Recently, a business leader asked how to make his presentations more engaging. As the owner of a networking monitoring company, he typically started his presentations by talking about solutions, network optimization and cloud architecture. I recommended he scratch all that, and instead tell a story his audience could imagine themselves dealing with. To his surprise, audience engagement and prospect interest skyrocketed. 

Why are stories so effective?

Here’s a not-so-well-kept secret: we humans are biologically wired for stories. Really. Studies show, stories engage us on a systemic level

  • When you listen to a story that references color, the part of your brain that processes color lights up; in your mind, you can “see” the colors. 
  • If the story involves sensory issues – like the feel of something, or distinct sounds – the part of your brain that processes sensory lights up, and it’s as if you could feel or hear those parts.
  • When you listen to a story that involves motion, the part of your brain that processes motion fires up, and your heart rate accelerates. 

Not only this, but stories actually alter our body chemistry as we’re hearing the story:

  • As the protagonist encounters conflict, the listener’s body creates cortisol, the stress chemical, creating heightened duress and attention. 
  • As the story unfolds, the body also produces dopamine (the reward chemical) which keeps the listener engaged in the story for the outcome.
  • And last but not least, during the story the body produces oxytocin, bonding the listener to the protagonist and the outcome. The power of story is that it can transport the listener into the story; it’s as if they’re living it themselves. 

All this engagement from simply telling a story? It’s true. Storytelling is simply the most effective communications medium — ever. Which is why at Magnetic Current, we use storytelling strategy when branding businesses, to make client brands magnetic to the people they need to reach.

What is storytelling strategy?

Whether you’re giving a presentation about your products, writing a case study, or delivering your company’s brand story: there’s a strategy for telling stories. In our experience, the best story strategy for B2B brands borrows heavily from the hero narrative structure, constructed by famed mythologist Joseph Campbell

We recommend the following structural storytelling elements in your brand story: 

Source: Magnetic Current, 2020.
  1. Context: You want to describe enough about the situation so the listener is transported. The more details – visual, motion, auditory cues – the better.
  2. Present the Protagonist: create an opportunity for the listener to immediately identify with the protagonist. The listener should understand and relate to the protagonist, and be challenged when…
  3. The Protagonist faces Conflict. Conflict is everything in a story. There is no story without conflict! It’s essential to any story, and certainly to the hero narrative, because it’s the turning point where our hero realizes she has a problem, attempts to fix it, and cannot. Frustrated, she’s about to give up when…
  4. She Encounters A Guide who has The Key. A new character appears, someone who helps her see things differently, and offers her a solution.
  5. Resolution: With this help, she masters her conflict. She returns from her “journey”, triumphant, having overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge and…
  6. Denouement: is able to go on and do great things. 

We love this simple formula for B2B brands – it’s highly effective in showing (not telling) how your offering can truly help your customers overcome their problems and emerge better than before.

Other elements for storytelling strategy

The things to remember about storytelling in business: while it’s your story, it’s important to remember who undergoes the transformation, who benefits in your narrative, and who is rewarded by your offering. Your customers. They are always the hero in your story. Resist the temptation to turn your story into a company press release. Stay on script, stay in the background and let the flow of your story position you in the right light.

As well, you want your brand archetype to emerge as part of the story, and in tone and style. What is an archetype? It’s really the use of psychological motifs and metaphors in branding, and is a powerful way to further draw connection with your audience. For more about archetypes, we recommend this article.

Also, add the right touches to make your story compelling. Start with a great hook. A startling statistic, a vivid description, a compelling question or a gripping statement: you want to grab your listener’s attention. For more on hooks, this article is a great read. 

Finally, we love open loops to build intrigue and keep readers engaged. Open loops are when information is presented in the story, but not immediately explained. A shotgun is introduced in the first scene – why? We learn the protagonist can talk to animals – why? Our brains are wired for conclusions, and when the answers aren’t provided, the brain engages, waiting until the answer appears. Open loops are a clever way to keep your audience curious. You can read more about open loops here

How can I use these elements to tell my business’ story?

