7 Tips to Master Online Storytelling for Your Business
There are a lot of facets that make up good business storytelling, such as authenticity. Read on for our best 7 tips to help you master online storytelling.
If you aren’t a storyteller by nature, the world of online storytelling can be baffling and intimidating.
However, this form of storytelling can be a great way to make a lasting impression on your audience and keep them coming back for more. While “story,” by nature, may not lend itself to images of authenticity, it’s one of the most effective ways to make sure your audience sees the real you.
While it may seem like just another method of advertising, how do you make sure you stand out?
Curious how to craft the most compelling story about your business you can? Read on while we jump into it!
Online Storytelling Tips for Your Business
Be the underdog
Think about it: when was the last time you watched a movie or read a book about someone who had everything going for him 100% of the time and retained an interest in it?
You’re not coming up with much, are you?
It’s a classic storytelling trope: everybody loves the underdog. This remains true when it comes to online storytelling.
While you definitely want to boost your business and break out of any rut or burnout you may be in, you also want to give your potential client base a reason to root for you.
Don’t dig yourself into a hole and keep yourself there, but find a way to convey digging yourself out. Give your audience a sense of hope and endear yourself to them.
Less focus on data
While data, statistics, and numbers can absolutely help prove a point regarding your business, you’re probably the only one who’s truly interested in those sales statistics.
When it comes to online storytelling, you don’t want to bog your story down with numbers. Some impressive ones peppered throughout are great just to make a point, but in general, you want to make them listen.
Did you know that it’s a proven fact that people are more likely to listen to stories over data? Don’t let yourself drown in an overwhelming amount of numbers. Give your audience a reason to listen and feel comfortable.
We know what you’re thinking: how is it a story if it’s not exaggerated?
While it bears several similarities to screenwriting and literary writing, you’re still telling the story of your business. Online storytelling needs to keep that in mind.
The problem is that exaggeration tends to lead itself to fluff. You’re not trying to sell a romance here, nor are you trying to make things seem more dramatic than they really are.
One of the most difficult yet crucial parts of online storytelling is maintaining truth when it comes to your business. When you start exaggerating, it’s easy to become prone to outright lies, which in turn won’t satisfy your potential customers.
One of the key points of storytelling, whether online storytelling or otherwise, is to refrain from dumping information on your reader’s heads.
This is trickier than it sounds. How do you convey everything you need to without getting the “important” stuff out of the way first?
When you’re writing your story on your blog, the trick is to let the exposition and background information pepper your story in interesting ways. Don’t bring something up if it isn’t relevant. Part of the art of storytelling is knowing what to tell and what to let your audience infer.
Don’t shy away from conflict
Don’t be afraid to share the uglier moments of your business with your audience! While these dark moments may be embarrassing for you and difficult for you to think (let alone write) about, these can help endear you to your audience.
Remember what we said about letting yourself be the underdog? That characterization will come out depending on the strength of your conflict.
A story is not a story without conflict. Don’t be afraid to show your fight to your audience. Let them know that you’re strong, you’re determined, and you’re ready for action.
Sometimes, a story is only as good as its characters. You can have all the elements of great online storytelling: A strong conflict, a great narrative, a story that appeals to the masses, but how far is that really going to get you if you don’t have compelling characters?
When we’re taking part in online storytelling to boost our business, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that you’re the character. You know yourself, so why would you waste time developing yourself as a character?
This is a trap, and you need to be careful not to fall into it.
The best characters are the ones that your audience can relate to, giving them someone to root for and someone to latch onto. If you want your foray into online storytelling to be as strong as possible, you can’t skimp on characterization.
Create heroes, create villains (but be careful with this one – going off of our point regarding exaggeration, you don’t want to wind up with a libel lawsuit!), really flesh out your story with great characters.
Think back to our point about the underdog. When was the last time you read a story about someone’s perfect life, and they didn’t face any difficulty and there were no surprises?
Better yet, think back to your own life and career. Life has a tendency to throw curveballs at you, which can make for a great source of dramatic tension when it comes to online storytelling.
Suspense is one of the key ways to keep your writers engaged. You’ll benefit greatly if you can turn your business ventures into suspenseful, compelling stories.
Online storytelling: not so different from any other
Online storytelling can be intimidating, but if you already have a flair for the dramatic, it may come to your more naturally than you think.
Remember, you aren’t pitching yourself or showing data analysis regarding your company’s biggest achievements. Those are great to include and very helpful, but save them for the end.
When the audience reaches the end (and hopefully, the part about your resounding success!), they’ll be more inclined to believe you. That goes double if you’re a character they can root for, and they understand the nuance of your business’ history.
Any great tips for online storytelling that we forgot about? It’s your turn to share.