While this may come as no surprise, especially as someone who has made a career out of writing, I love everything related to the English language. I love the fact that a single word can inspire, energize, upset, anger and intrigue—sometimes all at once. I love that for every 10 people who read a book, you get 10 different opinions about the true themes and symbolism. I love how we share our stories about ourselves, our companies, and our passions through our writing—oftentimes meticulously massaging each word, caressing tone and losing ourselves in the process of wordsmithing.
So you can imagine how important I think it is for each company to have a section of their website dedicated to storytelling. The part of their website that gives customers, channel partners, stakeholders, investors and potential partners the first few chapters of a company’s novel.
Think about your favorite brand. Perhaps it is Coca-Cola (I mean who doesn’t love the Nectar of the Gods?) Maybe it’s Target, because of its loveable red icon that fondly makes you think of archery class during summer camp in what undoubtedly feels like eons ago. Or AT&T, especially in light of its addicting “It’s Not Complicated” iPhone 5 and network commercials that introduce insanely adorable children.
No matter the brand that captures your heart, you unequivocally take great interest in it: following the brand on social media, routinely checking its corporate website and searching for the latest reviews and blogs about its offerings. After all, your favorite brand has a story to tell. And you never want the Spark Notes version.
So that begs the question: Are you taking the time to tell your own story? Can others pour themselves into your story by visiting your “About Us” section? Your newsfeed? Your blog? Are you even telling your story?
Did you know that 60 percent of companies have a blog? That’s right, 60 percent of companies—including your competitors and partners—are already ahead of the game, becoming thought leaders in their respected spaces, sharing their subject matter expertise, weighing in on the passing trends and insights, and establishing a corporate identify.
Now it’s your turn.
It doesn’t matter your industry – retail, hospitality, food, education, finance, technology, etc. – you need a platform to make your voice heard. Take a few minutes once a week to weigh in on a recent “New York Times” article. Spend a few hours cultivating your thoughts around the latest buzz-worthy term related to your industry. Put aside some time to bang out that great infographic or case study that educates your market about your services.
No matter how much technology we introduce that morphs the way we communicate (think Facebook, Skype, video conferencing, SMS and go-to meeting, among others) one thing has remained constant: we still use our words to spread our message.
Your words are already there; they’re in your pamphlets, white papers, customer testimonies, brochures and business plans. Now it’s time to put “pen to paper.”