Just yesterday, I was helping at my aunt’s small-town bakery, as I often do to step away from my computer and move my body, and a woman came in to get her favorite donut. Although I expected it to be like most any other transaction—she would tell me what she wanted, I would make small talk while bagging it up, she would pay, then I would bid her a good day while watching her walk out the door—I soon learned that it wasn’t going to be anything like that.
Without getting into too much detail so as to respect her privacy, she shared with me the horrific couple of months that she had endured and how it had all culminated to that one day (yesterday) where she had finally experienced the relief that she had been praying for. So, to celebrate the end of her hardship, she was treating herself to a donut. After all, she deserved it after everything she had been through.
Now, I’m not the stingiest person in the world, but I don’t part with my money very easily. However, I soon found myself reaching into my own wallet, telling her I was buying her sweet treat for her. Why? Because she got me with her story.
When you tell a powerful story, you get a powerful response. In fact, think back to a story that you’ve been told that has resonated with you and stuck with you for life. That is exactly the kind of story you want to tell about your small business. You want your customers to want to reach into their wallet and spend their money on you because they are absolutely compelled to.
How do you tell your story in a way that has this strong of an effect? First, you have to figure out what your story is.
What is Your Story?
Dan Newman, president of Broadsuite (a company that assists you with “building your brand and your community”), admits in his company blog that trying to figure out your story isn’t always the easiest thing for small business owners to do. Therefore, to help with the process, he suggests that you think about the things that you wish others knew about you or your small business, the achievements you’ve proudly accomplished, or the “secrets” you could share about your industry.
Essentially, you want to give your potential customers an inside look at who you are or what you stand for. When you humanize your business, well, that is when the magic happens. You become more of a “friend” that they want to have a relationship and not just a business intent on taking their hard-earned money.
How to Best Tell Your Small Business Story
Once you know what it is you want to tell, then you need to figure out how to tell it. You need to know how to tell it in a way that makes a person want to lean in closer and yearn to know more. Basically, you want to be the one movie that everyone is dying to see because the preview is so darn good.
One way to do this is to offer a glimpse into your business that highlights some of your funnier moments, just like other number one comedies at the box office. Get your potential client base to laugh with you and they’ll keep coming back for more.
If you’re more of a mystery/thriller buff, you can take that same approach and tell your story in a way that leads up to a surprise ending. Keep them on the edge of their seats until “the big reveal” that makes them gasp, excited about the sequel that they certainly won’t miss.
Of course, you could always go with a good romance and share how you wooed your way to where you are. Get them to see how your business budded and bloomed, and help them fall in love with you even more.
There are a number of effective approaches when it comes to telling your small business story in a way that resonates with your target market—making you the #1 movie that they long to see, over and over again.