Your Business Story is Marketing

Your Business Story is Marketing

Your story is who you are, and the same holds true for your business.

The question is how much attention does your business dedicate to what is arguably its most powerful marketing?

Tell a True Story

Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes says, “What matters now is telling a true story well.” The truth has a way of shining through, and that’s especially relevant for business marketing.

Embedded within your business story is the vision that inspired it, the mission that it is committed to today, and even subtle qualities like your core values. This is why the first pages of most employee manuals tell the story of the company’s beginnings.

For my business in particular, we wanted our staff to know how hard we worked to get our business off the ground. Even important was communicating that everyone’s true boss was the customer.

In this regard, our story was training for our team. Given that they were our ambassadors, that makes it marketing too.

Curate and Archive Your Stories

The story of your company’s beginnings is just one of many that helps everyone associated with your business understand how it got here, what it believes, and what differentiates it from others in the community or industry.

Vision and mission statements have value, but unlike stories, they are seldom memorable. Big brands like McDonalds and Coke have archivists on staff to preserve and manage the evolution of the brand story. Shouldn’t your business be doing the same?

Any business that is actively blogging has a goldmine of stories to work with, but for the most part they are buried in the archives. The solution is to take the best of the best and give them new life by organizing them into eBooks or tutorials.

For example, a series of existing blog posts could become a training program to help customers get more value from your products and services. Media that helps customers after the sale is valuable marketing.

Own Your Stories

Your business story is being told everyday by your staff and customers, not to mention others in the community that may or may not have had a favorable experience with it. Therefore, it’s vital to have a central website you own that tells the truth.

Copyblogger Media is a company that methodically aggregates its best blog content to create eBooks and tutorials for helping entrepreneurs. It’s a practice I am now undertaking, and its implementation just got easier with a new website building platform developed by Copyblogger.

The name of the platform is Rainmaker, and it promises to revolutionize Internet marketing for entrepreneurs.

One of the Rainmaker slogans is: “Media not marketing.” In other words, share stories that educate and inspire your community. That truthful media is what sells today. However, the challenge for building your media website has been the cost, lack of education, and technical skills for getting the job done – but no more!

Having already signed up with the Rainmaker platform, I can assure you that if you know how to blog or upload a video to YouTube, then you now have the skills to build a hosted WordPress website that is beautiful, mobile response, SEO optimized, has eCommerce capabilities, and is safe from hackers. They will even help you import your content from your current site.

I’m currently building a new site with Rainmaker that will offer lots of free content, and also virtual training for people to learn at their own pace. The plan is to roll it out over the coming months.

You can get the complete Rainmaker story here. Even if you don’t use their platform, take advantage of the free content to make your website a better marketing machine.

Are you planning to build a new website? We believe the New Rainmaker platform is the future for small business websites. That is why we are partnering with New Rainmaker to help businesses build their essential home o the web.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Why Isn’t Your Business Blogging?

As a consumer yourself, wouldn’t you like to have easy access to fresh updates concerning the products and services you regularly use?

Your customers are no different.

Customers have been conditioned to expect answers whenever they need them. When they don’t get what they want your reputation erodes.

Knowing this, why are so few small businesses actively blogging? I believe it is because they do not understand the practice.

Early blogs were predominantly personal journals consisting of periodic communications on random topics. However, the top business blogs today are some of the most valued sources of fresh and relevant news.

Think of your business blog as a digital magazine for your customers. Quality blog posts are now often considered articles. Even the word blogging is considered passé. Now we simply think of ourselves as publishers.

This new mindset acknowledges that in this digital age every business is now its own media company.

Your business blog should include the following, which you can easily accomplish with a self-hosted WordPress site. WordPress started as a blogging platform, but has now evolved into the world’s leading CMS (Content Management System) for businesses.

#1 – Organized Information

Early blogs used archives and categories to organize information. Just as your business processes must adapt to changing conditions, so too have the methods for successfully blogging.  Guide your visitor.  Consider adding a “start here” tab that leads to your best articles organized into a series of subject matter tutorials.

#2 – Up-to-Date Information

Google wants what people want, and that is the most up-to-date information they can find on a particular subject. By consistently publishing fresh content to your blog, you are serving both your customers and the search engines that will help you find new ones.

#3 – Relevant Information

The more you blog the more you will learn how to help your customers, particularly if you are paying attention to comments and what earns greater sharing among their social network communities. You’ll soon realize the most relevant issues change slowly, if they change at all.

For example, last week I read a publication that interviewed several business leaders. Nearly every comment eventually circled back to one core challenge – getting new customers and keeping the current ones happy, while of course turning a profit.

Customer acquisition and servicing is a problem that never goes away.

What are the problems in your business that never go away?

Start blogging about them.

Build a content management system using WordPress – a digital business channel (on a domain you own) that regularly addresses the needs of your customers.

They will love you for it.

Isn’t that what any business wants?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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