Understanding Story Telling
Story-telling is a recurring theme in this blog (search for “story”). Twice a month I run a story-telling session for business owners. However, I still find understanding story-telling in marketing challenging. The challenge is to tell a story that connects you and your prospects.
From Me to You
Mostly, stories used in marketing are personal. Why? Well, they are easier to tell! You know what happened, how you felt, what you did and the outcome. The problem with many such stories is they do not reach out to your prospects.
Some people argue you need a story that shows you understand your prospects’ problem. There is a lot of truth in this. The challenge is to make your prospects feel the connection. I may have experienced the problem first hand but can I show I know how my prospects feel?
The key is to tell their story too. Show you have empathy and really understand what they are going through.
Your Business Story
- How do you think your prospects perceive your story?
- What difference does your story make to theirs? Do you know and tell their story?
- What changes when your stories interact?
Stories that Transform
If your story makes an impact and brings about the transformation you seek, there are some things to remember.
Consider who is the star of your story. If it is a personal story, can you make your prospects centre stage? There is tension here. Your story is unique, while a story about prospects in general will be less personal. Even if you find a story about a particular prospect, why should that story be any more effective than yours?
Help your prospects understand and avoid their problem. Start focused on them and then show you understand the problem too because of your experience. Later you can offer more examples, to show how the problem manifests.
Then show how your story leads to solutions to their problem. Show them how to achieve what they want, make the connections they want and ultimately realise their dreams.
Take the listener on a journey. Show how you thought and experienced the world in a particular way. Then show how something happened, a turning point led to seeing the world in a different way, to new experiences, new skills and success in some field.
There are other story structures but the main point is to tell a story listeners apply to their situation. It is about how you faced the problem they faced, what you tried and results that resonate with what they want.
Following this twenty-second post to encourage coaches to reflect on relational marketing, take this opportunity to sign up below. You get a weekly round-up of my posts and a pdf about how to make sure you are charging what your business is worth. Sometimes you receive an email with helpful news or pointers to how you can tackle these questions.