Storytelling for business is just like dating. You don’t agree? Here is why, every entrepreneur, no matter the scale of your business can make use of stories to bring people towards their brand. When I say stories, I do not mean “subtle pitches” disguising as content. These stories are meant to engage, compel and inspire. The question is, do you have the stories?
Are you able to build conversations based on metaphors that would make your audience tick? You have to remember; there are different ways of telling a story. For everyone else, stories can be random and quick as long as it is relevant to the people having conversations. But for an entrepreneur, there has to be a purpose. There has to be a reason for our stories. We need tools to make our storytelling structured, intentional and purposeful.
It’s a matter of finding the better context for the person you are telling your stories to. Context should be at the heart of the stories you are telling. Imagine you are a graphic designer and you are having coffee with your friend who has a Ph.D. He started talking about optics, physics and chemistry of colors and how light passing through a prism are co-related to celestial rays of lights. (Yup, I know. I lost you there for a moment). What if your Ph.D. friend just started sharing with you how colors affect psychological behaviors. How can these be a key consideration in designing marketing collaterals? Context. Your ticket to not losing your audience.
The kinds of stories you tell depend on where you are in your relationship with your audience. So where are you right now? One familiar way is to compare your story journey to dating. As we all know, there are primarily three stages in a relationship. I am not an expert in a relationship, but let me try to explain each stage as it relates to the kind of stories that you can tell your audience.
It’s a matter of finding the better context for the person you are telling your stories to. Context should be at the heart of the stories you are telling. #contentstrategy #storytelling Click To Tweet
Once you are on a “familiar stage” with your clients, a talking head video would come in handy.
Stage 1: Getting to know
When you are getting to know someone, you can start talking about things that are common to you. For example, where you live, where you both studied, etc. At this stage, it would be weird to start talking about yourself and all the things that matter to you. Same with your audience, if they are still in the stage of awareness (getting to know your brand), it would be great to talk about things that are relevant to them. If you are a business consultant, you can tell stories about setting up a business in a specific location. These are things that they can relate to.
Stage 2: Getting close
When you are starting to get close, it would be relevant to talk about things that you both care about. In the case of your brand, what does your audience care about that you care about also? Let’s say you are a social media consultant, with the recent issues that Facebook is facing why does it matter that you and your audience pay attention to how this would develop into something beyond your control. Would you delete your Facebook page? Or not? Why?
Stage 3: Dating
This is the part where your date finds out why you hate peanut butter sandwiches and why you prefer sleeping with the lights on. Things can start to get personal at this stage between you and your date. Once your audience is already converted to a customer, this is the right time to talk about your brand, your products, and its features. They won’t mind. Because they already bought your idea. They are sold to it.
Now you know. Regardless if you are in a relationship or not at this stage, crafting the right stories for your audience at the right time will result in the impact that you want.
This is how simple (or enjoyable) storytelling for business is.