Are you looking for a way to get more attention to your business or organization? Are you feeling like you aren’t getting your message across in a way that is connecting with your audience? One of the most effective ways to connect is through stories.
We are captivated by story. A big message in the non-profit world is to connect with donors through story – not just the organization’s founding story, but also the stories of how lives have been impacted whether as beneficiary, donor, staff, volunteer, family, etc.
It’s not only important for the non-profit world – it applies to business as well. Throwing around facts – no matter how compelling – will not resonate or connect with the people you want to reach as much as a good story.
Before you think that your business is not story worthy, think again. Stories are all around. Any solution that you provide can be turned into a story – and every business is in the market of providing solutions. New acquisitions can be turned into a story. Company philosophy can be turned into a story as you explain the rationale behind it. Are you getting the picture?
One of the most compelling reasons to focus on stories is it tells people what you want them to be saying about you, and maybe more importantly it gets you in the mode of telling people what you want them to know. Sometimes businesses hide behind facts and figures. Stories, especially those that don’t apply directly to the business at hand, may seem irrelevant at best and self-aggrandizing at worst.
It’s time to toot your horn! People want to hear about the things that make you human rather than just the things that make you a good business – they go hand in hand. So, let’s hear about the problem you solved for a client, the decision you made that led to something unexpected, the donation you made to support a charity you believe in, why you got into this business and why you’re staying, etc. Go ahead and incorporate some facts and figures if you want – they are more memorable when tied to a story.
When you are sharing stories, don’t forget photos! Photos bring your stories to life, give them validity, and help people connect. The most powerful are those that include people (especially faces). Photos add visual interest and more importantly they help people connect to you and your message. Use quotes to give more legitimacy and personality.
A company which is amazing at this on their website is Coca-Cola. It’s one feel good and do good story after another – no more facts and figures for stockholders – even the popup urging you to get their newsletter says “We’re on a mission to refresh the world, one story at a time.”
How about you? What stories do you want people sharing about your business or organization? What creative ways can you think to get those stories out to your customers and supporters? Posters are a great option and can be very motivating. Printed newsletters, flyers, promotional mailings, brochures, banners, greeting cards, website, email newsletters, and more!