Why You Need a Better Story
Let's talk about what it really takes to get to share a story that drives you and your business forward.
Today I want to talk to you about why you might need a better story to activate your success story. A story that aligns with your greatest gifts so you can go out and start reaching some of your most exciting goals.
Your story provides direction, meaning and purpose to you personally and to your business.
Getting clear on your story gives you meaning and purpose and allows for more connection. It also gives you more confidence and clarity.
- Discover the true power in your Story
- How the story you’re telling is affecting the results you’re getting
- Learn how to writing a better story will get you better results for empowerment and change
The Power of Story
Narrative theory, and narrative therapy is based around the central concept that storytelling is not just part of our human culture, it is part of our being. We internalize our experiences and we process this information through storytelling.
Narrative is a basic human strategy for coming to terms with fundamental elements of our experience,
Story is a fundamentally human way of making meaning. To break this down a little bit further: the stories we tell create our identity. They are a cornerstone of how we see our place in the world and how we understand ourselves.
So when we start telling a story about our life or our business that deeply means something to us, one where we are on a mission to achieve something and using our greatest strengths to get there we have a tool that allows us to make a meaningful difference in the world.
Story Creates Meaning
We all want to be involved in a story that’s deeper than ourselves.
When you position your products and services as tools they can use to fight back against something that is wrong (because it causes them pain or fear or aggravation) you start to tell a story.
That story shapes the reason for your company’s existence in your mind and in the minds of your customers and employees.
So the very starting point is to ask yourself: Why does my business exist? The answer to that question must be a story, and one that you need to tell clearly.
Your Voice Matters
Your brand story is not your personal story and it is not about making you the center of attention. But, you need to own it. You can insert your compelling personal story into the mix because it needs to ring true, and it MUST be authentic to your values.
By adding your voice to your brand story, you can truly get behind what drives your business — and you’ll build engagement because you’re building meaning into the heart of everything you do.
Story Captures Attention
To be effective in your business, storytelling must be relevant, clear, and not shy away from emotions. Stories can include facts but they are not driven by them.
A 2014 Johns Hopkins study studied responses to Super Bowl ads and found that the viewers respond most to ads with complete plot lines over all other content, even the most attention getting, or the funniest ones.
When you start to invite your customers into a story, you create an emotional bond with them because they can feel that they are going through a journey with you, which not only helps build an emotional bond with your company but also makes the company story memorable.
Twenty-two times more memorable in fact. It’s true, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
But if you need to convey facts you can still make your story meaningful and memorable. If your company story is fact or data-driven, try to turn it into a story by explaining how those facts came to be. Couple the facts with the problem you’re solving.
Story Builds Connection
Your story isn’t just what you tell people. It’s what they believe about your business based on how they receive your story. Your Brand story is made up of facts, feelings, and interpretations, which means that there are elements of your brand story that you cannot control or direct!
Your brand story is more than a narrative that you construct. It is also experienced and felt.
Stories can actually trigger the human brain to release either cortisol (the stress chemical) or oxytocin (the feel-good chemical). Which means that you’ll connect with your audience on an emotional level when you use storytelling.
So be aware that your brand story is so much more than what you say about your company. It’s a cohesive narrative that encompasses every element of your brand: the narrative that you tell certainly, but also the feelings that are created by interacting with your brand. And remember, your visual brand is also telling a story, eliciting an emotional reaction.
This is why brand design and brand storytelling is so powerful and so important for the health of your business.
Story Builds Trust
Think about what happens when we meet people and want to form connections with them on a personal level. We engage in conversation and try to find out as much as we can about them. We ask questions and tell stories. The key thing we’re doing is trying to find commonalities. We find connection when we identify similar experiences, goals, and values.
Research indicates that the human brain responds to stories in profound ways, affecting both the sensory and motor cortex. When we share a story with another person, we share an experience and something else extraordinary happens.
Something that scientists call neural coupling. This is when a speaker and a listener share a story and their brain activity becomes synced, or what Uri Hasson calls “aligned.”
The net effect of neural coupling is trust. By telling a story you have the opportunity to create a connection and build trust.
Stories produce trust. But not just any story will do.
You must tell a story that produces successful neural coupling, and to do that you need to include 7 key elements.
What should I include in my Brand Story?
So the very starting point is to ask yourself: Why am I doing this work in the world? Why does my business exist? The answer to that question is a powerful story, and one that we want to hear.
You need to embrace your unique advantage. You must identify and embrace your unique strengths, your expertise, your unique perspective and what makes you stand out in your field. You determine what unique value you provide to your clients. That thing that cannot be replicated by anyone else. And this means doing some soul searching, becoming radically honest with yourself to create that clarity.
And once you embrace this, your marketing, offers and content all become much more potent and compelling.
The best thing is you don't feel the burden of competition. You are a category of one. It doesn't matter if there are hundreds of people in your same niche. It doesn't matter because you bring your story so you automatically stand out.
Knowing the parts of your story that matter most will help you understand your gifts. Knowing how that connects with others will help you launch your life’s work into the world.
Your story will point you directly to where your leadership is needed in the world.
Is your business ready for a new story?
When it comes to brand storytelling, the StoryBrand framework covers the 7 key elements you need to have worked out in telling your story. Those seven messaging categories are really the only categories that you should be using in your brand story. If you're talking about anything else in your messaging, you're likely losing people’s attention and losing them as a potential customer.
To dive into these elements and start building your brand story, read the book: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. It’s well worth your time.
It will help you tell your story in such a way that it tells your customers we relate to you, we understand you, we are like you.
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- If you're ready to learn more about the power of storytelling, download my free PDF, ‘The Messaging Makeover’.