This makes sense: At some point, you’ve probably gone to a meeting featuring a PowerPoint presentation with charts and graphs . . . and wanted to poke your eyes out with a pencil. The reason: Stories, not data, are what inspire people. Stories, not bullet points, create customer loyalty, build social media platforms and increase sales. Stories create an emotional bond between your business and your customers.
And today’s technology helps us tell those stories in the many different ways it’s given us to offer our message to millions of potential customers — instantly.
Yet, many businesses are losing customers because their methods of reaching them are outdated. Want to get people to buy your product? Then get them to listen. Here are three essential stories you need on your website to do just that:
In my book, The Message Of You, I call this your “credibility story.” It goes like this:
Customer X came to you with a huge mess (describe it).
Customer X took advantage of your products or services.
Now, Customer X’s life is so much better! He or she can now walk, breathe, save money, and perform like Lady Gaga. (Okay, maybe not exactly like her).
Better yet: Record your customers telling this story. One way I make a living is by coaching speakers. And, after I’m done and my client is (presumably) a happy camper, I use a Skype video recorder to record my client’s “mess-to-success story.” These tales are gold! You can view four of them here.
Every company also has a “mess-to-success” story. Take Microsoft, for example: “We started with our office in a garage, and now we sell ‘office.’” Isn’t there someone else who started in a garage? Oh yeah, Apple.
Airbnb, meanwhile never tires of telling its story of how its founders went from sleeping on air mattresses at friends’ apartments to creating a billion-dollar company providing sleeping accommodations for travellers worldwide.
Your company didn’t launch and become an immediate success, right? And, while you may not have started in a garage, you still have a story. Why, the history of how your company achieved its goals is the greatest story ever told . . . or something close to that. So, identify your company’s story, add it to your bio (your “About Us” page) and share it with your customers.
Being a CEO isn’t what identifies you as BFD. What will is your personal mess-to-success story. If you examine your history, you will probably find that the reason you created your company is because you were in some kind of mess. But then you turned that into a MESS-age.
And if you think being a big-shot corporate executive means you shouldn’t get personal, check out Bill Marriott’s blog. Yes, I’m referring to Mr. Marriott of the Marriott hotel chain. Rather than boast about his well-stocked minibars, he tells a deeply personal story about surviving a heart attack as well as the tragic death of his son. He is sharing life lessons that inspire and create brand loyalty in a way that tweeting about your towels won’t do.
If you are interested in my own “heart” story, you can see it here, where I recount how I changed my life around, from contemplating suicide to appearing on Oprah.
See? Business is personal. It’s about stories. It’s about authentic stories. So, go out there and tell yours.