Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is different than other forms of storytelling.  It’s harder too. But easier in one regard. It’s different and harder because: You don’t have a lot of time to tell your story. You aren’t around a campfire.  This isn’t a novel.  Chances are good your storytelling platform is your website, or more specifically, a single landing page. It must be accurate and authentic to the business to do any good. It has an obligation to generate results — to engage people long enough they take some type of action. And, the entire customer experience must be consistent with the story you tell, or nothing will change. It’s easier, though, because you’ve never had more media at your disposal to tell your story: words, images, audio, video and two-way engagement.  This can be a powerful set of tools, in the right hands. Learn how I can help you find and tell your story. Learn more about... read more

A Shepherd’s Job

Yes, storytelling IS the fastest, least expensive, safest why to get from A to B. How do I know?  After being a small business marketing consultant for 30+ years, when we get story right, sales go up.  When we don’t, even though everything else feels right, sales just lay there. A shepherd’s job is results driven.  Get from point A to point B quickly, inexpensively and safely.  After 30+ years taking on the challenge of growing sales for small businesses, shepherding my clients’ stories is a pretty good job description for what I’ve done. Sometimes I find your story because it hits me in the face. A specialty manufacturing client had a proprietary process that allowed them to produce very small volume runs at high volume prices. Their customers all told me the same thing: they bought because they could get small runs (less inventory for them) without paying more.  Yet, looking at the company’s marketing materials, that story was buried.  We resurrected it, featured it and sales started to grow immediately. Sometimes it’s a million things, it’s everything. A remodeling contractor came to us “finally ready to start promoting their business” because a new material they developed was field tested and ready.  We discovered that wasn’t the story at all.  Their uniqueness lay in their owners’ “old school” approach to quality and doing things right.  We put that front and center.  We led with it. We ended with it.  From “what to expect” handouts, “pardon our dust” notes and “Who we are” videos on their website, every customer touch point was designed to build comfort.  Sales doubled and doubled again. And again. Sometimes... read more

Learn Storytelling

  I learned storytelling by trial and error.  As a marketing consultant I have launched I-don’t-know-how-many new products and written and implemented I-don’t-know-how-many marketing plans (see photo: stack o’ just some of the plans). I learned storytelling along the way: When I captured the underlying uniqueness of the company and communicated it, things worked.  Mailings and ads got response.  The phone rang.  Sales went up and I was the hero. And when I wasn’t able to capture that truly unique “thing,” even though the mailings and web pages and everything we did was equally professional, little happened. I learned — clearly — I had to find and tell their story to succeed for my clients.  I could get everything else right, but if I didn’t find the story, all the client was left with was a good looking website or brochure or ad. And bottom line, if you want results you better include story in your marketing. You don’t need to take 30 years to learn storytelling like I did.  I got decent at it pretty fast and so can you.   Here are two ways you can learn storytelling: Way One  Hire me.  Hire me if you feel you aren’t telling your story and you’re more interested in what storytelling can do for your business than learning the intricacies of the technique. Way Two  Start watching, listening to and reading some of the most important content on storytelling out there.  Some is free, others you have to buy.  For every book or video I’m sharing I’ve read or watched probably twenty.  These are a good start.  Book links are to the Kindle versions (NOT affiliate links).... read more

The Art of Storytelling

  We’ve been telling each other stories since the beginning. On the walls of caves, clay tablets, around the campfire and on the internet.  They were on to something.  It’s in our DNA.  We shouldn’t forget that.   Your story is that thing you can say nobody else can. It’s everything that isn’t you stripped away. It’s authenticity presented in narrative form. Let me say that again: the art of storytelling is authenticity presented in narrative form. My world deals with the art AND the realities of business storytelling: First you have to rediscover what your story is, and it’s probably not what you think it is. It has to be true.  Yeah, I know, small detail, the whole truth thing.  But your real story is enough.  And a cool new story slapped onto the same ole thing is an insult to your customer and just plain bad business (see next reality). It has to be consistent with the customer experience that comes behind it.  Little is accomplished by telling a great story that creates unrealistic expectations (see previous reality). And you have to tell it quickly.  You don’t have 20 minutes around a campfire anymore.  Actually, you have about two minutes, based on the average online visitor session. Make no mistake, story isn’t some esoteric “nice to have” thing.   It’s creates a connection that catches and keeps people’s attention.  It is the shortest path between where you are now and doubling or tripling your sales. It’s the thing that’s likely missing from that new website or new brochure or new email or new anything that doesn’t work.  Because you’re one click away from losing each prospect,... read more

Breathe power in to your stories!

Write to or call Hamilton at (602) 369-1009 today.