After reading John Jantsch’s book,
It may be that I’m simply too close to my own company, but after reading this, I couldn’t think of a single story to tell. Can you relate?
But then I thought harder. I realized I had a Passion Story about working for two crazy bosses in a row, and how I wanted to help small business owners grow their businesses — on my own terms. And then I realized that when I send my clients sweet little gifts for Egg’s birthday each year…that’s my Personality Story. The name of my business is a story. How I love meeting business owners who are as passionate about what they do as I am about what I do is a story.
Suddenly, I had my stories.
Now the question is: what do I do with them?
Derbhile Graham suggests using the stories in marketing materials – Telling the Story, Selling the Story. I have the “how we came up with our name” story on our website, after so many people asked. (It’s a good story!) And I’ve talked about the gifts we give for our birthday in blog posts. So maybe I’m not too far off from where I should be in using stories.
Finding and Telling Your Own Stories
What about you? Are you working so hard in your business that you can’t see the stories? Take a step back and look at your business from someone else’s eyes. What stands out? What do people ask you about? Why are you running your business? We all stumble into entrepreneurship one way or another, so maybe that’s your story.
Realize that stories are what makes your brand unique. They make you human. Otherwise you’re just another company with no personality. Make those stories speak for you. If you’ve got employees, tell their stories. Business filing service CorpNet.com does a great job of this on their blog, where they feature different employees and share their stories.
You can even ask your customers what they see your story as being. Another useful piece in Jantsch’s book recommended asking the following questions to customers:
- What made you decide to hire us in the first place?
- What’s one thing we do better than others you do business with?
- What’s the one thing you love the most about what we do for you?
- What’s the one thing you don’t have from any other source that you wish you could find?
- Do you refer us to others, and how do you describe us, if so?
- What would you Google to find a business like ours?
After asking clients these questions, I uncovered more Value Proposition Stories, and now I want to strive to deliver even better results, knowing what customers love about us.
So go out there, find your stories, and start sharing them!
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Images: “stories, memories, histories words – collage of isolated text in letterpress wood type printing blocks / Shutterstock.com“