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.
How talking about yourself backfires
There is a place in your marketing to talk about what you do. First of all, if people are looking for knee replacement surgery, they need to find information about knee replacement surgery. But when the focus of your message is on what you do and how you do it, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with the people who are considering your services because your message doesn’t engage them. They don’t become engaged because their emotions haven’t been activated.
Activating emotions for impact
Neuroscience tells us that when we go up and over the dramatic arc of a story, our brain activity results in empathy. Empathy is what nurtures trust and trust is what relationships are built on. Trust paves the path for decision-making and allows your message to be persuasive, not manipulative. Consumer behavior has changed so much in the last 10 years with the evolution of the smartphone and your customers are moving themselves through their own buying journey. Depending on your industry, your buyers are anywhere from about 60 – 70% through their decision-making process before they decide to contact a company.
Telling your client’s story
You must put yourself in your client’s shoes in order to understand their story. Then you need to communicate about the problems that you solve for them, and the success that is possible as a result of your product or service. Every communication doesn’t have to tell the whole client story. Following an Inbound methodology for marketing is a good way to organize your content topics to include all phases of the buying journey so that you can create interactions that move them towards a decision.
Related: Get the Case Study Guide: How to Use Case Studies to Build Credibility, Grow Trust and Close Sales
Tell your company story
There is a place for your own story and your prospective clients are probably more interested in it than you realize. Your clients are people, and they want to get a feel for what it might be like to do business with you. Framing your story around the passion that you and your people have for meeting the needs of your clients is another opportunity to activate empathy. Empathy nurtures trust and deepens the connection with your prospect as he or she interacts with your company online. Don’t be afraid to talk about your challenges, obstacles and failures as they relate to your story. This is key to stimulating empathy and humanizes your company.
Ready to show the world you’re not a commodity?
I can help you connect with more people by creating marketing strategy and messaging with the relationship-building power of storytelling. Contact me to to schedule a conversation about what this could do for your organization.