We all recognize that content development is a necessary part of running a business.
However, in our fast-paced, digital world, we are constantly bombarded by information. If you want to capture your audience’s attention and in turn loyalty and business, then your brand can’t afford to be a faceless entity. Human connection is critical. This is where sharing the story of your business and brand comes in.
Storytelling is the narrative of your brand. It conveys the purpose and the “why” behind your business. It evokes the feelings and emotions associated with your brand. When done effectively and consistently, it ultimately helps you stand out and connect with your audience.
Here are some tips to keep in mind, as you get ready to share your story:
You may hear this often, but it’s so important. Being genuine will always connect more with readers than trying to write what you think people might want to read. Even if you don’t think you have an earth-shattering story, just be yourself. Why have you chosen your ‘entrepreneurial path’? What makes you unique? Share these types of things with your audience. I believe that when we courageously share our ideas and stories, we can shine and build authentic connections.
When people read your work, it should sound like you! This was tricky for me when I first started writing. My background was very corporate and I had extensive experience writing reports, articles, and formal documents. But, that’s not how I speak (thank goodness). Now, before I start writing anything from my own voice, I try to think of my ideal clients and what I would say if I was talking to them. Brand storytelling should sound conversational.
Your message needs to be clear and have a purpose. As I mentioned before, we are constantly being bombarded with information. This has led to a culture of incredibly short attention spans. Make sure that being clever or funny is never at the expense of clarity. If your reader is confused, you’ve lost your opportunity to share your message.
When it comes to writing for your business, your story should have an outcome. A great business story takes the audience on a journey and then leaves them with something. Ask yourself, what can the reader learn through your story. Can you inspire someone through your experience? Was there a lesson? Aim to leave your reader with actionable steps to promote him/her to connect further with your business.
There is no avoiding the fact that creating consistent content is essential to growing your business. Yet, it can take time to develop out content that you feel will make the impact you want. It’s difficult for entrepreneurs to be a ‘jack or jane of all trades’ and it’s valuable to know when to ask for help. Perhaps you need someone to help draw out your story and help you identify the consistent messaging that will form the narrative of your brand. Or, maybe it’s the case that you simply don’t enjoy writing or would prefer to spend your time on other areas of your business.
A good content consultant can help you ‘unearth’ your story and get to the heart and soul of your message. A business writer (such as a ghost- or copywriter) can work with you to capture your authentic voice by really listening to you and your message. The writer can then articulate your story in a meaningful way to connect with your audience.
Remember as your business grows and evolves, so too will your brand story. Today businesses need to make brand storytelling an ongoing process in order to attract and retain clients.
Hannah Rathke is a strategic content adviser and business writer based in Toronto. She draws upon her extensive corporate consulting experience to serve as a ‘thinking partner’ to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and ‘big thinkers’ develop ideas into persuasive content to deliver to a targeted audience succinctly, clearly and effectively. She particularly enjoys work that she describes as “storytelling as a service”. Please visit Hannah Rathke Consulting for more information. To read about Hannah’s own story, check out her article, “Learning to Share My Story”