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Make Magic With Storytelling in Business: 3 Easy Steps (2024)

A group of collegues in an office taking a selfie and smiling, some with hands in the air

The word “marketing” flashes through your mind…your brain freezes. And it’s all an uphill battle from there, right?

No wonder. You're juggling a million things. Telling the world you’re here seems like another item on your never-ending to-do list. 

Figuring out what to say and how to say it can be overwhelming. Time-consuming, too, not to mention disheartening when it doesn't click.

Well, here’s the game-changer you're looking for: it’s how you can make magic with storytelling in your business.

Can I show you how this simple yet powerful and fun tool can ease that marketing struggle and, BONUS,  draw your people to you in droves?

The Magic of Storytelling 

black and white picture of a crowd listening, enthralled by a story

Stories are powerful. They're not just for bedtime or blockbuster movies. 

In business, a well-crafted story can turn your brand into an epic journey, with your clients as the heroes.

Think about it. When was the last time a story made you feel something? That's the power you want to harness in your marketing.

Here are three simple steps that will start you down that road.

Step 1: Use Story to Draw Them To You 

two women by a window, talking, smiling, sharing a story

Start by redefining “marketing”. Put it into a new light.

Define marketing as storytelling. Simple storytelling.

We’re not talking about fabricating tales and exaggerating everything you do. It's about framing your brand's message in a way that reaches out and holds meaning for your customers.

They have a problem they’re grappling with. Something gnawing at them, creating a gap between them and the happy life they imagine is on the other side of the solution.

From a storytelling perspective, they’re searching for the 'magic sword' that will catapult them (your client as the hero in the story) to overcome their challenges. 

You hold the magic sword. They don’t know it yet, but you have what they need. 

But before they’re going to listen to you talk about that, they have to believe that you understand where they’re coming from.

1. Walk a mile in their shoes

  • Think about your particular target audience. Real people experiencing real pain. Pain can be frustration, confusion, indecision or actual physical pain.

  • What pain are your people feeling? 

2. Get inside their heads

  • An empathy map is a tool that will help you to get inside your person’s head. It’s typically divided into four quadrants.

  • What are they saying? 

  • What are they thinking?

  • What are they doing?

  • What are they feeling? List the emotions. 

3. Ask them to tell you

  • Every chance you get, engage with actual people. Ask them to share their stories and experiences. Use social media, forums, or even in-person events to create a community feel.

  • Show that you are listening by acknowledging their comments and thanking them for their reviews and feedback.

As you relate more and more to the thoughts, feelings and actions of someone who needs your “magic sword” to help them in their quest, your marketing will become more of a story. 

They’ll see themselves in what you’re saying. And be drawn to find out where you’re taking them.

 Up next, let’s talk about how to deepen that connection.


Step 2: Forge a Deep Connection

the hand of a child reaching out over a city

Don’t lose them here by rattling off a list of all the things you do to get them to the solution. 

How you do what you do is not the heart of your message

The heart of your message is the emotional part

“Oxytocin… is sometimes called the "bonding hormone" because it is released when we feel trust or connection with others. By triggering the release of these hormones, storytelling can help create a sense of engagement and emotional connection between the storyteller and the listener. (Jimit Hehta, Abmatic AI)

Emotions are your bridge to connecting with your people, the ones you want to help. They need to know you understand what they’re going through. To know that you care.

But not only that. They want to know you can help.

They’re asking, “Can anyone fix this?”

1. Tell them they’re not alone

Use phrases like these in your writing or content:

  • “I understand how you feel.”

  • “I get it.”

  • “Many of us have been there.”

  • “I’ve been in your shoes.”

  • “It’s ok to feel this way.”

2. Tell them your own story

  • Let them know that you identify with them.

  • Tell them that you’ve walked where they are and how it felt.

  • Describe in a sentence or two what you tried that didn’t work.

  • Then, in one more sentence, tell them the turning point that changed it all and how that led you to the solution you want to offer them.

3. Tell them you know others who have been in the same place 

  • Keep the boring at bay. Avoid citing statistics in a way that sounds too technical. Instead, weave statistics into stories of how those you’ve helped now enjoy life on the other side.

  • Paint pictures of scenes your people can insert themselves into - feeling, tasting, succeeding exactly as they long to - problem solved. 

Help them to hear the music, feel the peaceful sleep, taste the deliciousness…and they’ll want to know how you can make it happen.

This begins to earn their trust. But we need one more element. 


Step 3: Guide, Don't Dominate 

two women in blue dresses on a while cement platform overlooking a grassy field. One in front is helping the other out of a hole in a wall

Your client is the hero. They have a problem and are on a journey to resolve it and find relief. 

Think Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings”. You, my friend, are Gandalf. Introduce them to your business as the wise mentor who guides their hero's journey. 

You’ve been there. You’ve helped others. You have the solution you can offer to them. 

Your solution is the sword to slay the dragon. You have the expertise to train them how to use it.

The dragon in their lives may be the extra weight they carry. Or the frustration of living in a home that’s too cramped and crowded. Or the devastating loss of divorce and the daunting task of finding love again.

Now, share the simple path that will make their dreams come true.

1. Unveil your process in 3 simple steps.

More than three steps will confuse the brain. You want to make the path to work with you easy.

Too much information loads your potential person down and will send them on their way. The human brain grabs onto what’s simple and organized.

Reduce the risk of confusion with three easily remembered, straightforward steps. This principle is often referred to as the "rule of three." 

2. Simplify the 3 steps

  • Clear and Simple Steps. The last step should propel them into an imaginary future where they see themselves flourishing at their destination.  

  • For example, Steps for a Fitness Trainer may include:

    • #1 Book a free assessment

    • #2 Receive a customized training plan

    • #3 Start training

  • A bakery might describe their process in this enticing way:

    • #1 Choose your treats

    • #2 Place your order

    • #3 Enjoy & Share

  • Visuals and infographics enhance the simplicity even further.

3. Embrace the skim

  • Most customers skim. You have 8 seconds to capture your ideal person’s interest. AT best, visitors will decide if they like what they see in 10 to 20 seconds.

  • By simplifying the introductory steps, you already demonstrate how you value their time and foreshadow how working with you is easy and uncomplicated.

Your role as a guide is to empower and support your customers in their journey. Give them an overview of what to expect in bite-sized increments. 

This approach not only honours them as the hero in their own story but also begins to build long-term trust in you as their Guide.


Storytelling in business Inspire the Imagination

 a young boy in love with listening to a story - a look of wonder on his face. Balck & white picture.

I've seen the shift in my journey as a business coach and content writer.

Stories change us. We think better when we hear a story. Our imaginations see the story unfolding, and we immediately relate.

Storytelling in business makes sense. When you start telling your Story, you don't just market; you connect on a human level. 

That's when the magic happens. 

That’s when you’re able to help one more client solve their problem. Isn’t that what making a difference is all about?


Conclusion and Takeaways: Storytelling in Business

So, here are your takeaways:

  1. Embrace storytelling in your marketing. It's more than a strategy; it's a connection tool.

  2. Make your clients the heroes. Show how your brand helps them triumph.

  3. Be the guide. Position your brand as a mentor, not the main character.

Stories are waiting to be told in your business. Are you ready to unleash the Storyteller in you?


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