With this map in front of you, study your business. Begin designing your business’ brand story by answering the following questions: 

  • What is the context for your customers?
  • Who is the ideal protagonist?
  • What problem do they encounter that causes them to stumble? 
  • (You are the guide, and your business solution is the key)
  • What would resolution look like, in terms of solving the problem? 
  • And finally, what denouement would you end the story with?

Now, put together the pieces of your brand story. As an example: if you are the networking monitoring company mentioned above, the context could be a situation or event where network uptime is essential. Say, an event like CyberMonday. The protagonist would be a business that depends on being online for revenue purposes: an online retailer. The conflict: their website goes down. The guide and the key? That’s the networking monitoring company and their solution that never-ever goes down because of triple redundancy measures. The resolution is that the guide and the key help the online retailer fix their site so they never go down again. Denouement could be: next holiday season, they triple online sales. 

Once you know your brand story, you can use storytelling for many customer-facing interactions: presentations, case studies, even as a conversation starter to talk about your business solutions and how you help make your customers’ lives better. If you need help with your brand story, connect with us, we’re here to help make your business magnetic to success. 

“My goal is to get 80,000 followers on Instagram.”

A recent client comment prompted me to write a LinkedIn post that went viral. Likes, followers, pageviews, downloads: it’s tempting to focus on social metrics when doing social media marketing. The implication is so alluring: Increased brand awareness! New customers! More sales! The potential for my brand to go viral and blow up!

But these social metrics are pure vanity, and they’re disconnected from real numbers that drive growth: conversion, revenue, retention, customer lifetime value (CLV) and customer acquisition cost (CAC). ✨

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can be fantastic brand awareness drivers, and can be powerful marketing tools. But what actually converts customers and builds loyalty for your business? You can have great brand awareness, but if people aren’t buying, you’ve got the Emperor’s New Clothes situation going on.

In working with my clients, I counsel them to:

📌 Choose evangelists over numbers. You don’t need 80,000 followers. You need a handful of deeply loyal customers who love your brand so much, they’ll be your voluntary marketing department and evangelize your brand to their network.

📌 Be choosy. Remember that you don’t want brand awareness from anyone; you want it from that segment that deeply and disproportionately values what you offer. You can’t please all masters. Keep your brand broad to accommodate everyone, and you’ll dilute the strength of your offering. This article has more insights into why you want to target.

📌 Hyper-focus. Hone your communications strategy and message to focus solely on your ideal customers as if they’re the only ones that matter – because they are the only ones that matter. Address their acute and specific pain and how your solution helps to solve that. 

📌 Surprise & delight. If you can’t be all things to all people, you might as well be special to someone. Evaluate your best customers and what they deeply value that you offer. Focus your energies on making and delivering a promise so beyond what’s expected, they can’t help but be surprised & delighted.

📌 Build love. Once they’ve become a customer, continue to build your relationship with them. In what ways can you constantly offer value, so that you win them over and they shower you with repeat business?

You want to focus on what actually grows your business. Social media networks want you to focus on social metrics like increasing your followers or driving likes, because it makes their platforms “sticky” and keeps you engaged on their site. But it’s important to ask if those social metrics grow your business and are worth your investment. Many times, you’re chasing empty numbers that don’t materialize into sales.

Net: you want to build a community of customers who appreciate and value your offerings. If that turns out to be a small, loyal base, that’s perfectly fine. Forget the social metrics and focus on the numbers that matter – those that grow your business’ success. 

How well is your business positioned for resiliency and growth? The silver lining is that one day (soon, hopefully) this all will pass, and we will make it through. When we emerge, there will be companies standing strong and ready for growth. How can you ensure your business is one of those?

Earlier this month I was a guest lecturer for Washington Building Congress and gave a lecture on how brand can drive resiliency and growth in these times. Here are my notes.

