Telling Your Story To Build Your Brand

We sat in on Nancy Payne's session she recently hosted for Labs in D.C. on building your brand through storytelling. Nancy is a strategic communications professional and experienced senior executive. These are key things to think about on how to tell your story on the most appropriate platforms.

Why do we like stories?

  • Storytelling is critical to the success of any business.
  • It has to fit your business objectives.
  • How you tell a compelling story is what gets the attention of your audience.
  • We use story telling to share information that will resonate with people.
  • A lot of startups use jargon. You need a humanized story to communicate the depth of the work you’re doing in an efficient way.

One Story, Many Platforms:

  • Your story should be consistent throughout the various platforms
  • There are so many platforms.
  • How to choose which is the best platform that is good for you?
    1) Where is your target audience? Get feedback from your current clients- ask them where they spend their time. Look at competitors or aspiring companies in your industry. What are they using? What makes sense for your audience?
    2) Whatever tool you end up using, you should use listening tools (like Buffer). It’s not worth your time and effort if you’re not going to look at the analytics and see which posts/platforms are working or not.
    3) Linkedin is most undervalued platform.
  • Focus on one or two channels that make sense to you. As a small startup, you don’t have enough hours to manage more. Dedicate one or two hours a day to social media.

Choosing the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business: Start with 1-2 that fit your customer personas, such as:

  • Demographics
    1) How old is your audience? How old is the audience of each social site you’re considering? Gender? Where do your audiences match?
    2) Each of the social media platforms attract a specific demographic. You can find that information online.  See if they match your audience.
  • Industry
    1) Is there a platform that’s more geared toward your industry? Look at what people are using in your industry.
  • Content: What’s the nature of most of your content? How do you expect this to change in the near future?
    1) This is important. As you think about storytelling. What kind of content do you have at your disposal. If you’re an architect, you have amazing photos to share. Visuals and videos are key. Ask yourself, “What content do I have at my arsenal?” “Did you have an interview on a podcast that you can share?” “What sort of collateral is available?” Did you see an article or something that you can add your narration to it?” “Did you write a medium piece?” “Were you at a panel?” (Pay attention to what you’re already doing and be deliberate to marketing that!)
  • Product: How does your product fit with a given platform?
    1) If you’re an architect, graphic designer or someone who has a lot of visuals- consider Pinterest.
    2) Consider using TikTok. It’s a shorter version of vine. If you want to share fun tips with music, it could be a great platform. Could make sense for a consumer-facing companies but again look at where your clients are.

How to create a content machine? For solo entrepreneurs that are not comfortable with social media, consider outsourcing; hire marketing students (interns) or consultants.

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