Latest posts by Shannon Threlfall
- The Power of Crafting a Brand Story as an Entrepreneur - March 3, 2021
- Make 2021 the Year of the Customer - February 12, 2021
- How to Get Out of the Comparison Trap and Move Your Business Forward - January 11, 2021
Gone are the days when the founder of a company was completely faceless and unknown. Over the last decade or so, there has been a greater call for transparency in the way businesses operate. The individuals who start and run these businesses, regardless of industry, are being called into the spotlight, as more and more consumers want to know exactly who is behind their favorite brands.
And more than that, they want to connect with the people behind these brands on an emotional level. They want to know that the humans behind these brands are just like them.
Consumers don’t just want to be sold more “stuff,” they want the story that goes with it. They want to know exactly who they are supporting and the types of businesses they are giving their hard-earned dollars to.
The bottom line is, people need to buy your story first before they will buy your products or services. And as the face of your business, it is your responsibility to share that story.
It doesn’t matter what stage of business you’re in or what business model you’ve chosen; you have an important story to tell. Many entrepreneurs think they should wait until they are more successful or established before they share their story. They are hesitant and think people won’t care.
But the fact is, if you aren’t sharing your brand story, you are doing you and your business a huge disservice. You are missing out on the chance to develop real relationships with your existing customers and potential customers. Relationships that go far beyond the sale.
Each one of us has a completely unique story, and even though your story is unique to you, there are plenty of other people who can relate on some level because of their own similar life experiences.
The story that you choose to share could come in many forms. It could be a major life challenge that you overcame, which led to your reason for starting your business. Share your passion and what changes you want to see in the world, and how your business works to reach those goals.
As entrepreneurs, we need to remember that we are dealing with human beings, not just dollars. Human beings are the ones who are spending their money with us. So, it’s time to put a (temporary) pause on the marketing spin and trying to figure out the best formula for Facebook ads. It’s time to stop thinking of your customers and clients in terms of how much money they will spend and prioritize making the time to connect with them on another level.
You can do all the marketing you want, but the best way to build a base of loyal customers is to connect with them on a human level by developing a relationship. Even if some potential customers aren’t ready to buy from you right now, they may come back to you when they are ready to make a purchase because of that personal connection. In the meantime, they may also recommend your business to their family and friends, all because you took the time to see them as a human and relate to them in a more in-depth way.
When sharing your story, you should weave it into every piece of content you put out into the world. Don’t just throw it on your website’s “About” page and call it a day. There should be pieces of your brand story present throughout your website, woven into your social media posts and present in the topics of your blog posts.
Your brand story needs to be interwoven to show your authenticity. Your customers and potential customers will find you in many different ways, so it is important that your story is consistent and wide reaching.
The future of business is all about connection, not on a superficial level with likes and follows, but something much deeper. There are humans on both sides of business, so it is time to focus on a more human-centric connection, rather than crafting the best sales pitch.
How to craft your unique brand story
Think about your why
Take some time to really think about why you started your company. Be honest with yourself and list all the reasons. These could stem from your own personal life experiences or changes you wish to see in the world. Then use this list to start developing your brand story.
Don’t shy away from any of the messy details, including the struggles, the failures or the pain you have endured or witnessed in life. Your story doesn’t have to be shiny and perfect. Customers are looking for relatability, not someone who is a superhuman. So don’t be afraid to show a certain degree of vulnerability.
Weave in your values
Use your brand story to illustrate what you stand for as a person and as a business. Think about what really matters to you in life and what values are most important to you. Your brand story is a great way to communicate your ethics and appeal to people who share the same values as you.
Share your story everywhere
Your brand story is not just a one time message. This is part of the core of your business and it underpins why your business exists. Make sure all of your content on your website and on your social media is consistent with your brand story.
Don’t compare your story to others
This is so important. When you are first crafting your brand story, you may feel tempted to research the stories of your competitors. However, this is one instance in which a competitor analysis could be detrimental. Although it can feel like you are a little exposed when you are sharing your own personal story, it is important that you ensure the uniqueness and honesty of your story and what you choose to share. Write your story first, then research how other businesses are utilizing their brand stories, rather than focusing on the story itself.