Have you ever been at a party and cornered by that person who believes that every event in his life has been noteworthy? And to boot, he is just sure that your life would be incomplete if you missed his detailed recounting? You pray your phone rings, or that someone comes over to change the topic, or you could suddenly have the power to disappear.
I believe we’ve all been there.
The same can be true about how you tell your brand story to potential clients.
Yes, you passionately believe in your product or service. You have devoted years to creating your business and it has become an extension of your very being. You’ve got your personal brand and your business brand down. You want to tell everyone at the proverbial cocktail party about your mission and creation. But unlike that poor soul who doesn’t understand the snooze-fest their life story creates, you are a smart entrepreneur who has learned to weave an intriguing tale that captivates a wide audience and draws potential clients to your service or product as nectar draws bees.
But how do you accomplish this in writing, and on all your customer touchpoints, especially if you’re not a writer?
- First, tell a story. Think about a favorite novel or author and recall the hook they used to capture and hold your attention throughout an entire piece of writing. Regardless of the length, every story needs a hook. This is something that captivates your audience and has them begging for more. Your hook could be the “dangers” of living without your product, the life changing effects of your service, or sometimes the hook is just a great sense of humor.
- Second, stick to the relevant information. Your potential clients do not need every detail of how your concept became a reality. Features are great when you are telling an epic story, however, you are limited in space and time so you need to hit the major points quickly and effectively. You don’t have to include the conversation you had with best geek friend Jeremy about your prototype, but you should mention the client whose life was made easier and how he has more time to spend with family.
- Third, tout the ways your product differs from that of your competition. Unless you are the next Thomas Edison or Neil Armstrong, what you are offering, providing, or doing is not a whole new concept or product. You have competition. Why are you better? Do you do more for the environment or have a way of giving back or paying it forward in the very way you do business? Do you donate a percentage of your profits to a charitable cause? Do you leave a smaller carbon footprint? Or maybe it’s just your style that will compellingly attractive, because you just do things with so much class and charisma.
- Remember that you are not targeting everyone. Be specific and selective about who will receive your message. Just as no one can please all of the people all of the time, your product cannot help every consumer all of the time. Entrepreneurs know this and yet, they still worry about excluding people who might be potential clients.
- Finally, think about your market and gear your story to them. You want to make a personal connection with your clients, so share something very personal that makes you human and real and not appear like some vision of perfection who’s never made a major mistake, or never failed at anything. By presenting yourself as an everyday kind of person, with real foibles, challenges, and yet courage, you begin to build trust with your audience. And potential customers and clients are more apt to work with someone they trust and respect.
Is a story more than words?
Your brand’s story encompasses more than the words on your website. The colors you choose, the animation you add, and the logo you also design play into your story. Many people are visual learners; images will likely stay with them longer than text. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how will your website combine images and text to convey the heart and soul of your brand?
- Think of the colors you have chosen for your background, text color, etc. Are those colors subtle or do they “scream” at your readers? A reader will not continue to read material that hurts the eyes because of clashing colors or light text on light background. I remember the carpet on the first floor of my university’s library. It was a geometric design, but the colors used created an optical illusion that the rug was in motion. Needless to say, no one chose to use the study tables on this floor. If you want potential clients to stay on your site long enough to follow your Call-To-Action, be sure to use a color palette that is pleasing to the eye and easy to read. And your Call-To-Action? Make it stand out by cloaking it in a bold color that contrasts with the rest of the page
- Any animation should transition smoothly and allow ample time for viewers to read all the material before it changes. Avoid images that flash, change colors, change font size, etc.) while people are trying to understand. Too much animation can appear almost carnival-like and amateurish. Images and banners that scroll too quickly are distracting and memorable mostly for how annoying they are. Demonstrate to your readers that you are a professional who is in it for the long haul and take the time needed to create materials that will last in the minds of potential clients.
- Your logo will be associated with your brand for years to come and ought to be designed to stand the test of time. Think of some iconic logos that are immediately recognized– the McDonalds Golden Arches, the Nike Swoosh, Coca-Cola, the Starbucks Mermaid, Target’s red target. What do they have in common? Simplicity. They are monochromatic, one central symbol, and contain few, if any, words.
You only have one time to make a first impression. Do your research, write and rewrite, draw, erase, and try again, don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t rush just to say you’re finished. Take your time and do things right the first time. Hire professionals to create your graphics. Hone you’re story so it’s real, vital, and speaks to how you can serve your clients.
If you overload with detail, people will get bored, maybe even lost in your tale. Not enough detail and your potential audience won’t quite see how all the pieces fit together. How you got from where you started to where you are today flows like a clear, compelling, cohesive story that’s not so much about you but how you learned what you now want to sell. And this is what will activate the must-have-more! factor in your audience. You come across as so interesting, with so much to offer and share that your tribe moves from enjoying what they are absorbing to craving your content.
For more information on the importance of your Brand Story, see www.enfusionize.com and look for our sections on Brand Intelligence.