Your Guide to Business Storytelling
You have your business all put together. You have gotten together with your creative team, you have learned how to write a vision statement, and you’ve formulated a plan of action. And, you have all of your employees on the same page about where you want your business to go.
Once you do all of that and outline your business value proposition, all that’s left is to connect to your target audience and employees on a more meaningful level. You could just invest in traditional marketing strategy tools, but you want to take a more personalized approach to business communication.
The best way to do this is through something called business or corporate storytelling. If you’ve never heard of it before, you may be curious as to just what it is and what it entails. Let’s take a look at this brilliant strategy and see how you can make the best use of it for your business.
What Is Business Storytelling?
So, just what is business storytelling?
Business storytelling is basically the use of the narrative story structure to communicate internally with employees and externally with customers and clients. Mastering the art of marketing your company with the use of a story arc is something that could take time for those of us not well-versed in telling stories but in the end, it can offer many unique benefits to what your business appears like to others.
Why is Business Storytelling so Effective?
What is it that makes business storytelling techniques such effective tools to use in communication?
For starters, it’s far more engaging than just a straightforward presentation of the facts of your business. It takes your business from a product to a unique brand – it is also one of the key steps in learning how to create a brand identity. When done well, it offers a more polished and engaging approach that makes customers and clients excited about your product or service.
Think about the last time you heard a good story from a friend. Did they present the facts just as they are, or did they take you on a sort of emotional journey from beginning to end? Which form did you find more interesting? Probably the second. Your potential customer is the same way, they want to hear something that excites them
Storytelling is in our DNA. It’s been a staple of human culture since we began; it brings us all closer together and creates a bond. Isn’t that what you want to do with your customers?
The Elements of Every Good Business Story
Though there are many different forms of storytelling strategy, there are a few basic elements that are included in any and every good story.
All of your business stories need to include:
- A specific time or place marker
- A sequence of events
- The element of surprise
- The names of individuals involved
- Relevance statement
These elements make your brand storytelling more believable, specific, and unique. When you tell a vague story that seems to wander around and has no relevance to your business, people will tune out or not believe you. You lose your audience if you can’t make it specific and detailed.
Different Styles and Methods of Storytelling
There are a few basic types of business stories that you can tell to your customers or employees to get them to be enthusiastic about your company. Here are the four main types of stories that you can tell.
The Connection Story
An emotional connection story is a story that you tell to show the listeners your values and personal abilities. You as the speaker would tell an anecdote about your past that would show your openness and personality.
These stories should showcase a failure, success, lesson learned, or turning point in your own life.
It forms a bond with the audience and helps humanize you. It can show the audience that you’re the person behind the product and illuminate aspects of your own life that they can connect to.
The Influence Story
If you’re needing to change someone’s opinion, you’re going to want to use an influencing story. Listeners who come into the space with their own personal objections to something are going to be a bit harder to sway since they’ve seemingly already made up their minds about something.
This is how you can overturn those objections to encourage them to change their mind. You present them with the opposite argument without pushing an agenda on them. It’s designed to place small seeds of doubt in their minds about the previous opinions that they had, challenging them to see things from a different perspective.
These stories should end in a call to action.
The Clarity Story
These stories are used to communicate a new strategy to your team to get them to understand and believe in it.
It’s more straightforward and logic-based, opposite to the influence story. These types of stories include four components:
- Past results
- Change and impact
- The new responses needed
- The future actions necessary
These need to, as the name suggests, be told with clarity. Give only the information needed and stay on the point without muddling the information with unnecessary additions.
The Success Story
Possibly the type of story that most people are already familiar with, a success story is just what it sounds like: a story of overcoming obstacles that resulted in success.
These types of stories make the boring aspects of case studies and personalize them, making them more interesting, engaging, and easy to remember.
The Importance of Story-Listening
It’s not just enough to tell stories, you must be open to listening to others’ stories as well.
When collecting stories from customers or employees, listen carefully and earnestly. This helps you to understand fully what is being communicated to you and retell their story when the case calls for it. This is also key in business collaboration.
To Take Your Business to the Next Level, Master the Art of Business Storytelling
If you want to take your business to the next level and inspire interest in customers and employees, it’s essential that you master the art of effective and authentic storytelling.
Maui Mastermind has storytelling resources and everything else that you may need to keep your business successful or if you’re interested in learning more about why businesses fail.