One of the most important components of running a successful business is your ability to build effective business relationships. You need to connect with your audience so they trust that you can provide the help and support they need. Personally, I think the most effective way to build business relationships is through storytelling. Now don’t freak out. Storytelling isn’t about writing a novel. It’s just creating a narrative in your copy or content to keep readers engaged and interested. It’s a simple way of writing and anyone can do it! If you’re still not convinced, I have 3 reasons why storytelling is so useful for building your business relationships.
Our brains are wired to remember stories. It’s evolutionary. Way back before the majority of people could read or write, we would communicate information just by talking to each other. So when we needed to pass along important information, we would do it through storytelling.
Even now, we still use storytelling as a primary memory technique. If you need to memorize a list of information, you normally tell yourself a story that has all the items in the order you need to remember them. We struggle to remember the information when it’s just a list, but as soon as you put the information into a story, we can remember it.
So as a business owner, you want to be memorable. You want people to remember your content and recognize you. That’s the first step towards creating business relationships that will turn your audience into superfans.
Trust is essential if you want to have successful business relationships. There are a lot of crappy people on the internet that want to scam you. People have their guard up and are trying to work out who they can trust and who just wants to steal their credit card information.
Storytelling grounds you and your business in reality because it’s actually quite hard to make a story up without any holes or contradictions. It’s why we celebrate authors and spend so much of our free time consuming books, movies, and tv shows. Authors manage to create stories that feel so real that we become totally immersed in them.
We also ask people to verify their story when they’re providing a testimony in court. We evaluate the quality of the story to determine if they’re telling the truth or not. So by using storytelling in your business, you’re sharing information in a very genuine and believable way.
Think about this example. There’s a coach and they tell you:
“you can overcome your traumatic childhood and find love again in your life. It’s super easy. It’s super simple. I’ve done it. Anyone can do it.”
It doesn’t sound very believable, does it? You might be questioning their expertise, their background, why they’re making that claim, etc. Now in comparison, a different coach tells you:
“I was abused as a child. My parents beat me. They scolded me for every little thing, physically abused me, emotionally abused me. I was told I wasn’t good enough. I was told I was a failure. So I had all these self-worth issues and I just really struggled to accept myself because I just grew up with this reality that I was never good enough.
But then I decided to get a therapist and I met up with this person. I saw them every single week for five years. And through those five years, I could process everything that happened to me. I learned what healthy relationships should look like and I began to practice that with myself and with my friends. And now I’ve managed to get past this trauma. I’ve processed it. I know how to overcome it. And I want to help you do that too.”
How real does that feel? You get the details, you get the insight. It’s created the foundation for business relationships because it’s raw and vulnerable. It’s real. Storytelling breaks down the barrier and allows you to create a deep connection with your ideal clients. And once you have that trust, it’s only a matter of time before they decide to buy from you.
I know what you’re thinking. “I’m not a writer, Sarah! I can’t write a story.” Let’s be clear. We’re not talking about fictional stories here. It’s hard to create a story from scratch and imagine all the details.
But you aren’t making a story up. All you’re doing is talking about your own life. And you do that all the time already. It’s how you naturally communicate with people. When you meet up with a friend for coffee and she asks what’s been going on, your answer might be something like:
“oh my goodness well on Tuesday my kid just decided to grab the bag of flour out of the pantry and drop it all over the floor and play in it and i had to spend 6 hours cleaning floor out of the tiles.”
That was storytelling! It’s our natural way of communicating and it’s much easier than you may think. You don’t need to have hundreds of years of copywriting experience and have taken every course to do this well. You just need your voice.
If you’ve never shared a story before, I want you to try it! Grab my free storytelling prompts to give you some ideas to get started.
And if you’re ready to take it a step further and start digging into storytelling in detail, you’re invited to join me inside A Firm Foundation! It’s a 12-month foundational program to learn how to grow your business God’s way. I teach you how to share your story with your audience so you can build relationships that turn into paying clients.
Remember: you’ll get better with practice, but the only way to master storytelling is to get started!
P.S. Listen to the full podcast episode for all the extra tips!
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