Everyone loves a good story, you just need to read the pages of Hello magazine, or even our own trade press to see that we like to hear about what goes on in people’s lives behind the scenes, and get a feel for the real person.
And for any business telling your own story is a great way to engage with your customers – be they existing or potential.
Hopefully your perfect customer is the type of person you want to spend time with, because you have an affinity with them, share a passion, or like to engage with them.
Telling your story is an ideal way to communicate to your customers what you have in common, and what is different about your business. Everyone talks about identifying a USP (unique selling proposition) but some business owners find this a challenge.
Telling your story makes it easier as even if your business is almost identical in every other way to half a dozen other businesses in your town or area the one thing that will make you different is the story behind you, your team and your business. And because you’re talking about you, it’s so much easier to be authentic.
Your story provides a great way to grab people’s attention. It creates a less obvious or blatant way to build your credibility and customers’ trust in you. You are starting to build a relationship, demonstrate empathy and create that sense of belonging for your customers. It’s also a great way to share information, and educate your customers.
Describe what you do, who you are, what is important to you, and following on from yesterday’s post, what makes your business different, what makes you the best in your market or your area or your price range.
Don’t be afraid to go into detail; all good stories give detail. The more detail you give, the more compelling the reading, providing it’s in tune with your ideal customers’ needs and interests. Reflect back on all the things that customers ask you about – the history if the building, the origin of the name, what’s the story behind a peculiar feature.
Here are some more examples of being different and how telling a story can help.
If you are a restaurant and all your ingredients come from local organic farms, or even your own kitchen garden, describe this, maybe even a little bit about the farms, and the gardeners. If you go up to Smithfield to buy your meat tell people why you’re prepared to get up at an unearthly hour and what you look for in your choice, and what makes it so delicious. One hotelier I know even rears his own pigs – the perfect story especially when combined with photos of the pigs running around!
Whatever type of business you are, if you’ve made efforts to reduce your carbon footprint, detail your goals, what steps you’ve taken so far, the support you’ve had, the changes you’ve made to your systems, purchasing, equipment, and training, and some of the challenges you’ve faced. Tell them about the quirky practices or products you are using, and what customers might see around them as part of your mission. What has been the impact to date, and what are your plans for the future?
Don’t forget the individual personalities that truly make your business unique. What are their stories? How did any of you end up being where you are today?
And the best bit about these is that your team can tell their own stories, to bring them to life.
So, what’s your story? Write up your story to include: what you are selling which is unique, what makes you different, and your passions and values to reflect your identity.
Stop being a shrinking violet, get out there and tell your story!