This is a guest blog post written by Brian Tarcy, a journalist, who has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books with business leaders, professional athletes, and medical professionals. He has two blogs:
Who are you?
For marketers, this is more than an existential question. It's an opportunity to tell your story. Your story has enormous power. It's time to harness it.
Defining who you are by telling your story is an opportunity to create a brand for your company in way that is way more powerful than a logo or mission statement. As a company, you have DNA – the stuff that got you to where you are today. DNA, you ask?
That's right. Your people. Your plan. Your struggles, your triumphs, the things that made you who you are today. In truth, your DNA is the collective memory of your people. It's your people and the plan you gave them. I bet it's a great story.
Every company website has an “About Us” page. The good ones have a “Company History” page. The great ones, I would argue, have books written about them. The further along this continuum you go, the more value you receive. It's essential that you get something special out about who you are.
This is a marketing blog and I would argue that your most important audience members for your company history, especially for marketing purposes, are your own employees – current and future employees.
A great company is a great place to work. It's a place everyone is proud of, so your story should be the kind that your whole team will want to shout from mountaintops. When that enthusiasm is obvious, your customers will notice. And they will want to be a part of it.
So tell your story.. It could be the most fun and beneficial marketing project you ever do. You have a great story – leverage it.
5 Tips to Help Tell Your Story
1. Think chronologically.
Start at the beginning. A good writer can make the beginning be almost anywhere, but an obvious place to think about is the day the company opened/was formed etc.
2. Use philosophy, but don't preach.
People want to learn who you are and what you stand for. Your story is more than just what happened in year 1, year 2 etc. There is something deeper in it. Bring that out. But be careful on your tone.
3. Tell stories.
Remember the the events that created who you are. Details are crucial. Use your five senses and make stories come alive.
4. Don't only use your own words.
Talk to your employees, board members, anyone invested in your story and see what they remember. Use these memories to paint a three-dimensional picture. Ask more than one person to remember the same event.
5. Make the sum bigger than the parts.
You are not just telling your story to tell your story, although it is a nice memento. You have a purpose in mind. You want readers to believe in you the same way you believe in you. It should add up into one powerful thing.
Your image belongs to you. Your story belongs to you. It's time time to take control of it. From a marketing perspective, your story is your foundation. So go ahead, build your skyscraper. But start at the ground, and please tell everyone how you did it.