Tag Archives: promoting your business

What is Your Story?

When I was little, one of my favorite things was a bed-time story.  As the book cracked open, the world stopped turning and everything but the sound of my parent’s voices went silent.  My mother and father would sit on the edge of my bed and unlock the magic of a book which I selected. We probably read the Poky Little Puppy a million times, but it was the way my parents read with distinct character voices and story of the puppy’s problem with curiosity  on top of the high importance they placed on reading that made a lasting impression on me. Now, as a marketing professional, I often think back to the magic of storytelling and engage business owners to tell me their story.

Chapter 1: Why Businesses Need a Story

Creating a hook at the beginning of a story is vital. As we sit down beside business owners, I often have them begin with an introduction to their company Many business owners start telling me about the day they opened their business. I hear things like:

“We’ve been in business since 1960 …”

“We started with only $500 in the bank and now we’re  a multi-million dollar generating business …”

“We’ve been in the same building for 30 years …”

All of these are great facts and important to “building the story” but they aren’t the main story, just a part. This is where the story can become very interesting, so I encourage them to tell me more. I then ask, “What was the motivating reason you or the owners decided to open the business?” Defining your passion offers an intriguing first chapter. Have you ever considered why you began your business? Have you ever told this to your customers? Is it different from the way you do business? Do things need to change? How do you begin your story?

Chapter 2: Allowing The Characters To Have Distinct Voices

It was magical to hear my mother speak like a puppy. As a kid, it always made me giggle, but more than that, it was memorable. Giving your current clients a voice is the next important chapter of your company’s story line. If you haven’t asked your clients how your working relationship is going, now is the perfect time to do so. Asking clients to offer their perspective, in their own words and in their own voice is a great way to learn what is working, tighten your bond and give each client a more defined customer experience.

Remember: When marketing and promoting your business, testimonials are king. What your clients are saying about you can make or break your business. After three months of engaging a new client, do a gut check. See what they think, ask what they like and don’t like. Finally, ask if they will write out a testimonial for you to use in you future marketing efforts.

Chapter 3: Choosing The Right Story

One of the hardest challenges each night before bed was choosing. I had a huge bookshelf stacked with books, each one my favorite (kids think everything is their favorite!). However, The Poky Little Puppy was my favorite, favorite! Why? Well, of course, hello, it had a dog in it (total bonus) and two it had a story line that resonated with me. This little ball of fur was curious and it was his curiosity that constantly got him into trouble. Unfortunately, I had the same trait growing up, well and quite honestly, still do. I say all of this to bring home the fact that telling a story that interests, engages and emotionally draws your customer into your story is key. By knowing what is important to your customer base, talking to them with words and phrases that resonate and unfolding the story in a way that nudges their emotions are all great ways to craft  memorable tale.

So the next time a customer asks why you’re in business or even why they should buy for you, will you have a story to share with them?

Happy Tales To You-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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Filed under Advertising, copywriting, Marketing, Small Business Solutions, Writing

Upping Your Web Presence (Web Posting Edition #1)

 

Shawn Kincade Presentation Oct-08

Shawn Kincade Presentation Oct-08

 

Last week I had the opportunity to join a group of business professionals interested in upping their web presence. Some were small business owners, while others were dealing with the red tape of big corporations.

As I am a firm believer in constantly updating your toolset, I was intrigued by what the business coach, Shawn Kincade, owner of Aspire Business Development had to tell us about marketing your business online. 

 Many of the participants wanted to learn about blogging. Some didn’t know what a blog was, while others just wanted their site to be more user-friendly. I wanted to continue to learn more about the ever evolving web arena and sat back thinking I would pick up a few helpful tips. I was wrong, I picked up a ton!!

Whether you know it or not, the world of marketing has changed. It seems that to keep up on all that changes one would need to stay up 24 hours a day just to get the latest feed on social network trends or how to get Google to recognize your website with a high page rank.

So now I have decided on one thing, I need to go to presentations like this even more.  That’s why instead of trying to keep up to date on all that is Web 2.0 on my own, I will attend at least one internet training session each month on the subject. What’s that mean to you? Well you can learn more each month in my new “Web Postings”. Shawn’s presentation is the first of many to come!

Shawn’s presentation was just what I needed. He offered business strategies that are already working. Things like:

  •  Having your website discuss one, clear benefit – Ask yourself: What is does my customer want to solve help solve their problem/need? 
  • Making your site interactive – Forget tons of words (yes I know painful to most writer’s ears) but Shawn’s right. No reader wants to read a thesis paper on your home page! Offer links, video and photos. Think as if you’re still 5-you want a picture book instead of the dictionary to read. Right?
  • Promoting yourself consistently– If you have multiple messages about yourself out there, your readers could get easily confused. So, if on your blog you call yourself the Web Wizard that Contorts Delightful Web Wizardry then say that everywhere, yes even on your home page and your business cards. Remember it’s like Nike’s “Just do it.” It creates a brand. 

And, if you really feel like you need some extra business coaching, Shawn is outstanding! Plus he’s just a interesting person to talk with about business development. Two thumbs up! Oh and if you would like to attend one of his presentations, there’s a rumor that he’s putting another one together in soon. Contact Shawn for more information.

Happy Web 2.0ing-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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Filed under Business Development, Marketing, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized