Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Our stories are the stuff that binds the human race together. As business leaders and entrepreneurs, understanding how to convey your experiences in a powerful way will impact your bottom line. Guaranteed.
It is your job to understand your story.
It is your job to articulate your story to a desired audience.
It is your responsibility to do so with integrity.
The gift of entrepreneurship offers you a stage to convey your story to an audience hungry to connect with you and then buy your product or service. Without the underpinnings of a quality narrative, your service and product are simply a service or product in the sea of a million others. It does not matter if you are a coach, a real estate agent, a therapist, a clothier or a chef — your business is your story.
Long gone are the days of flashy jingles and product-driven campaigns — audiences are clamoring for more. The need to connect on a visceral level is where you will capture the attention. Potential clients and customers want a glimpse behind the scenes to understand who you are and why they should trust you.
Case Study: SPARE, by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Let’s talk about the “new-ish” book, SPARE, by Prince Harry, that launched in January of 2023. The Duke of Sussex’s story is like no other on Earth. His mother commanded headlines as a jilted spouse and an unparalleled humanitarian. Princess Diana’s fickle relationship with the press became part of her son’s story.
Harry inherited her rogue pursuit of autonomy and clearly understands the power of the press. With a dash of irony, Harry’s book is a categoric annihilation of his hatred for the media.
“Spare” is a powerful example of how storytelling can be used to connect with a broader audience and convey a powerful message. By sharing his personal experiences in a relatable and nuanced way, he has built trust and empathy with his readers while also challenging negative narratives and taking ownership of his narrative.
Prince Harry has created a profound channel many people can identify with by recounting his struggles with mental health, his relationship with his family, and his experiences serving in the military. This has allowed him to build a sense of trust and empathy with consumers, which has helped to further his message of advocating for mental health and social justice.
Harry understands the power of his story and how it moves people to act and think differently. Without his raw accounts, his book would simply be a historical look at the life of an independent royal.
The importance of reverse engineering your story:
Whenever I curate a story for a CEO or brand campaign, I start from the end. Ascertaining your audience, their pain points and their desires help me strategize with clarity. When we understand the desired outcome, we have more clarity on the branding path we must take.
The art of storytelling is not only a trend in 2023 in marketing and public relations. It is a non-negotiable for strategic growth. Storytelling for entrepreneurs weaves an interlocking connection with your consumers and audience.
The power of our stories establishes brand identity and facilitates a connection to the people you need in your ecosystem. The emotional nuances of our words help entrepreneurs connect with their audience, build a strong brand identity, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
Top reasons why storytelling is changing the landscape in business:
- It builds a connection with the audience: Telling a compelling story can create an emotional connection with your audience. By sharing personal experiences, struggles, and successes, entrepreneurs can build trust and empathy with their audience, which can lead to stronger relationships and customer loyalty.
- It helps to communicate a message: A well-told story can be an effective way to communicate a message or idea. By using anecdotes, metaphors, and other storytelling techniques, entrepreneurs can convey complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand and remember.
- It makes the brand memorable: Stories have the power to make a brand memorable. By creating a brand narrative that resonates with the audience, entrepreneurs can make their brand stand out in a crowded market. A memorable story can help the audience remember the brand long after the interaction.
- It differentiates from the competition: A good story can help entrepreneurs differentiate their brand from the competition. By sharing unique experiences and perspectives, entrepreneurs can position their brands as distinct and appealing to a particular segment of the market.
- It establishes thought leadership: Entrepreneurs who share their experiences and insights can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. By providing valuable information and advice, entrepreneurs can build credibility and attract a following of loyal customers.
Where to begin
Start this journey by taking inventory of who you are and why you do the thing that you do best. Dive deep into potential customer’s pain points and use a narrative that relates directly to this demographic.
Next, start sharing. It is as simple as making a phone call, writing a blog or speaking your truth on national television. Test out your strategy with a valued colleague- and once it is perfected, don’t look back.