Did you know that this week (January 30-February 6, 2023) is National Storytelling Week? It is a whole week dedicated to celebrating stories because storytelling is powerful. Especially when it comes to business.
You may not realise this, but storytelling is an integral part of your marketing activities and is key to building a strong brand. The degree to which you embrace and excel at storytelling will determine just how successful your business will be.
Why is Storytelling in Business Important?
Storytelling in business allows us to connect on an emotional level with our audience and with potential customers. It allows us to share our beliefs and our values and to build trust and strengthen our relationship with our audience.
Storytelling can trigger people’s imaginations helping them to envision a different outcome or future. It gets our audience engaged and gets them interacting with our brand.
In business, we can use storytelling to express our ideas and messages in a simpler way that is easier to understate. Stories make us, our business, our products, and our services, more relatable. They can influence our thoughts, perceptions and behaviour. It can evoke strong reactions in people and prompt them to take action.
Stories bring people together, through a shared understanding. They create communities, and when it comes to business, stories help us to humanise our brands. And it is often the strength of our stories that encourages brand loyalty, because stories are memorable. And this can give us a competitive advantage.
How to Tell a Story in Business
Building a successful business relies on good storytelling, but how do you ensure that the stories that you tell are any good? What makes a good story anyway?
The stories that we tell about our business should be entertaining, relatable, believable, educational and memorable. People react best to stories when they feel engaged, can see themselves in there, believe them, learn something new, and remember them.
To guarantee those things we must understand who our ideal customer is, what problems they are facing, and what they require in order to find a solution. We should be authentic and talk about our own journey, our struggles, and our accomplishments. We should share our values and our vision and why it’s important for us as a business. And we should share our knowledge.
Steve Clayton, Microsoft’s chief storyteller, has famously devised a formulaic way to tell your brand story based on the five Ps:
- People – focus on the people that are the heroes of the story
- Place – it is important to define a setting
- Pictures -invest in great visual assets to illustrate your story
- Platforms – what platform will you use to tell your story to your audience?
- Personal – make your stories personal
This framework can help you to write great-quality stories for your brand that resonate with your audience.
What are the Benefits of Storytelling in Business?
If you are able to craft a narrative that people can connect to on a deeply human level, you are much more likely to build a successful business. Your stories will help you to attract your ideal clients, build trust with them, and convince them to buy from you. Yes, good storytelling in business will increase your sales and create loyal customers that will remember you and buy from you over and over again.
Need Help Telling Your Brand Story?
If you are struggling to tell your brand story and need some help to clarify it, book in for a 1:1 session with Stacey where she will help you deep dive into your branding and marketing.
Stacey Sheppard is the founder of The Tribe, a small community-driven coworking space in Totnes that caters to creative, growth-oriented female entrepreneurs by providing an inspiring working environment designed to foster collaboration, connection and community.