The Importance of Story
We all want to nurture the relationship we establish with clients and customers, but how do you make the initial connection with an individual that turns them from a potential customer to an existing or returning customer? The answer is through story.
Story is present is all areas of life from our entertainment, to the story of our life we reflect of social media profiles. Promoting your business is no different. In order to engage with potential ad existing customers, you need to incorporate elements of story in the promotional content you create and distribute.
We have recently caught up with Andrew Thorp in order to discuss the nature of story in business promotion. Andrew is a Speaker, Writer and Trainer at Mojo Your Business, an award-winning consultancy and training company specialising in communication. Andrew has shared his experience and insights with us below.
How have you used video content for Mojo Your Business?
Extensively! We have a video interview on our home web page and over 100 clips in our YouTube channel MojoLife TV. This channel is a mixture of educational videos (I’m in the field of business storytelling and communication) and interviews with other people who have an interesting story to tell. I have also worked with Garth in the past to produce videos for clients with whom I’ve been working, where they want to have a better story to tell about their business, and a more engaging way of telling it.
How has the medium of video benefited you?
I do a lot of speaking in the UK and overseas about brand storytelling and communication, so it’s important for me to have some personal showreel footage so clients can see and hear what I’m like! But it’s also a really good way to create and share content, both to educate but also to promote my services. It’s a way of making people feel they know me, even before they’ve met me, and most of my business comes from speaking at events. So although the video might not in itself create the enquiry, it gives people some comfort that I know what I’m talking about! It helps build authority and brand.
How important is storytelling for business?
I’ve dedicated the last 7 years to preaching this message, so I’m obviously going to advocate this! I just think in an age where there’s so much communication and so many demands on our attention, you can’t afford to put messages out there that are bland and vanilla. You need to tell a better story about yourself than simply the mechanics of what you do, but it’s too easy for people to default to that purely factual explanation. But psychologists tell us that we actually buy with our heart and not our head, and stories are great ways to communicate both factually and emotively. My advice is to have a great Big Picture story to tell (vision, mission, values, purpose) but back that up with some cracking small stories (great case studies for example, or personal experiences). For me video also relates to the way movie makers and screenwriters have been engaging audiences for years. Humans respond well to classic narrative themes like the quest, rags to riches, love story or revenge. If you can weave one or more of more of these into your own business communication (perhaps using video) you’re on a winner.
Do you have any other advice for businesses looking to share their story?
Don’t put bland stuff out there and expect it to bring in business. Seek to humanise, personalise and storify your communication and engage your audience’s emotions. All the platforms and media are out there for your story to spread, but if it’s unremarkable there’s not enough incentive for people to circulate it for you. Remarkable means “worth talking about” – great content packaged though video and shared online creates endless possibilities.
Use the actionable advice and insights from Andrew in your future content marketing strategies and start promoting the story of your business. Share your thoughts on story and successes you’ve experienced using story in promotion with us on Twitter at @HyperfineMedia.