This is the fourth post in what we intend to make a weekly series, brought to you by the Hub Communications Lab. The idea is that you have questions about marketing and communications, and other Hub members have access to answers. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and then watch this space. And if you need more info, let us know and maybe we’ll put together a workshop if there’s enough interest!
What is the importance of “storytelling”? Isn’t this a bit artificial when you’re trying to create something authentic?
Having a good “story” isn’t as made-up as it sounds. Nor is it as difficult as it might seem. Each of us has a story that makes us interesting as people and that also makes us memorable. As we look for the right partners, customers and even funders, our story becomes the critical method by which we become credible and communicate the power of our offering and needs.
The importance of story is to convey meaning and experience. There are many resources (a few are listed below) to get you on your path to thinking about your own brand and business story but really it starts with who you are and your personal passion.
Start with a pen and paper and think about the moment you needed to start this business. Think about that story you told to your best friend or partner. Think about the convictions that got you going on this journey. And think about the incidents that happened along the way that changed your course. Perhaps you have started a non-profit and you have success stories that involved aid recipients. Perhaps you are much further along in business and you have great customer experiences that exemplify the benefits of working with your company. There can be many components to your story – the point is that you want it to be interesting and ultimately you want it to be about what you want to be known for.
You are telling a life story as much as you are telling a business story. Of course there is an art to telling a compelling story but feeling passionate about your story comes from deep within you and will carry you forward in the telling and re-telling of your story. Refinement will happen along the way. Don’t be shy and don’t forget conviction – every encounter is an opportunity to tell some version of your story. Just be sure you have different versions of the story to tell different audiences. This will give you great practice and also help you think through the eyes and ears of whatever audience you are in front of.
With practice, discipline and time your brand and your story will naturally become one and the same. Every great brand has a great backstory so keep that in mind as you develop yours.
Related links: http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/storytelling-business-brand/, http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/melinda-partin/work-tank/brand-storytelling-connecting-your-audience, http://www.scribd.com/doc/17149922/Brand-Storytelling-Storytelling-Magazine-JulyAug09