Create a brand that relates – using the power of story.
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Good storytellers know how to capture fine details and weave them together in a way that draws the reader in. A strong plot, characters we care about and events we can relate to are the foundation of any good story.
Brand storytelling is exactly as it sounds – it’s the story of your brand. What’s your plot line? Who are your characters? Are you able to recognise the shareable moments in your business? Your story communicates your distinct value and makes you mean something to your market, in a way that your competitors don’t. Brand storytelling shows people who you are in a consistent and meaningful way so that they want to engage with you and support you because they believe in what you’re trying to achieve.
Conveying your information succinctly so that it’s engaging and entertaining sounds daunting, but actually brand storytelling just requires strategy.
Finding your brand story
So how do you find your story? Well the ‘elevator pitch’ is a good start. Put together a short summary of your business that you could deliver between floors if you were in an elevator with someone influential. The purpose of it is to get them interested enough to want to know more. This concept is not exclusive to startups and will really help you launch into the process of finding your story.
Once you have an outline, you can start to flesh things out. A good freelance writer can help you with this and there are plenty of them to be found on freelance platforms such as twago. A writer’s job involves looking for stories so they will certainly be able to find yours if you can’t.
Meeting on common ground
Once you clarify what your story is, you will start to see how fundamentally it informs everything you do. It’s the motivating force that keeps you going. Guess what: other people have this too! The essence of your story will be recognition of that common ground. What about your story do you think is familiar to others? How does your story resonate with people? Does it provide examples of some kind of shared human experience? People engage with stories because we’re all searching for our own truth. If we can identify with someone else’s stories, it deepens our understanding of ourselves. By finding something people can connect with, you draw them in and talk ‘with them’ rather than ‘at them’.
Make it matter
Your story is a giant picture book and you need everybody to contribute to the ending. Remember: your logo, the images you use, colours, music, and the content you produce, all combine to add the movement and life to your story. You’ll be sharing your story through the lifetime of your business, page by page and much like your commitment, it should demand an emotional investment from your community. Be honest, but be professional (no online meltdowns please); be vulnerable yet inspiring. Before too long people will want to engage with you. Getting them emotionally engaged also contributes to a stronger relationship because they are now invested in your mutual success. Because you made them care. Because you made them matter.
Storytelling is an art and the mediums you choose to express your story are just as important as the story itself. Having a great website is the first step and is essential. Again, if you can’t do this yourself, share your idea and find a freelancer who can help. You don’t need to invest thousands but getting a skilled freelance web designer on board will help you tackle the basics and build something that services your needs.
Once you have a website you then need to decide which social media platforms are right for you. Choose the outlets that will help you progressively tell your story in the most succinct way. There are hundreds to choose from but don’t be overwhelmed. If you can’t decide immediately, just start out with the top 4 or 6 (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+). Over time you’ll start to identify which ones work and which ones don’t.
Shout it from the rooftops
The final stage of your strategy is automation. A good content strategy will automate your brand storytelling and also create a foundation so that anyone can tell the story. If you outsource blog posts or social media management, you want the writer to be able to recognise your voice and seamlessly communicate your message through any given topic. A content strategy also means you know what’s ahead and can curate content in anticipation. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune and it can be outsourced to various people in your company or skilled freelancers on an as needed basis.
Defining your brand and sharing it through storytelling is one of the most powerful things a business can do for itself. It gives purpose to your work, adds structure to your activities and offers a constant reminder of what motivates you and why it matters. If you really believe in your story then why wouldn’t you want to shout it from the rooftops?
Need a story for your brand? Find an expert on twago to help you!