The most powerful tool in an entrepreneur tools’ box is their story. Why did they risk their financial security to start their own business? What passion or reason drives them to work like a crazy person with no guarantees of any financial gain or stability? Usually there is a passion or mission to better the world that nags at them till they can no longer push it aside and it eventually takes birth as a new company.
The stories behind the idea are powerful. Too often when creating a brand or messaging, companies are satisfied with a shallow explanation, settling on simple and empty clichés or picking up trendy causes, when instead they should be sincere about the cause that started them on this journey.
Be authentic. It is hard to fake it for a long period of time!
The process of defining and telling your story can be freeing and transformational. It gives meaning to all you do in a way that resonates with your core mission. It also sets or resets the company culture, reminding everyone the tasks they do add up to a bigger mission.
One of my more recent clients, FroPro, reminded me of these important aspects that humanize a company to build trust and community. As we were going through the strategy of how to capitalize and augment the growth they were experiencing, I uncovered the truth behind how it all got started. It was a truth that was both profound and impactful but not a part of their company story.
“It wasn’t until overnight I lost everything I thought was important that I realized I had to make a change. I was fortunate to have a strong support system and ability to receive proper treatment to overcome my addictions. I began chasing after my ideas and passions for fitness and clean eating. Out of this obsession, I developed FROPRO which has grown beyond my expectations.”
– Matthew Williams, Co-Founder
“Everyone has problems. For me, it was severe anxiety and overwhelming feelings of emotions. For ten years I turned to an anti depressant. I told myself that I needed it, but the truth was I didn’t. All I needed was the belief that I could do it and the support to make it possible. When I saw my husband make his comeback, I knew I could make mine. I started to change the one thing that I had the most control over, my health. Once I got in the gym and started to see the dramatic change in my body, I knew that if I could control my health, I could control my mindset. FROPRO is about providing that inspiration and support to help people gain control of their body and mind to make a #comeback.”
– Chelsea Williams, COO
Once the founders shared their story, the strategy, target customers and partners quickly crystallized into something concrete and easy to execute. Their story was easy to understand: FROPRO exists to help people make their comeback. This describes the whole reason for the existence of the company. That builds trust. Entrepreneurs need to be able to answer the question “why should I buy from you?” with a compelling story. If done correctly, then you will gain the trust of that customer.
After you gain their trust, you want to create a community of raging fans. This can be easily facilitated through social media where you should encourage customers to share their stores. FROPRO started collecting customer comeback stories and sharing them as well as giving local talks to inspire people to make their comeback.
Real stories continue to be retold and connect you with people. Your story will build the foundation of trust, but only a customer’s personal experience will cement that trust into something that lasts.
I encourage you to use the power of story to build trust and community for your brand.