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Whether you own a small business, manage a growing manufacturer or run a thriving non-profit the simple truth is this: stories move people to action.    Before you come up with a list of reasons to keep quiet about your story, let’s set the record straight.  You DO want to tell your story and you do have the time to assemble it.  Once it is created, you will be able to use it on all of your social media and advertising platforms.  Most importantly, potential customers, clients, donors, employees want to know your story.

 

Rachel Gillett puts it best in her piece for Fast Company, “when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.” The science is undeniable; stories have power and have begun to revolutionize the advertising industry.  When you engage your audience with a story, the walls of “don’t sell me something” come down and they are just people connecting with people.  The personal nature of a story makes it much easier for consumers to remember and relate to stories than statistics and graphics.  If engagement and recall are your objective, storytelling is the way to go.  Now that we have established why storytelling is important for your organization, let’s figure out how to write it.  Based on our experience of telling stories for organizations just like yours, we’ve compiled a step by step guide to help you craft your story.

 

  1. Create a timeline.

Sketch out a timeline of the ups and downs of your organization. Be sure to include challenges you’ve faced, triumphs you’ve won, and decisions you’ve had to make. Every business has an opening date, but the steps along the way make your company personal and unique. This timeline is just to help you write your story, so don’t worry about the structure of each sentence.

  1. Set a goal.

Decide what you would like to accomplish by telling your story. Are you looking for new customers? Employees? Brand awareness? When you have a specific goal in mind, you can better connect with the right audience.

  1. Give some background.

Context is important. Bring your readers up to speed without giving them a multiple page history report on the food service industry. Focus on impact.  Start at the beginning of the timeline you just created. Summarize the high-points and don’t get lost in the detail. You want to spend more time on where you are today.

  1. Tell your story.

People connect with people, not dates and buildings. When writing your story, be transparent. The more real you are, the more people will connect. Emotionally engaged audiences will celebrate victories and mourn losses as they experience your story. Depending on your organization, you may want to spend time telling your client’s story. For example, a non-profit may want to tell the story of someone they have  helped.

  1. Create a CTA.

Once you have connected emotionally with your readers, they will want to respond in some way. You want to be one step ahead and give them clear steps to respond. This can be as simple as “Visit us at [address]/[website]” or “You can help by…” The call to action will vary widely depending on the organization.

  1. Media.

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Add an old photo from the start of your business with a witty caption to paint a picture for your readers. Add a photo of a time where your business was near a breaking point. Add a video with a testimonial or an update on your company. Nobody wants a photo or video of themselves, but remember: people connect with people.

 

We have created a one page questionnaire to help draw out your story.  This is the same resource we have used to tell over 20 stories for businesses and organizations like yours.  Click here to have it emailed to you for free.

For help telling your story:  Call or email today!
Mansfield: 419-566-1102
Marion: 740-360-6005
story@familyvaluesmagazine.com

Don’t just take our word for it! Our advertisers only have great things to say about the Community Spotlight:

We have been thrilled with our community spotlight advertorial in the Family Values Magazine. Our goal was to tell the story of the recent transformation at the library and it came through beautifully with the editorial format and pictures. Response from the ad has been fantastic! We were excited to hear from a number of people who mentioned the featured editorial. We would recommend any organization that has a story to tell to advertise in the Community Spotlight with Family Values!

Gary Branson of the Marion Public Library

We were overwhelmed by the response from our Community Spotlight feature in Family Values Magazine. Three months later, we still have customers coming in and referencing it. The team at Family Values took the time to get it right. I would strongly suggest the Community Spotlight to any local company or organization.

Mary Anne Kettering of Mary Anne's Meats

Click on one of the boxes below to view samples of our local stories: