5 Easy to Use Frameworks for Storytelling in Your Business
5 types of storytelling in your business to build connection and boost sales
Storytelling for business is definitely in fashion at the moment, but I believe it’s a trend that is here to stay.
It’s a fantastic way to build genuine connection with your audience, captivate them and compel them to take action.
If you want to learn more about why storytelling is the ultimate empathy marketing tool then check out this blog post.
Story formulas put everything in order so the brain doesn't have to work to understand what's going on
– Mike McHargue –
How to Tell powerful stories
Before we look at the 5 frameworks for telling stories, there are some key factors which ensure a powerful storytelling experience for the reader.
- Always have a goal & strategy behind the story you’re telling to ensure you keep the reader’s attention and respect their time
- Deliver value as well as a great narrative, that’ll build your credibility
- You need to understand your audience, their needs, desires, wants and fears so you can speak directly to them and address them in your story telling. This makes your stories accessible to the right people
- You’ll have multiple stories for your brand. Your bigger personal brand story which tells the story of your why and your personal journey (get your free personal brand story guide here). You’ll also have smaller ones that you use as and when needed
- You can repurpose story snippets in other content
- Repeat your story regularly
- Try to express your brand’s values in your story. How do you want them to feel after reading your story?
Now let’s get onto the five main types of storytelling in business.
Story type 1: Values & Vision
What is it: This type of story clearly shows what you value as a business, what your vision is, what you believe to be true and what you stand for and against.
Why is it powerful?
- It unites your audience with your why and creates a real sense of community
- Brings your values alive and makes them more than words on a screen
- It tells them about you and your life which gives them an insight into who you are and what you care about
- People buy from people with similar values so enabling them to relate to you and little snippets of your life through stories makes it easier for them to commit to purchasing from you
Story type 2: Selling
What is it? Talk about what you’ve experienced in a story format and then bridge the gap to the solution you’re offering
For example – It was a beautiful sunny day and I decided to hang the washing out to dry.
Nothing beats the smell of freshly line dried laundry. But I was hanging out the washing and felt a pain, I am that unfit that I actually pulled a muscle putting out washing. Talk about embarrassing and blooming painful.
I hate taking pain relief so found a brilliant natural solution (and then talk about the solution you found).
Why is it powerful?
- Makes selling feel more natural and less salesy
- Puts what you’re selling into context and then enables you to provide the solution
- Makes your product or service really relatable
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Story type 3: Teach & educate
What is it? Use a story analogy to bring alive the topic you’re teaching about.
For example from my years working with hundreds of entrepreneurs I know that consistency and building momentum in your business is key to reaching the goals you have.
I could make a post just saying that but it feels quite flat and not very memorable, or I could teach the same point by telling the steam train story.
Gather round, it's storytelling time.....
You know the old fashioned steam trains, picture the Hogwarts Express. It’s a huge machine.
When the conductor blows the whistle, the train starts to huff and puff, desperately trying to move, building up loads of steam but not really going anywhere.
They are desperately putting coal into the furnace to get it going but it doesn’t look like it ever will.
They are putting all this time, energy and effort into just moving the Hogwarts Express just one inch. It just doesn’t look like it’ll go anywhere.
Then ever so slowly it moves an inch, then another one, then another one with great sighs and creaking noises.
It starts to build up a bit of steam and little bit of movement.
They consistently keep stoking the engine, putting in that energy and effort. It builds and builds and builds until the Hogwarts Express is under its own momentum winging it’s way through the countryside to Hogwarts itself.
All aboard the hogwarts express
It’s almost impossible to stop it without a lot of effort.
And that’s what building a business is like.
You have to put in that energy and consistency at the beginning and it looks like it’ll never get going.
It feels like it’ll take you forever to reach your goals and you don’t see results quickly. I’ve definitely been there, it is so frustrating and you start to wonder whether you can ever grow a thriving business.
Then you see a tiny win, someone likes what you’re doing, someone comments on a post, you get noticed.
And then you carry on going, putting in that energy, showing up and you start to get a bit more back. Someone books in a call with you or someone buys your product.
Then a bit more and bit more until it builds and builds until you have this business with momentum, energy and drive and you’re getting consistent income each month.
- Makes your teaching points really memorable so your audience is far more likely to take action
- Establishes you as an expert
- Helps with future pacing, it enables your potential clients to imagine themselves in the future having the results other clients have
- You can also use case studies and testimonial stories to show social proof and also potential. These types of stories establish you as someone who can help and shows potential clients what they could achieve if they worked with you
Story Type 4: Connection
Share your scars not your wounds
What is it? This is one of my favourite types of stories. This is about opening up about your own experiences, difficulties and triumphs and building connection with your audience.
It can be a tricky balance with visibility. I would encourage you to talk about your scars not your wounds. For me this means that I have been through the experience, I have learnt the lessons and I feel ready to talk about it.
Why is it powerful?
- When you’re telling a story you’re actually becoming a mirror to your clients, reflecting their lives, their emotions, their feelings. You’re allowing them to explore how they are feeling by hearing a story about your own experiences
- Connection is built through joint emotions and shared feelings
- Your audience feels like you understand them because you are mirroring their experiences and feelings
For example when I started my business I struggled a lot (and still do as I grow the business) with mindset issues. I would wake up thinking about my business, worrying about whether I could make it successful, would anyone like what I was offering or would they think I was too pushy.
So many people can identify with these thoughts so by talking about how I felt it enables others to see themselves in it and connect with me on a shared experience.
Story type 5: Old Info new Clothes
What is it? Do you find yourself saying the same thing again and again? That information is ripe for telling in a story because it makes it fresh and new.
Also if you’re talking about something that a lot of other people are talking about, for example money mindset or selling essential oils then talking about it in a story format will help you to stand out above the rest of the noise in your industry.
For example – I talk about starting and growing businesses and there are a lot of other people talking about that.
If I frame it in a story then it becomes memorable. Check out my sewage story here to see storytelling in business in action.
Why is it powerful?
- Helps you to rise above the noise
- Makes your message unique
- Brings alive information they have heard again and again
- It’ll make you unique and differentiate you in the market.
So there you have my top 5 frameworks for storytelling in business.
Which one do you think you’ll try first?
Take Action: Write a list of topics you talk about frequently with your audience and think of a couple of stories you could use to frame that information