The most powerful communications tool and a very simple way to convey intention, meaning, information and emotion is through telling a story. For start-ups, this is essential.
Yes, you need a business plan, you have to work out the legal issues and you need to do your market research, but if you haven’t got a story, you’re not very likely to succeed.
When you are telling the story of your still very young brand, don’t make the mistake of only showing your ups and hiding your downs. Emotions are what resonates with people, what makes you relatable and sets you apart from the big, anonymous companies. By sweeping your troubles under a rug, you are robbing yourself of authenticity and likeability, so be honest about what’s going on with you, even if it’s not all smooth sailing.
Ultimately, you want to sell your product, but instead of hitting your customers over the head with your sales pitch, take a different route. Tell them why you are doing what you are doing, what you hope to accomplish with your start-up and what your mission and vision are.
Here are some of the practical tips of how you can tell your story well.
1. Find your Magic Slice
You need to find that sweet spot of where what you want to say and what your customers want to hear intersect. That is what we call the Magic Slice, and believe you us, it will be your key to success.
Once you’ve found it, the communication between your customers and you will be on point, effective and constructive.
2. Create a manifesto
At the beginning of your entrepreneurial career, just take a few hours to have a good think about what you want your company to ultimately achieve.
What is your mission, your purpose, the reason you exist? Take note of those, because they are the foundation of your story.
What are your values? To find out, try this: if you had to employ someone tomorrow, what would your ideal candidate be like? Describe them, and there you have your values. They are like the mortar that keeps your company whole and connects the different building blocks.
3. Keep it short and sweet
It can be very tempting when you know a lot about an issue to overwhelm your customer with technical terms. Try taking it easy; use simple language, keep the sentences reasonably short and focus on making your brand accessible.
In the end, you strive towards engaging with your audience and that’s a lot easier when you state your points clearly.
4. Embrace the storyteller within
All of us are naturals at storytelling, but for some reason, the majority of us leave stories at the door when they come in for work.
Of course you can generate sales by keeping your website minimalistic and by describing your products simply. But it’s not very appealing, is it? Why not embrace the storyteller within? Let your customers know why you are selling your product, what makes it so special, how it came to be and who built it.
Use the information you have about your users, products or producers and liven up the story of your brand.
5. Consistency is key
By now we’ve established the importance of your brand story, the only thing you have left to do is to stick with it. Live and breathe that brand voice you have created for yourself, it should be the thread running through everything you do. Take that to heart, and you can steer your start-up through any dangerous waters.
Once you have found all the elements above you can start building your successful start-up.