We all have stories to tell, and for entrepreneurs storytelling can be a great way to grow your brand. It’s also extremely scalable. The better you get at telling your brand story, the more opportunities you’ll have to do so. From there, you can use your story to frame and inform your marketing and branding efforts which will further fuel your growth. But where do you start? What stories are worth telling? Here’s my advice.
Show What Works
The easiest stories to tell are success stories. Your customers want to know how you can help them overcome their challenges. The most impactful way to do this is to tell stories about clients and customers you’ve already served. Funnily enough, most companies don’t do this, or they over complicate their stories and the message gets lost. When crafting your case studies, keep it simple. People don’t need all the details. What was the problem? How did you help? What was the overall benefit?
Leverage Local Opportunities
Many entrepreneurs and startups are under the impression that the only way to be heard is by putting money behind advertising, branding and paid social media campaigns. I’m here to inform you that there’s another way. There are tons of opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to share their story for free. Take any opportunity to speak locally, do Facebook Live, or even share your story with your Uber driver! Get used to telling your story. And get used to asking questions about other people’s story.
Refine Your Story
Without the financial investment of paid media, there’s less pressure to drive immediate results from your storytelling. Use those free speaking engagements and conversations to refine your story. Get feedback. Find out what works and inspires people or what is falling flat. Another great refinement technique is to tell your story to yourself and record it. Do that multiple times a week and you’ll start to see where you start to ramble or go off on tangents and you’ll see where you go into too much detail or over complicate the story.
Fill Up the Well
I call this process of continually telling your story and refining it “filling up the well.” What this process means is getting to a point where you’ve told your story so many times that it just flows out of you naturally. When this happens and you are completely clear on your vision and story you’ll be ready to invest in intentional marketing and branding efforts. Those marketing efforts should be a natural extension of what your story is so that everything stays natural, aligned and authentic.
Invest in Clarity
As your brand grows, you’ll continue to have more opportunities come your way and that can be overwhelming. Oftentimes, we get excited and jump at every opportunity or we let the opportunities drive our story. Get clear and focused on what your authentic story is and let that frame what opportunities you take. When you take opportunities that are in line with your story and vision you can move forward with confidence. That confidence and clarity is one of the best tools you can use to grow your business.
To learn more about how use storytelling to grow your business, join me at the Fast. Inc. Business Accelerator in Phoenix from June 7-9.