You’ve probably heard, “Storytelling is the new branding.”
But that means storytelling calls for strategizing. A marketing story isn’t a campfire story — and certainly not a bedtime story! We don’t want to put people to sleep.
As a marketer, you can tell many kinds of stories — stories about yourself, your product and your company.
The most convincing stories will be your success stories — reports of how you helped your clients succeed. When I work with clients, I ask for three success stories, to get clues to how their business works and what makes them special. You can use them almost anywhere. The key is to know which stories to use and how to tell them.
Here’s a success story that a business coach, Julie, sent to her email list (with edits to disguise the details):
Roger came to me because he was looking for more effective ways to demonstrate his value proposition and increase his close rate beyond 60%.
Roger is a successful productivity consultant with 10 years of experience. He has a broad vision for his business and life. His clients tend to be conscious, mission-driven business owners.
Yet Roger felt stuck when it came to building his own business. “I had been leaving money on the table by trading hours for dollars and undervaluing my worth to clients,” says Roger.
Together, we worked through Roger’s unique sales process and pricing structure. We also discussed personal and revenue goals.
“After Julie’s 2-week marketing program,” Roger said, “I identified client segments to focus my own practice. I began implementing the strategy right way and saw results right away.”
This story gives us some hints about the way Julie works with her clients. But the story could deliver a clearer message if Julie added more details and developed a consistent story line.
Roger’s close rate was already high for his industry. Julie needs to explain why he’s got a problem. She can tighten the story by omitting irrelevant details, such as Roger’s years of experience and business vision.
Julie could make the story punchier and more memorable. She also needs to establish her role as the story’s hero. Try this:
“Roger wanted to increase his close rate beyond 60%. He was already well above the industry average, but felt he could do more if he just tweaked his sales pitch.
“After two weeks in my marketing strategy program, Roger realized he needed to focus on total revenue rather than close rate.
“We worked together to redesign his offers. Roger admitted that qualities his clients valued could be delivered with video training instead of higher end consulting. He could offer a lower price point yet increase total earnings.”
Like many clients, Roger achieved many successful outcomes. Julie needs to focus her success story on just one outcome where he achieved success. She can create several stories from this one experience with Roger. To start up, she needs to ask, “What do my ideal clients want to achieve? I’ll show them I helped Roger achieve just what they wanted so they’ll feel they can do it, too.”
The story would change if Julie wanted to focus on her ability to improve value propositions or close rates among sales reps. Here we’re assuming she’s a business consultant who helps clients identify what they need to reach their goals, sometimes revising their goals in the process.
Would you like to make your own story more effective — and maybe identify which of your many stories will be most effective in reaching your goals? Get a detailed video review of your story or let’s talk about your online strategy and how stories can help you develop your brand.
Click here for a consultation to simplify your marketing, build your brand and connect with clients through storytelling.
And … did you know your success story can brand your business? That’s just one of the ways you can use storytelling for branding. Click here to see how it’s done.