Around 8:30 p.m. every night when we put the girls to bed, I hear the same request:
“Dad tell us a story…”. Sometimes they want to hear a funny story from when I was a kid. Sometimes they ask for their magical princess counterparts, “Rella” and “Reaston,” two mischievous princesses who are always finding trouble and adventure. But you know what the girls have never asked for? A brief description of our family’s business. They have never asked for insight into our personal P&Ls or what makes our family value proposition better than the Joneses down the street (with whom,
I am certain, we are NOT keeping up with).
Our girls want to hear a story because it’s the simplest and oldest way to communicate origin, value, and journey. And a good story has all the basics—hero, problem, a villain, a guide with a plan, and the suggestion that things might not turn out okay if our hero does not overcome. We all can quickly understand and appreciate a good story.
So, when it comes to your business, why do we hesitate to tell our story or try to tell one that lacks human connection? Let’s look at some simple ways for a business of any size to tell a great “Our Story”:
Keep It Short
My first boss taught me, “When I’m explaining, I’m losing.” Keep it under 500 words; shorter if possible.
Give Us a Hero
We know that the customer is really the hero, but in your story of origin, the founder’s story makes him the focal point. Tell us who that person is in relation to the company. Pull some heartstrings, too.
Set the Scene
“Why?” What was the “why” behind your business? Give us a reason for the hero to act. Was is it because there was a better way? Maybe there was a terrible accident or tragedy that created a greater need. Or maybe it was just a simple love of the work. Give us a why.
Outline the Journey
Simply put, how did your company get here and why should I trust you to do business with my resources? Create credibility; it removes risk for the buyer.
Show the Hero Winning
Tell me how the “hero” winning (creating the successful business) will help guide me to do the same. Remember, people are looking for a guide that has been down this path before and can show them the way.
For extra punch, do all this in a video too if your time and budget allow. It will be an evergreen piece that can be used on the website and in person. It is a video your sales team can attach to their signatures and feel proud about sharing with others. Invest in this piece. Remember, people like doing business with people they feel like they know.
Place all of this info, with images and video, under the “About Us” or “Our Story” tab of your website and/or Facebook page. Realize that this content is not the primary focus of the site, but it’s a component of the site that will be listed often so keep it up-to-date and the links/images/videos working.
It seems so basic, but telling a great story—your story—is one of the best ways to draw potential customers even closer to making a purchase.