Tips and advice, Writing for Business

5 steps to telling your story

We hear so often that content marketing is “all about sharing a story”. It sounds appealing in principle…but how? And what ‘stories’ should you be sharing???

I have done a little research and below you’ll find 5 ideas to help you start shaping some stories to help your marketing to be a little more engaging and, importantly, individual.

1. Write down what you know

A great place to start with any form of writing is to write about what you know. So, start by thinking about you, your business and related stories and anecdotes. Write some notes about:

  • how you started
  • what you did before
  • why you do what you do
  • what has happened to you and your business
  • what changes have you made
  • what might be unique about your set up

Think about your products and services and stories related to them…and also your clients and even, perhaps, suppliers. Who do you deal with? Who do you speak to?

Think about what have shared with your partner or friend about your business…the interesting bits and mundane. What did you have to tell them about as soon as they walked in the door?

It can be hard but start making notes and things will spring to mind, especially from the early days of your business…hindsight is a wonderful thing!

2. Decide what’s compelling for your target audience

Now, go back over your list of ‘snapshots’ and forget yourself but think about your target audience. Which of the stories will they find interesting, which will they find compelling and, even, surprising. Consider which are likely to encourage them to comment, react and even share (and I mean literally retell because the story is interesting, memorable, unique or funny not just share on social media).

Finally, consider which stories fit your goals and purpose. Which illustrate your mission, for example, or could help with sales.

3. Decide what you are willing to share

Once you have identified some great stories for your target market, check through them and decide what you are personally willing to share. It is ok not share everything, especially if it is personal to you; could break a confidence or gives away details about family or…well anything really…that you don’t feel comfortable with.

I know people are nosy and I know transparency and trust is often cited as essential in business (and politics! 😉) but this doesn’t mean you have to share personal details.

4. Shape your notes in to a story

Hopefully, you still have some ideas left! Now, it’s time to start fleshing out these ideas.

A good story has a start, middle and end. A good story has a bit of controversy or twist. A good story has a lesson learned or an outcome that was the result of what went before only.

Shape your notes in to a story – think about what background details you need to include and how you are going to take the reader on a journey with you. Don’t over embellish or lie but ensure you make the story interesting, gripping, engaging and importantly easy to follow. Remember your reader weren’t there so think about explaining the context too.

5. Write…then share

Before your start writing, consider where your story (or stories) will best fit…is it something for social media or perhaps your about page on your website? Would a story fit well on your blog? This will help to focus you and probably dictate the length.

Now, get writing. It will take time when you first start but go for it. Make it exciting. Make it interesting. Don’t make stuff up but think about how your story can be a bit different…it doesn’t have to be completely linear or chronological.

Make it interesting and detailed enough to ensure your readers feel like they are really learning something new. Think about how you tell a friend a story or when something has happened to you. Think about how you pull out the key details and how passionate you are.

Get that across in your writing.

Then share your story – post it on your relevant marketing channels and use it more than once to promote your business and something unique about it.

Composing your story

If you need some help drawing out your stories let me know. I love learning about people’s businesses. How they got started. Why they do what they do. I can ask you lots of questions!

Considering stories to share is part of a good marketing plan…so let me help you put together something which has people enthralled, desperate to learn more and keen to be part of your next chapter.

If you have any questions or need support with your marketing strategy and content plan more generally, let me know.

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