Thursday, 22 August 2019

Facts tell, but stories sell

I can't claim the credit for the phrase 'Facts tell, but stories sell'; it's been around for a long time in the world of sales but I believe it's great advice.

In crowded marketplaces, where businesses are fighting for attention online, you need to be recognised and remembered for the right reasons.

Is all publicity 'good publicity'? I'm not sure. I can think of a few businesses that have been remembered for the wrong reasons due to PR stunts that have gone wrong, ill-judged comments by senior company figures and inappropriate social media activity by members of staff.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

What stories can you tell about your business?

An effective way to build trust and confidence is to introduce the people behind your business. What makes them tick? What makes them great at what they do? What do they love doing outside work? If customers like and trust you and your team they are more likely to spend money with you. 

Case studies should be short stories that reveal the problem a client of yours faced - and how you solved it. Don't be afraid to conjure up how your customer felt before and after working with you. Include their quotes or make a video where the customer talks from the heart. Think of other people who face the same problem and think of all the places that you can distribute your story (in written form or video) to reach and influence them.

What's your story? Why do you do what you do? Many business owners and entrepreneurs have an interesting story to tell, but remember your audience and think about what will interest them. They may be influenced by your vision and values when they are choosing between you and your rival companies. If you are writing for your website, keep it concise or you will lose people's attention. If you feel the urge to write your life story in detail, maybe you should write a book later down the line.

Are pictures still worth 1,000 words? Yes, probably - and videos too. There always needs to be a plan behind the visual content you create. Your video needs a script. Images should fit with your brand and complement the identity you have created.

Finally, don't get so lost in storytelling that you forget the purpose of every story you write. A good business story should encourage people to take ACTION. You can't ignore facts completely, but you should surround them with emotions and details that your clients can identify with - the magical 'that's happened to me too' ingredient.

Photo by Thomas Drouault on Unsplash