With online shopping giants such as ebay or amazon who would need to shop anywhere else? As a small startup, how do you catch the attention of people out there who already know where to shop if they need something? I’ve had a lot of experience teaching rowdy classes with the attention span of a goldfish, but there is one thing that almost always gets people to shut their mouths and open their ears: let me tell you a story.
Let me tell you a story
I’m not actually going to tell you a story right now, but I bet you’re being attentive right now. You were ready to hear it. What is it about storytelling that makes us want to listen? Storytelling has been around for a few millennia, and to this day our ears still itch. Why do we tell stories, and why are we so fascinated by them? Because life is a story. And as with all stories, there is a form of conflict and resolution. The same goes for business. There is conflict and resolution. People are need of something, and entrepreneurs go out and try to resolve their troubles.
Let me actually tell you a story
A young American lady was living with her English boyfriend in New York. He had invited her to travel to London with him at Christmas to meet his family. But five days before Christmas, they broke up. Many people after a break up become hysterical and hopeless. However, this young lady didn’t want to just sit around crying and eating ice-cream. She wanted to do something positive. And she did…
After the break up, she was left with a plane ticket to London she didn’t need. She also had jewellery she didn’t want anymore and tickets to a concert she didn’t want to go to alone. She also had paintings which they had bought together, which she didn’t want on her wall anymore. In fact, she didn’t want any of the things left over from their relationship, but she thought someone somewhere would probably like to buy them, and that’s what gave her an idea to set up a website.
A business with a story
Before the website had even been set up, there was already a story behind it. What she also realised was that there were probably other people with a similar story to hers. And when you have a story that relates to others, you get listeners, you get hearers. She set up a website in which she could sell her items and tell the story behind them. These items had a history – a story. She then invited others to put their items-with-a-history up for sale, and they could also tell their story. Consumers would not only buy a cheap item off the internet, but they would also read some entertaining history to the product, which brings the product to life. Users could ‘sell and tell’.
If you create one piece of content that goes viral, the content itself might be remembered, but not the content creator. If you produce a stream of content consistent with your story, you will attract an audience who will follow you as the storyteller.
Does your content lead readers on a journey, or does it merely stuff them as leads into a pipeline?
– Ann Hadley, Head of Content, Marketing Profs