Reality, Today

With unemployment skyrocketing and a record number of businesses and schools shuttered, our economy is awash in great uncertainty, stress and anxiety. People are switching from proactive to reactive mode, and progress and momentum is stalled.

This uncertainty is causing many of us to retreat and avoid customer relations. Maybe we don’t have a clear message to convey, or we feel like we don’t have anything optimistic to say, so we don’t communicate. 

But this causes important relationships – like the ones with our best customers – to become distanced, when what we need is actually to come together. Our collective power can help us more quickly achieve a common goal, insulate our business from future crises, and position our brand for resiliency & growth.

You can build for resiliency & growth in your business by doing three things:
1. Go within and align on your brand;
2. Engage your best customers; and
3. Innovate to fix your business’ and your customers’ new pain points. 


Go Within

Brand strategy is your business strategy seen through the lens of your customers. It is not how you look; it’s how you act. So you’ll want to plan for resiliency and growth by first underscoring what you unwaveringly stand for, to your customers. Ask:

  • What is the value you bring them?
  • How do you distinguish your business from other competitors?
  • What do you promise every customer with every interaction?

These question will reorient you on your core offering and values, keeping you aligned while you innovate.

You will also want to study what your customers deeply value that you offer that no one else can deliver. This is your unique differentiator and the backbone of your brand (for more on how to craft your unique differentiator, see this post). Articulate this clearly in order to build on it. We’ll get to innovating in a bit, and you’ll want to innovate with new business ideas that enhance and deepen the value you already bring your best customers, instead of offering them something that’s shiny and new, but irrelevant to their needs. 


Engage Your Best Customers 

Next, you’ll want to reach out to discover how your customers are coping and how their needs have shifted. Most likely their problems have changed, so you’ll seek to understand what matters to them today in this changed landscape.   

Begin by connecting with empathy. Truly connect for the sake of connecting; this is not the time for a sale. This is the time to be honest. It’s a scary time for all, and none of us know how or when this will end. So be genuine in your concern for them, their welfare and wellbeing.

Listen and resist the urge to solve their problem right away. Often, in our haste to provide value, we jump right to problem solving. But if we don’t have the right problem, we’re retrofitting an existing solution instead of listening for a new potential opportunity. So listen to find the problem first; listen to hear their pain points. Approach this exercise with humility and openness and seek to understand instead of being understood.  


Innovate & Pressure-Test

Channel these learnings into innovation sessions. From your brand vantage point, begin by interrogating your reality and discussing the new challenges facing you and your customers today. Be honest. Global supply chains are broken. Many of your customers may be shut down; millions of consumers are out of work. Some core aspects of your current business model may be upended. Discuss what you’re struggling with, and discuss what your customers are struggling with. What needs to change within your model for you to succeed? What needs to change in order to address your customer’s new problems?

Then start exploring new ideas for innovation. Challenge orthodoxies like “we’ve always done it this way.” Consider wild constraints like ‘how could we operate with only half our staff?” Today, more than ever, people are open to new approaches and new ways of doing things. 

As you and your team come up with ideas, begin to pressure-test them. Evaluate how these ideas solve customer pain points and shape the value equation for your customers. Run ideas by a core close group of partners and trusted customers for feedback and refinement. Give yourself the freedom to fine-tune your ideas as you go.


Outcome

This strategy exercise is time-consuming and demanding, but the outcome is that your brand is resilient and poised for growth. Your relationships with your best customers are strengthened, and they see you as an empathetic partner in a difficult time. You’ve identified opportunities for innovation that will add to the value you already bring, positioning you and your business for resiliency and growth, even in the face of a crisis.

If this all sound helpful but also daunting… we can help. We guide brand positioning and innovation sessions as part of our brand building efforts with clients. Please connect with us; we’d love to help make your business magnetic to success.

ICYMI: In February 2020 Burger King Corporation  launched an ad campaign announcing no more preservatives in its food… with this daring image. A rotting burger.

Yes, it’s a bit tough to swallow (ha!), but as far as a jaw dropping ad campaign goes, it is also freaking spectacular. 

The Goal of Advertising

Recall what an ad campaign is supposed to do: it’s supposed to get your attention. It’s supposed to be provocative and edgy, so you can absorb a relatively banal topic (no preservatives? Yawn) with interest. It’s meant to educate you and make you think about the product / service / offering differently. If done well, it’s meant to do all this and elicit an emotional response and leave you feeling differently about the brand. 

So let’s go back to the Burger King ad now. Consider it. Then ask yourself:

-Does it get your attention? 

-Did you try to understand the message?

-Do you have an emotional reaction to it? Maybe more than one?

-Is it provocative? 

-Do you now know something about Burger King that you didn’t before?

-Did your perception of Burger King change?

Ad Campaign Analysis: A Whopper Win

For me, this ad campaign hits it out of the park on every one of these points. Not to mention the emotional spectrum this brand delivers: my first initial feeling (disgust) to digesting (ha!) the ad and its message (neutrality) to seeing the brand differently (likeability) as a result of this campaign. All in one ad! 💥

This is a fantastic example of effective advertising at work, and let’s take a minute to appreciate the guts to run this. If you were head of marketing for a food company, would you’ve run this ad? Fantastic work from agencies Ingo, Ogilvy and Grey. And hats off to Fernando Machado, the Chief Marketing Officer at Burger King, for the courage to run this. 

What do you think?
Does this change your perception of Burger King?
Do you find the ad compelling?

Your company’s small and resources are tight. Should you try DIY branding?

In talking with a prospect the other day, she brought up the topic of DIY branding. “You know, I’ve downloaded one of those DIY brand kits off the internet. What do you think about those? Can’t I just save a lot of money and do my brand that way?”

Great question. 

I regularly encourage my clients to do their own branding and marketing (what do you think this blog is all about?!). There are many good DIY branding guides online and if you have the time, aptitude and desire to do it, doing it yourself will make you a better marketer and steward of your brand AND you’ll grow an appreciation for great branding. 

To reinforce this point, I offer a few DIY toolkits and workbooks that inform parts of your brand (this one is great: “How to Craft Your Own Unique Value Differentiator” and so is this one: “How to Create A Customer Profile.” Check my blog for the accompanying articles). But these are just a few of the many aspects that go into building a brand (competitive research, customer insights, target profiling, brand DNA & benefit statements, archetypal analysis… to name a few). Most guides on the Internet cover just a few of these areas. Until I write my own book, I can recommend Forging an Ironclad Brand by Lindsay Pedersen, a how-to-brand guide that’s very comprehensive and multi-dimensional.

In short: I am ALL for empowering you to craft your own branding communications and marketing. This said, having done branding for over 2 decades, I’m also realistic. It comes down to your time & aptitude, being able to get out of your own way, and seeing behind your blind spots.

DIY Branding Requires Patience.

Brand building is the painstaking exercise of crafting the right message for your business and then ensuring everything you put out is “on brand.” There’s a process to it, and from my experience, it’s not something that’s inherent in most business leaders. If it was, it’d likely be your “zone of genius” and you’d likely be running a branding and marketing business instead of the business you’re in.

But if you still want to DIY, my recommendation is to budget time and patience. It’s a challenging exercise to come up with something catchy and compelling (but also creative) that encompasses customer needs, your competitive white space, your intention, heritage and vision, your brand promise, beliefs and the value you bring. I recommend doing the analysis and writing it all down, and then editing and synthesizing your message down to its essentials.

It Also Requires Objectivity.

Building a brand also requires objectivity. A lot of brand work is inward looking, which means it triggers all those fun psychological reactions to feedback and criticism. And we all come to the table with deep bias around:

  • customers and their attitudes around the category / service / price;
  • the category and the key players that we compete against;
  • patterns and trends that can influence customer behavior;
  • perhaps most importantly: our capabilities and the value we bring our customers.  

Sometimes we’re aware of our bias but more often we’re not. I’ll work with clients who insist their business runs a certain way or that their customers have a particular fixed mindset. Only when I present them with research findings do they digest how much bias has shaped their interactions with partners, stakeholders and customers.

In order to build a great brand that defines the value you bring and what’s important to your customers, you need to get out of your own way, and that can be hard when you’re doing the branding yourself. My recommendation: find an external partner to point out category and behavioral assumptions that you take for granted. Look for someone who is industry-adjacent but not in your space; use them as an editor to weed out your biases.

And Check for Blind Spots.

Like bias, but different: we all have blind spots about our business, industry and customers, and sometimes we can’t see a brand play at all. I once had a client who discounted her expertise as part of her offering. She insisted that her competitors brought the same level of industry knowledge and refused to charge more for her vast subject-matter expertise. Finally – after pestering her for more than a year – I got her to experiment with communicating about her expertise. She was flabbergasted when she was able to TRIPLE her rates. 

Yeah. 

Blind spots work like bias to skew our perception of our brand value, but they’re more insidious because they’re usually our strengths that we discount (“Oh, my put-you-at-ease bedside manner? But that’s a given,” or “My ability to neutralize workplace conflict? But everybody does that,”) and we discard what could be an astonishing point of differentiation. 

If you’re intent on DIY branding, I recommend doing some research to discover why your best customers return, and also partner research to discover why partners choose you over other options. You must throw out easy answers like “convenience,” “great work at a good cost,” and “because I’ve always used them.” The good stuff lies beneath. 

I also recommend running your DIY work by someone who knows you and your business. Not an employee, former customer or partner (too involved), but again: an industry-adjacent peer, or a listener with good intentions at heart who can absorb your point of view and point out potential strengths you’re keen to overlook. 

I’m Innit to DYI-it!

“Juliana, I still want to do it.”

All right then! Forging an Ironclad Brand by Lindsay Pedersen is a great brand building guide to use. Here are the areas you’ll want to analyze to get at your brand and what you stand for, what your customers value, and what makes you unique:

  • Market research. What’s going on in your industry? Where is the market headed, and where are the opportunities?
  • Competitive analysis. Who is your competition? What do they offer? How do they communicate their offering?
  • White space. Where’s the opportunity for you to zig where your competition zags?
  • Cultural trends. What trends are culturally happening that relate to your work?
  • Stakeholder feedback. Why do your customers & partners come – and return – to you? What (pain) brings them to you? What do they deeply value about how you solve that pain?
  • Target market. Who is the customer that deeply values all that you offer? Use this guide to build out their personas.
  • Mindset & behaviors. How do your customers approach your category? What’s their mindset & behavior?
  • Brand DNA. What do you do and why? Think through your offerings, what pain or problem do you solve for your customers? Consider the benefits you bring your customers – both emotional and functional.
  • Unique Value Proposition. What do you do that your customers deeply value that few others can do? This guide can help you.
  • Brand Promise & Values. Think about the promise you make to your customers, at every interaction. What values do you insist on, so you / your team can make this promise true?
  • Brand Archetype. If your brand were a person, what would be its personality and image? Is your brand the sage or the creator? Maverick or jester? And how does this show up in your brand communications?! Strategist Kaye Putnam has an archetype quiz to uncover your brand archetype & good examples of how brands use their archetype to create differentiation.
  • Logo, font, colors. Work with a graphic designer to bring all these insights into your brand’s look and feel.
  • Storytelling. What’s the story you can tell about your impact on your customers? How do you help them? How do you transform their woes into successes?

These areas will inform and form your brand identity and positioning. Don’t be daunted if that seems lengthy! Especially if you’re just starting out, there’s plenty of online guidance to tap into, and to be honest, most startups do the branding themselves until they’re big enough to outsource it to a professional.

And the work is absolutely worth it.

When you’ve landed on it, brand amplifies your marketing efforts. It brings results you couldn’t imagine. It makes everything so clear and easy to digest. You’re so much more confident about your business and what you stand for and what sets you apart.

So do the hard work. 
Build your brand. 
But if you want all this, but are reconsidering the DIY part, that’s cool too. Let’s connect and zoom or chat. My team and I are passionate about branding small businesses; we’re here to bring that incredible brand your business already is… to life.


I was speaking to a business leader recently about A/B testing for branding. (A/B testing is the process of coming up with two different communications assets to test with -mostly online – consumers, to see which performs better.)

“It would be so great,” he mused. “We could figure out what elements really resonate with our target audience and then build our brand according to what our customers want. What do you think?”

There’s a lot to love with A/B testing, particularly for marketing. It’s incredibly results-oriented, very accurate, promotes flexibility and rewards performance. In general, I like and advocate strongly for A/B testing when it comes to advertising, marketing content and the like. But.

You can’t A/B test brand. 

Brand is about who your organization is and what you stand for. The exercise of branding addresses fundamental business questions, such as:

What are your values? 
What’s your reason for being?
What do you promise every customer with every interaction?
What do you do extremely well that few can emulate?

Brand comes from within, not from your customer’s opinions.

Brand is your stake in the ground, what you promise your customers day-in and day-out, never vacillating or wavering in belief. It’s your North Star, around which product, development and marketing revolve. Brand is your company’s reputation, and you don’t A/B test your reputation and see what resonates better with your current customers… and then change it up in a few month’s time for someone new.

You don’t waiver on your principles, values, beliefs and business model. 

Your business’ reputation is made up by a series of first impressions, and you only get one shot to make a first impression -> use it wisely.  Develop it thoughtfully and strategically.

Brand is Your North Star

As an example, I was listening to a podcast recently with the CMO of Harley Davidson. Harley has been around for 116 years, and they have never wavered from their true brand purpose: to help people fulfill their dreams of personal freedom. They live into that brand purpose and promise in every brand touchpoint, in every piece of advertising, with every bike that comes off the assembly line. Everything they do goes through that filter: does this help fulfill dreams of personal freedom? And in staying true to that North Star, they have made (and continue to make) Harley into one of the most iconic brands in the world.

So when it comes to branding, it’s very much what your company stands for and what you deliver on. It can expand over time, but at its core it always has the same values and principles. Those can’t be agile; they can’t shift to accommodate certain customers and then shift to accommodate others. If you do this, you run the risk of standing for everything or anything – which means you stand for nothing. 

Now, A/B testing for marketing? Absolutely. A new website, or online ad campaign, content, posts: go, go, go. But something as foundational as your brand should never be in the hands of an external source to determine. If you’ve got questions about this topic or branding in general, let’s connect and set up a time to chat.

Branding and marketing are essential to helping drive growth, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or if you’ve been around for decades. But what’s the difference between the two, and what do you need right now: branding or marketing? Let’s do some quick definitions and help determine what you need.

What is Branding?

A brand is what you stand for and it’s what you say about your business. As Simon Sinek likes to say: It’s your WHY. Brand creates an expectation in the mind of your customer – and brand lives up to that expectation. It defines your customer’s pain points and addresses how you’re their solution, and it highlights how you’re different from the competition. It underscores your unique value proposition for winning. Brand captures your company’s heritage and your reason for being; it embodies your business vision and where you want to go. It is a North Star for you and your team.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the tools you use to deliver your brand message. It’s how you convey your WHY. Swag, newsletters, website, social media strategy: these are the means to deliver your brand message. Marketing covers a vast area of business, including website + SEO; social; content; newsletters; collateral; design (logo, font, colors, etc); Go-to-market; influencer; retention strategies…and more.

Branding precedes marketing. It’s essential to define what your business stands for before you begin your marketing efforts. What should your new logo convey? Who is your ideal target customer? What should your newsletter be all about? If you’re doing marketing first, answering these questions can be frustrating and confusing. Brand avoids all the confusion. Brand is your roadmap, your North Star that tells you everything you need to know.

