How to Use Effective Storytelling Techniques for Small Businesses

We want to know, what’s your story?

That’s right… what’s your business story? What’s your personal story as a small business owner? And how do your stories connect with your ideal clients?

We’re a small business focused on impact. You’re a small business focused on impact! So how can you use effective storytelling techniques for business to…

  • Connect
  • Communicate
  • And create communities

With your content, services, and offerings?

In this post, we’ll share effective storytelling techniques for business and how you can start including them in ALL your marketing materials starting, like… right now.

What is Storytelling in Marketing?

effective storytelling techniques graphic. image reads 'using stories' vs. 'not using stories'

Storytelling is a marketing technique used to create an emotional connection with your clients to your business. It presents an offer in a way that is much more human than shouting at someone to BUY YOUR SERVICE. Instead, it takes into account a deeper connection with the client and how your service solves a problem in their lives, through ‘stories’.

READ: The Power of Storytelling for Social Businesses

In an article by Attest, they explain storytelling as:

“… Using a narrative to communicate a message.”

Psychologist Jerome Bruner found that humans are 22x more likely to remember a fact when it has been included in a story. Now take that into marketing data, you can wrap the features of your services into a story to make it more memorable for your ideal clients.

By using stories in your marketing strategy, you can

  • Simplify complex or abstract concepts into more digestible pieces of information for your audience
  • Create a stronger community bond with your audience through stories
  • Inspire and motivate your audience through stories

What makes stories memorable and great?

A great and memorable story highlights…

  • Memories
  • Experiences
  • ‘Universal truths’

That your ideal audience relates to. When your small business uses those three points in their storytelling, you are now bridging brand awareness. This later helps your ideal clients remember your service and positions you as the expert!

The easiest storytelling techniques for small businesses are to identify two types of examples:

  1. Universal examples
  2. Personal examples

Universal examples in storytelling

Universal examples are situations and/or experiences that everyone (mostly your ideal client) has dealt with that you can draw or connect on.

For example, let’s use a real estate agent who wants to use a universal example to connect with their audience to show they understand their struggles!

A universal experience or situation their ideal clients could deal with is the struggle of seeing so many homes that they all start to look similar. This is frustrating for their ideal clients because it’s difficult for them to keep their goal in mind and start compromising parts of a home they don’t want to, just to sign on a home.

Personal examples in storytelling

After introducing the universal example, experience, or situation, you can connect it back to a personal example.

Personal examples are YOUR OWN experiences (or your business experiences) and how they are related to universal experiences. By connecting a universal example to a personal one, you can make your brand more human and relatable.

For example, the real estate agent talks about the universal problem of seeing so many homes that they all look similar and how frustrating that is!

Then they share their personal example of dealing with the same thing when they bought their first home, or how so many clients dealt with this problem, they created a solution.

They paint the picture and connect the stories to share a solution that can help their ideal clients.

READ: Why Your Business Needs a Story Toolkit for Efficient Marketing

Female small business owners posing together in a group with los angeles in the background

The Storytelling Timeline

In this method we’ve developed, there are 7 parts to every brand’s story. You can use these 7 parts to understand where your ideal clients can connect to your business further.

The 7 parts are:

  • Prologue
  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • Conflict
  • Resolution
  • Transformation
  • Epilogue

Prologue

The beginning of all stories! The prologue is the pre-story, preparing the setting, characters, small moments, and experiences your brand and business have had. This is the ‘seedling’ stage before anything has started.

Beginning

The beginning of your brand story! This is the catapulting moment that is the starting point to where your brand or business is today.

Middle

This is where your brand has been in business for a few years. The business has a list of past clients, experiences, and information to draw from. This is similar to the growth stage and where things look ‘stable’.

Conflict

The moment you realize there is a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed.

For example, the real estate agent’s ideal clients realize they need more space because they are both growing in their at-home businesses. They are looking for a larger home for more office space.

DOWNLOAD your own Content Generating Machine freebie! Our PDF guide to help you brainstorm, plan, and publish content to connect with your audience!

Resolution

This one is easy, the solution to the conflict!

For example, finding a real estate agent to help them find a new home to move to!

Transformation

In this stage of the story connection timeline, you can take a look at the results after applying the solution to the conflict. What does that look like? How does this look on an emotional level?

Epilogue

And finally, the epilogue! This part is where a novel usually ends, but we like to think about it as where your brand will be in the next 3-5 years. In this part of the story, your business is painting the vision for your ideal clients on what their future goals can look like.

PRO TIP: By painting this picture, you can help create brand loyalty because your clients are more likely to stick with you to help them find their solutions!

small business owner with laptop and cell phone researching

Top Storytelling Techniques for Business

Now that you’ve brainstormed universal and personal examples/truths that connect with your ideal audience, here’s how to transfer that into effective storytelling techniques for business!

  1. Define the pain point and emotion you want to address with your ideal clients.
  2. Craft the message you want them to take away from your content.
  3. Decide how/where you want to share your story (visually, audio, written – our favorite) and on what platform.
  4. Establish your call-to-action. Is it going to be commenting, subscribing, purchasing, donate money, etc.
  5. Write/create your story!
  6. Publish your story across your platforms!

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to REPURPOSE your content to make the most out of it!

READ: How to Create a Successful Content Creation System

Open notebook on desk in front of a laptop and white mug

Over to you

The art of storytelling in your content and website copy can help to instantly connect your brand to your ideal clients. Imagine increasing:

  • Brand awareness
  • Brand loyalty
  • And client conversions

Because of storytelling to connect, communicate, and create communities with your business!

What is your biggest question with storytelling?

*Ready to hand over content creation and management to storytelling experts? We’d love to help! Schedule a 30min free Clarity Call to see if we’re a good fit here!


Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
How to Plan your Content Strategy for Increased Visibility for your Business
5 Content Marketing Tools to Upgrade your Content Strategy
5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Using Social Media for Storytelling
How to Reset your Mindset to Increase Business Growth

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