Why Storytelling Is A Skill That Every Entrepreneur Should Practice
Storytelling, a skill for every entrepreneur.
In today’s tech-savvy society, people are increasingly jumping from one stimulus to the next to quench their thirst for entertainment and to help with decision-making.
We jump from app to app and scroll quickly through feeds until our attention is grabbed enough to slow down for a second or two.
In response, most advertising has been whittled down to short, snappy snippets that attempt to reel in and hook customers on the spot. Which may slow them down for that second, but it typically fails to deliver the long-standing customer loyalty that many entrepreneurs and brands hope to derive from their marketing efforts.
Stories on the other hand cultivate lasting, meaningful connections with customers. They go far beyond what a single like or video view ever could. Great storytelling turns a brand into a familiar, friendly enterprise and can create a legacy that will pay dividends for years to come.
Familiar and powerful storytelling examples
You don’t have to look far to find a “big” brand that has nailed storytelling in its communication strategy. Nike, Apple, Walmart, Nestlé, Johnson & Johnson and many of the largest companies have achieved similar success with using storytelling to resonate with their audience and achieve a broad appeal.
We know and have come to love many brands – big and small alike – because of their ability to tell a powerful story. They use real people, emotion and relatability to nurture leads, grow their brand, and most importantly, develop a more loyal, engaged audience. Over time, this works to boost profitability, improve customer retention and even convert leads into customers more efficiently. Most importantly, they are intentional and purposeful with their content.
What is a good story?
While most business marketing attempts to help users rationalize a purchase by demonstrating economic, social or health benefits, etc., good storytelling will help you invoke an emotional response in the reader — helping them make the leap from being a simple prospect to a paying customer. You become a solution (the “hero”) to their problem (the “villain”).
Though you might be tempted to simply outline the pros and cons of your business and its offerings, it’s more important to focus on building a connection with your reader — through relatable stories, captivating anecdotes and inspiring messages. Facts, figures and data have their place, but they should generally form just a small chunk of any story-based marketing campaign.
Powerful stories are typically ones that invoke an emotional response in the reader and make them feel invested in the characters and stories that are told. But bear in mind, readers can spot something inauthentic from a mile away. It’s crucial that your brand’s story isn’t just captivating and human, but genuine.
One simple way to achieve this is by considering the core values of your business and bringing them out with a story that pulls in the reader with a simple, personal and meaningful arc that won’t be soon forgotten.
Go for the heart, not the head. This means your content should be passionate, empathetic and involve the customer wherever possible. They should be able to easily draw parallels with their own lives, help your brand build genuine connections with customers by demonstrating commonalities. People are more likely to buy from brands that align with their core values and experiences.
If you’re stuck for a narrative, consider the tried and tested hero arc. This is a simple storytelling technique that sees your customer taken through a classic hero’s journey as they venture into an unknown situation, face adversity and eventually overcome it (using your product).
Make it happen.
Although building out a brand story that your customers can relate to is extremely important, it’s also important to ensure that it’s uplifting. Focus on how the product or service can eliminate negatives, reinforce positives and help the user move forward in some way.
There is a cost to being bored. By keeping your readers hooked on an engaging story with a heartfelt through line, you can help cultivate a reader who believes in your company and the products or services it creates. In practical terms, this means employing a range of tactics to help keep the reader gripped and interested until the end.
Don’t be afraid to use satire and be fun with it. Be real, be fun, be relatable. Show the bloopers, show the real side of you and your business. But remember to always inspire, never criticize and try to finish on a light note.
Make sure you give the reader plenty to ruminate on. And remember, a great story is worth sharing and leaves a lasting impression on the reader — so try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes before sending it.
Need a little help?
Pathfinder’s mission is to help tell good stories. Every brand and business has a story worth telling, and we are here to help YOU tell the best version of that story.
Through innovative marketing, video, photo, and content, we bring what you may think is a “simple” story to life.