Successful businesses are often so because they are excellent storytellers. Factors of storytelling — such as face-to-face interactions, public speaking, copywriting, or brand-building — can all be crucial to creating a business built to last.
Yet, not everyone is a natural-born storyteller, nor is the story to tell always obvious. So what factors of storytelling are particularly important for business longevity? Below, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council weigh in with their own storytelling experiences and why they were so critical to success.
The core of any good story is heart. People want to be moved and inspired emotionally, nostalgically, and thematically. A good story must have a tone that demands a quality of attention. The medium in which it occurs is less important than the potential response that the story evokes. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
2. Being Relatable
Whoever you’re speaking to, you need to be relatable to them in order to get your message across. If your listeners can’t see themselves within your story, they won’t be able to connect with you. Understand what your audience is looking to get out of your storytelling and craft your story around their needs. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
3. A Smile and a Good Conversation
While there are many ways to build a brand, the way to build loyalty and longevity as a business is to meet people where they are, hear their stories, and share your own. Offer them a solution to a problem and learn from them to grow your business. When customers feel a connection, they stay, and your business does too. – Joey Kercher, Air Fresh Marketing
4. Cohesive Messaging
There isn’t one of these that’s more important than the other. It’s really important to construct a cohesive and straightforward narrative across multiple platforms. A consistent message will carry much further than something disjointed and narrow-focused. Be conscious of how each one of these factors comes across to your clients, your colleagues, consumers, press, and even your own team. – Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media
Keeping a consistent level and theme to content is vital to a company’s long-term success. It shows a brand stands by its values and its voice. While it does evolve, the content lives on and shows that evolution through connection to important things an audience values. – Angela Ruth, Calendar
6. Consistent Branding
When a business is formed, its personality is its branding. Branding encompasses copywriting, design, user experience, and the emotional way the client is meant to interact with the business. A consistent brand experience builds customer loyalty and generates brand ambassadors, ensuring business longevity. Just as our personalities change, a brand’s image adjusts, but its values stay the same. – Zev Herman, Superior Lighting
7. Strong Case Studies
Taking the time to document case studies is an important storytelling strategy many successful business-to-business organizations use. The case study should show how customers have been able to increase their sales or decrease costs using your service or technology. This will help provide validation for your product and increase conversions. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
8. The Visual Aspect
People are visual learners. If we have to choose between reading a 5,000-word article and watching a 10-minute video, we tend to gravitate toward the video. That’s why video content is seeing a massive surge in popularity with younger generations. The visual aspect of a story connects us to the story, the business, and the products as if they’re right there, personalizing the entire experience. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP
9. Making Your Customer the Hero
When telling stories about your business in any writing or speaking, always position your customer as the hero on a journey to meet their goals. Then, position your business as the guide helping the hero succeed. When you do this, your customer will love telling others their “hero story.” Then, those that hear the story call your company to be their guide, too, because they want the same results. – Monica Snyder, Birdsong
10. Personal Touch
All are important facets of telling your company’s story. It’s hard to elevate any of them above the other. I have talented team members working on each one. One thing no one else can do, though, is be approachable as the company founder. This is why I spend so much time traveling to conferences around the world to speak and interact with attendees. That personal touch is integral to my business. – Thomas Smale, FE International
11. Creating a Moving Emotional Experience
Humans are emotional creatures and a story that only speaks to someone’s mind is not going to perform well. Furthermore, behavioral research shows we make buying decisions predominantly at the emotional level as well. The writing is on the wall: Gear your stories to be emotionally moving, inspiring, touching, or something that really appeals to the core of what gets people motivated and engaged. – Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.