In my previous post, I wrote about how storytelling can be a powerful way to get and keep the attention of your target audience. Once written, there are a lot of ways you can use your story in your business. And the telling is important. Many times, a story is only as good as the way a storyteller conveys it.
Here are five steps to developing your story and incorporating it into your marketing activities.
Step 1: Identify the Desired Outcome
Before you even begin to tell your story, you need to identify what you’re hoping to accomplish. What do you want your audience to think, feel and do after hearing your story? Keep this in mind as you go through the rest of the steps of the process.
Step 2: Pick Your Plot
Everyone has a story, but not every story is compelling, and every story is certainly not appropriate for marketing your business. If the narrative doesn’t have the ability to accomplish what you outlined in Step 1, you should consider a different story.
Possible impactful storylines include:
- Recounting the reasons you started your business
- Explaining why you chose the business name you chose
- Describing what your logo and branding mean
- Relating how what you do fulfills a lifelong dream
If you are having difficulty developing the story, put yourself in the position of your target audience and think about what may engage them. This can to help spur a new angle to your story. Remember that in order to use storytelling effectively, you have to be genuine in the telling and comfortable with the content, so use that as a measure for the story you choose.
Step 3: Create Your Narrative
Just like any story, a narrative for marketing purposes should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Go back to your essay writing days, and create an outline of the story and then fill in the details.
In order to create a realistic and persuasive story, stay focused, be consistent in the telling and make sure you include a call to action that moves the reader to make the desired move you outlined in Step 1.
Step 4: Test It Out
As you relate your story back to your desired outcome, don’t be afraid to edit it. Remove everything that is not necessary for conveying the purpose of the story. If possible, you should also have someone else (or several people) review and provide feedback on your story.
Step 5: Incorporate It into Your Brand
Once your story is created, you can develop different formats and lengths for different marketing pieces. Some ideas include:
- A short blurb that you can use on your web site’s homepage and in printed marketing materials
- The full-length story for letters, targeted mailings, and on your About page
- A tagline that sums up your story to be used throughout your materials
The goal is to let your story be reflected in everything you do, so it’s consistent and seamless throughout all aspects of your business, and so it eventually becomes an influential part of your brand.
Do you use storytelling to market your business?
Image credit: iprole
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