Page 34 - GBC Eng winter 2021
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 In fact, if your business hasn’t ramped up your digital communications efforts, it could be left in the sand. When we communicate effectively, customers understand who you are, why you do what you do, and why they should be a part of it. I know what you’re thinking... “Really, we’ve got this. We’ve built a fairly good website and we’re posting on social media from time to time. We’re communicating effectively to our customers.”
But, before you jump in the cart and speed away, consider a critical question about how you communicate your story brand: Are you telling your story and is the ideal customer hearing it?
“The process of planning” and not the plan itself is important. In other words, haphazard planning doesn’t make the cut.
You can’t build a brand without knowing your story. “When we define the elements of a story as it relates to our brand, we create a map customers can follow to engage our products and services,” says Donald Miller, author of Building a Story Brand.
In our experience, the clients who craft an engaging story understand their business. They know their why, create a vision, and set a plan in motion, what we call a Strategic Action Plan (see Part 1, “Create For a Bigger Future,” in the Fall 2021 issue for more details).
Good storytelling needs to be authentic, not a copycat of the competitor’s script but true experiences of how you got here. It should resonate with the reader, inform them about something new and inspire, or motivate, them to take action. Determine your intention, including why and what do you want to communicate? Is it to highlight a service/product as
an extension of your business or to highlight your team’s principles to build brand awareness? Knowing your purpose keeps you focused.
Next, be sure to write down your purpose. Get it down, or you can’t share it with the right audience. If writing or recording a video intimidates you there are professionals who can help with communications. You’re not expected to put beautiful prose together like J.K Rowling!
Content is king when building your story – it’s like code for your business. Ann Handley, a digital marketing pioneer and Wall Street Journal bestselling author explains it like this: “In this content-driven environment, businesses often neglect or overlook words—much to their own detriment. Think of it this way: If a visitor came to your website without its branding in place (logo, tagline, and so on), would he or she recognize it as yours? If you stripped your branding from all your properties and lined up your words alongside a competitor’s, would you recognize yourself? Would you stand out?” It’s certainly a worthy exercise!
“Words are indeed our emissaries and ambassadors, carrying important messages for us,” adds Handley.
Besides words, content is also weighted by the pairing of images, artwork, video, animation and other digital assets, to highlight or elevate the brand. Of course, they rely on the written word for direction before a brand’s creative side can be unleashed.
Keep it simple and clear, concise, and succinct. Stay away from filler or what Handley calls “meandering”. She emphasizes that businesses should communicate ideas in a way that “respects the reader; to ensure that any content we produce doesn’t come off as indulgent.”
Remember to be authentic. Storytelling isn’t permission to tell a tale, especially one that isn’t true. It needs to be real, oozing with emotion, delivered with motivation. You should use your voice, words and expressions. Stick to a conversational style versus one that’s scripted or clinical.
Write it for your audience, not your peers. It has to be meaningful to the readers. Remember, you’re building a relationship with them. It may not resonate with everyone, and that’s OK. A common mistake professionals make when trying to market to their target audience is writing for their peers, not the end user. Often times, they’re not one and the same.
Golf Business Canada
  Steps to communicate a powerful vision when building your story:
• Determine your intention • Write it down
• Keep it simple
• Be authentic
• Capture your voice
• Write it for your audience, not your peers • Review & rehearse

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