Why do movies win Oscars? A great story. Why do we all love to hear songs from our youth? They take us back to a great story. What will make your brand relevant to more customers? Your great story.
I love to tell stories. It’s one of the very best parts of my job. It’s also sometimes one of the most difficult parts.
Every business owner has a story, and yet, many have a hard time expressing it.
I ask them, “What do you think makes you unique in your industry?”. They say, “We have great customer service.” I ask them, “What do you think is the biggest benefit of your product or service to customers?”. They say, “We have the best prices.” I ask them, “Why should customers shop with you?”. They say, “Because we are a local, family-owned business.”
These are all terrible answers.
Okay to be fair, they are not terrible characteristics or ones that are completely un-valued by the customer. But they are also not anything that will distinguish you from your competition. What will distinguish you? (all together now…) A great story!
Not just any story – YOUR story. So how do we uncover your genuine story and make it great? We dig. Here are some good questions to start with:
Why do you do what you do?
What made you get started?
What makes you continue?
If those answers are things like, “because I am good at it”, “to pay the bills,” or “I don’t know what else to do”, then keep going.
Why are you good at it? How did you figure out you were good at it?
What does paying the bills afford you in terms of your life? What dreams have you fulfilled?
What did you want to be when you grew up? If this isn’t it, what made you change your mind?
And so on. So now you’ve probably got a question for me, and it probably goes something like, “This seems like a lot of work. Why should I bother?”
My answer to you is, “because it will make you more successful.” And it’s absolutely true.
Knowing your story and being able to relay it has multiple benefits that will lead to greater success. First off, we live in an “experience” society. Customers want to get to know us by interacting with us – that means knowing what we like and dislike, what we stand for, and how we will contribute to the world. And they don’t just want to be told – they want to see it. To live your story, you have to be able to tell it first.
Developing your story will reinvigorate your passion. Passion is contagious, and your customers are highly susceptible. When you have a deep caring for what you do and can communicate that story, customers respond – with more business. Don’t believe me? Ask someone over at Apple.
Telling your story will add legitimacy to your business. Most human beings have, by the age of 20, a fairly refined bullshit meter. And due to the ever-growing inundation of marketing messages, that age is becoming younger and younger. People hate to be “sold” to. But give people a genuine story about why you do what you do and what makes what you do better than someone else’s? That is something they can buy into.
Have I convinced you yet? If you understand that developing and communicating your story is worth the process, but need some help, give me a call. We can dig together, and will likely come out on the other side pleased with both the experience, and the outcome.
I love to tell great stories. I’d love to tell yours.
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