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22 June 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Tell Your Story in Business

Gareth Quinn

Do you love a good story? Have you ever been suckered into a movie when it was well past your bedtime? Or spent hours glued to a book because you just wanted to know how it ends?

People cannot resist a good tale. You can harness the power of your business story to engage with the people who matter – your customers, prospects, shareholders, host communities and more.

Here are the 10 most compelling reasons to tell your story in business:

1. Get noticed
Let’s face it, there are thousands of accountants, lawyers, listed companies, engineers, chiropractors, life coaches, the list goes on. What makes you stand out from all of these other small businesses? Your story. It makes you unique.

2. Showcase your personality
Your story showcases your personality. Is your business friendly, light-hearted and approachable? Is your business personality serious and professional? Your story is the voice of your business. It sets the tone. If you showcase your personality and unique voice, you’ll attract the clients that you are beyond-jazzed to work with.

3. Getting to know you
The story of you and your business lets prospective clients feel like they know you. The first step in building trust is letting potential clients establish a relationship with you.

4. Invoke emotion
As the venerable Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Stories invoke emotion. Sure, people won’t remember all of the details, but they sure will remember feeling good after hearing your story.

5. Lessons from mistakes
Ever noticed how fairy tales and fables have some kind of moral? No journey is perfect, and clients like to know about the mistakes you made along the way so that they can avoid them in the future.

6. What’s your point of view?
Your story highlights your unique point of view and philosophy on how you approach your business. Write a manifesto or mission statement highlighting that point of view. How do you do business that is different than everyone else in your niche?

7. Engage your clients’ brains
Stories fire up our mirror neurons. Have you ever gotten lost in a book for hours on end? You felt like you were a part of the story. You were sad when it was over because you missed the characters. Well-told stories engage our brains and make your clients feel like it’s happening to them. They see themselves in your story. This inspires the “Heck, yeah — this business is for me” response!

8. Tell the stunning results
It’s not enough to hear about ROI or other statistics about how successful your product or service is. In addition, talk about the transformation you’ve seen in your clients as a result of working with you. Statistics plus story is a powerful combination.

9. Stories disarm and charm
The way your brain processes stories is radically different from how it understands facts. Statistics, facts and science engage critical thinking. Stories disarm and charm the listener into putting down his or her defences. In business, you can’t argue with a good story — it’s persuasive.

10. Highlight your expertise
There is a vital need to establish your expertise, authority and credibility in business. Most business owners state their many degrees, grand achievements and hallowed accolades like they were making a list of what to get at the grocery store. Turn that list into a story that highlights your struggle and achievements. It’s more memorable and interesting to your potential clients.

Storytelling allows you to highlight your expertise, build trust, and makes you stand out. If your business is not telling its story currently, it’s time to start mining all of your experiences and client stories to broadcast your brilliance to the world. Remember, it’s your story — tell it well.