Storytelling is an effective tool to be used in marketing. Let’s take a brief look at some of the most common types of stories that you can utilize when marketing your professional service company.
The Company Story
This is the story of your professional service company. A company story usually involves how the company came into existence and grew to its current state, often told personally by the founder or first employees. Through the company’s story, you convey to your audience the values and culture of your company.
A great example of a company story is the healthcare company Dignity Health. Started by Catholic nuns in nineteenth-century Ireland, the healthcare system still aims to provide healthcare to anyone and everyone, regardless of their life’s circumstances. Dignity Health commercials feature random acts of kindness and showcase human connections, their catchphrase being “Hello Humankindness.” From the first acts of kindness expressed by the nuns, to random acts of “human kindness” today, the story of Dignity Health tells you that as a company, it is people-focused and community oriented. Because of this, people tend to think highly of Dignity Health, seeing the company as caring, approachable, and affordable.
The Personal Story
A personal story is a story of someone’s life. It could be how they overcame difficulties or how they reached the place where they are today. It could be something as simple as a scene the writer observed a few days ago that has relevance to their topic and their audience, or the single most defining moment of his/her life.
Many personal stories involve overcoming difficulties. For example, you might write a story about a time when you couldn’t manage your time well. You were always busy and had many things to do, but no free time to do what you enjoyed. This is the setting of the story. You then discovered a very simple and handy technique for managing time better, which helped you get more done and have more time to yourself.
The Professional Service Story
You can tell stories that relate to a service, whether it’s the professional service your company offers or something else. Your story could discuss the need for your service offered.
One way to discover great service stories is to ask your clients to write the stories for you. This is an example of what’s called ‘crowdsourcing,’ in which you turn some part of your content creation over to your audience. Crowdsourcing is a highly effective content marketing strategy because it gets your audience actively engaged.
The Client Story
This type of story is one in which your client relates somehow to your service. This is one of the best types of stories because it emphasizes the benefits of your service offerings. When people read about a client’s own experience with your service, they can put themselves in the client’s place and understand directly how your services can benefit them. These stories are also great because they’re authentic.
A client story can focus on a common problem your market faces and how one particular client overcame this problem thanks to your company and the service it provided. For example, if you own a dental office and provide discounted dental care to low-income families, you could ask clients to send in their stories about how your services have improved their lives and their overall health. A great addition to these stories would even be some before-and-after photos, as appropriate.
The Employee Story
Employee stories are engaging because they take people behind the scenes and add a human element to your company. Your audience gets a glimpse of the inner workings of your company and how every person involved makes a difference. These stories also help to convey your corporate culture.
An employee story might feature a particular employee and how they’ve improved a service, helped the company reach one of its goals, or bent over backwards for a client in need. It might also be their own history of how and why they came to the company. An employee story is something personal or professional about someone who works for your company and which you feel will resonate with your audience.
Implementing stories into your marketing strategy will offer many benefits to your professional service company. For more information on how to successfully use storytelling as a marketing tool, check out the report “How to Use the Power of Storytelling in Marketing.”