Business Storytelling: Three Key Skills for Leaders

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Business storytelling can be a powerful content strategy for motivating people and building customer loyalty. Telling compelling stories about your company’s products and services can increase brand awareness and give you a competitive edge. Business storytelling can also allow you to inspire and motivate your team to perform at its best. Learn how you can harness these skills in your own business and become an effective business storyteller.

 

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An overview of business storytelling

Business storytelling can be used in a variety of ways: to encourage sales, gain customer trust and support and improve a brand’s image. Additionally, business storytelling can become an integral, and powerful, component of a content marketing strategy. Stories can have a long-lasting effect on the behavior and attitude of customers, encouraging them to remain loyal to a brand.
 
Moreover, business storytelling can be a powerful tool for the workplace. Leaders can use business storytelling to communicate their vision around desired beliefs and results. Sharing stories about people who exhibit the behavior they want to see in members of their team gives employees a clear example and encourages them to adopt those behaviors. In this way, business storytelling can allow leaders to change the way in which their employees think, which, in turn, can shift the way they behave.

 
Related: Team-Building Tips and Activities

 

Three crucial skills

It takes certain skills to tell a story in a compelling way—captivating your listeners and creating a lasting impression. Directors, business leaders and executives are advised to improve their business storytelling skills to help their organizations reach their goals. Here are three critical skills to master to become an influential business storyteller:
 

  • Mission creation
  • Motivation
  • Branding

 

Mission creation

Having a specific mission is important for you, your organization and your team to know in which direction you should be moving. A mission will not only help you and your staff members focus on necessary expectations of the organization but also it will assist you with determining daily changes and important decisions that need to be made to keep moving forward in a positive direction.
 
While technology advancement means you will adapt and change some of your services and products, your your mission should remain so you can stay focused.

 
Related: How to Manage Employees

 

Motivation

Whether it’s an employee or potential customer, a skilled business storyteller should be able to inspire and motivate others. When working with employees, try to make those around you feel empowered and inspired using your business storytelling skills and talents.
 
For example, help shift the mindsets of your team members by sharing stories that help them understand what they are capable of accomplishing, both as individuals and as a team. Share real-life examples showing what other teams have accomplished. Having instances where people shifted a mindset or adopted a new behavior can help.

 
Read more: How to Motivate Your Employees

 

Branding

In general, branding refers to the promotion of a product or a service by means of advertisements or attractive design. However, in business storytelling, branding is about creating a story that builds a reputation other people want to be a part of. Companies can use stories for branding within their advertising efforts as well as for human resources purposes.

 

Conclusions about storytelling in business

Storytelling is a critical component of a company’s marketing strategy, allowing organizations to position their products and services in a way that people will remember. It helps them to develop a genuine connection with current and potential customers, possibly turning those people into long-term, loyal customers.
 
It also is a powerful tool for employee management, as leaders can use stories to give team members clear examples for the behaviors and effort they would like to see exhibited. In this way, business storytelling can shift the mindset and actions of entire teams in the workplace.
 
By learning how to leverage business storytelling, leaders can have a powerful impact on the overall performance and profitability of their companies.

 

Business storytelling FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions related to business storytelling.

 

What is a business storytelling strategy?

A business storytelling strategy helps you translate your marketing message into a narrative. The content typically has a beginning, middle and end—just like a story— so it takes your audience on a journey. The message is delivered in a more entertaining way than a direct marketing message, which is more like a sales pitch.

 

How can you develop storytelling skills?

You can improve and develop your skills by adopting the following tips:
 

    • Use detail: Draw your listener in by choosing words that describe a scene in detail.

 

    • Introduce conflict: A story is more compelling where there is a problem that needs to be solved.

 

  • Keep it simple: Your audience is more likely to remember a story if it’s succinct and easily shareable.

 

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that makes a lasting impression on customers or employees so try to incorporate the following elements:
 

    • Entertaining: Keep your listener engaged and interested wondering what will come next.

 

    • Education: If your audience feels like they are smarter or wiser for hearing your story, it’s more likely they will pay attention.

 

    • Universal: Tap into experiences and emotions that are easily relatable to all audiences.

 

    • Organized: Create clear transitions and a message that is easy to understand and follow.

 

  • Memorable: Whether you choose inspiration or humor, a good story is one that stays in the listener’s mind.

 

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