3 Marketing Stories Every Small Business Must Tell

As a small business owner, did you know there are 3 critical marketing stories you must be telling to turn your prospects into customers?

Marketing stories are so important now, especially for small business, because traditional marketing doesn’t work like it used to because people have moved online and online advertising is noisy. I filter most of it out, you probably do as well — everybody does! Ads get lost in the shuffle.

Stories grab attention, they let you stand out in the crowd — and the best stories get shared from friend to friend. This is not plain old advertising, it’s a creative conversation with other human beings.

Story Marketing provides a solution. Story marketing is all about you, talking to your customers about what you do and (most importantly) why it matters to them. Each marketing story you tell has the customer as the hero — because the focus is on ‘what’s in it for them’, your stories are about the differences you make in the lives of your customers. We aren’t telling stories to puff ourselves up, we tell stories to illuminate the benefits of doing business with us.

Stories Grab Attention (tell a good one and you’ll keep it)

Those 3 critical stories you have to tell? It’s a pretty simple foundation that sets the stage for how we communicate with our prospects and customers, both online and in person.

First — You. Start with You. What you do, sure, but more important;y ‘why you do’ what you do. There is a story about the passion that drives you. You run this business for a number of reasons; it may be to change the world, it may be to incrementally make a difference in one persons life, you may have invented a better mousetrap. The story about you that answers the question “Why?” draws people in, gives them a more intimate look at who you are and makes doing business with you more appealing and natural.

Second — Them. The best stories are about your customers and while you’ll frame your most effective marketing stories to shine a light on your customers, this is where you talk about who your customers are, what their needs, wants and desires are and what value you create for them. This allows you to put the focus on what the customer experience is and they begin to imagine what it could be like for them.

What’s In It For Them? At the end of the day that’s really all that matters.

Very few people actually care how happy you are to sell your stuff, but people do care how happy other real-life customers are to buy it because they can relate. The more you get your prospects to relate to the good feelings and value you impart to your customers, the more likely they will choose to do business with you.

This is the opposite of “What’s in it for ME?” — this is “What’s in it for THEM”, the more you show you care about your customers, the more customers you will have.

Third — What sets you apart? This is the story about the stuff, about the thing you do or the products you sell. What is it that makes you super competitive? What’s better about your product, what’s better about the service you provide? What’s your secret sauce that keeps people coming back? As you tell the “Story of your stuff” always bring it back home, bring it back to “What’s in it for THEM?”

These three story types serve as a basic track for you to run on, they give you a place to start. Most of our clients and students quickly discover that story marketing is transformational in making them more approachable and more relatable through their marketing. They also discover that all it takes to get good at it is a little practice. We humans are natural storytellers and story is so powerful for the audience because we are hardwired for story. We like stories, we like they way they make us feel and we like the people who tell them.

Go have some fun, tell some stories about what you do and why it matters to them. I look forward to hearing or your results :) Tweet them to us @SocialJumpstart and @MikeWolpert and we’ll share them along!

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Here at Social Jumpstart, this is what we do best; we help small and midsize businesses tell their story. as marketing. We teach people how to do it — easily and effectively, through a series of online courses. If you’d like to learn more about that, Click This Link and I’ll send you a great story assessment tool we’ve created and a couple of short, helpful training videos to Jumpstart your Story Marketing and get you going today.