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Benefit When You Tell Your Business Story

Create connections with customers that will inspire their loyalty.

Every business owner has a story to tell and, believe it or not, most customers are curious to learn how your business came into being.

These days, customers are looking for genuine experiences, and many are eager to support an up and comer or learn that an established business struggled back in the day, proving that perseverance and a bit of faith can still pay off in the end.

Whether it was personal passion that drove you or a keen insight that revealed a market begging to be served, share your story with your customers and see the dividends it pays. Here are some tips for crafting and presenting your business story, helping you and your business become even more connected with your customers—and that will become the best part of your story.

One of your best marketing angles is your business story

How many times have you clicked on an eBay seller’s About Me link or sought out the “About Us” link on a website? If you’re like millions upon millions of others, you’re surely interested in learning as much, or more, about a business beyond its products and services. In fact, the story of the business itself has become a key factor in whether curious customers will make a purchase.

Connect with your customers by telling them how you got into business, and how your unique experience adds a personable element to what you sell

With so many products and services available from so many competing sellers, customers have become overwhelmed with having to select from whom they’ll purchase. They’re looking for that little something extra that helps them feel best about the business from which they’ll buy.

This is your opportunity to connect with your customers by telling them how you got into business, and how your unique experience adds a personable element to what you sell. In times when consumers cast a doubtful eye at big businesses, those too far removed from the actual customer experience, smaller sellers can bridge the gap between the customer and the product.

When you explain why you’ve gone into business (maybe to satisfy an unmet need in either product or experience), and how you’ve grown and adapted along the way, customers will become interested, intrigued and even inspired by your story. Seeking an alternative to the organizationally heavy big business, customers are now in preference of a closer relationship with those from whom they’ll buy.

Here’s how to share your business story

Certainly, your business story is inspiring, enlightening, even entertaining (or all three). Now it’s time to make the connection to your prospective buyers to begin a relationship with them.

Essentially, the goal here is to help your customers identify with your business, your brand, and your products and services. Your goal is to reach your customers on a deeper, even personal level. With all the sincerity you can muster, you want to share your story so customers will believe in you and your business so much so that they’ll take extra effort to support you because of your journey to where you are—and where you aspire to go.

Here’s the sort of information to share as you tell your business story.

  • Explain why you started your business in the first place. Was it the result of a happy accident or were you seeking to solve a particular problem that affected you (and which might also be affecting your prospective customers)? This will indicate your creativity and vision to act upon a problem or opportunity.

  • Share some of the obstacles you’ve had to meet and overcome along the way. While you don’t want to make this a gripe session, tell of how you’ve guided your business through whatever choppy waters you’ve encountered. This demonstrates your passion to succeed and your commitment to your business—and, along the way, to your customers’ satisfaction.

  • Draw parallels between your challenges and goals, and those of others you’ve met along the way. In this way, you can better connect with your customers if they, too, have dealt with the same challenges. You’re an example of how success can be found. You’ll be a point of inspiration to them.

  • Indicate how what you’re offering is the product of your story, and how you believe what you offer will improve your customers’ lives
  • Tie your story to the products or services you offer. Indicate how what you’re offering is the product of your story, and how you believe what you offer will improve your customers’ lives. This is critical since it needs to support your original incentive to begin the business, and how you’re delivering on that incentive. This, of course, is angled in a way that communicates why what you offer is of good use to your customers.

  • Lastly, include a call to action for your customers. Encourage them to make a purchase by the merits of what you offer and, more subtly, because their support will help you continue to improve your business story while you improve your customers’ lives.

Make your story easy to find and easy to read

If you’re selling on eBay, be sure to create an About Me page to share your business story. If you’re operating your own website, be sure to include an easy-to-find link such as “All about us,” “Who we are” or “Read our story.” However you wish to title it, be sure the link to your business story is clear in its purpose and always easy to find when customers venture in to the place where you do business.

Finally, as you craft your business story, be sure to speak plainly and simply, making the overall tone friendly, inviting and maybe a bit humorous. Remember, your goal is to relate to and solidly connect with your customers.

Treat the telling of your business story like an anecdote you’d share with a friend or new acquaintance. Be sincere and straightforward in sharing your story, and you’ll reach and retain more customers who will take a liking to you and will support your business now that they know more about you.

About the author

Dennis L. Prince
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay...and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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