What’s the most important tool in the digital arsenal of the modern business?
What key element must you show your clients, the mildly interested and the completely indifferent alike?
The short, perhaps simplistic, answer is…your face.
It’s that thing on the front of your head, we’ve all got one and it’s one of the most powerful things you have at your disposal as a business owner. If you’re a small business owner or a sole trader…then this applies to you most of all.
Combining your own unique vision of business and incorporating this into a strong and cohesive narrative arc that’s embedded throughout your online presence will act to not only strategically and authentically engage your audience, it will build a lasting relationship with the people you can’t see on the other side of the screen.
If you’ve read blogs from me before or have been following AWS Productions on social media you will know how important we believe story to be. It’s one of the most vital elements in our ability to do our jobs, it’s an innate skill and passion of ours, it forms a strong part of our marketing approach and it flows through everything we put out there for our audience to consume.
We want our brand to be annexed with the bedrocks of storytelling.
How do we do that?
Many times we’ve shared, through videos, photos and blogs, the journey of our business from literally the very beginning. Furthermore, I’ve started getting my face out there. I am by no means a natural in front of the camera, in fact I found it to be incredibly uncomfortable at first. However, it is so, so important to get your voice heard by your audience, to get your face seen (no matter how uncomfortable it may be), due to the amount traffic on the internet and the subsequent congestion with your competition. It’s more vital than ever to differentiate yourself, to stand out and prove to be a trust worthy and valuable commodity to your target market when they stumble across your digital shop front. If you’re passionate about your business there is truly no better way to sell to the right people than by connecting through a shared passion or set of ideals. There is nothing more engaging than seeing someone speaking emotionally and passionately about what their business does.
Over the course of the last 12 months our marketing focus has been primarily on how storytelling can connect your business to not only the people who know you, but how it can tether the very essence of your business directly to a specific target market.
If you’re running your own business, either by yourself or with a small team, you are the story we want to hear/see/follow, people want to know about you so that they can develop a relationship that will hopefully end in an exchange of trust and value. Take people on a journey, give them an experience and they will remember you. Let them into your world and show them who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing .
Great online storytelling for business doesn’t start or end with any one element or marketing tool, it is an ongoing, ever evolving journey. Think of it like a your favourite long running TV show, you become invested in it because the characters appeal to you or the story connects to you in a way you can’t really explain. These elements can be relatable or abhorrent, beautiful or disgusting – the one thing they all have in common is they garner an often visceral emotional response. As a result of this, you are hooked, invested and intent on following their journeys. The same applies for your business- except you are the character they will follow, your story is what they will become invested in and it’s your business they’ll remember when online traffic is at it’s peak.
You don’t have to be produce fancy online videos to tell a story either, there are many ways in which you can pick up an audience and haul them onto the magic carpet ride with you. Your medium could be blogging, vlogging or through photography – there’s truly a myriad of ways to communicate the narrative of your business- there’s no right and wrong when it comes to this. My good friend Darcy Smyth founder of the Tonal Persuasion Method, uses videos beautifully to engage his online community regularly. Now he doesn’t give them an immaculately produced video every time, he just jumps in front of the webcam on his laptop and speaks with a passion that is palpable, it oozes from his every word. As a result his community, myself included, feel connected to him directly when he does this. The content is congruent with the rest of his online storytelling and it progresses his narrative in an organic and engaging way that continues to give value to his audience.
Storytelling is one of the most crucial acts of communication that takes place between all human beings and it’s been that way for thousands of years. A great story can truly transcend any conceivable barrier, be it time, language, experience or age – a genuinely memorable narrative will continue to endure and find an audience. Stories provide a reflection of our lives while, paradoxically, they can enable us to find a relative counterpoint as well.
Through your storytelling wares you should be able to convert online traffic to your website or Facebook page into people who think, to at least some degree, like they know you and your business. The purpose of your online world building to create an aura of trust and authenticity that you can’t otherwise achieve strictly through the digital realm. The power of this is well known and the sooner your business starts doing it, the more people you’ll have tuning into what happens next .