What is your business story?
Canada-based marketing strategist and conversion copywriter Nkiru Asika asks, “What separates you from the pack? Your story – the who (your personality and brand or your target audience), the why (your mission and motivation) and the how (your method, process, business model or service niche).”
It’s important to know your story as well as you know your customers, because, as she points out, very few businesses are truly special. And your job—especially if you sell intangibles—is to do everything you can to differentiate yourself from the pack. Because if you don’t, potential clients will likely choose another provider based on price.
In fact, potential clients generally assume you have the skills required to do the job they want to hire you to do. Your skills are table stakes, which means that your website should tell your unique business story rather than simply acting as a venue for presenting your credentials.
Here are Ms. Asika’s suggestions for telling a better business story.
Hit the social media and online chat rooms. Read email. Connect with your audience the good, old-fashioned way—in person. Then reflect back to them what you hear, both in your stories and your services.
Ms. Asika suggests that you consider the audiences you engage with and tailor your message to suit how they consume content and where they hang out. A “one-size-fits-all approach” is likely to be “one size fits none.”
Create the right story
Make sure your business story (or stories) are strategy-based. She says, “What is the driving force behind the stories you want to tell? What is the intended takeaway for the audience.” Focus on offering a new perspective, teaching a new concept, or solving a problem.
Engage their emotions
Articles have been written about how even businesses in some of the driest sectors on the planet have grabbed attention with well-written stories and well-produced videos. It’s important to remember that businesses sell to human beings, and human beings have emotions, so it makes sense to develop stories that appeal to their concerns and soothe their fears. Ms. Asika references Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University, his research on oxytocin, and its role in storytelling.
The whole idea of emotional engagement resonates with me. And using it to speak to audiences about seemingly unromantic topics is amazingly effective marketing. Just check out the video GE posted on YouTube, and you’ll see.