5 New Year’s resolutions for better business storytelling.
I feel a bit of a fraud coming to you with my list of storytelling resolutions for 2022.
As an adult, I’ve always felt compelled not to make resolutions for the simple fact I know I’ll break them. When I was little, my New Year’s resolution was always to stop biting my nails. It would last until I started back at school. And nowadays, my pledges of eating healthier, taking more breaks, yada yada go straight out of the window whilst the empty bottles of fizz from NYE are still sitting in the recycling bin.
But the thing is, storytelling isn’t do or die. There are little things you can do differently every day to build your confidence in storytelling and make a noticeable difference to your audience in the way you speak about your business and the content you create.
Try my storytelling resolutions to get you started
Resolution #1 – I’m going to think about my audience before I start writing and write in a way that’s true to them and my brand
Let’s be honest. A moment of inspiration strikes. We feel pretty chuffed with ourselves for coming up with such a great idea. And because we LOVE it, we naturally assume everyone else will. The problem is, we’re not everyone else. Maybe we are our own ideal customer, but perhaps we’re not. And even if we are, our needs will be different.
Think about who your ideal client is (this may be different from the people you are selling to at the moment), what they look like, their back story, needs, fears, dreams, and ambitions. And create content that talks directly to this, recognising the problem they are looking to solve and showing them how you can help.
But, and it’s a bit butt (hehe), remember that talking to a specific audience doesn’t mean changing the way you speak. Always have them in mind but make sure your voice is authentically you. You don’t have to change how you talk; just refine what you say (see Resolution #3).
Resolution #2 – I will not be afraid to share my experiences and ask others to share theirs to build more ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ connections with my audience.
We’re no longer fooled by fur coat and no knickers. We want knickers, even those that have yet to go through the wash! (Sorry for that gross analogy). In other words, your customers want to know the person behind the brand, not just the obvious glitzy exterior.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to ‘feel’ things as we don’t know when such luxury could be taken away from us. Experience has become much more important than material goods and sharing these experiences connect to a much broader narrative around realness and truth.
If you are talking to the right people (see above), you don’t need to be afraid of what you share; you just need to keep it relevant, interesting and genuine. And chances are, once you start sharing, others will start, and this is an excellent basis for building trusted, loyal relationships.
Resolution #3 – I will NOT use cliched words, nor will I use long fancy pants words because I think they make me sound smarter unless I speak that way and my audience respond well to those words.
Write as you speak. It’s as simple as that. If you read something aloud and it doesn’t sound like you, change it until it does.
Funnily enough, it comes down again to knowing your audience and being true to yourself and your brand. You don’t need to feel the pressure to be all ‘millennial’ and ‘Instagrammy’ if that’s not who you or your customers are. Equally, if a thesaurus is needed to translate what you write, that’s probably not a good sign either.
You do you.
Resolution #4 – I will dare to be different in the stories I tell. If some people don’t like it, they’re not my people, and that’s ok.
Storytelling and creating all the feels emotionally (that’s what makes stories so engaging) offer a refreshing and more memorable approach to content. And wow, do we need that right now.
Doing something different (but that still speaks to the needs of your audience – am I making that point clear enough?!!) will help you rise above all the noise and chatter online, especially in the social space.
With significant trends pointing towards video being the big bet for 2022, storytelling lends itself incredibly well. Tell stories that are relevant, engaging and interesting, and you’ll find yourself at a significant advantage.
Resolution #5 – I will not, repeat, will not forget to include a call to action. It’s not being pushy; it’s helping my audience know what to do next.
I’m going to keep this simple. If you’ve done all the hard work to capture and keep your customer’s attention, don’t put it all to waste by not telling them what to do next.
And make your call to actions fun. Or, if not fun, compelling.
It’s the difference between ‘Join other business bright sparks and learn how to turn stories into sales’ or ‘Sign up for my workshop’.