Modern attention spans being as short as they are, the art of storytelling probably isn’t as quite as good as it once was.
But that can actually work to your company’s advantage. With tons of mediocre descriptions out there, it might not take much to set your business apart and make potential customers think about choosing the products or services you offer.
Effectively explaining exactly what your company’s about can generate new interest, increase sales, and improve your bottom line.
The Basics of Telling Your Story
First, make your company interesting! Your company isn’t made up of legal documents, or brick buildings, or products sitting in a warehouse.
You – or someone else – started the company with an idea, then staffed it with quality people, and continue today to do what you do very well.
Make sure your business story includes these three “W” elements.
- Why you started your company. After all, you didn’t pull the idea out of a hat. Example: We determined there was a need for a high-quality injection molding company that could serve manufacturers in greater Buffalo.
- What your company does better than anyone. Example:We have been awarded six patents, and have been named a “preferred vendor” by companies in nine industries.
- Who actually runs the company. Example: Our team has a combined 120 years’ experience in applications engineering.
Leveraging and Spreading Your Story
1. Your Website
If your company’s website is still just an electronic billboard, with basic contact information and some product and service descriptions, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with your customers at a more effective level.
Tell your story! Populating your site with client testimonials, white papers, case studies, and other customer-focused information can provide a site visitor with a very good overview of your capabilities.
And remember to emphasize the people in your organization. Brief bios with photographs, introducing the employees your customers will contact on a regular basis can shorten the sales cycle, because it’s made very clear that customers will work with real human beings.
And don’t be afraid to try something different. Twist Creative, a Cleveland based advertising and branding agency, effectively introduces its staff with a short Q&A format.
Facebook remains the world’s largest social networking site, and can be a great way to introduce your company to – and stay in touch with – the right audience.
You can tell prospects about your company on its profile page. Generally speaking, growing companies can benefit from a Facebook presence in two ways:
- Posting relevant content on your company’s news feed positions you as an expert in your industry – and no one likes to do business with a newbie.
- After a potential customer “likes” your company’s page, she will receive all your updates on her news feed. This is almost like email marketing, and keeps you “on radar” with your prospects.
Ideally, Facebook activity can draw your prospect back to your company’s web site, or lead to some other form of active engagement, which can lead to a sale.
“Tweets” on Twitter are limited to 140 characters, so there’s not much you can do to thoroughly explain your company and its offerings.
Twitter does allow you to post a brief profile summary for your company. But for the most part, the service is mostly for solidifying and building on a relationship after the customer is already familiar with what you can do.
Effectively telling your company’s story on YouTube, the massive video-sharing website, can take some time and effort, but the results can be worth it. Many potential buyers, especially younger prospects, prefer to have information shared in a video format, rather than on a printed or electronic page.
A short YouTube presentation allows clients or prospects to view your message at their convenience.
The format is particularly suited for company introductions, “how to” demonstrations, and other material that can effectively be explained in short order by an effective spokesperson.
MP Star Financial’s YouTube Video, Your Invoice Factoring Questions Answered in 2 ½ minutes, illustrates how practical information can be provided, while also giving the viewer a sense of the company and its operations.
Keeping Your Story Fresh
One attractive feature of relating your company’s story through these methods is that, as your company changes and evolves, your story can be updated relatively easily and at a reasonably low cost. As services, people, and your company’s track record change, your story can be altered to reflect that.
The important thing is to recognize that giving or prospects a better understanding of the ideals and people that make up your business can make you a more attractive vendor to work with.
Image courtesy Joe D. McGinnis
Invoice factoring can help accelerate your company’s receivables. For more information on invoice factoring, visit MP Star Financial, or call 800-833-3765 Ext. 150.