What’s your business story?
Stories, especially when it comes to business, are a great way to build connection with your audience. But staring at a blank page trying to work out what to say and how to say it is not fun. In fact, it can put you off even getting started.
If that sounds like you, then keep reading and get a workaround for pulling your story together.
Why storytelling is so important
There are three reasons why storytelling and sharing your business story has become so important
- People want to know who they’re dealing with
- we don’t always know who is seeing our content. Many introductions happen online before any specific interaction takes place. For example, a potential prospect visits your website and looks around the site website before deciding whether to take the next step. If the site is engaging then it will lead to an interaction (if not they’ll click away and you will probably never ‘see’ them again).
- it has become the equivalent of eyeballing someone across the counter and that’s why the ‘about us’ page on a website is usually the second most visited page after the home page
- Great way to quickly build trust and rapport
Story telling in business is powerful and that’s because really good stories build a deeper understanding of who you are, why your offering matters and how it can help
- People love sharing good stories
For word of mouth to happen there needs to be a trigger (a problem, frustration, passing mention). That trigger sparks a memory and then a story and recommendation of what can help. The more memorable your story, the more likely someone that knows it is going to be able to retell it and recommend your offering.
The challenge with storytelling
The biggest challenge with telling your business story is creating something that people want to read. A story that is self-indulgent and boring isn’t going to work to build trust. Its more likely to have the opposite effect and drive potential prospects away!
A lot of business owners aren’t sure where to start and want to give a lot of background that isn’t helpful.
Where to Start?
An engaging story has 4 key parts:
Problem – why did you create your business or product? What did you see or experience that you wanted to solve?
Challenges – what problems did you experience in creating the ideal solution? Many people gloss over this but if you do then you’re missing the opportunity to build up the emotion in your story.
Triumph – what solution did you create and how does it solve the problem you started with?
Evolution – how are you continuing to improve? What do you do to ensure you continue to stay up to date in your industry?
What does a well-crafted business story look like? Let’s look at an example.
I came across beautiful.ai recently and was instantly impressed by the business story on the about us page. The rest of the site looks great. But the about page confirmed that they know what they’re talking about and who they are talking to (and they have a sense of humour too – always a bonus!).
Starting with a hook or reason to care is how you can get your audience to start reading your story:
The headline above starts the discussion about what problem they solve with their new product and this next paragraph takes it further:
The description of the problem is specific and uses great imagery. I’m sure anyone that has created a presentation can relate to the frustration over spending time on fiddly details for a slide deck rather than focusing on what you’re going to say.
Finding a Solution is Challenging
If it were easy to solve this problem then anyone could have sorted it already. So discussing the challenges you encountered or your experiences in this area is a way to set up what makes your solution so remarkable.
They are making it clear here that they have the credentials (‘decades working on other people’s presentations’) to know what it takes to put together a great presentation.
This is where you get to explain how your solution solves the problem that sparked you into action. It also delivers the emotional payoff for the path you took to get there.
From the way they talk about the solution they’ve created (‘build the intelligence of a designer directly into the tool’) you can tell that they have thought deeply about what is needed to make a difference. And avoid the dreaded up-late-the-night-before-tinkering with the design.
Where to from here
They build excitement with what is to come next by discussing what users can expect as the business evolves.
They wrap up the story by tying it back to the beginning (‘get more sleep’) which is a nice touch. It confirms that this solution has been crafted with specific outcomes in mind for the end user.
Creating Your Business Story
If you feel inspired to create your business story but struggle with getting started then you can get a free worksheet that guides you through what you need to include to cover off each part of a great business story.