The objective of telling a story is to make known how something came about. A story can be memorable or dull, depending on how it is narrated. Companies often desire to reach out to their target audience by telling a compelling story about how the company began. While some succeed at it, others fail abysmally. A US Business Analyst, Allen Hillary, believes messages delivered as stories are 22 times more impactful and memorable than mere facts. Read on to find out how to tell your compelling business story.
Establish who or what the character of the story is
Every good story has the main character around whom the narrative spins. Therefore, you need to establish who or what must be your main character in telling your compelling business story. If the company began as your idea and by dint of hard work and commitment, you managed to get it off the ground, portray yourself as the protagonist. However, if you prefer to remain in the background and project the business as the main character, let your story do that.
Nonetheless, no matter who gets to be the protagonist, you must establish what kind of character they will be. For example, is your goal to project the main character as a team builder, savvy analyst, or a dream builder? No matter what you choose to go with, the rule of thumb is to remain consistent and authentic throughout the story.
Employ audio-visual means to show your audience why you care
The moving image is the new language of today and the future. Fortunately, the 2020 smartphone penetration rate in the US stood at 72.2%. This provides fertile ground for more than two-thirds of the US population to have easy access to audio-visual content every thirty seconds. Convincing your target market or audience about how much you care has to be handled tactfully without coming across as patronizing. Many business storytellers make the mistake of pulling their audience down the rabbit hole. That shouldn’t be your style.
Today, with the help of digital technology, you can tell your story via corporate video production services. Videos capture attention even more than a PowerPoint presentation would. Also known as the moving picture, videos can capture the entire essence of a compelling narrative in a matter of minutes.
With the help of social media platforms, your corporate videos will reach a wider audience than traditional media channels can. As a tip, avoid using long, winding story-telling techniques that will most likely bore your target audience. You will achieve better results with a more concise and succinct method. More companies are putting up 2 – 3 minutes’ videos on their website’s homepage to draw more people in recent times.
Getting personal in your business storytelling requires a great deal of creativity. It is necessary to make your target audience identify with the subject matter and the theme of the entire business story. This is the one crucial part of storytelling, which makes people agree that the protagonist (as mentioned in point 1) must be a person and not the company per se.
Naturally, people identify with animate things and see themselves reflected in like characters. Therefore, highlighting challenges or struggles and how you overcame them are necessary topics to tackle. Always remember that your target market will identify with a personality and not a faceless company.
Finally, make it a point to weave truth into your story. Your audience is discerning and can quickly point out grey areas in your account. Many businesses have fallen into this trap and paid heavily to redeem their image. Others who couldn’t work through the damage went down under. Therefore, always be mindful of the points raised here.
As a business owner, you are probably aware of the fact that your cybersecurity is of great importance. It does not matter whether you are about to start a small business from home or a large international company – you need to pay close attention to your company’s cybersecurity. Here’s why.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the systems that businesses use to protect their online data and networks from hackers. This helps keep the company in good running order but can also be used to protect the customers’ purchasing your products/services. This means you are protecting data such as:
Personal information (names, addresses)
Potentially sensitive information.
What are the benefits of cybersecurity?
The benefits of cybersecurity are clear. They include:
Sensitive or restricted information is stored securely, minimizing the chance of data breaches.
Your company is protected against hackers and any legal repercussions that could follow data leaks.
Your data is securely backed up, preventing you from accidental loss. This also means data can be easily recovered.
You can build a relationship with your customers and clients that is based on a foundation of trust. They know that any information they give to you will be handled with the appropriate care and discretion.
How can I improve my cybersecurity?
There are various different ways in which you can improve your company’s cybersecurity. Here are some examples.
Make the most of available tools. F1networks.comprovides those who deal with particularly sensitive information with enhanced cybersecurity tools. They are particularly useful for those who deal with controlled unclassified information (CUI), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), alongside other highly classified information. Each of their platforms are compatible with your usual computer software, such as Microsoft.
Provide employees with the appropriate training. Sometimes, breaches in cybersecurity occur due to poor staff training or negligence. Therefore, you must ensure that each and every member of your team is aware of the importance of good cybersecurity. This minimizes the chance of human error leading to data breaches.
Focus on your passwords. It goes without saying that all important information should be password protected. This helps ensure that no unauthorized personnel (both inside and outside of the company) gain access to classified folders or documents. You should take proper care to ensure your passwords are strong and encourage your employees to do the same. For example, do not use passwords that are too closely associated with you – such as your birthday. You should also ensure that you change the passwords frequently – perhaps once every few months.
