Or, how stories can help grow your business!
I recently started jogging each evening because I have a dream of running a 5K in under 24 hours. I run at the local beach because there’s a graveled path that’s easy on the knees and always empty except for the resident geese. Canadian, big, black & brown, with long necks and a bad temper if you get too close.
A few weeks ago, about twenty-five of them saw me coming. As if called by something bigger, they waddled en masse across a busy road of now-screeching cars, ducked under the fence and positioned their plump bodies squarely onto my running path—blocking my way.
Once there, they stood motionless. Solidly wing to wing. Pretending to ignore me as they looked down at the few blades of grass that managed to grow through the pebbles under webbed feet.
As I waited patiently for the light to change, so to speak, I noticed that one of the geese had a yellow band around his neck printed with thick black letters and numbers — H290.
Obviously, he had been trapped and turned into a study victim. Probably shot with a tiny tranquilizer gun so they could put the identifier around his neck without having any humans beaked into oblivion. Now this goose can be tracked wherever he may fly, year after year.
At first, this tagged goose seemed to be part of the gang. But, after a few days of having my run interrupted, I noticed that fewer of his extended family wanted to be seen with him. Then, one cloudy day, he wobbled across the road to block my path all by himself.
Nibbling at nothing while not looking me in the eye, he stood his ground. The other geese seemingly had lost interest in me probably because they had bigger fish to fry (they had upped their game to blocking cars on the road). Now, the running path was occupied only with my unpopular goose buddy, me, and our tiny, but important, dreams.
What is this story about anyway?
When I realized that there might be a business blog buried in the goose fat, I racked my brain to find the right analogy and a good segue. Backwards, yes, but some of us tend to start at the end in order to find our answers more quickly.
Maybe my blog should be about solo entrepreneurs? I began thinking about the bird world, egrets mostly, and how there’s a lot to like about being alone and not part of a gaggle. Independent and free! Not being ostracized just because a stupid thing around the neck makes us look and feel different. Honestly, wouldn’t it be great to display those hidden thoughts around the neck sometimes? Wouldn’t it be liberating to shout out the office window that it’s OUR freakin’ way, or the highway? Yes, alone can be good.
But wait! Maybe my blog should be about the benefits of being part of a team. After all, most business are trying to grow. And like my geese, it may be nice to have others surrounding us in V formation to help us power through strong headwinds. Or, because there’s strength in numbers. Or, maybe because it’s just easier to bounce ideas off the birds we already know.
Maybe it could be about a boss with a great team who all feel horribly alienated because he won’t listen to their ideas? Or maybe about an employee with great ideas, but such bad social skills that no one cares what he has to say. Or wants to cross the road with him.
Or maybe, this blog is about facing up to the competition. You know, because the geese are blocking my way? Get it?
If this blog is beginning to sound like an inspiration coach armed with a powerpoint presentation, don’t worry.
This blog is NOT about that!
This Blog is about content marketing and how there’s a teachable story in just about anything that happens to us. Especially during these strange COVID days, stories are the best way to stay connected with others. They can be inspirational, amusing, confusing, or clarifying. They can make someone open or close their wallet or impart a sense of wonder. Without storytelling, we would hardly know anything about each other, or for that matter, ourselves.
“But what the heck should I write about,” you may ask?
I suggest you begin by always paying attention to what’s happening around you. Not just once in a while. Because no matter what you are doing or where you are hanging out, something is happening. Observations or conversations are all you need to start telling the stories that will build your influence, enhance your reputation, and grow your brand both as a person and a company. Stories can and will help grow your business.
Content marketing is all about connecting with your customers in a way that your competitors simply can’t. The experiences you’ve had are unique to you. The more you tell those stories, the better your customers will get to know you and understand you. But more importantly, that’s when they will begin to really trust you. Trust is fabulous, and in business it is essential.
If you’re not telling stories to your customers, it’s time to begin (or we can tell them for you). It has never been easier to find people who want to hear what you have to say.
If you have some great stories, but don’t know what to do with them, give us a call. We would love to hear them! What’s more, with a little creativity and a lot of know-how, we can help you turn those stories into customers and that will help grow your business. Schedule a call today.