The Power of Storytelling for Social Businesses

Imagine every time someone approaches you to ask for something, without giving a backstory into what they’ll be doing, who they are, and the purpose behind asking.

Would you be confused? Would it actually piss you off? Are you likely to support this person’s mission?

9/10, we’re willing to bet you don’t take action because you don’t feel connected to the cause.

That is exactly what happens when you don’t use storytelling in your social business. When you don’t use storytelling, you’re unable to emotionally connect with your community to enact change. The power of storytelling for social businesses focuses on 3 key points:

  1. The ‘why’
  2. The mission
  3. The who

We’re diving into how each of these components connects and how using storytelling will positively impact your social business.

Using Storytelling for Social Businesses

If you’re a social enterprise or impact-driven businesses, the purpose of your organization is not only to generate profits… but improve the world.

This could be providing educational opportunities for children who don’t have access to resources. Or mailing birth control across the nation for women, so they don’t need to change their schedules to pick up medication. It could be that you offer programs for refugees to integrate into their new home, combatting isolation and economic imbalance.

The story behind why you chose to champion for this cause is a powerful tool to spread your message, as well as, attracting your community to support you. By using storytelling, you’ll be more memorable, connect emotionally, and share a message of hope.

Using your ‘why’

At the base of your story is your why. The why is the end-cause of your work. It can also be referred to as the purpose behind your do good business! If you’re not clear about your why, your audience won’t understand what you’re working towards or the importance of it.

READ: The Big “Why” and My Big Dream

Many social enterprises focus on what they’re doing and how they’re going to do it, which is also important. But starting with ‘why’ helps you to understand the root motivator, so when the work gets hard, you can always return to your purpose and recalibrate yourself.

The key to using your ‘why’ is vulnerably and confidently speaking it to your audience. It’s being honest and authentic in the purpose of your social change and impact. When you vulnerably, confidently, and honestly speak your ‘why’ without fear or worry of judgment, you have a powerful message that will bring your community forward.

Simon Sinek makes a great point about this in his popular TedTalk, ‘Start With Why’. Always start here and then move forward.

Sharing your mission

Once you have your why, purpose, and the mission behind your work. It’s time to SHARE it with the world! This is where we see social entrepreneurs (and other businesses) get lost.

They get wrapped up trying to share their story across platforms, tweaking it to match who they think they need to reach, and then returning with a ‘watered down’ version of what they started with. This dilutes the power behind your story and the work you’re doing because by attempting to adapt to the audiences the story becomes inconsistent.

While sharing your mission to raise awareness around your work – start here:

  • What the world looks like right now, before your social business
  • What your business is doing to make an impact and improve the world
  • What the world looks like AFTER your social business –> this is what you’re working towards

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Attracting the right people

Lastly, when you use storytelling, you are calling loudly and proudly to the right people who…

  • Believe in your cause
  • Want to help spread your cause
  • Or want to support you, either with their time or money

The power of storytelling is sharing parts of your journey (or your business’s journey) and connecting it to what your ideal client relates to and have also experienced. This could be sharing feelings you’ve felt, situations you’ve dealt with, or something that pissed you off that inspired you to take action.

When you share your story, you’re calling in your people. The people who will rally with you, the people who will share with you, and the ones that can help fund your business to make larger impacts.

You can use the power of storytelling in:

  • Your website copy
  • Across social media
  • In video
  • In speaking opportunities

To attract the right people and spread your message.

READ: Writing Heartfelt Copy that Resonates

Final Thoughts

The power behind storytelling for social businesses falls into the vulnerability to share, the courage to spread the mission, and the honesty to attract the right people. If you can confidently and authentically stand behind your mission and your cause, your story can truly connect on a personal and emotional level to your supporters and community.

Including storytelling in your marketing strategy can increase your audience reach, funding or sponsorship, and awareness around the work your mission-based business is doing.

Interested in learning more about the power of story for your social impact business?

Let’s hop on a to talk it out! Schedule a free strategy session with us.

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We’re a brand strategy & copywriting studio for mission-driven, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and Feminist-run brands and businesses who want to increase their visibility and connect with their communities through the power of story and content. We share tips & advice on how to make marketing (and business) fun!

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