How to connect with your customers with storytellingMathew J Maniyamkott
Storytelling is one of the best ways to create an unforgettable brand persona. Everybody loves a good story. When you convey a message using your story, you can bring up a lot of emotions in your audience. People assume that being good at storytelling is a skill present among the gifted few. However, with the right set of skills, it can be acquired through practice. As a startup, you have to connect with your audience; good stories help you achieve this quickly. Stories make businesses a trusted source as your audience will be able to relate to you better. How do you connect to your audience who is pivotal to your business, in the form of a good story?
"Storytelling is the game. It’s what we all do. It’s why Nike is Nike, it’s why Apple is Apple, it’s why Walt Disney built Disney World, and it’s why Vince McMahon makes a billion dollars.”
Gary Vaynerchuk (Entrepreneur)
Know your audience:
Knowing your audience is important before you indulge them with a diarrhoea of features that you are proud of. Who is your average customer? What are the things that they aspire? Is your product one of those aspirational things that they seek? Or are you someone who caters to the masses? Millennials with an attention span deficit or baby boomers? There are a lot of aspects that you need to check before going ahead with reaching out to your audience. Understand the pulse of your audience and create a compelling story.
What does this mean? If you are discussing an important topic, make sure you let the audience know why it is important to you. Share your motivation with your audience on why they should take the content that you are discussing seriously. Even if it is an intensely personal story that would put you in an emotionally vulnerable position, sharing it will bring you strength and your audience will feel more connected to you.
Find the right stories to tell:
You see how standup comedians create a story from almost everything, even a mundane thing such as going to the shopkeeper is supplied a fancy narrative and more often than not, they have the audience in splits. Finding the right story to share with your audience is imperative. Be entertaining:
If you are an entrepreneur in the startup world and have been following brands and advertisements for long, it is impossible to have missed Dollar Shave Club’s ad that says “Our blades are f**king great” with the founder delivering the message in a jocular way. The story is so entertaining that it is impossible to miss the underlying message to the audience which is the $1 per month delivery of high-quality razors at your doorstep. How many of us were able to get over Vodafone India’s ZooZoo ads that started playing from the second season of IPL?
Weave a narrative that makes your audience take action:
Good storytellers make their audience take actions. Remember, words are stronger than the proverbial sword. At the end of your speech or that blog post that is in the form of a narrative, tell your audience/readers the action that you want them to take. Give them a solution that will be worth the time they spent on your work.
Unless you have the funding to go on marketing spend, the best way to improve the prospects of your brand is through storytelling. As a CEO, you can also share your personal story which will be a hit with your readers. It will allow you to enter into a deeper relationship with your audience. It is easy to prepare a PPT, but if you can put a little more effort and top that with a story, that will make your work a class apart.
Read next: The art of storytelling.