Stories are powerful.
Let’s say your Mum has been unwell. You want to send her flowers, to cheer her up.
You hit Google, for florists where your Mum lives.
Fred’s and Bob’s pop up:
“At Fred the Florist, we’re known for the finest flowers in town! Our friendly & professional service delivers flowers to you Next Day, for all your special occasions. Covering 20 miles from our store, all our gorgeous bouquets are freshly made. For anniversaries, with sympathy or just because…call us today & we can help!”
Now, this is all completely true. Fred’s service IS excellent. They really ARE known for some of the finest flowers in town.
But compare it to Bob the Florist’s website:
“My love for flowers comes from my Grandma – I remember visiting every school holiday, and her tiny kitchen was always packed full of vases! So when I left school at 16, going into floristry felt like the natural thing to do.
“I qualified as a Floral Designer in 2004. But after several years in London, we were craving a slower pace to life – literally, time to stop & smell the roses! So, in 2010, my wife Lizzie & I moved to Herefordshire, with our black Labrador Banjo.
“And in 2011, we opened the doors of Bob the Florist to our first customers! Every single bouquet we make is different to work on, and I still get a buzz when we deliver them locally & make someone’s day. And it always makes me smile to think they’ll keep flowering away on their kitchen window ledge, a week or more from now!”
Who would you trust, to cheer up your Mum – Fred or Bob?
And that’s what stories do.
They help your customers to get to know you. To like you, and to trust you. And ultimately, to get them to want to buy from YOU – because they buy in to what you’re all about (and not just your product or service).
Ever since we were tiny children, we’ve been conditioned to listen to stories. They helped teach us & explore the world around us. As adults, we may have moved on to Danielle Steel or John Grisham (or J K Rowling, in my case!). But stories entertain us & introduce us to characters that we get to know & love.
There’s a reason John Lewis do it every Christmas (remember the Man on the Moon?).
And the truth is that telling your story is powerful in YOUR business.
Well. To be clear, we’re NOT talking about making stuff up. It’s not fiction.
- It’s about digging deep into your business, and uncovering the stories worth telling.
It might be around why you got started. It might be about your passion for your product or service, outside of work. The way you do things in your business, that set you apart from others in your industry. Your vision for the future, or your unique values that you bring to your customers.
Sometimes, for our clients, they’re so busy doing the doing – serving the customers, making the products, delivering the service – that they can’t see their own stories at first. But they are ALWAYS there, just waiting to be drawn out.
2. It’s about crafting your stories into a compelling message for your target customers.
No-one wants to read a boring story.
But a good story – well-told & absorbing & interesting – can engage with your target customers in a way that very little else can.
Especially in a world when we’re all pretty damn fed up of relentless marketing.
Stories are honest and real. They’re about real people – you. And people are ALWAYS interested in people (reality TV, anyone?!).
3. It’s about putting your compelling stories in front of the RIGHT people.
It’s no good spreading the word to people who don’t have any interest in hearing it.
People living in top-floor flats aren’t likely to want lawn care. People without a dog don’t want them walked. People with very low incomes might want great-value clothing, but probably aren’t in the market for luxury handbags.
They just won’t buy from you. It’s a waste of time and effort.
But the right people WILL.
It may be beautifully-written leaflets to the right houses, in the right postcodes. It may be carefully-crafted letters to those companies you’d love to have as clients. It might be highly-targeted Facebook adverts, to reach only the right people (like parents of children at your local school, or local pet owners).
It may be simply building your customer list and talking to them every week, by email & on social media.
Even just re-thinking your ‘About Us’ page on your website can help.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
But whoever – and wherever – those people are, who would be the perfect fit for your business, is where your stories need to be told.
To turn them into not just customers, but people who really ‘get’ you – and buy from you again and again. Because they know you, like you and trust you.
And if we can help tell YOUR story – or spread the word to your perfect customers – just drop your details in below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We’re rather obsessed with it all, so always happy to help!
Until next time
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