Reading the menu

“Our Story”: Are You Using It Well?

 
Have you ever been at a restaurant and looked at the back of the menu to find a charming story about the founding of the establishment? Perhaps it had some details about grandma’s secret recipe being used for the pasta sauce, or what kind of need the founders wanted to fill when they got started. It might even tell you a colorful back story about the owners and how they met.

Well, your business might not have a menu that your customers peruse as they think about what to eat, but all the same you can get the same positive effects of this “about us” story in your own marketing publications. This story might go in a marketing brochure, a pitch deck, or simply on a page of your website. In any case, this story has massive marketing potential for your brand.
 

Show Your Background

 
Often, you’ll find that these stories offer a little bit of a back story on the major characters. We learn that one person had always loved cooking for her family, or that another one was once in the high-pressure, dog-eat-dog corporate world but turned away from it. Tidbits like this do more than just offer personal anecdotes. They also give people a sense of your qualifications. They help customers know what unique offerings you have to bring to the table. For example, learning that an addiction recovery center was founded by a couple who experienced addiction themselves in the past gives you more of an idea of what their motivation, passion, and clout in the field is.
 

Why You Started

 
Speaking of motivation, another important part of this story is why exactly you decided to start the business in the first place. A thriving business is always based on something more than making money. It’s about a dream. It’s about fulfilling a need for the community. It’s about connecting and serving. So, did one particular restaurant start because they wanted to offer a community hub where friends could get together? How can your business use that same principle in your story? What is your mission and purpose?
 

Connect with the Community

 
The reason that you started in the first place might have something to do with your particular community, especially if you’re a local business. What other businesses do you relate to? Why did you set up business in that particular area? If you’re not a local business, your business community might have more to do with common interests than location. For example, you might have seen a need for an eco-friendly alternative for children’s toys that would appeal to the eco-mommy community. Having this kind of orientation gives you context and strengthens your ability to deliver on your purpose.
 

People Like Doing Business with People they Like

 
Last of all, it’s important to add those personal details that help new customers feel more like they know you. The truth is that people just like it better when they’re part of a business exchange wherein they actually LIKE the business they patronize. Any salesperson will tell you that it’s not just about the products that they’re selling, but it’s also about selling yourself as a business contact. When your customers love you as a business, and the feeling comes around for you in the form of loyalty, upsells, and referrals.
 

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