Your Business Marketing Plan Needs a Story to Survive
A business with a story is a business with repeat customers.
When I first meet with prospective clients, or when other entrepreneurs want to talk about growing and marketing their business with me, there are so many things that come up:
Facebook and Google ads
Email list building
Social media management
Yes, there is a lot involved with marketing and growing a business online.
But rarely, if ever, does someone ask about defining and clarifying a story for their business.
I get it, maybe it just seems like a “nice to have”.
Or some business owners might think, “The clients in my industries don’t care about that crap.”
“They don’t read that stuff. They’re busy.”
“That’s not for my industry”.
“Will it make me money?”
My answer is, yes. Your business, your product, your service, needs a story.
In fact, if you don’t have a story to start, I’d suggest you hold off on the marketing plan altogether.
Defining a story for your business and sticking to it is what will make or break the success of your marketing efforts.
Why should someone buy from you instead of your competitors?
You are in the same industry. You serve the same targeted audience (or so you think).
You offer the same category of services or products.
Your competition is already well known for basically what you are trying to offer people.
So what could possibly make you stick out and grab the attention, interest, and money of your audience?
This is something that will be authentically and truly unique because there is only one you, or only one [insert business name here].
You need to think about what you stand for.
Is there a certain way you do things that you believe results in a better and more effective solution for your clients.
What is that unique defining factor that YOU believe will benefit your audience the most.
I emphasize what **you** believe, because it’s this belief, if authentic, that will differentiate you from everyone else.
TOMS sells shoes. Who doesn’t? But for every pair of shoes they sell, they give a pair to someone in need. Suddenly TOMS isn’t just another shoe brand. That is the beginning of their story, and they are sticking to it and promoting it proudly. Finally, it will appeal and stick out to the people that care. For the people who don’t, well all the other shoe brands can fight it out and compete for them.
Remember: your story is your way out of the crowd.
Is your story worth something to someone?
You have a story. Something you believe in. But is it something someone else would want to believe in?
Can your story not only be worth something to someone, but can it benefit them, or better yet, make them feel good?
Does your belief in personally tailored one-on-one customer service,
or the sharing of your proceeds with a better cause,
or a blunt and confident tone in your content,
or a passion for detail and beauty,
worth something to someone? Will it help them?
If the answer is yes, then you have got something worth marketing. You have a reason for people to choose you over someone else.
Now you need to stick with it
EVERYTHING must revolve around your story.
Your website, your graphics, your content, the description of your products or services, your tone; everything must be consistent with your story in order become:
Then best thing about now having a story is that it gives your direction. It helps you focus your content and marketing strategy on the right things without distraction. It truly makes things easier.
It also gives you a better idea of not only who you want your audience to be, but who your audience *should* be. You will then direct your content and marketing efforts towards that audience.
Your story IS your business.
I hope that by this point you are beginning to understand the importance of having an authentic, strong, and believable story for your business.
It’s not only important, but it IS your business.
In fact, the story you write for your business will become the foundation and focus of your marketing strategy.
When you have your story figure out, or at least what you want it to be, you can begin to define and clarify everything else more easily from there.
But a story won’t make me money.
So in a nutshell your story will act as the following:
– the success of your business
– the foundation of your marketing efforts
– the reason why someone chooses you over your competition
– the reason why your business exists
Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic while you’re asking “but I just want to make sales.
People won’t read this “shit”.
People WILL read it. When someone is viewing four different renovation company websites offering all the same thing, all with the same pretty design template and long list of testimonials, your story is what will catch someone’s eyes.
At the very least, people will skim through it, take from it from what they like, relate to, and want to believe, and *that* will be enough for you to suddenly either come out on top against your competition or even better, separate yourself from the competition completely.
This means more interest, more leads, and more revenue for your business.
Your story makes your business real.
With so much crap out there online, it has never been easier to be taken as another cash grab.
Having a story gives your business substance.
It tells people that you plan to be around for a while. It tells people that this is NOT some short term cash grabbing landing page that will be gone in a year.
It tells people you are a real person, with a real business, with something real to offer people.
In today’s world, that means something. Being human, talking to other humans (not SEO and Google bots), means something.
And you will be rewarded for that.
A business with a story is a business with repeat customers.
New business that just pop up with a landing page, prices, maybe even some clever copy are only going to be around for the short haul.
A business with a story gives people something to get attached to and come back as a customer.
Loyal customers, advocate customers, promoter customers…
whatever you call that type of customer that is most likely to stick by your brand, love it, and tell others about it passionately is the type of customer a business with a story generates.
Without a story, there is nothing to follow, therefor there is no following.
And without a following, it can be very difficult for your business to survive long term.
So hopefully you get the picture by now. Your business needs a story. Doesn’t need to be dramatic, or ridiculously unique, or very long, but it needs to be real and something you believe in yourself. More importantly, it needs to be something people will care about, or see the “good” or benefit in.
So start with a story. That’s what will help your business stick out and give your business the foundational direction it needs to move forward with marketing, design, advertising, and everything else related.