. You may have among them, one that is an expert in your field who may have something to share with you.
To sum it up: storytelling is a way to grab people’s attention and, at the same time, you have the opportunity to get comments and suggestions that will help you as well. It’s a win-win situation: you will inspire people who are also starting their businesses and you will get the advise of those who have been doing for a longer period of time.
This is why storytelling is the most important part of any business. This is why it is an ongoing process. You will add new chapters to this story each day as your business continues to grow.