Kathleen is a small business owner. Her eccentric shop is nestled nicely in the Adirondacks of New York. One day Kathleen posted a picture on Facebook, an employee of the month award. You see, when Kathleen’s business was just starting, she had to get a second job to keep it afloat. She spent her nights on the floor of her store. And her days consisted of working towards her dream and the aforementioned second job. The job, McDonald’s.
How many of you who own a business can relate? You know, balancing your dream and working the morning shift next to some pimple-faced kid who really loves Naruto? If the answer is yes, and no one knows it, or worse, no one knows it, and you’re devoid of effective content on your website — you’re doing your business a massive disservice.
Why? Because business storytelling is how you and your company relate to your prospects and your customers. And, it’s how you make an honest to God human connection. Because storytelling, business storytelling, resonates emotionally while using an authoritative voice for those coveting guidance on a specific subject matter.
How to create effective web content with business storytelling
What is a story?
An easy way to answer this is by telling you what a story is not — a story is not an oral history of you and your business. Now, you’re probably confused because the example supplied earlier about Kathleen was a moment from her past. And you’re justified in that confusion. However, the story’s theme wasn’t her past; it was a story of sacrifice. Doing whatever it takes to keep her dream alive.
A story is why you’re doing what you’re doing. Let’s repeat that for the kids in the back — A story is WHY you’re doing WHAT you’re doing!
Kathleen didn’t sweat her ass off at the french fry station because she was obsessed with giving the world high blood pressure. She did it because her desire to provide the people a phenomenal product outweighed her desire to do anything else. And if she were to tell someone why she was working at McDonald’s, the natural follow-up would be, “what the heck is this product anyway?”
And that leads us right into…
Why tell a story?
Telling a story is how you connect with the emotions of your prospect and/or customer. When you read about Kathleen’s struggle to survive during the early stages of her business, not only did many of you empathize, but the reason why you empathized was that her story reminded you of your own struggles. And at that moment, you remembered how you felt. And when you remember how you feel, those feelings rise to the surface of your skin. And when those feelings arise, that’s when the author knows they got you.
It’s why we remember and replay our happiest and saddest moments. Emotions get remembered. And emotions get shared!
Additionally, as mentioned in this piece by Harvard Business Publishing — Organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found learning which stems from a well-told story is remembered more accurately and for far longer than learning derived from facts and figures. Similarly, psychologist Jerome Bruner’s research suggests that facts/statistics are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.
Because, and remember this if you remember anything from this blog — stories are how we teach!
How to tell a story?
Kathleen’s employee of the month award story was intended to draw you in if you haven’t noticed by now. If you’re a business owner, there’s a better than average chance you endured some early hardships — it’s pretty much a given.
This story was told with you in mind.
Telling a story is nothing more than knowing your audience, presenting a difficult situation, and concluding with a solution. A solution that you hope you, and only you can supply.
This blog’s audience is business owners. The conflict is the inability to create compelling content. And the solution is genuine storytelling.
To tell a story, you need to have your damsel. You need to put them in distress. And, by the end, you arrive to save the day.
It’s a tried and true method of storytelling that’s existed since Aristotle. And it’s a method that still exists in the majority of what you binge every night. So, if it’s good enough for philosophers and Hollywood, then it’s good enough for business storytelling, too, ya?
For many of you, telling a story sucks, and it’s this Herculean task that keeps you up every night. And if by reading this, you felt the slightest of weight lifted off your overwhelmed shoulders, then we did our job.
We told you a story where you were the star, and we provided solutions to make your life a bit easier. See what we did there? Did we just Miyagi you? Maybe, but just a little.
But if you’re still feeling like this is too much. That you’re already working the opening shift at Starbucks while trying to run your own business — then contact JEG DESIGN INC today to have him help you navigate your website content. They offer a free consultation and estimate. And if you’re just looking for a pretty darn good storyteller — then contact SBI Content Creation LLC. SBI Content can help you tell stories, just like Kathleen’s.
Speaking of Kathleen, how is she doing today? Well, recently, I was listening to a podcast that has hundreds of thousands of followers. Next thing you know, I hear a live read by the podcast host promoting this online superstore. Kathleen’s company is currently one of the largest in her industry. Nationwide.
So, what is your story?
Written by Keith Hannigan. Keith is the co-owner and Chief Writer at SBI Content Creation LLC. SBI Content Creation is a content writing company just outside of Atlanta, Georgia