Why storytelling can help build your business

A pile of two books lay flat on a white surface. The bottom book is green with worn edges. There is no title on the spine. The second book lies on top of the green one. It’s blue with worn edges and gold lettering. It reads ‘Here and now story book’. There is also an insignia and other writing, which is too small to decipher. On top of the books are a brass whale and squirrel.
Image by Stephanie Harvey via Unsplash

We are here to tell stories — ones based on our lived experience, our imagination, our intangible history, our ancestry, and our lineage.

There is more wisdom and information in a story than I think we realize.

For so many of us, stories were a central part of our experience as children. We read stories, had stories read to us, wrote them, created them, and often embodied them through play.

Our teachers, faith leaders, parents, friends, and others all had stories to share — some tales of warning, others filled with wisdom.

A teacher and friend, Carmen Spagnola, refers to the stories that have shaped us as our Storylines. She notes that they accompany our Bloodlines, generally defined as blood relatives, and our Milk Lines, which relate to non-blood people, places, and beings.

Essentially, what Carmen suggests is that the “myths, legends, deities, fictional characters, books, films, poems, and spiritual structures” that support and nurture us are as valuable as our friends and family.

This concept of Storylines and the experience of storytelling are invaluable.

It’s part of what shapes our values because what we value is determined almost exclusively by our lived experience including the stories and storytellers we have encountered in our life.

That means that the stories we consume today, tomorrow, and next week will also shape our values, how we perceive the world, how we understand our own experience.

So if this is true, then doesn’t the same concept apply to our businesses and our work in the world?

I believe it does.

Actually, I know it does.

When we apply storytelling to our businesses, it shifts the narrative and relationship we and our customers have with the products, services, offerings, and experiences that we provide.

Because stories are so present in our lives, we build trust and connection with our customers when we use storytelling to talk about our business. The relationship is built on empathy and connectivity instead of scarcity and exclusivity.

My friend, Ronna Detrick, talks about the importance of hearing the stories of others to help us connect and trust our own wisdom. And this is exactly why I know that using a framework of storytelling to share our business and build visibility roots us into integrity because those stories and wisdom are a reflection of our values.

This is why people support our businesses — not just because we can help them resolve something but because, as humans, we need to feel connected with folks who resonate with how we are in the world.

If you’re curious about how to bring this element of storytelling to your business marketing, then let’s have a conversation.

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