People get a little overwhelmed when they hear the word ‘storytelling’.
Sounds a bit grand. A bit creative. A bit beyond the limits of our literary abilities.
I’m used to writing mildly amusing Facebook posts about nonsense. Or half-muddled Whatsapp messages full of spelling errors.
The art of storytelling seems a million miles away from the simple text pleasures of everyday life to try and get a semi-unforced chuckle out of our friends.
It’s really not though.
I’m gonna take you through 5 incredibly useful tips for creating your brand story that’ll make the process a lot easier and much less daunting.
Most people don’t write because they don’t know what to write.
We all have our own stories to tell. They’re inside each and every one of us.
And we tell them every day! To our friends. To our family. To that poor barista you see every morning at Starbucks that feigns pleasant smiles at your ramblings (they’re rather convincing aren’t they!).
Your brand story’s no different. It just needs to follow a few simple rules.
Stories don’t need to be multi-part epics.
They don’t need to include a colourful cast of characters sprawled across interlinking chapters that take months to write.
You’re not writing a novel.
You’re telling people about you. Who your brand is, what it stands for and how it’ll make the lives of your audience better.
If you follow these 5 tips when creating and telling your brand story, you’ll be onto a winner.
Nothing complex, I promise.
And to be honest – all complete common sense (although isn’t that the funny thing with common sense. It only seems to all make sense once someone’s told you – surely that’s the complete opposite of the meaning!)
Onto the tips…
We all have an uncanny ability to smell BS from a mile off.
If something seems too good to be true. It usually is.
If you’re trying hard to be something you’re not. It’ll show.
It’s the same with your brand. It needs to be true to who you are. To its personality and values.
At the end of the day, it’s just like making friends. Be yourself, be kind, be respectful and you’ll find others that appreciate who you are. No-one wants to be friends with an asshole.
Be relatable to your audience. Be available to your audience. It all goes a long way towards building emotional connections with them.
The cornerstones of lifelong rapport, trust and loyalty.
A lot of businesses (and people) feel the need to jazz things up a little. Embellish the truth. Try and force rose-tinted glasses onto other’s faces. It’s the whole Instagram-perfect thing.
But it’s not real!
And sooner or later, people will see through it and lose faith.
Being perfect isn’t relatable. Don’t polish things up. Keep it raw. Keep it real.
Now that doesn’t mean don’t make an effort. You still want your brand to be perceived as high quality and valuable.
But it does mean being transparent about everything. Even your failures.
In fact, talking about your failures and how you overcame them is one of the best ways to show you’re human. That you’re not above anyone else.
It’ll also position you as a trustworthy source of authority in your niche as others can learn from your mistakes and see your success as attainable.
Passion is infectious.
So show it! Don’t simply tell it.
Show your audience why you do what you do. What drives you. Why you can’t wait to get out of bed each morning and help people.
Show them your vision for a better future and a better life for them.
Be visual. Describe in detail using words. Use imagery to transport people. Highlight those you’ve helped and introduce them to your audience through testimonials and case studies etc.
Create a world that hooks them with a promise and keeps them with a lifestyle.
Make them not want to leave. Make them want more.
Turn your brand into a habit!
Think about some of the world’s most addictive brands – the magical childhood memories of Disney that all families love, the borderline obsessive Apple fans than wouldn’t dream of owning a phone without an ‘i’ infront of it, the Coca Cola drinkers that only drink ‘the real thing’.
It’s all because they’re passionate about their offering. About weaving their way into the lives of their customers.
The more addicts you create, the more of a movement you make.
The bigger the movement, the bigger the addiction.
Know. Your. Audience.
Know what they want and expect from you. What they like. What they don’t.
You need to constantly be adding value to their lives. Whether that’s knowledge, motivation, inspiration etc. Find your way and give it to them.
Your story needs to speak to your audience’s desires and pains.
It also needs keep in line with current trends. If your industry has shifted dramatically. If your niche no longer cares about the angle of your story, then you need to shift your message.
Otherwise it won’t land well with your audience.
On top of being relevant, your story also needs to entertain.
That doesn’t mean in the jester, ball-juggling kind of way. More the mental stimulation of curiosity, surprise, amusement, joy, inspiration or enchantment.
Again, it comes back to who your audience are and what they expect from you.
If people don’t ‘enjoy’ your brand in some way, they won’t care about it and they won’t come back.
One of the best ways to entertain is with humour. If you can make people laugh, they’ll love you.
Not easy to do, but you don’t need to be a comedian. You just need to know what tickles your audience’s funny bone. A little research is all it takes.
There are two parts to this.
The first is be consistent with your brand. That is, be consistent with your brand personality, your brand values and your brand promises to your audience.
If you say you do something. Do it. Prove it. And keep doing it, and proving it.
If you stand for something, then always adhere to it.
Want to help the disadvantaged? Then constantly help them. Want to save the planet? Then do everything you can do make an environmental difference.
The moment you contradict any one of those within your story, you’ll instantly lose credibility. People will lose trust in you. And they’ll move on.
Consistency breeds trust. And trust breeds loyalty.
You also need to stay consistent across everything you do. Where you write your story. Where you tell you story. Where you show your story.
Through all the content you create and interactions you have – blog, videos, podcasts, newsletters, emails, courses, phone calls, events, in-person meetings etc.
Your story must be the same each and every time. Don’t add to it. Don’t detract from it.
Not only does it make it easier for you to tell, it makes it so much easier for your audience to understand and remember.
And if they know it and can recall it easily, they’ll be likely to tell others more readily.
Get your key points across.
Keep it tight and don’t confuse or bore people.
Don’t veer off into unnecessary details.
Everything you have in your story must hit an emotional hook point with your audience. They must be able to recognise themselves in it.
It must be simple to follow and relate to.
And tell it as often as you can!
Grab hold of any opportunity to share both the highs and lows of your story.
Obviously keep it relevant to the situation however – always look to add value to a situation. Don’t be that weird guy at a party that only talks about themselves, even though you didn’t actually ask – thank you very much.
When crafting and telling your brand story, if you keep these 5 tips in mind, you’ll have something ready to grab the hearts and minds of your audience.
It’s as simple as making sure you’re brand is always being true to itself, it’s always being a decent and honest entity, adding value wherever it goes and is passionate about what it offers and who it helps.
Keep it simple. Keep it relevant and if you can, try and crack a smile.
You’re not as far off of a genius storyteller as you thought!
Which of the above tips really resonated with you? What are your thoughts on crafting compelling brand stories? Do you have any great tips to add to those above?
Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!