If you have a line of customers ready to give you money for your products and services but you don’t have enough staff to take care of business, you have a big problem. It’s a problem that isn’t going to resolve itself any time soon. National unemployment is just under 4%, while here in Minnesota, that number is even lower, hovering at just under 3% for the last four months according to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development bureau.
If you ask, your clients are generally happy to put out a good word for you. They’ll refer you to their friends and colleagues. They’ll respond to your customer satisfaction surveys with high marks and a smiley face. They’ll even give you a favorable review on Facebook or Google. Unfortunately, the feedback, while good, isn’t necessarily compelling because what they have to say is flat. That is, it doesn’t take the reader up and over the dramatic arc, a necessity if you want to activate empathy – which you do.
If you want to use case studies to differentiate your business and gain buyers’ trust, the first thing you need to do is find the stories that you need to tell. Once you know how to uncover these stories, and you get your whole company involved, you’ll discover that you have a consistent source of ideas for the best type of content that influences your buyers’ decisions. No special tools are needed to give these five tactics a try.
You just published a case study on your website. As you look at the text on the web page, you recall all the effort that went into the piece. It’s not always easy to get people to open up, but not only did you get a unique angle with which to describe the outcome of your work, you also got some great insights about your client’s experience that you can take to your team. Now is no time to sit back and bask in your client’s glowing words. It’s time to get to work to promote your case study.
Can I assume that you’re outsourcing some services that your business needs right now? It could be accounting, IT support, or maybe HR and hiring. Perhaps your company provides one of these outsourced services for other businesses. Outsourcing makes a whole lot of sense when you want to bring in expertise that you don’t have internally. Unfortunately, many business owners wait too long to hire the marketing expertise that they need to put their marketing resources to best use. Do you find yourself in any of these three scenarios?
I was recently introduced to “Jobs Theory” and decided to learn more about it so I have started reading the book, “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” by Clayton Christensen. Before I even finished the book, I liked how the author distilled the purpose of business down to a very basic level. Of course, I have applied it to the work that I do as a marketing professional and here’s my insight: marketing does the job of developing and sustaining relationships.
When I was working on the brand story for my business, something hit me right between the eyes. Storytelling is a competitive advantage. It hit me so hard that I changed my tag line to reflect this concept. The reason why it’s a competitive advantage is because it gives you the opportunity to magnify who you are. Storytelling gives you the chance to not just tell people what you do, but to show people who you are and to stand out by telling the stories that only you can tell.
[Transcript from video] Lori Creighton with Homestead Media here, marketing consultant and avid gardener. The last time I brought you to my garden I talked about competition and today I've brought you to the vineyard. Now in the vineyard we have to be a little bit more aggressive about how we address competitors.
Something a client said at a meeting recently has been mulling around in my head. What she said was a great compliment, although I don’t think she realized it. She validated that my work with their organization is not just to help them with marketing, but it’s also to change the way they think about who they are trying to reach by getting into their story.
Now that I’ve caught you with that headline, I won’t keep you in suspense, but first-- what it isn’t. The single most important ingredient in your success story isn’t success. It’s distress. Surprisingly enough, when you leave out the struggle that led to your success, you really have no story at all.