In The Country Magazine
In The Country Lifestyle

The power of stories.

Never underestimate the power of stories. You’ll likely remember a story which captivated you from your childhood? Peter Pan was one for me! Storytelling for business or a personal brand is no different, it holds the same power.

Your story holds so much power and potential.

Over on Instagram you might have seen I’m joining in with Sophie Callahan’s #2023JanChallenge, today’s prompt was to share your services… now previously, I’d have jumped straight to shouting about the latest Edition of the magazine, or our yearly subscriptions, but no more… Unless you’re based in West Sussex and are looking for a lovely livery yard for your horse or pony, I have no real services to promote anymore.

I could shout about the brilliant web design and hosting services we offer at Black Nova Designs, but instead I thought how can I provide something of value to even just one of you… and then I thought about my own small business and entrepreneurial experience, one thing I was often asked was ‘how did I do it?

The truth is, I had no real strategy, and a very loose plan but one thing I was passionate about was bringing people on my journey with me, to be transparent and to essentially share my story. This in itself really, was my unofficial strategy and today I want to talk to you about how you can use storytelling to authentically grow your personal brand or small business and create meaningful connections with your audience. This, is my ‘service’.

Storytelling for business or your personal brand:

You know as much as I do, as a consumer we switch off when we’re being constantly sold too. However, what if I told you, every single piece of content you share is an advert… indirectly yes, but you are effectively advertising your brand, your product or your service to an audience with any form of content, especially when it comes to your business’ social media account – it all comes under your brand’s umbrella. So, how can you make the most of this?

With this in mind, people buy from people. We know this. 

I grew my following on Instagram as a business/influencer account through organic story telling content. I very very rarely paid to promote my posts.

Storytelling for your personal brand:

My Instagram was, for many years, a balance between my business as In The Country and my own personal brand, the two flourished in harmony and my personal brand on Instagram has stood steadfast in the magazine’s absence – a testament to the power of a personal brand. 

Building your personal brand can offer so many benefits and opportunities to you personally and professionally. Many of my followers are micro influencers, aspiring content creators or small business owners and so are in the perfect position to establish their personal brand. 

Over the last year, I have started to utilise LinkedIn to establish and grow my personal brand as an alternative to Instagram, the two audiences are very different and content needs to be tailored for each, however LinkedIn is hugely powerful at connecting you with relevant industry professionals and so is instrumental in growing your personal brand in a professional sense.

As Steven Bartlett said:

Personal branding for me is digital reputation’

He’s also produced a great podcast episode and video on ‘personal branding simplified’ which is worth checking out if you’re interested. Anyone can benefit from building their personal brand!

When it comes to storytelling for both your business or your personal brand, you first need to have a think about how much you want to share with your audience and/or potential customers. Once you’ve decided how much of an open book you are prepared to be, you can set about telling your story in a way which either benefits your business or encourages growth within your personal brand.

Tips to help grow your business or personal brand through storytelling:

  • Share behind the scenes of your work process, whether that be working away in your office or at your desk, or the process of making your products. People like to see where the magic happens, it bridges the gap between product-consumer.
  • Introduce yourself, show up for your business. It’s time to put your face to your brand, I guarantee you, you’ll see a spike in engagement! I appreciate some brands don’t want to associate themselves personally with their brand for whatever reason, my question to you guys would be – why? If you don’t want to be associate with your business, why are you doing it? And secondly, this advice isn’t for you. 
  • Tell your audience your why. Why did you launch? What inspired you? Where did your brand name come from?
    There are tonnes of resources out there that use social media content prompts to help you come up with connective content ideas. I stumbled across a brilliant equestrian themed #Trotinto2023 post from Riviera PR over on Instagram with some content ideas, or why not join in on Sophie’s #2023JanChallenge – you can always use the content prompts you’ve missed at a later date. I’d recommend penciling in a few hours to bulk write some content around telling your story, you’ll get the creative juices flowing and the ideas will keep coming! 
  • Show up behind the scenes consistently. It may seem odd that people want to see the mundane tasks you get up to within your business, but a good old go-to is a quick Instagram story of you making a cuppa. If you send out your products, I’d recommend a BTS story of you packaging up your products, maybe stood by a post box, or amongst your pile of orders ready to be sent. Our magazine wrapping videos always received a good response, and were great conversation starters. What do you do when you’re not working? Show your audience, take them with you on a dog walk or horse ride – they’ll love it.
  • Connect with your audience. This is a golden rule for growth. You cannot just sit back and assume your account will grow by posting content, no. You need to interact with your audience, build your story. If someone comments, reply. If they drop you a DM or reply to a story, take the time to talk to them, you’ll probably find you’ll enjoy it, you could even build some online friendships, I know I did.

These are just a few quick tips to help you to use storytelling to grow your business or personal brand. I hope they’re helpful. We do offer social media marketing at Black Nova Designs so, if you fancied a hand with telling your brand’s story or even with growing your personal brand, give me a call in the office on 01793 210 045 and we can have a chat about how I may be able to help you with sharing your story.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful.
Until next time…
Love,
Holly xxx

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