No matter if you’re writing a novel, sitting around a campfire, or sharing a story on your social media, there’s an art to authentic storytelling. It’s no different with authentic business storytelling. Tell a real, authentic story, and it will be appreciated, remembered and passed on. Tell an inauthentic one – and your integrity and business reputation will take a hit.
Storytelling is something that more businesses need to do. Not only does it help your ideal customers get to know you better, but it also helps the listener to retain knowledge and learnings. And ultimately, storytelling can help you add more value and authenticity to your content marketing efforts.
So if you’re looking to use storytelling to help form better relationships with your ideal customers, here are 10 essential tips to make authentic business storytelling easier for you.
#1: Know your audience
If you want to write authentically, you need to know who you’re writing for and the message you want to get across. All the stories you’re sharing may be about you essentially, but you are just the muse. Your stories need to be written primarily about your ideal paying customer – the issues they’re facing, the things they can relate to, and the things they want to achieve.
#2: Be honest with your business storytelling
You’re establishing trust, and as the great RuPaul states – don’t f**k it up! You need to be real with your storytelling. Authentic business storytelling has no room for embellished stories or, worse still, fake ones.
#3: You need a villain and a hero (and neither is you)
No matter what the story, you need a hero and a villain. As we’re reminded about in this article: Who’s the hero in your business?, over on the Copywriter website – the hero isn’t you!
“News flash: No one cares about you or your business. People care about themselves. They care about their problems and desires.”
As for the villain – well, that can be a person, situation, problem or even the industry!
#4: Have a point to your story
Business storytelling is about sharing those stories that mean something. Most of the time, stories are told to make facts and learnings more interesting and memorable. So have a clear focus point for your story. Know what moral, lesson or thought you want the reader to walk away with, and keep to that one central point.
#5: Write as you talk
Newsflash, you can start a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’, contractions can be used (e.g. ‘I am’ can become ‘I’m’) AND you can drop the grammatical ‘rules’ of writing! If you want to engage and connect with a reader, write as you talk.
#6: Don’t take the scenic route with your business storytelling!
Ever been told a story where you just wish the person would get to the point? If you want to tell a good story, keep it concise. No one wants to be taken on the scenic route around your story. Don’t fill your story with useless information. Stick to what’s relevant and take the shortest route to your end destination.
#7: Attach those emotions
Stories are memorable because of the images they portray and the emotions we feel. You want your reader to feel something by the end of your story. Speaking from your heart will help you to naturally and authentically add in emotions. So if you want your reader to feel a certain way, ensure you’re adding all the ingredients to help them achieve that feeling.
#8: Make it relatable
Making your story relatable to your reader has to be your top priority. But if you want to be an authentic business, the story you’re telling needs to also relate to you and/or your business. Because the reason you’re sharing a story is to increase the connection between you/your business and your customer, and ultimately, you do want to make a sale.
#9: Give it a satisfying ending
It’s not enough to just have a point to your story – you need to have an end destination too. When it comes to business storytelling, a good end destination involves having your ideal paying customer to take some form of action. That can be anything, including checking out your program, commenting on a post, or making a slight change in their daily habits.
#10: Practice makes perfect
Except there is no real perfect! But if you want to get good at writing stories, write more of them. Share them, get feedback on them and see which ones get your ideal paying customer to react.
Authentic business storytelling is an art form, but it’s one you can learn and implement within your business. It’s a great way to put more of you into your business, plus it entertains and educates your audience too.
Wondering how to get started?
If you’re looking to learn more about business storytelling and how to use stories in your business, check out this recent blog post: What you need to know about storytelling in business.