Could you answer this question in one sentence? Could your employees or customers answer the question if someone asked? Would this be an easy conversation to have with someone else? If not, there may be a defining disconnect in your messaging and branding as a business.
Each of your customers needs to know why you exist. Until they do, they will not care about what you have to offer.
Don’t get me wrong, what you do is important—the quality and consistency of your service/product matters. What you do is essential in growing your business. But you can’t stop there.
The “why” behind your business is one of the most important things you can communicate with your customers.
Research has shown now, more than ever, people care about the values behind a business or brand. So much so that defining why you exist could be the main influencer to moving a prospective customer through the buyer’s journey....
Does storytelling actually work for businesses? Can storytelling really help your business grow?
I used to think of business and storytelling as two separate worlds or entities. In my former way of thinking, storytelling was how you communicated with people and built interpersonal relationships, and business boiled down to being polished and convincing through formal advertising and marketing.
Through research and practice, I’ve seen firsthand how storytelling is the best and most effective tool to build your business.
Humans have been telling stories for ages—passing information and tales down from generation to generation through the creative means of stories. Although the storytelling platforms evolved over time (i.e. cave drawings vs. oral communication vs. printing press), we’re all designed to receive information through stories.
Organizing information and facts about your business into a story...
So often I talk to people who produce 2-minute videos or blog articles of their own business story, post them on their website, and consider themselves accomplished and proud business storytellers. In reality, not many people are connecting to that content. Your brand story is important, but it’s not enough.
You also need to be telling your customer stories. Your customer stories exemplify the success within your business, leverage trust with prospective customers, and are one of your greatest assets in business.
Think of your favorite movie, and identify the hero. Now identify the hero’s guide or one to point them in the right direction. That’s the position you need to take as you tell your customer stories.
You are not the hero, you are the guide.
Your customers are the heroes.
Your customer stories should be about celebrating the barriers they overcame, the dreams they achieved, with your product/service as a guide...
I’d still be single if I tried. That’s for sure.
Think about it…you meet someone for the first time, spend an hour over dinner telling them everything about you, all of the wonderful things you can do for them, and at the end of the evening, you convince them to become your life partner as you get down on one knee and pop the question.
(Hopefully, you’re not thinking, Wait, that’s not how it works?)
Well, chances are, this is what you’re doing to your customers and they hate it.
There is a much better way to get sales than ambushing people with asks. Just like dating, the process takes time. You want to get to know each other—your values, your interests, if you’re a good fit for each other. It requires more thought and time, but it works and yields more results. I call it Authentic Marketing.
Most of marketing today reflects the “pulling out the engagement ring...
For the last few years, my wife and I and a few of our friends have attended a Fall party at Denver’s flagship REI store called Pray For Snow. Think retro 80s party where everyone is ushering in the winter with enthusiasm and brightly colored ski outfits. All of the major outdoor brands hand out free gear and our hopes each year are to win one of the snowboard or ski packages in the raffle.
We have attended 4 years in a row and I’m still waiting for my number to be called. One year I did get called onto the stage—not as a raffle winner but for another reason: my outfit.
In addition to the raffles and free gear, Pray for Snow also puts on a combined fashion show dance contest to determine the “best-dressed.” Twenty people are chosen to go on stage in front of a few thousand people and dance for an awesome prize.
That night, I was approached by a staff member who said, “You look so terrible, it’s great! Want to...
Rachael Walker got her start in the craft kombucha industry almost 3 years ago. While working at Whole Foods, she started fermenting her own kombucha and experienced nearly immediate relief with her acid reflux and digestive issues. Her home-brewed kombucha quickly gained popularity and demand.
At the age of 26, she started, Life’s a Buch, a kombucha company based in Fort Collins, CO. In the past 3 years she has experienced great success and growth, but the success hasn’t come without a fight.
Like many businesses, Rachael faced many challenges with the onset of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order that ensued.
In this episode, Rachael will share:
To connect with...
Times of crisis can often feel isolating, but Nick Armstrong of WTF Marketing shares how difficult times are opportunities for community to be strengthened.
Nick Armstrong of WTF Marketing is a community player who models the importance of communal living in his interests, volunteerism, and professional life. He is the Geek-in-Chief behind WTF Marketing and has co-organized community events like Fort Collins Comic Con, Startup Week Fort Collins, TEDxFoCo, and more.
In this episode, Nick shares his story of how an important question from his doctor steered his course from living under great stress to doing what he enjoyed most with creative outlets, ultimately leading him to marketing. His approach to marketing and small businesses is refreshing, innovative, and inspiring, and he has so much wisdom to share on the value and importance of community through crisis.
In this episode we’ll tackle topics such as:
Growing a business is hard, but Justin Janowski seems to know how to do it as he has modeled with Faith2Influence.
After a variety of experiences in sales and entrepreneurship, Justin took the leap to launch Faith2Influence and it did not seem like the best time. A baby was on the way, his wife quit her job to focus on raising the family but Justin knew in his heart he HAD to start Faith 2 Influence.
So, he quite his job and hit $400K in sales 12 months later. This podcast episode shares that story as well as key points on some of the following topics:
- Why you should always live from your passion
- Importance of defining your audience and knowing your "who"
- Some of the most common sales mishaps businesses have
- Sales strategy and sales success tips for small businesses
Justin Janowski is serving Christian business men and helping them be more healthy in Faith, Business, and Family through Faith2Influence. Regardless of your passion or worldview, there is a lot...
This week I’ve been hit with the simple realization that clients are not just going to come to us. We have to go out and find them.
It sounds obvious but it’s hard to accept and do something about. I want clients to find us online because we put out great content, and some will.
This has came to the forefront because I’ve seen it in my friend’s businesses. They will ask me why I think they aren’t getting business and it seems so obvious.
They are hiding behind online marketing as an excuse to not reach out to people and I am just as guilty.
You see, we hear stories all the time of people that make it big…whatever that means. They put out some Facebook ads or got a ton of clients from a good video or their websites SEO. We hear them say “we just had the right product at the right time and the clients came to us, everybody came to us!”
This week on The Small Business Storytellers, we dive into a conversation with Alex Ruiz and learn about the crazy journey she has had as a storyteller.
How do you know the difference between what makes an average story and what makes a great one.
Alex Ruiz started her career as a storyteller in the news world, where she learned to capture stories quickly. After a few years, she realized this was not for her and decided to launch her own storytelling business, Canvas and Light.
Now, years later, Alex Ruiz and the team at Canvas and Light have told documentaries following the Syrian refugee crisis along with other stories around the world, while producing incredible wedding videos along the way.
Alex even tells the story of capturing Abby Wambach's wedding!
If you love storytelling and hearing about what makes great stories, you will love this episode.
If you want to hire or find out more about Alex and her company Canvas And...