Social media. If you’re a business owner, these are two words that excite and terrify you at the same time.
How to Write a Magnetic Brand Story that Draws People into Your Social Media (& Everywhere Else!)
They say too much choice is a bad thing, and it’s true. Here’s this blank post template, and now you have to fill it. What will you write? What will the photo look like? How will you get people to care? What would make them click like or share? The possibilities are endless, and that makes it the worst kind of chore.
There are plenty of tools to make managing your brand’s social media easier, including scheduling tools, content calendars, and writing prompts (if you want some of the latter, sign up for our newsletter to get them dropped into your inbox every month!)
But the hardest and most time-consuming part of social media is sitting down to actually write out your posts.
Here’s the best possible thing you can do right now to help you manage your social media and write posts that get attention and inspire action:
Write out your brand story.
A brand story is the most compact guide you’ll ever have for writing, designing, and showcasing your brand in a way that matters.
It’s going to do these three things for you:
1. It’s going to make your marketing easier
Once you have a brand story, you have a simple and straightforward guide for everything you write and do. It’s going to tell you what your audience wants and needs to hear. It’s also going to help you create a ton of consistency in your posting. People are going to get the full brand experience every time they see your name on social media, or anywhere else.
2. It’s going to make your marketing more effective
In the age of social media, depersonalization is a real issue. More than ever, individuals need messaging that is designed specifically for them before they take action. Your brand story will help you make your messaging seem more like a friendly message in their inbox instead of a blasted-out spam message sent to everyone and their dogs.
3. It’s going to make your daily life easier
As business owners, one of the hardest things in our day is making multiple decisions. Your brand story will change the way you make decisions. You can use it as a measuring stick for everything you do. Who doesn’t need a little more simplicity?
An Example of a Stellar Brand Story
I’m going to use a recent client as an example in this post. It’s not because their brand story is awesome (even though it is!); it’s because they are living and breathing their brand story at every opportunity. These realtors are seriously impressive. They’re called Blackmore Real Estate, and they’re creating a hand-crafted real estate experience in Edmonton.
As a bit of background, I was brought in for a full branding session by one of my favourite design partners, Katie Dooley of Paper Lime Creative. Blackmore Real Estate’s owners came in and, as a group, we walked through the amazing creative process. Blackmore was starting from scratch. They had nothing but a brand name and a ton of energy. They needed a logo, colours and fonts, some brand assets, and a brand voice guide (enter Fine Point Writing & Editing!)
By the end of the process, we had some great starting points for them. Here are the brand story and taglines we wrote for them:
The Blackmore Real Estate Brand Story
Blackmore Real Estate was founded with a rebellious spirit and a big dream that played over and over in our heads like a great rock ‘n roll anthem. Every great idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple; we didn’t want our clients to feel like they were being pushed through a sales system. We realized the old school sales model didn’t match the fun, authentic and collaborative experiences we’ve always shared with our clients. That’s when the adventure started and Blackmore was born.
The Blackmore Real Estate Taglines
Your locally crafted real estate experience™
Every adventure starts with a solid home base™
Yes – they actually trademarked their taglines. If that doesn’t show dedication to their branding, I don’t know what does!
How to Write a Brand Story in Four Simple Steps
Bonus tip: Before you start, it’s a good idea to complete your ideal client avatar. For Blackmore Real Estate, we came up with Christian Ace Blackmore – a super cool guy you’d want to go mountain biking with in Canmore.
If you want a tried-and-true process for getting specific about your avatar, send me an email and I’ll give you my template for free!
Writing a brand story isn’t going to take a ton of time, but it will require a pretty deep thought process. I can’t take credit for it, though; it’s mostly borrowed from Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk on “The Golden Circle.”
In short, here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Define what you do
It may seem overly simplistic, but people need to know what they’re getting in very simple terms. Don’t overcomplicate this step. If you offer real estate, write that down. Don’t make it into something like “finding perfect homes for amazing people in Edmonton.” The finessing will come later.
2. Define how you do it differently than others
Call it your “differentiating factor” or whatever you want. This is one of the main reasons your audience will love your brand. For Blackmore Real Estate, it’s throwing out the “old-school model” of real estate and making it fun and collaborative.
3. Define why you do it the way you do it
No surprise here – this is the most essential question to ask. Your “why” is what links you directly to your audience. It’s based on a shared belief, value, or story. Your adventures matter to Blackmore Real Estate because they get it; they’re on their own adventure (i.e. changing the landscape of real estate in Edmonton).
4. Put all three items into a story that uses your brand voice
What you say is important in a brand story, but how you say it is potentially more important. For Blackmore Real Estate, we went through the entire brand voice guide process, so we knew that their voice needed to have grit, confidence, and authenticity.
A Few Issues to Avoid While Writing Your Brand Story
There are a few problems most people face when they write a brand story. These problems end up stunting their story and making it less effective.
Here are some of those problems:
- The brand story is too long. Simple is best. You shouldn’t need more than 4-6 sentences to let people know who you are and why you’re here.
- It’s too general. It’s meant for everybody, everywhere, when it should be meant for one specific person. This is why using your ideal client avatar is an essential first step!
- It doesn’t dive deep enough. If you find yourself making statements like, “We help people,” I challenge you to dive deeper into your “why.” No one is so altruistic that they just do their work because they like helping people. What fulfills you? What energizes you? What relaxes you? And, if you can, relate that back to what the solution does for your ideal client.
Using Your Brand Story
Okay, so now you have this awesome brand story. Now what?
When you’re struggling to write a blog, create a social media post, send an email, or make a decision about your processes, products and services, or anything else in your business, pull up your brand story. Does what you’re doing/writing align with that story?
In addition to creating social media that their audience actually wants to read, Blackmore Real Estate sits outside the 124th Street Market and dog-sits for you while you shop. Seriously. Best branding ever. It fits with their sense of adventure, their love of dogs (which features heavily in their marketing), and the brand positioning Katie and I came up with, which was based on the authentic and hand-crafted feel of the Chelsey Market in New York.
Need Some Help with Your Brand Messaging?
Branding is the most creative and exciting process, and we’re always happy to help a new or existing brand feel more confident and get better results. Here are a few ways we help different brands at different stages come up with their brand stories:
- A full branding process for new or transitioning brands (with visuals provided by Paper Lime Creative)
- A custom brand voice guide to grab your brand voice characteristics and basic messaging
- The Brand Mastermind workshop, which is for existing brands that want to dive deeper and be more successful in their marketing
If you have questions, reach out! We’re always happy to help!