What’s Your Business Story? – Online Business Essentials

What's Your Business Story? - Online Business Essentials

Starting your own business online can be one of the most rewarding but difficult things you will ever do.  You might be wondering what’s the best and most effective way to get started.  You might also be in a place where you know that this is a step you are going to try once and there is very little room for mistakes.  There are so many important elements that are essential to the beginning of a successful business.  Structure needs to be set in place and you need to know who is your target audience or customer.  Which social media should you focus on and should you pay for any advertising right away?  We’re going to answer all of those questions in this series that focuses on the essentials for anybody to start a business online.

Start With The “Why?”

Simon Sinek is a renown author and speaker who has made most of his career about asking the simple question of “Why?”  In his TED talk back in 2009, he introduced the idea that great leaders inspire action by asking themselves and their organizations that question.

What do you do and why do you do it?

His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.  Sinek explains that the question is the starter for a simple yet powerful and inspirational model.  The answer to that question is what makes people more than just Apple consumers but loyal followers.  It is what made a whole nation become a part of a civil rights movement led by an African American in the 1960s.  Why you do things is a more important factor to your business than you think.  I’ll let Simon expand a bit more on his ideas:

Your Story Will Make You Stand Out

Now that you have asked yourself the question of “why?”, it is important to know how to tell the story of your business.  Knowing your story is a bit different than knowing how to make your story stand out.  Things like how you dealt with risk in the early days, how you overcame barriers, what lessons you learned and other insights make for a compelling tale. Your answers to these questions form what is the very DNA of your organization.  Your story should give you the opportunity to show your audience a piece of your real self.  It is an opportunity you have to connect with other people and help them understand and maybe become a part of what you believe in.  Your story builds trust in people no matter what business you are in.

Think about it this way. If you were sitting down across from a potential customer at a nice lunch, would you immediately launch into your sales pitch?  If you know anything about sales, I hope not!  You need to know who they are, you need to know what they want, and you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you understand them.  Consumers are constantly getting bombarded with sales pitches, promotional emails, and products companies tell them should buy.  Make consumers feel a bit more like people and not just another number or another dollar.

Structure Your Hero’s Journey

Have you ever read a movie script before? You would be surprised at how similar a movie can be to another based on the structure of the story.  There are formulas that movie scripts tend to follow.  There is a structure in place and a plan that has been proven to work based on multiple tries and millions of dollars spent.  Superhero movies are very popular these days.  The movies are structured to make people cheer for the hero and accompany him or her on his/her journey:

Life “As It Was”: Take us to that moment in your life when things were at their absolute worst, the lowest of the low points, and the confusion, the anger, and the frustration. Take us to that moment and tell us WHY you were feeling that way.

Segue to “The Conflict”:  When was the moment you knew something needed to be done?  This is the moment to tell us about, including what you “realized” or “what epiphany you had,” and what you started to do.

Your “Resolution”:  Very simply, this is where you jump to how you solved your problem.  Your story needs to let people know that YOU are the one that people MUST trust, rather than the other guy who doesn’t understand them as well as you do.

When you share your story with others and invite them to become part of that story, you are creating a sense of purpose for people.  It doesn’t have to be a life changing event, but it can be a feeling of becoming part of something greater than themselves.  The reason this works is because no one else has your story.  No one has your unique perspective.  No one went through the exact thing you went through, in the exact way you did!

Now that you know what you do and how you do it, use your story on your company’s about page, in your emails, in your brochures, in any direct mail you send out, and at events where you are speaking.  The rule is: “Everywhere you are, your story should be too.”  Your story can pull the people you want to attract to your business together and make them say “Yes” and immediately forget about everyone else.

Reference:

Newman, D. (2014). How to tell your business story. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240357

Spahr, F. (2015). Why your marketing needs to include your business story. Kissmetrics Retrieved from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/tell-your-companys-story

Quicksprout (2014). Beginners guide to online marketing. Quicksprout. Retrieved from https://www.quicksprout.com/the-beginners-guide-to-online-marketing-chapter-3/

Sinek, S. (2009). How great leaders inspire action. TED. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

 

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