How To Tell Stories About Your Business
Stories grow your business, and give you a way to compete against lower prices. But you may be wondering, how do I tell stories? I’m not a writer, or a good storyteller. How can I use stories in my business?
First of all, we’re sure you tell stories every day. Whether it’s to customers, friends or family members everyone relates things that happen to them or things they see on a daily basis.
If you think about it you can probably come up with a recent example of a story you told someone. Maybe it was about something the cashier said to you when you bought your groceries, something your kids or pets did… See? You told that story.
Now think about what made you want to share that story? Most likely it was because the situation evoked some kind of emotion in you. It made you laugh, made you angry, made you happy. Maybe it was just sharing a new fact you learned, in which case you shared the emotion of discovery.
People Love Stories Because They Love Sharing Emotion
Even the most reserved among us respond to a good story. There’s just something about the human condition that loves experiencing a shared emotion.
So the first rule of telling stories to build your business is that you’re looking for stories with some emotion. But how much emotion are we talking about? Do you need to wait until someone breaks down crying before you have a story worthy of sharing?
Nope. In fact, you’re much better off with every day stories. The customer who decides to pay for someone else’s order just to be nice. The employee who worked extra hard at school and still gives great customer service. Anything that makes you smile, feel good, frown, feel angry, chuckle or sniffle is a story you need to be telling about your business.
Example: Humans of New York
Brandon Stanton moved to New York in 2010 to be a photographer. As he was trying to get attention for his work, he began snapping images of people he saw on the street. Frustrated with the difficulties of breaking into the business in such a competitive market, he began sharing his images to a Facebook page he created titled, “Humans of New York.”
According to the HONY website, Stanton says, “Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I’d include quotes and short stories from their lives.”
Sometimes the story he shares is a single sentence. Sometimes it’s longer. But those stories have led to 17.5 Million followers, a bestselling book and a very valuable brand.
We highly suggest you follow HONY on Facebook – you’ll be enriched as a human by reading the stories while you see how easy they are to share.
Meanwhile, take a look at the HONY story in this video:
Now think about the stories all around you every day. How did you start your business? That’s a story. How did you choose it’s name? That’s a story. Why are you in your current location? Another story.
What happened in your business today? Was traffic slow, so you spent your time rearranging the shelves? Guess what? That’s also a story. Snap a picture of the new arrangement and post it to social media.
Tell Stories Every Day – They Add Up Fast!
Today, Brandon Stanton has thousands upon thousands of stories on his website and social media pages. He’s built an empire one story – and one day – at a time.
If you tell one story every day on your social media, even just 5 days a week, you’ll have 20 stories in a month. You’ll soon notice that your content is getting shared a lot more, you’re receiving a lot of new followers. Over the course of a year you could have shared 240 stories. That’s 240 chances for people to emotionally connect with your business.
And every time one of your posts or tweets gets shared, guess what? Your business gains a little more authority and credibility in the search engines. And as we discussed in the very beginning of this series, that will bring new customers through your door.
And that’s well worth 5 or 10 minutes a day, isn’t it?
If you have a story about your business, share it to social media with the hashtag #MainStreetStories and we’ll share it to our accounts as well! Let’s tell America why Main Street is worth shopping on!