Storytelling: a skill every entrepreneur should practice

In these times of crisis, highlighting your value proposition is not always easy. How can we position ourselves in a way that distinguishes us from others? The problem is all the more crucial if you are an auto-entrepreneur, a small or medium-sized company that does not necessarily have the means to use mass marketing to make itself known. However, there is a simple method that is relatively easy to use and will step you apart from the herd because it reflects your company's personality: storytelling.

Great stories pay off

With the advent of new technologies and social media, writing has never been more prolific on the Net, sometimes for the better, but often for the worse. Between fake news, humorous messages that are not always in good taste, buzz marketing techniques whose only aim is to gain an audience, and online communication campaigns skilfully orchestrated by the major brands, it is not always easy to be heard. On top of that, AI is now making everything in business look and sound the same. 

Storytelling, or the art of telling stories, can help you emerge in the face of hyper-communication. You give meaning to your activity and create a unique territory – yours! As a result, you not only gain an edge over your competition but also nurture your leads, grow your brand and develop a more loyal and engaged audience. Over time, you will increase your profitability, improve customer retention and even convert leads into customers more efficiently than before. 

What makes a story powerful?

Here are some tips to help you build a powerful narrative around your business.

Set a strategic goal. Telling a story only makes sense if it helps you achieve an initial goal. Everyone has a story to tell, especially if you are an entrepreneur. The trick is to choose the right story and ask yourself what you want it to be about. What do you want to tell - how you started your business, why you chose a particular niche, or how you turned your passion into a profitable business? And why?

Be authentic. Rather than simply outlining the pros and cons of your business and its offerings, focus on building a connection with your audience through relatable stories, engaging anecdotes and inspiring messages. Your brand story needs to be not only compelling and human, but also authentic. To achieve this, consider your business core values and bring them out with a story that customers and prospects won’t forget.

Include emotions. Speak to the heart, not the head. You need to deliver passionate and empathetic content that involves your audience whenever possible. They should be able to draw parallels with their own lives. People are more likely to buy from companies that align with their core values and experiences.   

Stick to a narrative structure. Several elements are essential for a story to unfold in an understandable way. The initial situation sets the scene and establishes the actors, their personalities and their environment. The incident is the problem that changes the initial situation and sets the plot in motion. The plot describes the different actions the main characters took to bring an end to the events caused by the incident. The denouement (or resolution elements) represents the moment of appeasement: the problems finally begin to be resolved. The final situation brings the story to a close: the situation becomes stable again but can sometimes degenerate into a new story. 

Find your style. This is the most challenging step. Creativity is learned through practice and requires a lot of curiosity. It takes time, but it pays off in the end.

Storytelling - Fundamentals

If you want to learn more about storytelling, sign up for our "Storytelling fundamentals" course. It will take place on Thursday, 23 March, at the House of Training.

More information and registration

Stéphane ETIENNE

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