We devour books, movies, get addicted to TV shows, consume blogs, and online media. Why? because we love a good story. We want to escape, imagine, learn, hope, aspire.
As a business owner, we want to be a part of that consumption i.e. the conversation. We want our videos to go viral, and our visits to skyrocket. As restaurants, wineries, hotels, resort properties, we want media and influencers to visit our properties and “write about us”. This is an excellent tactic, yes, but have you taken it one step further? Have you given thought to your story? What makes you interesting, educational, inspirational? How can you appeal to your audience (writers, journalists, bloggers, community members, stakeholders and employees) and engage in positive conversation about you?
Craft and tell your story (ies). In PR speak we call this key messaging. I prefer storytelling.
Three Ways to Tell a Better Brand Story
- Find your story: Ever do a retreat, attend a conference, get out of town and just step in a new world? This is a must. I attended Counselors’ Academy for the first time in 2009. It’s a conference for PR agency owners and CEO’s but that doesn’t’ matter here to you. I was in a brand new environment, with all new people. At every introduction, I was telling my story without realizing it. As I progressed, I refined it based on the feedback I was getting. “I run an small PR firm in Sandpoint Idaho and work with clients in the outdoor recreation and lifestyle industry yadda yadda yadda.” CEO’s of global firms were envious. Everyone seemed to love what I was doing. I thought, really? me? what? Because it’s my every day. it’s what I know so it must be boring and humdrum. Not true. step away from it and write your story.
- Please, make it interesting to others. Don’t forget to use the why-should-I-care filter. ( The “I” being your audience of course). For example, you might think you’re new state-of-the-art reservations software is exciting, after all it’s going to make your business more efficient and your life much better (ideally), but you know your audience won’t care, right? If you’re not sure, test it in your social and professional circles. Just like I did unwittingly in Step 1.
- Benefit – whats in it for me syndrome – does your story have a moral, does it teach, does it inspire? It should do at least one of the above.
- Educational story – what can you teach potential customers and clients. If you are a winery, you teach them different things about wine making or wine appreciation. If you are a restaurant, you teach them seasonal cooking techniques, or how to cook using local ingredients, if you are a real estate community, you can teach them about new regulations in lending. tell them how to protect their home from pests or natural disasters. Educate your audience so they become more knowledgeable and purchase more of your product.
- Inspirational story – maybe it’s a great story on where you got to be where you are today. We all want to be inspired, to feel hope. If you have something neat to share with us, we want to do business with you. We want to be associated with your brand and we want to share your story. I can’t really tell your for sure why this is, maybe we just hope it will rub off!!
Then share the story with journalists, bloggers, your facebook and twitter audience, perhaps it’s for your YouTube channel, or your blog. The distribution channels are endless, but that’s a topic for another time.
In the end, we all love a good story. When I see my husband at the end of the day, instead of, “how was your day?”, he says, “tell me a good story.”
I’d love to know what you think. anything to add?
Download From Transactional to Transformational: Elevate your organization’s positioning with effective storytelling.[ssba]