This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Consumers want to support entrepreneurs and businesses that take a clear stand on today’s issues.
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As the world simultaneously experiences a health and heart crisis with a pandemic and protests, entrepreneurs have found themselves scrambling to not only keep their businesses afloat but to remain relevant.
Consumers are demanding entrepreneurs take a clear stand on today’s issues, whether displaying messaging about masks or displaying messages about social justice.
Many entrepreneurs find themselves at the intersection of commerce and conscience because as an entrepreneur everything you are as a person comes into the business especially your life experiences and profit and loss statements have always been affected by world events.
At a time where more and more buyers look for ways to spend their money with businesses that share similar values and beliefs systems, entrepreneurs have to pivot or reposition themselves to not only accommodate restrictions on selling their good and services but also to answer growing outcries to assuage customer confidence as they look to businesses for a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos.
Consider telling these three stories to meet your customer where they are in their buyer’s journey and speak a language more human to human vs. entrepreneur to end-user.
Tell the story of your beginning
This story reinforces your expert status and the problem you solve. To craft this, think about an experience you’ve had that made you say to yourself, “I can solve this, or I can make this better.” This is the start of the story. This story outlines the reason behind your work. It makes your audience feel like they know you. When consumers are driven by fear, comfort is a much-needed salve. Use this story to reintroduce yourself to your audience and establish an emotional connection. The benefit of this story is its juxtaposition of credibility and vulnerability which builds trust and respect. This is your greatest hit. People don’t care about your success and until they first care about your struggle. Your challenge here is to use your experiences to make a promise to your audience that you can help them get what they desire. The more your customers know about you, the greater chance you can emerge as a leader to admire and support.
Tell the story of your mission
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do, how you make them feel and the story you tell them about themselves. Now more than ever customers want to unite around a cause or shared mission. As consumers look for purpose in their lives, they want to spend money where they know what you as the entrepreneur stand for or against. Don’t forget about your team members who are also feeling uneasy at this time. Share this story to bring together teams and break down silos This is a feel-good story that gives your customers and teams something to believe in while reminding everyone of the deeper purpose. This story illustrates the mission you set out to achieve every day and inspires your customers to join with you to achieve it. This story also allows your customers to self-select as your tribe. Use this story to bridge the gap between what you sell and what they need.
Tell the story of your products/services
Your product or service is more than what it appears. It’s a representation of the emotional payoff to the problem you fix. In other words, when successful, how does your product or service make your customer feel? The answer to this is your true offer to the world. At present, the world runs on fear, panic, frustration, hurt and anger, does your offer counteract this? Does your product or service evoke happiness or safety? Does it relieve stress? Does it make life easier? This story allows your customers to see the value your product or service brings to their lives. Use this story to convey what success looks like after working with you.
Each story attracts clients and shows you as an authority and answer to a problem. Tell these stories often. By doing so, you invite people into the narrative they can believe and support now and long after the crisis.