We are storied people. Story or storytelling is a fundamental nature of how human beings relate and see the world.
That may be why the great philosopher Plato taught, ‘Those who tell stories rule the society.’ The same applies in business – those who tell great stories rule in business.
Tell your story
Someone once said, ‘We group the experiences of our lives into stories. We gossip in story format. We don’t see life as a river; we see it as a story with a definite beginning, middle, and end.
Stories make life easier to understand’. And Joe Vitale added that ‘Stories hold attention, enrich our lives, and if they are well done, inspire and motivate us’. That is how powerful a story is. But why do we leave out this all-important aspect of our human nature in our business lives?
Stories move people
Stories move people. Why not move the market with your story. With a story, your sales message ‘seeps in’ under the reader’s (that is market) awareness. ‘Storytelling’ Gary Vaynerchuk the best-selling author and entrepreneur said, ‘is by far the most underrated skill in business.
Your story is about what your enterprise is doing, why you’re doing it, and specifically how you got to where you are and where you are going. That is what the world wants to hear more than what you are offering them.
In the words of Brian Fanzo, ‘I believe the future of marketing is relatability especially in our digital noisy world and to be relatable you must be authentic and engaged and there’s no better way to do that than telling a story!’
A great story-told plus a great product equals marketing success. Storytelling is something that every enterprise should harness and tap into.
All great enterprises tell a story–their stories! Someone said, ‘Your company is not the product of the story; your story is a product of your company. First is the company, and then the story’. Mind you, this must be deeply felt and exquisitely told.
Here are the essential questions to begin gathering your own stories: What do you sell that makes you different? In other words, what is your why? Why would people be interested in you? What do you want your audience to know?
How do you want your audience to feel? What journey do you want your audience to follow? What do you want my audience to do or take away from your story?
In business, it’s easy to get in the habit of selling your product’s features, how it works, and why it’s a great value. While they are important, they are actually secondary to telling great business stories.
What are the success stories of your business? Who bought your product or service and was transformed by it? How do you help your customers? Why do customers come to you? We can go on and on.
Start documenting what stories in your business that resonate with you the most and connect them to your brand story! This is the kind of story that gives colour and life to your business.
About the author
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR.
He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.