Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why entrepreneurs need to tell good stories

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Every so often I run into entrepreneurs and innovators.  Some are inside of traditional organizations and are attempting to create a new product or service line within an existing structure. Some are starting their own business.

As an authentic storyteller I’m naturally curious and want to know their stories:

  • Why did you start doing what you are doing?
  • Is it scary?
  • How do you find customers?

A million more questions come to mind. Usually, I just ask two in one:

What are you trying to do and why?

Sometimes – many times, really –  I get this answer:

It’s hard to explain…

And then they hop into a lengthy explanation filled with lots of jargon. Really, it doesn’t make any difference. Many listeners tune out when they are told it’s “hard to explain.” 

Innovators, founders, anyone really who is creating new products, services or businesses need to be able to explain it simply, clearly and concisely.

If those people can’t explain it, how can anyone else understand it?

I’ve been there myself. It can be hard to explain what we are deeply involved in. We are so deep in the weeds, that we want to explain every single weed to anyone who is standing a bit away and is really just interested in the big-picture view.

You might wonder: Is he talking about an elevator pitch? Kind of, but don’t think of it as pitching. Not everyone is going to want to bat. Just tell them your story. Simply.

Stories come down to:

  • What are you trying to do and why?
  • What are the barriers and which ones have you overcome already?

Some questions to consider as you are thinking about your response the next time somebody asks about your innovation:

  • What do they already know? (If they know nothing and you just met them, chances are they are not going to learn everything in the next 10 seconds.)
  • At the simplest level, what is the innovation for?
  • How is it different from other existing products?
  • What problem is it solving? (Being able to say “I’m working on an app that allows you to avoid long lines at the grocery store” can get the attention of somebody who is facing that problem quickly.)
  • What is your product similar to? (Comparing it to something – or maybe a combination – that people already are familiar with can paint an immediate picture.

The way you tell your story can build or destroy a business or career. No pressure.

Tell it simply!


Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life! Some articles may include affiliate links.

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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