What’s Your Story and How to Find It

Many businesses and organizations fall into the trap of solely talking about their product or service. They get hung up on selling and forget that in order to make a sale, they need to first make a connection.

That’s where storytelling comes in.

Every business and organization has a story to tell, and whether you realize it or not, you probably have dozens of them just waiting to be told. You just have to know how to find the stories that will resonate with your audience. Here are some ideas on how to identify and tell your company’s story – beyond your product or service.

Your beginnings. How did your organization begin? Did it start with one idea, or one person? Amazon started in a garage. Boeing began out of one man’s frustration waiting for airplane replacement parts. As for Common Ground, our fearless leaders say the idea of opening a PR firm all started over Cobb salad. However you got your start, showing how your businesses was founded is an opportunity show your passion, innovation and commitment to others.

Your employees. Humanize your organization or business by sharing the stories of your employees – the backbone of your company. What are their passions? Why do what they do at work and outside of work? What makes them unique? Help your customers and clients feel more connected by showing them the people behind your products and services.

Operations, process and engagement. What does your company pride itself on? Is it work-life balance, high quality products or environmentally friendly processes? Perhaps it’s an above-and-beyond-approach to customer service? Describe what you do and why you do it – and, most importantly, how it’s making a difference or impact. Better yet, listen to Simon Sinek’s TED talk on how great leaders inspire action.

Your customers. The power of third-party endorsement to validate a product or service is invaluable. You, as a company representative, can talk about how great your products are all day long, but when someone outside your company recognizes that greatness, you build credibility. Write brief case studies about how you helped a customer or let your customer submit positive testimonials.

Show the good. Does your company support a charity or cause? Do they adopt a family at Christmas time? Communicate the ways you support the community and individuals who in turn support you. Remember, a story doesn’t always have to be written. A picture showing a food drive your company organized or perhaps your employees building homes with Habitat for Humanity can speak volumes.

Be a resource. Finally, show potential clients and customers how you are an expert in your field by talking about what you do best. Share tips, resources or information without mentioning your product or service. Learn what it means to become a P.R.I.M.E. resource from Inc. Magazine. If you make fireplaces, provide fire safety tips around the holidays. If you work in finance, create a financial checklist for college-bound students. Position yourself as a source of information and resource for others first – when they see you and your information as valuable, they’ll keep coming back for more.

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