“Airy Fairy storytelling might work for some businesses but in my industry people want facts”, said a gentleman in a recent storytelling workshop that I was hosting.
The definition of airy fairy is impractical and foolishly idealistic. There is nothing impractical or foolish about storytelling for business.
Data does not inspire people but wrap those numbers up in a well-crafted story that fires the imagination and you are on to a winner.
‘Maybe stories are just data with a soul.’ Brené Brown
Storytelling is a powerful business tool. Any business that want to build a lasting brand needs to master it.
Your company’s origin story has more power than you might imagine.
I travel around the country facilitating workshops on Storytelling for Business Growth with CEO’s and business leaders and I am hard-pressed to think of a company that doesn’t have an interesting story. However, most companies fail to utilise their story to its full potential and it is becoming increasingly important. People do business with people not with companies. A faceless corporation with no purpose and no story, is not an inspiring place to be.
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” Steve Jobs.
Why your business needs strategic storytelling:
Your story matters just as much internally as externally. How do you lead a team if you are not clear on why you are doing it? Stories maintain a company culture and a sense of purpose. It is also a powerful tool for evangelising your vision. “Persuasion is the centerpiece of business activity,” says screenwriter Robert McKee. “Trying to convince people with logic is tough for two reasons. One is they are arguing with you in their heads while you are making your argument. Second, if you do succeed in persuading them, you’ve done so only on an intellectual basis. That’s not good enough, because people are not inspired to act by reason alone.”
Storytelling can also be used to grow your business — your sales reps should be telling the story of your company or product to captivate investors and bring in new business. Having purpose and values as a business sells, but it needs to be communicated with a story that captures people’s attention.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” Seth Godin
In a world of choices, your business story and your ability to connect with your customers may be the deciding factor. Your company story is the bedrock on which your marketing should be built. How can you market a business if you don’t know what your story is? Storytelling is about communicating what makes your business unique.
Why do you do what you do? What is your passion? What do you love about your business and how did the company get started in the first place? These are key areas of connection for people and they make you stand out.
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate why they do what they do.” Simon Sinek
You have to be unique to be seen and heard. This is where storytelling makes a difference.
Create a competitive advantage
A business with a great story can win over its audience and raise the perceived value of its brand. With all the content that is being created and shared every day it is very easy to get lost in the mix.
As a business, you need to be making emotional connections with your audience. The ability to tell a good story is essential and can make or break how well a business differentiates itself in the market.
Creating brand loyalty
A good story connects on an emotional level that numbers and data can’t.
The best stories tap into people’s emotions and builds belief in a business and what it stands for. Allowing your customers to understand the journey of the company lets them buy into the passion behind your brand.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” Robert McKee
If you want to know more about how I can help you to craft your business story contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org