Storytelling is one of the best methods to hook an audience and sell them on your small business’s line of products. However, entrepreneurs often feel out of their depth when it comes to creating their brand’s narrative, leading many to miss out on the benefits this crucial marketing skill has to offer.
On this episode of The Small Business Show, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Kindra Hall, Wall Street Journal best-selling author, award-winning storyteller and keynote speaker. Hall has been researching the art of business storytelling for years, helping thousands of entrepreneurs improve their marketing and branding. Her work has been featured in publications such as Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, and SUCCESS Magazine. Now, she discusses the key strategies for building a narrative and connecting with audiences.
1. A lifelong storytelling advocate, Hall first began investigating the connection between business, persuasion, and narrative during graduate school.
2. Storytelling is an essential skill for entrepreneurs to learn. Hall explains that every business’s story is unique, making them one of the few truly distinctive qualities that owners can use to differentiate their brand from others.
3. Hall has identified four primary components of a good story.
- Stories need an identifiable main character. Entrepreneurs and company founders often serve as the brand’s primary character.
- Stories need authentic emotion. Many enterprises focus on positive storytelling only, but audiences connect more deeply with marketing when it employs a wide range of feelings, including despair, frustration, and triumph.
- Stories need a specific moment to draw in the reader and encapsulate the core message.
Stories do not need to be drawn out.
- For businesses, good storytelling focuses on the most important details and does not overstay its welcome.
4. Storytelling is a skill, not a talent. This means that entrepreneurs from any walk in life can tell a good story, even if they lack faith in their ability to narrate or write, with due practice.
5. Entrepreneurs should only focus on one story and one simple takeaway from that story to create their narratives. Otherwise, audiences will lose interest and disengage with the brand.
"Why is story so important? It's because story is the only way, it is the ultimate way…to stand out; no one else has your story; no one else started with the reason and the way you started. So not telling that story sets you up to just get lost in the noise." — Kindra Hall