What does it mean to write, communicate and share one’s brand and mission more mindfully? It is to be fully aware of the deeper purpose, who you aim to serve, and why the world needs to know you exist. And it starts with a very crucial WHY.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it,” says Simon Sinek in his TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Similarly, best-selling author, entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin also shares that, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the story you tell.”
During our run of the Telling Your Compelling Story Workshop on Copywriting, PR & Communications last September 10, 2016 with Niña Terol, we covered the importance of having your WHY, and knowing your truth to uncover the real reason for your company’s existence.
Marketing and Public Relations should not be about encouraging business owners and marketers to make a company out to be something it’s not. Although there may still be consumers this ploy works on, more and more consumers are much smarter about decoding hyperboles and flat-out lies dished out by some marketers or PR practitioners who are focused on driving more sales than sharing authentic stories.
To be a company that takes into consideration the real needs of the people you aim to serve (while also thinking about the impact of your work on society and the planet), and come up with truly meaningful products or services, it is important to be deeply rooted in a higher purpose for the work you do. Without a core reason for being, your company or organization can either crumble when challenges arise, or compromise its values if your why is not in place.
“As someone who’s been a professional communicator for 15 years now, I’ve seen how all sorts of individuals and organizations have greatly benefited from knowing their core truths – the “whys” behind their own stories – and then telling these truths well. When people and organizations tell stories, they open up a good part of themselves and invite others to get to know them better, and this fosters an environment of trust.
No matter how “transactional” a business relationship is, it still is, at its core, a relationship based on trust. And especially when you’re a new company or a new player in the market, you need to first build your credibility by telling solid truths about your company, your people, or your product and processes that people can believe in. Good storytelling can help you with all that.”
And so, to summarize some of the lessons we hoped to impart to participants, here are 3 Key Elements to Good Storytelling:
- Know yourself and your truth. What is your business’ purpose and mission? Why do you do what you do? You first need to know who you are and what you’re about, before you can even begin to tell your story. And then ask yourself, what is the compelling truth you need to convey to the world? Remember to start with why.
- Know your audience. Who is the person reading and receiving your stories and your messages? Who are you writing for? What matters to them? What are their pain points and challenges? How can you or your business help them? Empathy, or putting yourself in your audience’s shoes allows you to think less like a pushy salesperson and more like a real friend out to help another friend out, and that’s one way to create a meaningful connection.
- Aim to enlighten and move. As you craft your content, you can provide your consumers more value by sharing knowledge and expertise, or by giving them something to smile, laugh or feel good about. Niña shared that according to the Global Web Index, some of the top internet usage motivations include education (76%), research for work (68%), research on how to do things (67%), and news / event updates (66%). And in a study on top reasons for using social media, 54% of respondents said it was to find entertaining or funny content.
If it solves a problem or answers a question – or it makes life easier or more interesting for the reader – it is most likely be read.
The second installment of our Telling Your Brand’s Compelling Story Workshop Series continues on Branding & Visual Identity with Serious Studio on September 24, 2016, 8AM-12NN at Commune Cafe. Find out more here.