Eight Approaches To Improving How You Share Your Company’s Story

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Your brand has a strong story to tell, one that can help your customers buy into your vision and values as a business. Communicating this story, however, requires some initiative, as well as a strong voice behind it.

Part of being a business owner is filling the role of brand cheerleader. You know you need inspired and engaged teams to get creative work done, and building a strong following creates new brand ambassadors, who will then go out of their way to talk about what is good or interesting about your firm or product.

So what steps can you take to improve how you tell share your story and encourage engagement? From being an attentive listener to crafting a compelling story and being authentic, here are some of the best ways for business owners to become better storytellers and brand stewards, according to these eight members of Forbes Agency Council.

1. Listen

Many business owners find themselves caught up in what they envision for their business and brand, and forget the important step of listening to what their clients, and employees, are saying. Clients and employees interact with your brand and business in unique ways, and the story they have developed may not match what you had envisioned. Take the time to listen to them. - Andrea Keirn, Black Rhino Marketing Group

2. Craft A Compelling Narrative

Better storytelling always begins with a better story. Craft a narrative that is compelling, easy to understand, and will resonate with customers beyond obvious self-interest. Establish key brand values and stick to them when developing the narrative. And try to appeal to emotions in a genuine way. - Lon Otremba, Bidtellect

3. Seek To Create Emotional Connections

As a storyteller, you must understand your audience, what matters to them and how your company impacts and fits into the broader context of their lives. Focus on creating emotional connections, while communicating your mission, vision and the value your brand brings to others versus merely focusing on the attributes of your products or services. And be able to answer the “ so what and who cares” question. - Anna Crowe, Crowe PR

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

4. Speak To Consumers In Their Own Language

Brands need to accept the fact that consumers have an aversion to advertisements. They want stories. They want content. If you can tell a brand story in the language they want to hear, you don't have to worry about ad blockers. - Rob Jones, The Social Standard

5. Truly Understand How Your Business Works

Business owners need to step into the shoes of the people who work for them. They need to get on the ground level and hear and see the work that's being done and how it's being done. This is the best way for business owners to really understand the every-day challenges, the processes in place, what's working and what's not working. The show "Undercover Boss" really illustrates this. - Julie Kenney, 2nd Spark

6. Focus On Your People’s Happiness

Your people are the true stewards of your brand. How happy and engaged they are effects every part of your product, service and story. Everything starts with belief. If I feel part of the brand story, I am five times more likely to live it out in my work. We focus on three important questions: How will you help me build new skills, better serve my customers and build more trust with my peers? - Neil Bedwell, Local Industries

7. See Your Brand Through The Customer’s Eyes

It’s twofold: Understand the business fundamentals and walk in the customer's shoes. You need to start with the foundation of a client’s business in order to have the deepest understanding of their intent, the values they hold themselves to and their end goal. Experience the brand through the eyes of the customer: What is easy and simple, where is the friction and what more would you love to see? - Gina Alshuler, Rauxa

8. Be The Genuine Article

Be authentic: Too many times business owners share the "expected" story and not the real story. It's OK to share the failures and successes — it allows customers and potential partners to relate to you more. It's always better to be the genuine article. - Paul Benninghove, Phalanx Digital Inc.