In this blog, you will know Why Storytelling is One of the Most Powerful Tools for Entrepreneurs.
In a time of social distancing, one of the things that people need to feel the most is connection. The role of human connection is fundamental in every area of life. It is what has raised civilizations and enabled us to be at the feat, where the human race is today. What makes these connections possible? Stories.
Since the beginning of time, stories have enabled humans to build connections and collectively survive the times. And since the Industrial Age, which gave rise to mass production, capitalism, and print media, storytelling has been the mainstream tactic to sell goods to a wide array of audiences.
Storytelling for Business
Storytelling for businesses is effective because it enables the connection between the audiences and the brand, or even between each product and service. Through accounts that convey relatable experiences and evoke empathy, the audience feels closer to the brand. With effective storytelling, the brand is humanized.
According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchases were driven by the subconscious mind, which is motivated by emotions. So if entrepreneurs want to appeal to the consumers, they must speak to them on an emotional level that taps into the subconscious desires.
Good stories involve people, events, and challenges that the audiences can relate with subconsciously, and the most successful entrepreneurs of today know how to use storytelling for success. They have used their ability to connect with people to elevate their brand, build trust with consumers, and sell more of their products and services.
Stories Make the Brand Relatable
Your brand story is the narrative that should cover your company’s origin, mission, and vision. Furthermore, when establishing a brand, the entrepreneur must assign traits that people can associate to an overall brand personality. These elements must shine through the brand story. But it’s not just any narrative because the brand story must also be able to incite emotions and trust from the audience.
When telling your company’s brand story, you must have an honest recount of how your company came to be from its humble beginnings. But it’s not your hero story or an autobiography—this angle actually makes the story self-serving and builds a wall between you and the audience. The brand story is a story of evolution which tells how people inside the company and the people outside of it, a.k.a. consumers, contributed to the brand’s growth and success. It must still highlight the values that the brand brings to the lives of your target market. Having people in your brand story just makes it real and provides the consumers with tangible personalities that they can trust.
To make the brand story powerful, it must be authentic and descriptive. When readers or listeners read or listen to a story, their minds synchronize with the storyteller in a phenomenon called neural coupling. This allows the audience to feel the same feelings as the speaker or writer, and empathize with the brand as if it is human.
With empathy, understanding, and comprehension of the brand story, trust is generated between the audiences and the brand.
Stories Connect People with Products and Services
Storytelling also allows the consumers to connect with a product or service on an emotional level. With stories, you won’t just be giving your leads a boring list of features and specs, but you’re also highlighting the consumers’ pain points or needs and the solutions that the product or service can provide.
One example of powerful product storytelling is evident with Canva’s success. In the early days of Canva, Melanie Perkins admitted to receiving more than a hundred rejections from investors. And more than a hundred pitches later, she realized that the problem is not in the product, but in the way she was presenting her business.
Instead of delving deep into the technical aspects of the software, she realized that what the investors needed to hear is a powerful story that they can relate to and that can explain the crux of the problem. Hence, when Melanie shared the struggles of her students in learning graphic design, investors were then able to relate their own struggles with using complex programs like Photoshop. This realization turned out to be a transformative moment for Canva and obviously, the rest is history.
A lot of entrepreneurs are so attached to presenting their product as a solution, that they neglect to clearly explain what the problem exactly is and why it is worth solving. It takes some effort and creativity, but through stories, you can make your audience understand why your product/service is valuable and not just how good it sounds on the surface. That is the power of storytelling.
An effective product story shares the motivations behind building the product/service, and communicates how buying it can improve life, provide convenience, inspire actions, and, ultimately, address needs.
Stories can Position Entrepreneurs as Thought Leaders
As an entrepreneur, you must also be cautious of how you present yourself to the world. You are the number one ambassador of your brand and the epitome of your company’s values. With storytelling, you have the best tool in establishing your own personal branding that will benefit your business. With stories, you can build a following of loyal customers, and even fans.
When we think of Microsoft we think of Bill Gates, even though the company was co-founded with Paul Allen. When we think of Apple, we still think of Steve Jobs, even though he has been gone for ten years already. What makes these people remarkable? Their stories. There are many other thought leaders and business giants that have positioned themselves for success with storytelling.
One of the richest men in the world and founder of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk also exemplifies the power of storytelling. He’s not just an expert in vertical transportation and alternative energy but his life story involving a difficult childhood has inspired many of his followers. While he is not perfect and has had his own taste of controversies because of his personal life, people continue to support him, as evident in his social media and the growing loyalty of consumers to his brands.
Storytelling is indeed one of the most powerful tools for entrepreneurs. It allows entrepreneurs to access the subconscious of consumers that leads to a purchase and loyalty. Stories allow anyone to connect with other people so, as an entrepreneur yourself, why not wield the power of storytelling in the way you communicate your brand, your products and services, and yourself?
If you want to learn more about storytelling for entrepreneurs, check out any upcoming workshops on our website and other useful articles in our blog.