What is your Priority?

Branding or Marketing: what should you focus on? Here are a few statements to assess your business needs:

  • I know my company’s core principles and values, and can articulate what we stand for. We know our WHY.
  • We know our brand’s purpose for being, and what gap we fill in the marketplace.
  • I am clear about my Unique Value Proposition and what differentiates me from my competition.
  • We know who our target customers are and understand their psychological drivers and mindset.
  • I know what messages will best resonate with my target customers.
  • I know where to find my target customers and how to engage them in a genuine, compelling way.
  • Our communication materials – my website, collateral, business cards and logo – convey my brand and what it stands for in a way that captures my target customers’ attention.
  • My brand tells a story; it talks about customer pain points, how we solve those pain points, and how my customers are better for working with us.  Our brand story is compelling to those I’m trying to reach.

If you can answer these statements easily, you need marketing and we’re happy to recommend some great leaders in this space. If, however, you’re not quite sure what you stand for and how to attract your ideal customers, then you might need some branding. That’s where we come in.

At Magnetic Current we firmly believe you are your brand’s best storyteller and help a lot of companies DIY branding themselves (read this post for more on this). That said: we’re also skilled brand builders and storytellers. If you need help with your brand, connect with us and let’s make you magnetic to growth.

Compelling content drives connection. If a brand connects with us, then we’re more likely to prefer that brand, we’re more likely to buy from that brand. So how can we create compelling content that connects and captivates? Let’s look at my top tips for content that foster connection and captivate the people we care about reaching.

  1. Be relevant  

    You need to get clear about your target and why they would be interested in your service or product or you fall into obscurity.  Why is your chosen audience the best audience for your product or service?  Why do they need or want your product? When you’re targeting your content to people who are actually interested in what you have to say, your content becomes compelling. 

  2. Tell a Story

    Want compelling content? Write a story. We humans are wired for stories; our minds digest stories infinitely better than facts.  But while we all live by stories and we love stories in our personal lives, especially for B2B and tech brands, we leave all that gorgeous storytelling in our personal lives and it never crosses over into work. We wind up talking about features and services, but facts and facts are boring.  To compel you need to tell a story. Read here for what goes into making a great brand story. 

  3. If you confuse you lose

    . As business owners, we know everything about our business; it’s our area of expertise! We want to share everything! But so much of that content is irrelevant to your prospects. As Donald Miller, author of Building a Story Brand says, “the human brain is drawn toward clarity and away from confusion.”  You need to get super clear about your message. Can you say it easily? Does your team know your message and how to say it to customers?  Is it clear why every prospect should buy your service?
     
  4. Features tell, Benefits sell

     The “so what” is the most important message for your prospects. Distill down the benefit you offer your customers. If you run a car wash, your end result is giving people with a sense of pride. If you have a tutoring business, you’re building self-esteem. When thinking about your business, what do you offer? Peace of mind? A greater sense of confidence? Lead with that point as your headline; then explain how your services deliver on that benefit in subsequent sentences.

  5. Get personal

      Many professionals believe they won’t be taken seriously if they use personal language, but it’s actually a key differentiator in fostering connection. When you write in the first person, you create a conversation between you and your reader.  That helps establish a more authentic relationship. Unfortunately, most websites today use verbiage that reads like a bot wrote the wording.  Skip that.  Use approachable language written in the first person, so it feels like the start of a conversation. Because a conversation can lead to connection and a connection can lead to a sale.

  6.  Lose the Industry Jargon

    Remember that the whole point of marketing and branding is to connect with your audience. And today people are short on time and patience. Make your communications easy to understand and to the point. Write for a 5th – 8th grade level. No one wants to over-analyze your offering. They’ll just move on to someone with more clarity. 
If you need help with your content, we’d be happy to have a conversation about how we can help make you magnetic to success. We help growing businesses become magnetic to success with brand strategy and storytelling.