Share your story

Share your story

Share your story

By John Jantsch

NB: This is step 3 of a 5 step series – Step into 2008 with more fun.
5 Steps for 2008
In the first two steps in this series I asked you to determine who makes an ideal customer for your business and to discover, by asking, what that ideal customer was actually saying internally about your company/product/service. The point of the first two steps is to get you thinking very hard about what value is and to whom so that all of your communication can revolve around that. (Click to see the entire series)

Today I’m going to ask you to take your customer’s most relevant conversation and turn it into your core marketing story. If you’ve discovered exactly what your customer’s value, why they hire, come back and refer you, then it’s time to craft a message based on that information and turn that message into a story that everyone in the company gets and can tell.

So let’s talk about this word story – stories are nothing more than fun, captivating, motivational, honest conversations that illustrate what makes you knowable, likeable and trustable. (See my definition of small business branding.)

Every person has a story, every business has a story and prospects and customers love good stories. People connect with stories that are personal, telling, truthful and relevant.

So what’s your story?

    That’s today’s action step:

  1. From your conversations with your customers craft a story about you, your company or your products and services that would allow you to convey why you what you do, who you are, what keeps you awake at night, what motivates, thrills, and scares you, what makes you laugh, what you’ve chosen to do to make this a better world. Don’t tell me the history of your company, unless it’s so entertaining it makes we want to hug you. Tell me instead about the moment you came face to face with the biggest, most audacious idea you ever had and you charged in. Tell me instead about what was missing in the world until you created your big idea. Tell me instead that even though cleaning windows seems like an unglamorous task, you always loved doing it as a kid and now you’ve created a company around that passion.
  2. Get your story down to one page and start telling it to everyone in your company (spouses and teenagers are good subjects.) You need to start living your story and using your story as a core marketing message. Your story, if done well, is the foundation for what makes you standout. Use it on your website, on the back of invoices, during sales presentations and as a hiring tool. Here’s an example story to get you started

And, a couple books I recommend
The Story Factor
The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling

Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App, video on storytelling

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Blog dammit!
NB: This is step 5 of a 5 step series – Step into 2008 with more fun. Everything I’ve outlined in the previous steps in this series points to the evolving small business concept of “marketing as a conversation.” Well, few things are as effective at pulling this concept together as blogging. (Click to see […]
Talk and listen to the media
NB: This is step 4 of a 5 step series – Step into 2008 with more fun. In the previous step in this series I asked you to use the conversations you had with your customers to craft your marketing story to help illustrate how your firm was unique. (Click to see the entire series) […]

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