Building your tribe: How to keep your audience listening

Creating your storyHave you ever noticed how all the big brands have a story? It might be a story of triumph and adversity (Anne Summers), a story of family business (Boden), or the story about how a bet between friends was the moment that their business idea became something tangible (Innocent). The world we live in is increasingly fickle and anonymous, but the reality is that there's a backlash against this. For too long, consumers have been treated as statistics and we're becoming tired of it. We want something more wholesome, more grounded, something we can believe in. And that's where your story comes in.

We love stories; our brains are hardwired to absorb information in the form of story telling as we're able to understand and rationalise information much better when we can build up a mental picture of a scenario and empathise with it. We also love to get a nosey little peek into other people's lives - that's why twitter, instagram and facebook are so darn popular. They satisfy our natural curiosity.

In business, stories remind us that behind the corporate guff, we're all just people. That great big international fashion retailer? They began as a family business. Ah - doesn't that suddenly feel nicer, just knowing that? And the CEO of that business? He brings his dog into work every Tuesday. Suddenly, we start to feel a connection to this company, by knowing two small nuggets of information.

It can be a bit uncomfortable at first, the idea of sharing your story. It's much easier to be anonymous. But the problem with that is that you risk losing the massive, huge, golden opportunity to use your story to build actual connections with actual people. I can absolutely empathise; I thought long and hard before sharing a bit more of myself and my story on the pages of this blog. But I don't think it's any coincidence that my readership has grown big time since I started telling my readers more about myself. The great thing about sharing your story is that your story is yours; it's totally unique. It's the one thing you have over everyone else. It's your character, your values, your personality and your brand.

There are loads of opportunities every single day to enrich and share your story. From the 'About Us' page on your website (if you're not already sharing your story on that page, get on it NOW!), to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter bio, blog and brochures.

Over the next few posts, I'm going to be telling you a bit more about our story of how Ditto came to be. In the meantime, make some notes about your story to share later - I want to know all about it!