In my last post, I asked a short question with a long answer - does a small business need a marketing strategy?
My answer was a pretty emphatic yes, and storytelling is one marketing strategy that really works for small businesses.
Ask yourself — what's your story? We don't necessarily mean that you should be telling every potential client or customer your life story. Instead, we're talking about the narrative for your small business (for example, here's ours!). In an increasingly-connected global marketplace, your potential customers want to connect with you.
So, What Is Your Story?
Today's consumers value consistency, authority, and authenticity.
We're all searching for the equivalent of the age-old 'neighborhood store,' no matter what sort of product or service is involved. If your clients get to know your business from the ground up, they'll be more likely to seek you out when your service is what they need to solve their particular problem.
We recommend utilizing the Golden Circle when building your marketing strategy. The Golden Circle, taken from Simon Sinek's groundbreaking Ted Talk, is a kind of diagram that consists of three circles nested within each other. The circles go like this:
- What: This is simple: What product or service do you provide? For instance, TOMS is a company that sells shoes and engages in charitable giving. Simple as that, right?
- How: Equally simple: just answer how you provide that service. For TOMS, the how would be by utilizing the money from each pair of shoes they sell to provide one pair of free shoes to a child in need.
- Why: Now this is the hook. This is the part of the story where you grab the client. You may not realize it, but every company is telling a story. The story of TOMS is that they are dedicated to doing good by ensuring that children who otherwise might be forced to go barefoot on dirty or dangerous streets will have a pair of shoes, free of charge. This commitment to doing good — this essential aspect of their story — is one of the biggest reasons the company has become so successful.
Your what, how, and why will be the questions you need to answer while building your strategy.
Write down your specific answers to each question. Your what may be to provide home services to homeowners like HVAC repair. Your how may be to take down their repair needs and send our experienced, qualified technicians to perform repairs. Your why might be something as simple as: because it is a service almost everyone needs, and our goal is to provide that service with loyalty and friendliness to our customers that we're just not seeing any other company provide.
Compare these answers to your buyer personas. What aspect of your story appeals most to your personas? If you can't answer, it might be time to revisit either the personas or the answers until you can figure out how to match the two.
If you're trying to sell something that your customers just don't want to purchase, you'll never end up with a strategy that will actually work for you.
How Can You Get Started?
Your answers to the questions in the Golden Circle should be part of everything you and your employees do at your business.
One of the reasons we love living in Greenville is its vibrant, successful small businesses like Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery or Methodical Coffee. Their stories are really woven throughout every aspect of their online presence, from their websites to the social media presence they maintain with consistent, updated content and connections with their Greenville community.
The Swamp Rabbit Cafe is a story about two women who looked at a dilapidated building and saw a grocery store that would become part of the fabric of Greenville. The founders of Methodical Coffee thought there was room downtown for a coffee shop that broke the mold by focusing on carefully selected single-origin coffees that are brewed to extract the best possible flavor profile.
Both businesses were started by founders who understood that they needed to match what their ideal customers were searching for — a neighborhood grocery store that created a sense of community in a part of Greenville that had struggled to come together, and high-quality coffees with a hometown feel and a relaxing place to enjoy them, respectively.
When putting together your inbound marketing strategy, you'll be primarily sitting down to work out how you can make your story connect to your ideal customer. Once you've done that, you'll need to find them where they are.
With Inbound Marketing, you don't go chasing after customers, but instead compel them to turn to you as the perfect solution to their unique problem. Once you know your story and who you're hoping to tell it to, you'll be ready to start putting together your plan of attack.
What If You Prefer to Focus on Growing Your Business, Not Telling Your Story?
This is really a trick question, because telling your story is an essential part of growing a small business.
However, we understand that your small business is your baby — you want to help it grow and succeed and don't want to lose time focusing on the small details and missing the big picture. That's where Waypost Marketing comes in. We're a digital marketing company in Greenville, South Carolina that is prepared to tell your story from the ground up. Our Inbound Marketing packages include everything from web design to content creation, social media, and more — including video marketing!
Reach us by phone at (864) 288-6162 or contact us online at any time to get started improving your marketing efforts today.