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How to Tell Your Small-Business Story

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Perhaps best coined be TED speaker sensation Simon Sinek, “Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do.”

Indeed, while talking about storytelling for businesses, the question I get asked most often is:  “what story to tell?” If done right, storytelling has a far-reaching impact, and it offers excellent brand building benefits – something imperative in today's competitive landscape. When there are hundreds and thousands of brands vying for attention, resorting to same old marketing tactics hardly cuts the mustard. You’ve got to be unique to be seen and heard. This is where storytelling makes a difference. It gives your business the leverage of a well-constructed narrative. Why? Because people love to hear a well-told story more than just cold hard facts. But how do you go about creating a truly impactful brand story? Here are a few pointers:      

Related: The 4 Elements of the Most Persuasive Copy

Know your story.

While knowing your story is one thing, knowing what makes your story stand out is a different thing. You might plainly state how you formed your business and what your business does, but you can hardly call that storytelling. Real storytelling is all about understanding what makes your business unique. Things like how you dealt with risk in the early days, how did you overcome barriers, what lessons did you learn and other insights make for a compelling tale. Your answers to these questions form what is really the very DNA of your organization. These are the factors that will shape your brand’s image in the minds of your audience when you interact with them, if, of course, you tell that story.

Related: Why 2014 Was the Year of the Story

Have a compelling voice.

The idea of storytelling is based on how well you can capture the attention of audience and engaging them on an emotional level is the best way to do so. Do not ramble: Keep it simple and let your real self shine through your storytelling. Made up stories hardly ever strike a chord and audiences are smart enough to distinguish the difference.    

Ensure your tale is available on a multitude of channels.

Once you have a well-constructed story in place, you need to distribute it across multiple channels to get it heard. Know the places where your target audiences are most likely to hang out: social media channels, blogs, messaging platforms or forums. Pour your story out on these channels and gauge the interest of your audience.

Also create multiple formats of your story to distribute it on different channels. For instance, you can have the same story told in the form of a presentation for SlideShare or narrated through a video on YouTube. However, be ready to answer the questions that might ensue and do so with confidence while staying true to the heart of your story.

Evolve.

As your business grows, you should keep adding more chapters to your business story. Not only will this kill the boredom of having to tell the same old story again and again, but it also keeps your audience updated on the changes that are taking place within your brand.

Storytelling is a great way to make an emotional connect with your audience which is so crucial for a long-term relationship. Since stories make your audience become a part of your experiences, they can associate themselves more closely with your brand and this is the power of storytelling.

Related: Through Storytelling, Entrepreneurs Can Get People to Hit the 'Buy' Button