Why Storytelling Is Important

Plato

“Those who tell stories, rule the world.” – Plato

Every business has a story.

Actually, every business has many stories. But the most important story a business has is the one that defines why.

Why do you do what you? Why is it important? Why should we trust you? Why should we choose you over the competition?

If you can answer these questions, you’ve got your unique selling proposition. This is what will set you apart.

This is why businesses MUST be good storytellers. It can be the difference between success and failure.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  – Simon Sinek

So Why Is Storytelling Important?

Think about the things we do for fun. We watch TV, we go to the movies, and we read books. These activities are all based around story telling. What about hanging out with friends? We usually catch up by telling stories.

And why do you think we watch sports? We LOVE the story of triumph… and the agony of losing.

Cave-Painting

The earliest recording we have – cave paintings – tell stories.

Similarly, all great leaders have a story. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King. When we talk about people, we don’t list a series of facts, we tell their story.

Storytelling is an integral part of how we live our lives and the way we relate to the world.

Storytelling is an essential part of business.

 

The Benefits of Storytelling

There are a number of benefits that businesses can receive from telling great stories.

Transparency

The world is turning against faceless corporations. Transparency is becoming more and more important. Storytelling is the best way to deliver transparency. Stories humanize your business and help people relate.

Branding

Storytelling is a must for startups with trying to establish a brand. Good stories make it easier to attract an audience. They are a tool for people to quickly gain lots of knowledge about you in an interesting and engaging way.

Marketing

Good stories make us think and feel.. They also help us remember and understand ideas, facts, and concepts. Companies need to be able to tell stories to relate to their customers. Storytelling connects people, gets them engaged, and gets them interested.

“Without storytelling, content is nondescript, uninspiring and, frankly, a waste of time and energy.”  – Mark Evans

Persuasion

Stories prove a point. They allow you to shape the way people perceive information evoke specific emotions.

Growth

Recording our stories keeps us on track. It helps us remember where we came from and where we’re going. Our stories keep us motivated by reminding us all that we’ve already overcome and accomplished. Doing this helps us learn faster and grow better.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Use Storytelling

Storytelling used to be a lot more work. Before the age of Web 2.0, there were fewer ways to tell a story, and even few ways to spread it. The Internet and social media have changed storytelling for the better. There are many great tools to make to the process easier,  and stories now have the potential to get spread farther than we ever could have imagined.

How to Use Storytelling In Your Business

1. Start Recording Your Story

Use a journal or logbook to start recording your story. If you work with a team, do it together. Include what you’re working on, challenges, ideas, and achievements. Don’t worry about shaping the story, it will shape itself. Just focus on what’s happening and how you’re feeling.

Writing a journal not only lets you see where you’ve been, but can be a window to your future.” – Craig Jarrow

2. Define a Goal

The next time you are setting a goal for your business, think about how your story can help you get there. Any goal will do – whether it’s pitching investors, launching a new product, or growing your email list. Setting a goal will ensure that you’re using storytelling productively.

3. Decide Which Story to Use

If you’re launching a new product, use a story that demonstrates the problem that your product solves. If you are working on building a community, share your founding story so your audience can get to know you better.

Do you use storytelling in your business? I would love to hear about it. Share your experience in the comments below!