Why Storytelling Is Great For Your Business
When I was a kid, I watched this TV movie about a group of teenagers who walk into an antique store while on a trip to India. They spot a gorgeous ring. It has a large emerald Centerstone, still glinting under the lights, a thick band of the purest gold, encrusted with accent diamonds. It is one of a kind, and they want it. If they all chipped in, they could get the ring. But would it really be wise to throw away their travel money on an antique ring? While they contemplate, the store owner tells them the history of the ring.
Rajah Sriram had eight wives. They had a rather interesting living situation. Inside his palace, there was a large circular chamber where the Rajah slept. His chamber had eight doors, each leading to the bedchamber of one of his queens. But then he met Mrignayani, a name that literally translates to “the one with doe eyes”. He and Mrignayani shared a passion for music, arts, and poetry. It was love at first dance. The Rajah wanted her to be his wife, but where would she live? His bedchamber only had eight doors. Hence, he had a palace built, just for her. Finally, it was time to propose. He called for his royal jeweller to craft something none of the other royal women possessed. Something new, something one of a kind. And the jeweller did not disappoint. With gold sourced from Arabia and emerald that was a gift to the Rajah from the King of Portugal, this very ring was forged. And thus, Mrignayani became the ninth wife of Rajah Sriram. Together they became the patrons of art, culture, literature, and science and encouraged learning throughout their kingdom. Surely this ring was worth losing their travel money over. Soon as the store owner finished his story, the decision was made, and the ring was sold.
When people buy your product or your service, that is not exactly what they are buying. What they are buying is your story. More and more companies and businesses are adopting storytelling as a way of growing their businesses. And with good reason! Poet and Political activist Muriel Rukeyser said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms”. You have a killer product or service, and you are 100% confident that it will solve your client’s problems and meet all their needs. People are not going to care about or remember your impressive credentials or how many awards your business own. They are going to care about how you made them feel. And it turns out, that an outstanding way of making people feel connected to you and helping them remember you, is to tell stories.
Stories create value
People are more likely to click on story-based ads, rather than fact-based ones, even when they are flashy. People attach emotions to stories, and memories. They are not going to remember the amazing spreadsheet you presented to them with all the impressive data. They are going to remember the story you told and the way it made them feel.
Stories showcase the human side of your business
Again, people do not respond to hard facts. Facts may appeal to your rational side, that is if you are intentionally paying attention in the first place. But stories appeal to your heart. That is why you remember them. That is why fables are so popular with children. You could tell them greed is bad, and those are just words that hardly mean anything. But tell them the story about the hen that laid gold eggs, and they will remember it for a lifetime. Even the Bible, the Torah, and every other religious scripture teaches life lessons through stories. You may not be able to quote any specific verse from the Bible, but I am willing to bet you remember the story about how Jesus Christ was born, or how Moses parted the sea. I may or may not be able to get a client simply by being a nameless faceless business, but let us face it, my returning clients are here for me – Hannah, the person behind HMR VA Services, rather than the business itself.
If you think you are not a storyteller or have no idea how to incorporate it into your business, maybe it will be helpful to specify what counts as storytelling. When you talk about how your business was born in the “About” section of your website, you are telling a story. When you post a testimonial from a client happy with your product or service, you are telling a story. When you casually chat about why you offer a particular service during a discovery call with a potential client, you are telling a story. You are telling stories everywhere and all the time, without even realizing it.
But if that is the case, why am I even bothering to write this blog post? That is because I want you to know and understand that when you are telling a story with intention, you have the power to maximize its impact. You can align it with your business strategy and use it to catalyse growth. You can use it to build relationships and grow your network. Storytelling is incredibly powerful.
If you would like to find out more about the “how” of telling stories to boost your business, stay tuned for my next post. Until then, keep chasing your dreams, and I am always here to help.