How Storytelling Can Boost Business

adult-american-blond-1061580Sometimes we get so busy with daily business demands that marketing either falls by the wayside or becomes a routine, seldom reconsidered or refreshed.

In an era where virtually anyone can launch an online business and present a highly polished image, however, marketing has become more important than ever.

Even companies that have long thrived on word-of-mouth referrals sometimes find themselves slipping or stagnating in the absence of a professional-looking website or a healthy marketing strategy.

Small changes — tweaking your company website, revamping a LinkedIn profile, developing a social media editorial calendar — can make a significant difference.

Storytelling is a highly effective marketing tool that can set your venture apart, help you engage with customers and website visitors, share your company’s values, personality, expertise and background, raise visibility and ultimately boost business.

Consider these stats cited by the Content Marketing Institute, an organization devoted (as its name suggests) to content marketing:

• Small businesses with blogs experience more than double the lead growth of small ventures without blogs.

• While content marketing costs significantly less than outbound marketing, it generates at least three times as many leads.

• Eighty percent of people enjoy learning about a business through custom content and 70 percent “feel closer” to a business because of content marketing.

• Content marketing results in more conversions — turning website visitors into leads, and leads into customers — than traditional marketing.

Are you telling your business’s story, establishing your image, conveying your service excellence, connecting and building relationships with website visitors?

If not, consider consulting with a marketing strategist, professional writer or both to help you explore the possibilities for your venture. If you’re looking for a business writing pro, please get in touch.

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Thriving Olderpreneurs

Nancy MacIntyre co-founded Fingerprint Digital shortly after her 50th birthday, a departure from the common image of the young startup entrepreneur. Eight years later, her children’s app platform employs 32 people, has raised $25 million from investors and plans to become profitable this year.

Older entrepreneurs like MacIntyre aren’t anomalies, though. A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests middle-age and older founders of high-growth companies are more successful than their younger counterparts. I recently wrote about MacIntyre and the NBER research for Forbes.com.

San Antonio Community Banking

Independent Banker magazine recently published my profile of San Antonio and its community banks. The Independent Community Bankers of America will be holding their convention there next month. I learn something new with almost every story!

Chat Bots for Recruiting

Imagine applying for a job and having your initial interview by text – with a chat bot. It might sound impersonal, but wouldn’t it be better than sending your resume into the abyss, never to hear whether it got to the right person, much less why it did or didn’t look good to the employer?

Bots, automated interviewers, are starting to help employers “talk” to job applicants, sort through applications to find the most suitable candidates, and provide job hopefuls with guidance, answers and feedback. Here’s my SHRM Online story on the emerging technology.

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Entrepreneurs and Depression

Entrepreneurs often work in isolation, which can exacerbate any depression they may experience. And depression, in turn, can make it harder for entrepreneurs to run their businesses. Here’s an article I recently wrote on the topic for Weebly. In it, entrepreneurs share their experiences and advice for handling depression. – DWB