We are hard-wired to listen to and actively engage with stories.
Brain scans show parts of the mind that light up only when we are hearing stories.
Stories are how we, as humans, make sense of the world.
Yet many business owners and brands don’t share their stories as a way of connecting with their audience and attracting the right clients. They (and their potential clients) are missing out!
StoryShaping is more than just telling your story (although this would be a very good start!).
StoryShaping is about finding and communicating the narrative at the heart of your journey as a business or business owner and creating shared experiences that resonate with the kind of people who you want to work with, whether they become clients or advocates for your business.
It can be useful to draw or write your story to begin with. Here is a simple 3 step format based on the work of Joseph Campbell.
3 Step StoryShaping Process
1. The Call
What called you to build the business you now run? What problems were out there that you wanted to solve? What was the spark that made you start?
This stage taps into your why and shows you are visionary. It is your why that people most strongly relate to.
2. The Pit
What were the challenges you encountered when growing your business? Who or what helped? What did you discover?
This stage builds intrigue and real world credibility (how you cut your teeth) and shares your vulnerability (“I am human too”). There is power in vulnerability – people like to do business with people, not robotic success machines.
3. The Breakthrough
What was the moment that you got your first big result? What else did this lead to?
This stage demonstrates your drive and ability to make the desired outcome happen.
Your story is a way to get across your core message(s) about what your business is for and who it can help.
- What are the key lessons learned from your story?
- What’s your business’s overarching message?
Some Ideas on Sharing Your Story
Once you are clear on your story (or stories), you can use the message(s) to inform business strategy, organisational culture, product and service design, marketing strategy and implementation as well as transform how you talk about your business so you get maximum impact and engagement.
Here are some ways and places you can use your story (or extracts from it).
- Website and social media
- Business literature / marketing materials
- Keynote talks
- Business networking pitches and conversations
- Team meetings and away days
- Training and development activities
- Collaborations and joint venture opportunities
- Customer experiences
- Case studies (sharing your client stories as a way of showing how your business helped them).