I have been reading Seth Godin’s Book, This is Marketing, and something he says jumped out at me that I wanted to share;
“The way we make things better is by caring enough about those we serve to imagine the story that they need to hear. We need to be generous enough to share that story, so they can take action that they’ll be proud of.” p. 19, Seth Godin, This is Marketing, 2018
How often do we tell the story WE want to tell and don’t tell the story our market wants to hear? How are we telling those stories?
I have been looking at many social media sites lately to see how companies (large and small brands) are telling their stories and I’m finding that much of what is being shared is event-, product- or service-related. Very direct and not all that engaging.
Many of us aren’t telling stories about who we are, what we believe and what excites our followers. We are just dumping out information about our offering(s). Honestly, I have been surprised by it.
Who’s Telling Stories that Matter?
One example of who is telling great stories is Virgin Group and Richard Branson. Daily, I see LinkedIn posts with Richard on the beach or somewhere exotic, sharing some really interesting information about Virgin, himself and his family.
I have not yet had the opportunity to patronize Virgin in a meaningful way, nor have I met Mr. Branson personally, but I love their posts because they tell me a lot about things I’m interested in.
They get my attention because they can be interesting, socially relevant or just fun. Even on LinkedIn, their posts make me think that someday if I buy or use a Virgin service, I could be cool and exotic while supporting their causes, too. Also, when they do share something seriously impacting to their business or the environment, I am much more likely to read it.
Of course, telling about what we do is fine and we should. But there is so much more to our brands than that, and our market is waiting to hear and see it. They are interactive and want to know how your brand will impact them in a way they want (not the way we think).
I believe one big reason why we aren’t doing it is time. It does take time to make it happen, and many of us have other things we are prioritizing. How do we get those important things done and still have time to tell all of these stories? Here’s how we can get started and still have time for the “important” jobs:
5 Easy Steps to Doing the Work that Matters to Our Market
- Start with the easy story. You. Let people into your backstage and tell them how you do what you do. Make it short and sweet but enough that you seem human.
- Show and tell your brand. Show the behind the scenes tour. Break it down to a people level and show an employee doing what they do. Is it on a computer? That’s ok. Show it. Are they making something? Show it off and talk about it. This isn’t the business headshot. This is a tangible and creative display of your work.
- Rely on visuals more than written text. Photos and video do the trick. Make the written part enough to give the absolute necessary narrative. Sharing a blog is ok of course, but make the daily posts streamlined.
- Get friendly with social media. You aren’t the social whiz? Get someone. You probably don’t have time to take pictures all the time and figure out the stories while you are running your business. Get someone. I’m not suggesting you need to hire an employee unless you have the resources, but there are many contractors out there that can help you make this happen.
- Make the time. Your market needs you. Your brand needs you.
Shelly Short lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is a Creative Director for StrataTech Education Group serves on the AMA Phoenix Chapter Board. She also runs Blue Collar Imaging as a personal brand photographer to help provide consistent, quality storytelling photography services.