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Have I Got A (140 character) Story For You!

By Brendon Sinclair

The following is reprinted from the SitePoint Tribune, Issue #423

I’ve just started using Twitter, the microblogging service, as a way to help build my online brand. So far I have 32 followers. One of them is the Prime Minister of Australia.

Hmmmmm. Now I’m a little nervous.

I’m about to write my business’s online newsletter, and the fact that the Prime Minister is following me on Twitter will earn a mention. I plan to include that story because it will do a couple of things:

  • grab the reader’s interest, and
  • impact positively on my branding (the reader will think it’s pretty impressive).

I use stories a lot in my life. When I’m with a client making a pitch for a web development job, I’ll employ stories to weave in our expertise, experience, and ability to complete the project.

For example: “We’ve had this issue previously; how we got around it was by doing A, B, and C. Then the client’s site exploded with sales as a result. The client was delighted, and he actually went out and bought himself a new sports car that very weekend!”

Stories work because people can relate to them. Barack Obama does it all the time in his speeches. My mum does it when she’s talking over the back fence to her neighbor.

Smart business people use stories to connect with the prospect — while at the same time demonstrating their expertise and suitability for the task at hand.

Note: Follow SitePoint on Twitter at @sitepointdotcom. Check out Matthew Magain’s writeup of how SitePoint built its own Twitter following using a cleverly marketed giveaway—an offer that is still valid!

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