Very few companies have what it takes to articulate what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. We’re talking about an important, yet often overlooked, brand-building factor for business owners from all around the world.
Telling a story about your business requires a unique way of framing your brand into a narrative timeline. The most asked question about brand storytelling is “What story should I tell?”
The subject of your story doesn’t really matter. The thing you should focus on is perfecting the composition of that story. The truth is, people, love hearing a well-composed story more than hearing cold, hard facts.
Sprinkle Your Story With Details
You can tell people how you started your business and what that business does in plain language. But you can’t really call that storytelling. Real storytelling is telling people about what is unique about your company and what makes your company worth their time and resources.
Little details that don’t really seem to matter to you can make a big impact on your audience. Tell a story about how you overcame a budget problem in the early days, how you got your first client, or how you first pitched this business idea to investors.
You might remember these events as just another day at work, and that’s alright because you experienced it first-hand. But you might just stumble across the one story that piques a viewer’s interest in your company and makes them want to know more.
Tell Why You Started Your Business
First, every business is started for the money, so let’s get that out of the way right now.
However, there is always more than just money that drives a person to start a business from the ground up. There’s one moment in which you thought, “I should start a company that makes this thing.”
Here’s the thing about starting a business: It’s rarely a safe choice. Most businesses are crazy leaps of faith that expose starters to huge risks, based only on mostly stupid urges that the starters can’t shake.
Most entrepreneurs have had that kind of story happen to them, although few have the ability to articulate this into a story for others to hear, watch, or read.
For example, Elon Musk said that he started the largest electric vehicle company on earth because he didn’t like how big automotive companies recalled electric cars and destroyed them against their owners’ will in 2003.
Few people know that we started Tesla when GM forcibly recalled all electric cars from customers in 2003 & then crushed them in a junkyard
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2017
Evolve Your Story
Like any other story, your story should progress as your business grows and changes. Not only will this add something new for your audience to read or watch, it’ll also stop the boredom of having to tell the same story over and over again.
Update your audience on your company every now and then. That way, you maintain the good relationship you’ve built with them through your earlier stories.
If you’re telling your stories in blog posts, make sure you add “part 1, 2, 3” and so on to let them know that what they are reading is linked to other parts of the story.
Tell Stories Visually
You can tell stories really well with the words you write and say, but there’s nothing quite like showing people what it looks like when that story happens. Unfortunately, we haven’t invented a machine to harvest memories and project them from our brains. The closest we can get to that is a video.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” they say. If that’s true, then a 1-minute video should be worth well over a billion words.
We wanted to find out just how true the statement was by trying to explain Pinterest to Internet newcomers back in 2012.
Combining both video and audio is the best possible way to tell a story. You can use video to push your audience towards drawing particular conclusions of your choice.
For example, you can tell your audience about how your first meeting with investors was thrilling and scary, sharing as many details as possible to help them understand how you felt in that room.
Or you can recreate the entire atmosphere of the room that day in the form of a video scene. They are presented with a situation, and they can conclude for themselves how it felt to be in that situation. By giving them the opportunity to draw the conclusion themselves, they’re more likely to believe it.
Storytelling is an effective marketing strategy that doesn’t really look like a marketing campaign. You can connect with your audience emotionally, and start building and growing your brand from there.