There’s a lot of buzz about storytelling lately, from Richard Branson to Gary Vaynerchuk, all…
Storytelling Isn’t Just for Bedtime. Engage Your Clients With ‘Colour’
When I was little, my Dad would make up stories about random objects I’d pick up around the house.
Whether it was an ashtray (hey, I was born in the 1970s, don’t judge) or a bottle, he’d tell me he’d picked it up ‘while on safari through deepest darkest Africa’, (he’s never been outside Australia) or I might be told it was ‘gifted to him during an undercover mission to Paris’. Dad allowed his imagination to run wild, and, those stories are some of my favourite memories of my early childhood.
You see, humans are wired to remember stories. There is something profound and primal about the oral tradition of storytelling. You don’t need to look that far into history to recognise all civilisations survived and thrived on the culture of story time.
So why is it when we look to create content for our business we suddenly become uptight and formal. Look through most companies ‘about us’ website pages, and it’s often written in the third person, containing dry facts about the company, dates when things happened, but no stories. No soul, no personality for the people behind the business.
The same can be said for most business blogs I (try) to read. Lots of boring information selling me on the features of the business.
Stop it … You’re not a boring person, so why write as though you are?
I’m sure you’re not like that in real life, so please, whenever you look to create a piece of content, a blog, a web page, whatever it is. Inject some personality. Sharing stories is a great way for clients to connect, to figure out what type of person you are and business you run. The good news is you don’t need to be a modern-day Henry Lawson or Banjo Patterson to start adding colour to your content.
If you’re stuck for ‘how’ to share stories in your business content, simply follow these three tips the next time you are preparing your written content.
1. Share the journey of one of your clients.
Nothing tells prospective clients more about what you can do for them than sharing the journey of an existing client. On Instagram, it could be an ongoing series of photos with clients using your product in everyday life. On Facebook or in a blog you can talk about how you first met your client, what their biggest issue was at the time and the steps you took to help them get from the problem they had to the solution you provided.
2. Don’t be a hero.
When talking to your clients make them the centre of the story, not you. There is a time and place to discuss all the academic study you went through to qualify or the number of awards you’ve been gifted, but in the grand scheme of story relating though, those facts, are not relevant. Keep the flow moving by continually reminding yourself that the point of the piece of content you’re creating is, to add value to your audience, to make it relatable and that it’s not about feeding your ego.
3. Sweat the small stuff.
Unlike life, stories rely on minutiae to give them colour. When you’re relating a story to your people, make sure you do what you can to engage all of the senses of your audience.
For example, as I write this I’m sitting in a cafe near a highway, Ed Sheeran is playing on the speaker, and I can smell freshly roasted coffee mixed with grilled bacon and just a hint of toast that may have been burnt shortly before I arrived. There is a cacophony of car noises (and a gaggle of Harley’s that just drove past) creating the white noise to my writing. It’s just gone 9 am, and a group of mums with babies in tow have arrived pushing strollers, cackling about the events surrounding this morning’s school drop off and their day’s preparation …
See what a difference that level of description added to my point? That’s what you want to aim for in your storytelling, the colour.
My overall point is this, our lives are a patchwork of stories. Draw on those experiences to build and engage your clients, and they will connect with you in a way that forms deeper and stronger connections than you could possibly imagine.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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