Once upon a time…. there was the art of storytelling. This age-old technique is the secret to connecting your brand with the hearts of your audience, especially as an entrepreneur. By using storytelling we can harness one of the most powerful tools to quickly build strong emotional connections with your audience, showcase your personality, and truly differentiate yourself from the crowd. But often, it's easier to explain the solutions we've found and the problems we solve, instead of telling our audience what our story is. By sharing how we got there, or the deep values that guide us in our actions, it can develop a much stronger connection between you and your audience. We know that for some of you, it might not be easy to know how to tell a captivating story about our own business, so in this article, we share 5 captivating stories to tell your audience to create more connection and build everlasting trust.
What is storytelling?
Everyone loves stories. As human beings, we are all connected by common experiences. We like to share our experiences with each other to feel understood, dream, and be inspired. We like to hear how good triumphs over evil. Or how a hero overcomes impossible obstacles. We like to read about how people have grown and learned from their mistakes while facing certain challenges. We want to be inspired by hearing stories of people who’ve fallen and picked themselves up, being able to rise even stronger than before.
The term storytelling is the act of telling a story for the purpose of communication. From politics to marketing, this technique is widely used in all fields. Brand storytelling is used by the world's biggest brands - such as Dior, Nike, and Coca-Cola - for advertising purposes, to showcase their products, projects, or company. Brands do this simply because a customer is more likely to remember a story than mere sales arguments. We’ve all seen it, right?
Storytelling goes beyond simply telling a story. The goal of brand storytelling is to captivate your audience through emotions, rather than through a series of rational sales arguments. By sharing your unique story, you will attract attention, evoke emotion, engage, and create a personality for your brand, allowing you to stand out from your competitors. So, storytelling is primarily an extremely strategic asset in your brand communication.
1. The Original Transformation story
One of the most common stories to tell in your corporate communication is the story of the transformation that led to the creation of your business. As the name suggests, it's a story that explains the transformation at the core of your entrepreneurial journey.
Talk about how you overcame the biggest challenge of your life, the one that led you to create your business, and then share this solution with the world. You can talk about your journey as a business owner and mention the difficulties, life lessons, and inner strengths you discovered along the way. These stories celebrate the success of the person behind the brand and reinforce the idea that hard work and dedication can move mountains.
Here's a step-by-step process of how to write your origin story or original transformation story:
Where do you come from?
What was the low point of your career or the toughest trial in your life?
What was the turning point, the trigger that made you start changing and developing a solution?
How did this solution change your life?
What makes you credible to help others do the same today?
2. The Brand Values story
This type of storytelling is something everyone loves to read. That's why the "About" page on a company’s website is one of the most visited. First, you need to identify the key values that drive your brand. Then, demonstrate that you “live” these brand values every single day through the actions or commitments you make to your customers.
For example, we recently wrote an "About" page for a website for a Therapist in Reunion island. Her values are empathy, generosity, authenticity, and professionalism. She talks about how she offers holistic treatments that place great importance on the emotional release of her patients. She mentions how her techniques are aligned to being empathetic, authentic and adds personalized consultations before each massage. She discusses her journey, tells her story which led her to where she is today- helping people. Everyone has their own story. Are you ready to write your own brand values story?
Here's how to step-by-step write your brand values story:
Identify the 3 to 5 key values of your brand.
Explain why each of these values is important to you. You can use quotes or short phrases that guide you in your practice.
Tell your audience how you live these values by sharing anecdotes, little life scenes that gave you the opportunity to put these into practice, and/or you realized why these values are important to you.
3. The Big Why story
There must be a deeper driving force behind your brand that is not just "I want to make more money." For us, like other entrepreneurs, it's freedom. For others, it's about improving how humans interact with each other or with the environment. Some people are motivated by helping others adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Whatever your reason, your "WHY" story is the reason you created your brand and it’s crucial to highlight in your marketing. In fact, this type of storytelling is probably the second most popular content people consume right now. Yes, modern consumers want to know more about brands they buy from!
Here are some examples of "why" stories which you can include in your brand narrative to have greater impact:
Why do you do this job?
Why are you passionate about helping your clients succeed?
Why do you work with the people you target?
What drives you to get up and work every day?
Was there a moment in your life when you needed the expertise you have? If so, why?
4. The Customer Journey storytelling
Okay, we admit this point might seem obvious. You've probably already written case studies or testimonials where former clients rave about how "amazing" you and your services are. BUT, do not underestimate the power of the customer journey in your storytelling when presenting your services, products, or the results you achieve for your clients.
Numbers or statistics are good for reassurance. You can talk about the number of logos you've created as a graphic designer or the number of books published as an author, but it's just a number. It's not the numbers that allow your audience to identify with you, but concrete and real facts that others can relate to and say, "Oh yes, that's me too." Here are two concrete examples to inspire you: an Instagram Reel we published about one of our clients' stories or another customer journey explained in the Portfolio section of our website.
Here's what a customer journey story can look like:
Describe your customer (the more details you can provide, the stronger the connection can be with your ideal customers).
Explain what was wrong. Why did they want or buy your products or services?
How did they feel before working with you?
What did you do for them?
What was the result?
How did you improve their situation? Or their life?
How did they feel afterward?
5. The Teaching storytelling
Entertain your audience while teaching them something valuable – that's the secret sauce! If you want to share your expertise, instead of saying, "I'll teach you how to..." try starting with "I've been looking for X for a long time, and I found Y" or "The biggest lesson I've learned..."
Using storytelling to convey a lesson makes the lesson more understandable and relevant to your audience. You can tell personal stories or draw from stories of people you know. For example, we used this storytelling technique in one of our recent Instagram posts by sharing our experience in the caption.
Here are some ideas and examples of educational storytelling to teach something to your audience:
A lesson learned from an experience.
A piece of advice you apply to yourself.
A celebrity who embodies what you teach.
An analogy or metaphor to illustrate a lesson.
Lessons drawn from history.
As you can see, the possibilities for integrating storytelling into your brand’s marketing strategy are endless. And the good news in all of this? No matter what you sell, the size of your team, or your industry, storytelling always works!
Remember to always be authentic and creative: you don't have to tell only one type of story or follow a single template. You can try several, mix them up, or simply sprinkle some storytelling elements here and there in your content & marketing depending on what you are most comfortable with. The goal is to build trust and an authentic connection with your audience. This is also the foundation of Content Marketing, the essential strategy today for building a business based on value and authenticity. Don't forget to read our article on 7 Steps to Content Marketing and explore our Freebies to help you develop a strong and impactful brand.