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How to Write Stories about Your Business

business stories business storytelling content strategy story sight Jun 29, 2023


  • Businesses should harness the power of storytelling as human brains are wired for stories, which can help forge a stronger connection with customers.
  • 'Story sight', the ability to discover great story topics within your life and business, should be developed. Alongside this, using the Topic Finder exercise to generate a list of story ideas can make story creation easier and more effective.
  • Business storytelling should ideally focus on the customer's journey and problems. A good storytelling strategy follows the 4:1 ratio, where for every business-focused story, there should be four customer or other-focused stories.You’ve heard it once. You’ve heard it a million times. You’ve got to tell stories.


There’s a reason why business giants like Forbes have forecasted that “great storytelling” and “less reliance on data” will shape the marketing futures for small businesses. That’s because the human brain is wired for stories.

According to Harvard Business Review, “Character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better understanding of the key points a speaker wishes to make and enable better recall of these points weeks later.”

If you want to connect with your audience, your current and future customers, stories provide you with a ready-made solution for communicating about your business and why your work matters.

So. You’re on board. You've accepted that storytelling can help you grow your business and reach your ideal customers. And you're ready to dive in. But there’s just one problem: when it comes to your business, where do great stories come from? And which stories should you tell?

This three-part series on business and storytelling is a hands-on guide to finding and writing stories about your business. In each article, I’ll introduce a story tool to make brainstorming and writing much easier and effective.

In part I, I’ll teach you about what I call ‘story sight,’ or the ability to ‘see’ the great topics that already exist in your life and in your business. In part II, I’ll share my Topic Finder exercise to help you create a handy list of story ideas, so you’re never starting with a blank page. And in part III, I’ll show you how to narrow your topic by applying what I call a ‘story compass,’ so that your blogs, posts, and feature articles make an emotional connection with your customer.

Ready, set? Let’s go!


Stories Are All Around Us


The truth is stories are everywhere. In fact, this philosophy is the very worldview professional storytellers hold and use to find stories worth sharing.

Margot Leitman, the author of Long Story Short and Moth Grand Slam Champion, believes the problem with finding good stories originates from our actions and our awareness. Leitman argues that as we age we simply have less adventures. Because of this it feels like our story reservoirs are empty. For the best stories, she votes to start changing things up: talk to strangers or start something new.

At first, this advice doesn’t seem to translate to business, except when we remember that in the beginning our customers are strangers and, to our prospects, our products or services are new.

So if you want to create more content to grow your business, the first step is heightening your awareness to the stories that already exist and have remained so far untold. In other words, you don’t actually have to start a new hobby or travel the world to find stories—you just have to look at your business and your life with wonder. This ability is the first part of developing what I call ‘story sight.’ The second part is about connecting that curiosity with the needs and problems of your customers.


What to Look for in a Good Story


We know we need stories to differentiate but what actually makes a story relevant? As you develop content for your business, it’s important to start with a strategy and follow a few simple rules. After that, you can trust your instincts when a story reveals itself to you.

Business Storytelling Strategy


  1. Your business content (or your stories) derives from your business narrative. If you don’t have one, here’s a simple definition. Your business narrative is the story of your customer’s problems and how your business solves them. You definitely want to create one before making loads of content or directing the copywriting on your homepage. This step will also save you from filling your website or social media feed with information that’s cute or interesting but irrelevant or doesn’t solve the problems that keep your customers up at night. Yes, humans love stories but they also love themselves. Your stories should directly or indirectly focus on your customer’s pain, problems, and suffering.
  2. Once you’ve written your business narrative, or brand story, you want to identify cornerstone content categories using a simple question: what do you want to be famous for? Ideally, these categories will exist on your website and promote your online discoverability. These categories also represent the boxes to check when you’re telling stories about your business.
  3. Although you’re telling stories about you or your business, the spotlight is on the customer journey. In other words, your most effective topics will exist at the intersection of what makes your business unique/what you do and your customer’s pain/problems. Finding this balance can be tricky when you’re writing about yourself or your business, but possible when you follow the 4:1 ratio of business storytelling. Here’s how it works.
  • Tell more stories about others rather than yourself or your business. A good ratio is 4:1. For example, you might tell a story about your high school teacher who modeled integrity (something you value as a business), then a story about a customer who couldn’t find anyone locally to remove a fallen tree (your company covers a 1000 mile radius), then a story about a research study on the damage broken limbs can cause in an ice storm (a preventative problem you solve), and then a story about why you started your business (which demonstrates your authority).
  • As you can see, all of these stories exist at the intersection of your customer/your business. The difference is that in the first three stories the ‘main character’ isn’t you but someone or something else.

Business storytelling isn’t memoir or thriller. Its purpose is to help you connect with your audience and support your business goals, whether that’s making sales or gaining followers. So as we move into part II and brainstorm topics, we’ll be taking your heightened story awareness and business strategy with us.

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Victoria Payne

Victoria is a brand storyteller, content strategist, story coach, and award-winning writing professor. 

She helps brands tell stories that connect with their customers and grow their business. She's also the lead writer for inkMakers content subscriptions. 

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