Bring in professionals. Right now, companies are racing to hire cybersecurity professionals to help manage their companies’ cybersecurity. This means that you are able to focus on running your business while a specialist team takes control of your cybersecurity on your behalf. Though this may be a considerable investment, it is definitely worth it in the long run when you consider the additional protection and peace of mind you will receive as a result.
Marketing is an essential part of your business and will help you spread the word about your products and what you’re selling. You risk getting lost in a sea of information if you fail to focus on the right elements.
If you missed the mark last year, then be glad to know you have the opportunity to start again and perform better in 2021. Learn about what you can do to improve your marketing and get off on a better foot this year. Now is the time to make changes that will have a positive impact on your business and help you have a successful future.
1.Create A Plan & Strategy
Improve your marketing in 2021 by creating a plan and strategy for what you want to achieve. No longer is it acceptable or helpful to wing it and simply hope for the best. Take the time to document your strategy, goals, and how you’ll achieve each one in detail. If you choose not to invest in your marketing then you’ll likely find that your competitors are successful in stealing away customers and surpassing you by making a name for themselves in the industry. Not only come up with and follow a plan but also keep a close eye on your metrics and results.
2.Use Unique & Better Product Packaging
Another way to improve your marketing in 2021 is to use unique and better product packaging. You want to ensure that people see your product first and that you’re keeping up with the latest innovations. It’ll help you to set your items apart from the rest and quickly catch the attention of shoppers as they look around for what they need. This year, consider Shrink Sleeve Labels for better aesthetics and if you need or want to sell multi-packs of an item. This type of packaging can also improve your brand and reputation because it enhances safety and makes any tampering obvious.
3.Hire A Skilled & Dedicated Team
You can improve your marketing this year by hiring a skilled and dedicated marketing team to assist you. If you were a one-person show last year then you may have found that you were very busy and didn’t reach many of your goals. However, when you have a committed team of talented employees on your side then you can meet and exceed your marketing objectives quicker and focus on ways to be more creative and innovative in the future.
4.Focus on High-Quality Content
Content continues to be king and plays a significant role in marketing. Therefore, focus your efforts on creating high-quality content that gets you noticed by customers online. Now might be the time to engage more frequently on social media or launch a business blog and release more timely and relevant articles that set you up as the experts in your field. Spend some time improving your and your employee’s writing skills so your content is always professional and well-written. Factor SEO into your online and content marketing approach and you’ll have a better chance of showing up first in the search engine results.
You’ve worked hard and provided key products or services to a dedicated group of clients, and your small business is booming. It’s time to expand — so what are the considerations you need to make before taking the next big step? Do you have an optimized, accessible website for your business? Do you know what your goals are, as far as numbers? Let’s take a look at a few ways you can prepare to expand your company without stressing out:
Point 1: Strategize about your KPIs.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the backbone of any successful business. A KPI, put simply, is a value that measures progress toward achieving critical business goals. Once you have your goals mapped out, you need to make sure you are achieving them in a measurable fashion, and that’s where KPIs come in. Your KPIs should be determined based on how they contribute to one specific, strategic objective: What are your sales goals? How much money do you want to spend on marketing? After you determine these things, you can start mapping out what “performance” looks like in these categories.
For instance, you may decide you want to expand your business and fulfill overseas orders. You will first need to determine what the marketing KPIs are for breaking into international markets — how will you determine success? Make sure you do marketing research in this step because different audiences require different strategies. You can conduct informal surveys, in-person research, or collect data from national agencies. All of these things take you a step closer to writing and then achieving your KPIs.
Point 2: Get your documents in order.
As you’re making plans to take your business to the next level, you should consider forming a limited liability corporation (LLC). This basically gives your business several tax and liability benefits while keeping your management flexibility. The most well-known benefit of forming an LLC is that if your business were to be sued or go under, your personal assets would not be liable. Filing for an LLC also means less paperwork because it doesn’t require as many documents as a corporation would.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there are several types of businesses that cannot claim the LLC status, including banks and insurance companies. Please make sure to check what the particular regulations are in your state, as these rules vary across the country. You can even do the legwork yourself by filing online instead of investing your hard-earned money in lawyer fees.
Point 3: Invest your money (or time) in technologies.
Technology is the small-business owner’s best friend, quite literally. Tools like social media, data science solutions, and digital ads are all critical for today’s successful businesses. Utilizing these tools will improve your business acumen and give you better brand exposure, among other key metrics. Accounting programs can help you keep your budget straight; customer relationship management tools can assist with client retention and resource allocation. There are various software suites that provide out-of-the-box solutions for all of these necessities.
This doesn’t mean you have to invest just money in these kinds of tools. A time investment is sometimes all you need to delve into the technology and find use in it. For instance, starting a social media page and interacting with clients takes time and personalized care, but the return on customer relationships is worth the investment of your day.
