The firelight dances on the walls of the cave. The tribe gathers together for warmth and comfort. An elder begins to tell a story.
This is a scene as old as the human race…
and as recent as the last time you went to a movie.
From downloading a new episode of a cool podcast to binge-watching our favorite shows on Netflix, we all seek out stories.
Because stories aren’t just for entertainment; they serve a profound purpose.
And if you’re not using storytelling in your business, you’re missing out on some serious customer engagement.
Stories Make an Impact on Potential Customers
A story naturally captures people’s imagination. They’ll remember what they learned in a story more readily and for a lot longer than if you were to just tell them the dry facts.
This is why every culture in the world has myths. We pass on traditions and teachings through parables. As a kid, I bet you heard fables and folktales with morals and messages. Why? Because those stories show rather than tell. They leave an image in our minds that lingers long after the words are gone.
Want people to remember who you are and what your business does? Tell stories about the impact you’ve made, the customers you help, or the reason you do what you do.
Stories Take Up Less Real Estate on the Web
Have you ever spent time on a business’s website and felt like it droned on and on without saying anything? (If that website was your own, don’t beat yourself up. Writing copy for your own business is hard!)
Stories — when told right — get straight to the heart of the matter. A well-structured story for your business is the best bang for your buck when it comes to copy.
That’s because a story packs a lot of punch into a small space. You share a ton about who you are in a minimal amount of real estate. We’ve all experienced that TL;DR feeling when taking a glance at a big ol’ chunk of text on a website.
Short, punchy copy means people are more likely to read your copy in the first place. And a story means they’re more likely to get a message out of what they read.
In a day and age where we’re bombarded with information All. Day.Long., having a message that’s short but impactful is the name of the game.
Stories Make it Easier to Write Website Copy
Ever stared at the blank page of your computer screen when you tried to write the copy for your website? Not sure what to say? Wish there were a formula to use?
A story has just what you’re looking for: a simple recipe you can follow.
All stories — from the most rudimentary folk tale, to an epic opera — follow a formula. There’s a character who has to overcome a conflict. The level of drama might vary. Sometimes the stakes are high and sometimes they’re low. But if you follow a few simple steps, you can tell a story.
Here’s a story in a nutshell:
- Things seem just fine until…
- A problem arises.
- The character tries and tries to solve the problem.
- Things get worse and the problem becomes a crisis.
- The character has a turning point and makes a decision or gets outside help.
- The conflict is resolved and there’s a happy ending.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Stop struggling to figure out what to write on your About Page or your Home Page. Simply tell a short story. (Want to know how to craft your business story or what to include in it? I’d be happy to help with that.)
When you write your story from an existing formula, you know that formula works. It’s tried and true. Plus, the formula saves you time! There are other parts of your business where you need to be creative. Telling your story will go much faster and turn out much better if you use a story recipe.
Stories Help Customers Know, Like, and Trust You
When we hear a story, we connect to the characters. We empathize with them because we have direct access to their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
You may have heard the adage “People buy from people they know, like, and trust.”
This is truer now than ever before. We live in a time of goods and services luxury. Not only can we find every business offering we’ve ever dreamed of, we can find it offered by someone we resonate with.
You’re not stuck with one option for you website designer, your blog coach, or your yoga teacher. On the contrary, you can find the person who offers the service you need and is also a good match for your personality.
How do we know what someone’s personality is before hiring her? Our first clue is her story. Does her background and approach show us that she’s the right fit for our needs? We look to the story to find out.
Are You Using Storytelling to Make an Impact in Your Business?
Are you using storytelling to connect with your ideal customers? Do you have a consistent, clear message that comes across whenever someone visits your website, or when you meet new people at networking events?
If not, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to connect with customers and show them just how great it would be to work with you.