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What Type of Business Story Should You Tell?

December 1, 2020 | Small Business Marketing

You’re a small business owner.

You’re advertising your business – these days, you’re probably spending money online.

Is social media free?

Video is probably a part of your online marketing strategy.

But, how do you tell your business story?

In this post, we’ll show you which type of business story to tell and how to tell it with video.

Table of Contents

  • Which Type of Business Story Should You Tell?
  • Business Stories are the New Way to Communicate Online
  • The Worlds’ Most Successful Story Type
  • Every Business Has a Story
  • What’s My Business Story?
  • Who Will Tell Your Story?

Which Type of Business Story Should You Tell? 

First, let’s take a peek at what exactly is a ‘story type’.

Story types (also called Story Structure) have been around since Aristotle – basically, an ‘arc’ is how we show visually the emotional appeal of different stories.

For instance. Harry Potter is a classic ‘Man-In-A-Hole’ story.

Narrative Arcs Describe the Emotional Appeal of Different Stories
Narrative Arcs Describe the Emotional Appeal of Different Stories

Harry begins his story as an ordinary person and then he discovers he has strange powers.  But, he doesn’t know how to use his powers.  What will he do?

Harry goes to wizard school to learn to use his powers.

But, before he learns how to use his powers he discovers he is the target of evil wizards who want to kill him.

Harry survives and meets new friends at the school.  But, some of the students are mean to Harry and bully him.  Harry’s teachers help Harry stand up to the bullies.

Harry eventually learns to use his magic and becomes a powerful wizard himself.

Harry escapes one situation after another usually with the help of his friends, powerful teachers or magic tools.

The reader is carried on this emotional roller coaster as Harry meets new challenges, solves them and then meets new challenges.

The emotional ups-and-downs keep the reader (or movie watcher) interested and entertained.

These ups-and-downs have been graphed (see above) by scientists who have discovered that ALL STORIES; in every culture; all over the world; follow these basic patterns:

  • Rags to riches – Rise
  • Riches to rags – Fall
  • Man in the hole – Fall, then rise
  • Icarus – Rise, then fall
  • Cinderella – Rise, then fall, then rise
  • Oedipus – Fall, then rise, then fall

Story types, also called Narrative Arcs, are a simple way to describe complicated plots in books and movies.

Narrative Arcs can also describe complicated businesses, products or services.

Business Stories are the New Way to Communicate Online

Many excellent courses and storytelling teachers have sprung up in the last few years to help businesses describe themselves on the World Wide Web – customers needs this simple structure to make sense of our increasingly complicated world.

Most web marketing describes features and benefits – this is NOT emotional or interesting to most people.

Most people find standard web marketing boring.

On the other hand, business stories can be interesting.

Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end, according to Aristotle.  This helps the customer follow along.

Stories have excitement and emotional tension.  This keeps the customer interested.

Stories help connect businesses (which don’t have emotions) with customers (who do have emotions).

Stories help create an emotional connection between the business and the customer.  That emotional connection starts the relationship between the customer and the business.

The Worlds’ Most Successful Story

‘Man-in-the-Hole’ is the worlds’ most common story structure, according to author Kurt Vonnegut.

‘Man-in-the-Hole’ is also the most financially successful film script, based on an analysis of 6,147 film scripts that were made into movies.

  • Harry Potter
  • The Godfather
  • Blade Runner
  • The Departed

These are just a few of the better-known examples of ‘Man-in-the-Hole‘ story types.

Every Business Has a Story

What’s your business story?

To answer this questions, ask yourself, “Why did I go into business in the first place?”

Money is 1 reason you went into business but, in this case, you’ll need to dig deeper.  Everybody needs money.

But, what is it about YOU?  Why did YOU go into THIS business?

  • Do you LOVE the work?
  • Do you LOVE the people?
  • Do they LOVE you?
  • Are you especially skilled at the work?

In other words, what makes YOU special?

What’s My Business Story?

In my case, I was very, very good as an orthopedic physical therapist.

I was frustrated working for the hospital, seeing people come in but only getting basic PT when I was able to give them SO much more.

I felt that EVERY person deserved the chance to perform at their very best – whether they were a top-level athlete or a grandparent who just wanted to get down on the ground to play with their grandkids.

THAT’s why I opened my PT practice.

I LOVED the challenge of getting people better after surgery or injury.  I opened my business in 1998 and grew it to 3 locations in the Tampa Bay area.

That’s my story.

Do you see the narrative arc?

In the beginning, I was just a simple physical therapist working away at my job.  But, I grew frustrated because I knew that I could do more for my patients (customers) if I opened my own clinic.  So, I opened first 1, then 2 and finally 3 clinics!  Now, I LOVE my life!

This a classic ‘man-in-a-hole’ story.

Who Will Tell Your Story?

This is where it gets interesting.

Who will tell your story?

“If customers her you tell your story; it’s marketing or advertising. 

If they hear a happy customer tell your story; it’s a word-of-mouth referral.”

Get your customer to tell your story.

That’s right… a video testimonial, in your customers’ OWN words, telling YOUR story.

Did you know?  Your brain ‘sees’ video the same as in real life

If this sounds foreign or weird, just Google ‘video testimonial examples’ to see what other small businesses are doing right now.

We can help.

Get 6 free tools to create 1 video testimonial in 1 minute every day.

Get the free, 2-hour Masterclass that will show you how to get your customer to tell your story. (click the image)

Learn how to get your customer to tell your Business Story in 1 minute, every day

Finally, get the free app that lets you turn any mobile device into a video testimonial collection machine!

Gather more Google & video reviews with the new Promoter App

Promote your business online using the faces, the voices and the words of your BEST customers speaking directly to NEW customers in online video.

Use the WOW Promoter app to collect customer testimonials and Google Reviews from your point-of-sale.

See why customers will GIVE you a Google  Review 

Set up your account by emailing

The app is free – go download at Apple App Store or the Google Play store.

Click the image to download the app to your mobile device:

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