9 Storytelling Techniques That Small Business Owners Can Use Build Their Brand

by Corey Philip //  April 12, 2023

Do you know what sets the best businesses apart? Their brand. That's how they convey their company to their customers, bonding with them to show value and sell better than they would otherwise. You can use their techniques too. So, what are the best storytelling techniques for small businesses?

The best storytelling techniques for small businesses include studying the target demographic, going from zero to hero, and finishing strong. Picking the perfect words to tell the story is also a must. Small businesses need to create a narrative to bond with their clients.

You don't need to write prose like Borges or poetry like Byron to write the perfect story to build your brand. That would be counter-productive! What you need is authenticity, balance, and cleverness, plus a tiny bit of the best storytelling techniques you'll soon learn about.

Best Storytelling Techniques To Build Your Brand

You need to build your brand to grow your business, and in the age of social media, you can do so using your keyboard and writing competence to do the job from home. These storytelling techniques will push you in the right direction.

Let's get started!

1. Pick the Perfect Words

Do you know what's the difference between “affordable” and “cheap”? They're the same, technically speaking, but they feel different!

“Affordable” feels like you're saving money on a good deal. “Cheap” sounds like you're buying something that'll break the day after tomorrow. Some studies show that certain words will improve your sales, while others will bottom your profit line. Choose each word wisely!

2. Write the Way you Talk

A bit of a warning when it comes to picking the perfect words. Don't take it too far! You're not Truman Capote, so there's no need to sprinkle purple prose all over your website.

Write the way you talk to your friends at a birthday party (but keep the tone you use before you have the first few drinks). There's a difference between writing “multiply your sales by tenfold with rapidness perusing our products” and “enjoy an overnight 10x sales boost with our course.”

3. Know Your Demographic

Taking the time to learn about your audience is key. You'll sell more when you learn about your customers. Figuring out your target demographic will increase your sales like few things in business.

Does that mean that you should talk to a certain demographic and them alone? Maybe! You can know that if you take the time to do research. Otherwise, selling your products will feel like shooting in the dark.

4. Go from Zero to Hero

What's the best way to write a story? Start small, drive your way to a climax, then finish off strong! We'll tell you how to do that last part at the bottom. You should know you need to follow a structure for now.

You can only tell your own story one too many times. So, how can you continue following the zero-to-hero structure? Talk about your customers! Explain how they started at zero and became heroes when they used what you sell.

5. Avoid Going Over the Top

Authenticity is key when you're using storytelling to build your brand. Nobody likes a liar, especially if that person (or business) is trying to sell you something. Would you buy a used car from a sleazy salesman? Of course not!

Your brand is the face of your small business, so you better treat the way you build it with care. Lying is not an option, and exaggerating should feel the same as lying.

6. Be Open about Past Mistakes

What's the best way to show authenticity? Never shy away from opening up about the problems you faced (and dealt with). That doesn't mean your brand's narrative should be a pity party, but take the opportunity to shed light on mistakes and what you've learned from them every so often.

Have you faced logistics issues?
Did your small business come to life because of a problem you had?

Search within yourself and your past to look for issues and problems you feel comfortable sharing, and do so.

7. Look for Problems (Not Trouble!)

We want you to look for the problems your clients and customers have. Your products should solve those issues, and you can look for ways to improve what you sell based on future customer issues as well.

In contrast, never look for trouble! Engaging with violent or disrespectful commenters on social media is one of the worst things you can do. That'll take the power you have over your brand's narrative away, and doing so is a huge mistake from a storytelling perspective.

8. Create a Customer-Company Connection

Building your brand relies on making a connection with your audience so that you can turn them into customers. That's the most effective way to increase your profits in a sustainable way, and the right way to do so is to bond with your customers.

How can you bond with clients? Read the comments every time you post something on social media, so you can shape your narrative around those things.

People love being heard!

9. Finish Strong (and Maybe Leave a Gift)

Did you know you can get a 35% increase in sales if you give stuff away? People are always looking for a freebie, and that small taste may hook them, turning passers-by into long-term customers because of that small gesture.

Let's be honest here. If your stories sold because of themselves, you'd run a blog, not a business! So, the best storytelling technique for you is mixing both formats, and the business-savvy way to do so is to try to hook as many would-be customers as possible with every story you post.

Final Thoughts

The best storytelling techniques that'll help you build your small business's brand include picking the perfect words to represent your brand, figuring out your demographic to target it better, and finishing strong with a gift or a promise. Building a brand takes time, but the results are always worth the effort.

(Related article: Storytelling Marketing: How Using Empathy Strengthens Your Marketing Efforts)

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}