top of page

How To Guide - Using the art of a great story to market your business.

How many times have you heard that storytelling is the key to unlocking your marketing?

Stories have been told for millennia and are the best way to share information with other humans because we're so receptive to them. Stories make sense to us. We invest in good stories. We take time to find out what happens next. We feel part of a great story. Stories leave us wanting to know more.

So, it stands to reason, that if we can tell great stories then we're probably going to do pretty well in our marketing.

What does a good story look like though? Do we need to be good at writing? Do we need to be confident in our prose or do we have to have a really impactful story?

My belief is that we can all tell a great story and we can all make our story have impact (even if writing isn't our thing!).

Here are some tips and ideas to help you know your story better and ways to tell it so that your audience is left wanting more.

  1. Don't doubt your story. So often (I've done it myself) we assume that our story isn't worth telling. We might think it's not exciting enough, not life changing or worthy of being told. Leave those notions at the door. ALL stories can have impact and all stories will resonate with someone.

  2. Start by knowing your story a little better. As we hurtle through life, it's easy to forget what a journey we've been on. We probably assume a lot and likely underplay its significance. Start by taking some time to stop and think what yours has been. Make notes on all the ups, downs, noteworthy moments. Head back as far as you like (many a business started life as a child's dream after all). Don't worry about form or order, just bullet points will do.

  3. Start at the start. From your notes, you may start to notice that there's a starting point. I remember working with a client once who realise that her catering company probably started when she baked with her Granny as a little girl. It doesn't need to be a dramatic moment (it might be) but try to understand the real origins of why you do what you do.

  4. Understand the main characters. Who are the big names in your story? Maybe a Granny, a teacher or a friend? Is it just you in the business or are all the family involved? Perhaps the dog plays a part! All great stories have valuable characters that readers can resonate with or feel connected to. They may even see themselves in the story.

  5. Create some flow. Stories ebb and flow - some gently and with beautiful descriptions. Some with dramatic pivots and unlikely reveals. What are the ups and downs of your story? It's unlikely to have been a straight line so own every peek and trough along the way.

  6. Don't avoid the tricky bits. Your audience will thrive on authenticity and the real. It's important not to avoid the turn in the road. The failure that helped you change your path. The unexpected crisis that forced a new avenue. You don't have to share every nook and cranny of your life, but be as honest as you can about where things got dicey and how you overcame them.

  7. Use description and voice. No need to panic if you're not one for fancy words. But....we do want your story to spark interest, empathy or alignment in your audience. If you use the odd swear word in your everyday then why leave them out now? If you have a nostalgic view of cake/coffee/books/dogs/trains, then don't leave that out! This is your unique and special story that will help your audience understand you and your story better.

  8. You don't need to have an end to your story. Remember your story is ongoing. The purpose of telling it is to bring your audience along for the ride. If there's a current cliffhanger or you're simply redecorating the office, let people know that this is your next chapter and you want them to help you build it.

  9. Remember the chapters. Don't forget you don't have to tell this story all at once and all in the same order. Your story has natural chapters - when you got started, your first big move, your big turning point, your new product range, the new website etc. You can pick and choose these chapters to illustrate your point, elevate your content or to show your audience your experience. This could be out of order and you can revisit these chapters over again from a million different angles.

  10. Finally - you don't have to write it! Well, not in full anyway. You may have notes and chapters, but don't forget, you can tell your story on a video, through a podcast, through your art, in blog form, as letters to your audience and many more ways. Don't let your fear of writing keep your story quiet.

I'm going to start a thread in the Forum around storytelling so that we can all share there (maybe first!). If you're stuck for ideas, want to tell your story but need tech help or if you've got writers block then the forum is the place to go.


bottom of page