They are great storytellers.
Steve Jobs built a cult of technology lovers by turning plastic and hardware into a story.
Tom revolutionized the business world by implying a hidden story behind each and every pair of shoes sold.
Chrysler took the pride of a failed city and turned it into some of the most profound advertising of the past 5 years.
And Dan Brown has made millions with just his words and the art of storytelling.
As the world becomes more transparent (not to be confused with connected) through social media, a rapidly expanding global marketplace and a growing sentiment of anti-faceless corporate control – business is turning, once again, to that single activity that has brought us through thousands of years of history and has given us our biggest breakthroughs:
As entrepreneurs, we have a unique ability to capitalize on this powerful tool set.
With a properly crafted story we can:
We judge one another by the actions that we take or don’t take.
Storytelling allows us to recall the positive actions we may have taken without sounding brash and overly self-promotional.
I am sure you have experienced this in your own day-to-day interaction.
You go to a party, meet someone and they tell you about themselves in some form of story.
From that story you are able to make judgements about whether you want to talk to them again, or build a further relationship with them again.
The same is true for business.
When you market through story, readers expect to hear some confession of failure or shortcoming – it is what MAKES a good story.
And because of this, you as a company, are able to kill two birds with one stone.
Prove to your audience you are real and transparent, whilst connecting through a common medium.
Just think back on some of your favorite stories of companies. I would guess that your favorite stories follow this similar plot line:
There was once a young person who didn’t quite fit in.
So he became an entrepreneur.
He overcame huge obstacles, failed more than once, but ultimately became successful.
What I just described to you is the plot line I stole from:
… and countless other entrepreneurs.
You connect with these individuals, not only because of their success, but also because of their transparency and authenticity – which judgements you have made based on the story you have heard.
Stories are usually told from one human being to another in the first person narrative. For example,
“I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. I grew up poor, etc.”
There isn’t anything more authentic than you being you – and sharing that through the first person narrative to your audience.
I recommend that you look at your current marketing messages from the viewpoint of a story listener.
Do your messages read like a story?
Are they captivating?
Are they authentic?
If they aren’t, it is time to move towards a more story based marketing.
What is your story?
What is your why?
When you turn your elevator pitch into a personal story, you demolish the barriers that most prospects have towards the sales profession and you quickly move into the “friend-zone” – a place that most highly paid sales people spend the majority of their time.
And for good reason.
Comment below with your story!