Grow Your Business Using the 5 Elements of a Great Story

You hear a lot about the importance of a strong brand and of great storytelling to the success of a business. And it’s true – brand and story are key elements in capturing and holding the attention of an audience ready, willing and able to buy your stuff.

This is true for all businesses, but particularly true if your business is an online, expertise-driven business because without these elements, no one will even know you exist!

Your brand is like True North.
It keeps you pointed in the direction that is true for you, your values, who you serve and the benefit you bring. Opportunities and ideas will either align to your True North or they won’t.  This makes decisions about those opportunities simple.You arrive at the essence of your brand by knowing the following 3 components:
  • Your purpose (why you do what you do)
  • Your promise (what you deliver; the specific outcome or benefit)
  • Your, and through you, your company’s values (the big why behind your business; what you stand for)
Marketing is all the ways you express the brand to your audience.  Great marketing begins with great story telling because the human mind responds to story.  Story enlivens facts with emotion and makes them relevant.  It gives our brain the ability to find “like information” upon which to explore new ideas and new knowledge; it makes knowledge/facts personally relevant.  Story is essential for a message to be received.
You may recall from a writing class long, long ago that “story” has 5 components
theme, character, conflict, setting and plot.  Here they are interpreted relative to your brand and your business:
  1. Theme – your brand expressed (your purpose, promise and values)
  2. Character – your ideal client; where they are now and where they want to be
  3. Conflict – what is “between” your client and where they want to be; the specific problem you solve
  4. Setting – your proprietary system
  5. Plot – flexible; we can adjust the plot for different audiences or a different set of circumstances
The story is more than the marketing.  It is the entire customer/client experience including the company culture – even if you are a company of one, you have a company culture.  The goal is to weave the thread of your brand story through every aspect of your business from marketing to product delivery to customer service which then brings your brand full circle.

What’s your brand story?
Share it plus your url in the comments!

About the Author

When she's not outside hiking in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains or in her garden, MaryKay can be found strategizing how to help small business owners and entrepreneurs get more out of their businesses - more time, more impact, more profits, and more scale. She's mad for all things marketing, Memberium powered membership sites, craft beer and Boulder (not necessarily in that order).

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