How to win people’s hearts and market shares

If you read the previous texts in my blog, you might have noticed that I, the expert in strategic storytelling, once didn’t have a story
about my own business. As new in the business I tried to present myself as “expert in applied cultural analysis” and talked a lot about how
my work was done, in detail. This only made my clients want to escape and in the end I realised that I had to change approach – and that
I had the knowledge within myself.

I needed to do what I already did for my clients: ”Win people’s hearts by applying stories strategically”!

So I started to focus on my skills within strategic storytelling, collected some stories from my clients and started using them. What
a difference! Not only did it feel good, I also got plenty of great response, both from people close to me as well as my business contacts.

The Ultimate test came when I happened to meet Kimberley Cerrone, a business angel from Silicon Valley. For ten years she had been asked
to go to Sweden to learn Swedish entrepreneurs pitch themselves. In an intense discussion between her and me, about how lousy Swedish
entrepreneurs were at pitching themselves, she suddenly pointed at me and asked: ”So what about you? What are you doing?”
I knew this was IT!

Thankfully, at this point I had a story ready, practiced in English! So I took a deep breath and answered: I run an ethnographic
consultancy named COW. We help our clients win people’s hearts, and market shares, by applying stories strategically. For example,
we recently helped a big bank. They had some problems with connecting to small business owners. When they realised that my work had
a big positive effect on their popularity, they said; Holy COW! This is something we should have done long time ago!

I stopped, waited for her judgement. Finally she opened her mouth and stated: ”THAT is the best pitch I ever heard in Sweden!”

In that moment I knew for sure that I had something good going on. Storytelling not only made me feel comfortable, it created a great
response. Sometimes the people I spoke to even said out loud: This is something I can tell the others at the office!

Strategic storytelling is the key thing you need to make your business happen. It’s applied in everything you do and especially
when pitching or presenting yourself. Most of all you need to understand that storytelling is everything your business do, because it
affects your customers’ view of you and thus your social brand. Which is your customers’ story about you.

Do you know that story?

This text is part of chapter 2: Storytelling in business from a coming book about storytelling within business.
To read previous writing, go to the blog page or choose the tag storytelling
(Do you have opinions about my English? You are probably quite right, since I’m not native a native English speaker. Which means that,
as long as you’re not Swedish, I probably write better English then you write Swedish.)

Åsa Rydhard is the pastor who has taken her knowledge about storytelling to a higher level. With a Master’s degree in Applied Cultural Analysis (MACA) she is specialized in storytelling as a communcation tool. As a consultant she uses her expertise to ensure that businesses understand how storytelling can be strategically used as a communciation tool to grow their customer’s interest and increase their market share.



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