Stories in business give people a reason to choose you, versus the hundreds of other options that are all a click away.
Throughout my young adulthood I wanted to be a reporter or columnist for a large daily newspaper.
I wanted to experience city hall, and talk with the people who shaped our local and national policies. It’d be an honor to show the public how government impacts their lives on a daily basis. It’s a noble task to keep the public informed – especially in these times.
I wanted to experience the noise and hustle of a loud urban newsroom. I wanted to write amongst the clickity clack of other reporters (even though I know it’s computer work and not typewriters), and the adamant telephone conversations as they collect the days news.
The romanticism of the job swept me away. I spent much of my 20s working for some medium-sized weeklies and dailies. I discovered I had a passion for in-depth feature work, and I began to win some awards for it. And for awhile, I kept the dream alive.
Then I begin to hear stories about 100 reporters being sacked from a newspaper over here. Another 100 over there. A few large urban newspapers stopped printing their paper edition. The truth is that journalism was dying before the housing market crashed in 2008.
I began to realize that my dream job barely existed anymore. If I worked hard enough to land a position in an urban newsroom, they’d be working equally as hard to lay off the reporters with little seniority. Why fight the vicious circle? Some brave souls started their own website, and kept writing exactly as they would.
It took time and introspection, but I eventually figured out how to pivot. I began helping businesses with their marketing content. I started looking at the work of David Ogilvy, Robert Bly and other copywriters.
Now, when a perspective client asks if I have experience writing in a certain industry, and the answer is no, I sell my journalism experience. For about a decade, it was my job to learn as much as I could about a certain subject, and write about it, I tell them. That’s a transferrable skill. I’ve now been helping businesses and organizations with their marketing since 2009.
Stories in Business: What they Mean for You
Telling people your story matters. Stories in business serve as your calling card. Your story is what makes doing business with you different than the hoards of other choices your customers have. It doesn’t matter whether your business is b2b or b2c – people buy from people, and they need to be inspired to do so.
You came to what you are doing in a certain way. Your marketing should convey that. When all you give your customers are advertising quips and stale blog posts, it’s easy for them to turn away. Your website doesn’t hold a captive audience the way that television would.
Stories in business provide value. They invoke emotion. They are what your clients and customers remember. Tell us what your story is.
Want help? Let’s chat.
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing copywriter and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.