In addition to engaging with customers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, in today’s online-dominated business environment, a well-designed website is critical to acquiring and keeping clients — especially as you expand your business and branch out into more markets (even the aforementioned international scene). A website can allow your company to break through geographical barriers. So before you take your next step toward expanding your business, ensure you have a reliable, optimized web presence. Contact the experts at Throlson Web Design today for a consultation.
Astute marketing is all about recognising the wants and needs of your core demographic and embodying certain elements in your marketing campaign. Today, the priorities of the younger generations have challenged marketing professionals to act and change the way they advertise quickly. Indeed the opportunity to rapidly transition to new social roles and channels can be of immense benefit to any business that caters to young people.
Not surprisingly, this ability to predict and adapt can be much harder to implement than it is to suggest. So,which marketing strategies will resonate with the younger generations and correlate with you business goals at the same time?
Social media is where you will find the younger demongrapbhic, but there is little point in wasting your time and spreading yourself thin across all of them, because some of the platforms will be more effective than others. Facebook used to be the key one to target, but a survey in 2020 found that Snapchat is the most widely used and important social network for younger people – 34% of US teens. The next most popular was TikTok, with 29% of US teenagers hanging out there. This is where you need to be concentrating your efforts primarily. Look at how similar brands and businesses advertise on tiktok and use that as inspiration.
Create fresh and relevant content
The younger generation don’t want tired content that has had no real thought put into it. They want relevant, up to date content that align with their beliefs and experiences. Going back to TikTok – what are the viral videos doing? Is there a way you can incorporate these into your own content? For example, if you are a clothing business, look at the dance trends (Fortnite style ones are big news still!) and look at having your models dancing while wearing your clothes.
Consider your brand reputation
For want of a better word, the younger generation is more ‘woke’ than ever before. They care greatly about equality and injustices, the environment and things going on around them. They are much more likely to purchase and feel represented by a brand who has the same beliefs and ethos. Again, look at your core beliefs – are you eco-concious or committed to racial equality? Can you really push this message in your marketing? Be careful not to ‘greenwash’ though; consumers are not stupid. They will see through any messages that are not authentic and you can come off worse.
Don’t discount influencers
While older generations often turn their nose up at influencers, they can be well, influential for the younger generation. Look at who they look up to and see if you can reach out to them. If you can’t, or your budget does not quite stretch that far, try to understand what it is that makes them so popular with your demographic and try to replicate that.
The younger generation are more demanding, more woke and have their eyes open to marketing. Make sure you understand their needs and beliefs and align your marketing strategy towards this.
A lot of business owners are completely insular. Whether it’s because they don’t trust others to help or because they’re stuck in their ways. Some simply don’t think others will care as much as they do. They’re probably right. However, when you enlist someone else's software, or knowhow, you’re a customer…and they’re a business owner too, who cares about their own business. So technically they’re in the same boat. You can really bump your business up to new heights by using people who have a deeper expertise in a certain area than you. You know your business, your product and your services, but you won’t know too much about other areas. These tips can help you take that leap.
You won’t know about all the different elements of software available to you and your business. There might be some out there you’ve never heard of. If you’re a teacher you might not know of software for teachers to manage classroom laptops, and if you work remotely you might not know of the viable and cheaper alternatives to microsoft Teams and Zoom. A business analyst will be able to help you here. They know what works best for businesses and if you haven’t spoken to one yet you might find there are tools and tricks out there which you can buy which will cut down on process time, or make things easier for you and your employees. More importantly, it can make things easier for your customers.
Doing taxes isn’t easy. If you’ve just started out and don’t have too much to think about then you might be fine. When you’ve got a lot of money running through your business, the problems begin to start. Think about hiring an accountant to properly formulate everything and ensure you won’t get into trouble with the relevant tax authority. In a similar vein, you can just hire a tax specialist right off the bat. It costs money but getting it all right is worth it. Plus, there may be some deductibles or grants that you’re entitled to which you don’t know much about. You could end up saving even more money. Even if you just have a consultation, it’s worth doing that bit of research to get there.
Market To Success
Marketing isn’t easy. A lot of business owners will take things into their own hands and to be fair, a lot of them are quite successful. But as your business takes off, marketing becomes a secondary to the actual work you’re trying to do. This applies to pretty much all businesses. You grow with the marketing you’ve done and take your foot off the gas to focus on the business, then the orders start to slow. The important thing to mention is that there are experts in every field from Amazon, to alibaba and beyond. Marketing is different in each niche, so it depends what you want to target and from which industry you’re operating from. Help marketing means you get to focus on your business while the orders still come in.