Before there was science and the written word, the world was described through story.
As a result, indigenous traditions the world over encoded their teachings in story form.
The storytellers were the keepers of the history of the people.
They were guarded at times of disaster to ensure that through them the stories were not lost in time, but carried forward into the future.
When people migrated they took their stories with them, and as they met people in other parts of the world, they shared those stories.
And those very stories illustrate how close we are as a human tribe – all connected by the common threads of story.
But once upon a time, stories were banished. They were relegated to bedrooms and picture books.
Then over the slow turn of time, story-power was again recognised. You see, information in story form is more easily absorbed than just plain facts.
We remember a good story long after the telling is over.
A story resonates more truly with us than marketing spiel and their meanings crawl under our skin and live more closely with us.
Stories are once again recognised as valuable, magical and timeless.
They are powerful in many forms.
Stories sell ideas.
Stories sell products.
Stories sell services.
Stories sell you.
The story format is especially powerful for sharing information in a way that people can relate to and trust.
But finding the right story style can be a challenge.
If you don’t think you or your business has a story, here’s five ways to find a story style that uncovers your true worth and will motivate people to seek you out.
1. The owner’s story
Stories about second chances, self-made success, hardworking and hard-luck stories and of course, reinvention all speak very deeply to the psyche of people.
2. The product’s story
What need does your product meet? Not just physical needs, wants and desires, but what emotions does your product/service satisfy and feed? Does it offer people security, good health, or a chance to succeed? What are the drivers that prompt your customer’s to buy?
3. The story of your business
Has your business overcome adversity, weathered bad times, battled unfair competition, handled a David-and-Goliath situation, or overcome succession or management crisis and come back stronger than ever? Comeback stories are what Hollywood takes to the bank.
4. Your customer’s stories
Go beyond mere kind words and testimonials. A case study proves that your story is true. They tell a story of the problem and how your company/product/service solved it. But not just in your average A, B, C story format. It’s a story about a hero (your company/product/service) slaying a real dragon (the problem) and the damsel in distress (your customer) is saved and her problems disappear.
5. The story of your mission
Are you or your company part of or on a mission in life? Do you have a cause? Your cause must go beyond your personal story, it must make a bigger impact and make a difference in the world around you to be suitable. But even the smallest business can have a mission that will make an impact. Think how you will make a difference.
In choosing just the right story style, then the connective power of story is manifested.
It can also differentiate you from competitors in a way that they can’t copy.
Once your find your own story, it should affect the way that you communicate about your business, the way you think about yourself, your products and your customers.
So what are you waiting for?