Theres a fine line between telling your story to build up your brand, verses making your brand about your story. More often than not, especially for emerging brands or business’ this is a trap that is easy to fall into.
The trap is simple, it’s making your business about you. You are a part of your business, your history and the history of your business is important to how it came about. But that should not be at the core of what you do. It should only be there to help emphasize it.
This can come down to one core aspect of business marketing. Are you providing value? By telling your story there is a chance that you will be providing value to a potential customer. The chance that your story will relate to their’s and by doing that you will create a connection and give you regard to this person.
But if thats all you do, share your story or what YOU think the brand is about you are losing out on countless opportunities to reach others. The part of the story that connects with others is the part where you show value.
You are selling a healthy diet plan. You spent your whole life struggling with health issues and this vegan or paleo or whatever it may be diet, changed your life. So you create content and marketing materials sharing your story.
“I was once in pain, couldn’t focus and had mental fog, always in and out of the doctor and could never find a diet that worked for me. It was hard to live like that. I wanted a way out and spent years in the medical system, doing personal research and trying to find a way to make life bearable.”
I’m not saying that sharing a story like this doesn’t have purpose. It’s at the core of your business and it should always be remembered how and why you got where you are. But it can’t be everything that you create or market.
If every social media post or advertisement is just a repeat of a story or a repeat of what it is you offer. Then all you are doing is sharing. You are hoping that you will hit the exact right person that has the exact story as you or can themselves discern what there is to gain by signing on with your business.
This is not the way to market. Marketing, creating content, branding, it’s not just sharing or expression. It’s about connecting, giving emotions and feelings to people. You have a purpose to get across, you have a reason and most importantly you have benefits that you want to share.
Let’s say you are selling a diet plan again. But this time you use your story to emphasis the drastic change and benefits that your diet plan can help with.
“I was once in pain, couldn’t focus and had mental fog, always in and out of the doctor and could never find a diet that worked for me. Then one day I started on this Vegan diet. And my life has never been the same since. I have never been as productive as I am now, or as happy and healthy. I thought it was going to be hard, but it was so easy, once I got started everything just fell into place and took even less time than before!”
As you can see here, the copy touches on 3 main things.
- Story Connection
There isn’t a long winded dramatic story about the struggle. This is a concise story about struggle and creates a connection to the hardships people could be facing (3). Then it immediately goes right into how the diet changed this persons life (1) and closes with the next concern on peoples mind — “is it going to be hard or time consuming” (2).
This is a simply thought out approach to marketing and copywriting but it serves the purpose of showing where it’s easy to wrong when it come to marketing your story as opposed to your brand.
Brands should be about what they can offer and not about what they are. They express a lifestyle, a dream or potentiality and want people to crave what they have to offer.
So the main key to remember when branding and marketing is that you want to express at minimus the 3 things I listed above. Relate to people, express ease and simplicity to make them feel comfortable, and finalize it by listing how it can make their life just a tiny bit better.