Story Marketing for Small Business_Mike Wolpert

People Tell Stories. Your customers are people 🙂

Story marketing is a natural way for SMB to connect with customers and prospects on a level that big companies just can’t. Stories are how we make sense of what’s happening around us, it’s how we explain things to ourselves and others. Story is how we process, organize and remember information.

Story marketing, telling simple stories about our businesses, is how we can share information with customers and prospects in a way that they can process, organize and remember.

We make emotional connections through the of telling marketing stories and that helps us to absorb stories on a conscious and sub-conscious or less than conscious level; we hear the words logically and process the meaning emotionally. A good tale, well told will suck the listener right in, stepping into the story, they will see themselves in the scene, in your restaurant, in your store – you can give them a positive customer experience before they even visit by telling them stories of great customers experiences.

Stories have always been central to the human experience and today more than even they are critical for small business marketing success because we live in an immersive media world and people are demanding an experience with a marketing message, we will no longer tolerate being spoken down to in advertising. Traditional marketing now falls flat – we’ve been fooled far too often

The models of storytelling and marketing have also changed, from the broadcast of one to many to the new social model of one to one and then many to many. The art of business storytelling comes naturally and is more important than ever.

Because of the internet and social media revolution, we are closer to the campfire than when we were enamored with broadcast television and radio. Media is more participatory, people are creating their own media, telling their own stories and this makes them more receptive to yours – when you pay attention to what matters to them, what impact you can make in their lives, how they will be better off because of you or with your stuff.

Our businesses are filled with real people; us, our staff and partners, our customers – we will connect with people if we tell the stories of those people. Everybody has a story and that some of that story can be told in a minute or two in a video or a few paragraphs on the blog or Facebook so that the information, the message, is passed from a real person to a real customer.

Just knowing a bit of your story will let people get to know you and feel comfortable before they walk in the door. Talking with people this way will turn them into comfortable customers who buy come and come back more often.

– Three Story Marketing Starters for #SMB –

1. Talk about what do you do and why do you do it, what drives you?

2. Identify the problems the customer wants solved and share how your thing solves it in a great way, 

3. Share your customers experience of you and the thing you do and sell and why they would recommend you to their friends, talk about them or let them talk about themselves (even better)

And – REMEMBER – Include a beginning, middle, and end. Stories follow a structure that includes a beginning, a middle, and an end. In the beginning, you can make  promise, highlight a problem, create a desire – and make some sort of promise. The middle should deliver on that promise, share the feel good story, solve the problem and then, in the end, give a call to action. Tell people what to do next; go to your webste to get something cool on the topic, come in your store for a special offer or just ‘go forth and try out the idea I just gave you’ – doesn’t have to be “buy-buy” but it should be some call to action.

This is your story arc, and as you take your reader along for the ride they’ll enjoy it, they’ll stick around, tell other people about it, and come back again and again.

Story marketing is easy for small business owners because we have interesting stories to tell and we know our customers and the good we do for them. Telling that little story, as marketing, on social media where it’s easily shared from friend to friend – is natural, will become quite easy and is totally worth the effort.

Let me know in the comments below of your successes!

– Mike Wolpert

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[Video Tips] — We offer a “Story Marketing Jumpstart” video training series – join us HERE and I’ll send you some more pretty cool ideas – no charge  🙂