- Before writing a single word, consider where your likely audience is on the Buyer’s Journey. Are you trying to attract new customers? Convince lookers to turn into customers? Build brand loyalty in existing customers? Each of these stages requires a different approach. Create stories to satisfy all these stages of the Buyer’s Journey for your customers.
- What problem does your story solve for your clients? Take the time to identify both an external problem — the easy thing to spot — and the internal problem. Every external problem has an internal fear attached to it. A compelling story uses that internal motivation to create depth.
- Who is the hero of the story? Hint: it shouldn’t be you. Ever. It should be a client who overcame a major problem with your help. Your role is to play the wise mentor.
- What struggle did your customers overcome in the course of this story? What “special tools” did you give them to help overcome the challenge? Whatever you do, don’t downplay the struggle. It is the tension that creates a true story. Your goal is to present the angst that arises when expectations bump up against reality, in all its glory.
- Is there an applicable “moral to the story” that will resonate with your clients?
- Does the tone of your voice and your word selection align with your company brand voice and goals?
- Have you triggered an emotion? Emotions make for memorable stories.
- Have you edited for clarity? The audience attention span is short and getting shorter. Get to your point and make it memorable.
- Is your story tweetable? Create a sample tweet for readers to share and, of course, link to all social media channels
- Have you used the correct medium for this story? Should it be told in long form on your blog, or in tweets? Should it be a video posted to your social channels and website? Origin stories – the story of how your company came into existence – often find their natural fit on your company blog. In addition, Founder stories often do well on video, as the video humanizes the founder and gives a “behind the scenes” feel to your company.
- Who is telling your story? Realize that your customers will tell your story and potentially rewrite it, for better or worse. Always monitor the social media streams and retell your own story often in order to influence what the customer comes to believe.
“We all have great stories to tell. One of the most fascinating things I’ve found in interviewing entrepreneurs is that many don’t believe they have a great story, when really, they just don’t know how to tell it.”
— Lyn Graft, founder of LG Pictures at SXSW 2014
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