Category: Storytelling in business/for your brand

Never underestimate the power of your content…

You do don’t you? Care about your audience that is? You want what is best for them? You want to get to know them? You want them to understand you? You want them to be loyal to you, your business and brand- don’t you?

I mean without them – what are we? So how do you make it all about them in your copy and content I hear you ask? Well, read on and see….

Firstly: Never underestimate the power of emotions

We all want to be able to relate to one another. At this point in our online social boom, we have found more than ever that we want to connect with one another. We want to engage. We want to see ourselves in the content we see. We want to be able to visualise ourselves on the page.

We all want to feel understood and we want to be able to relate to one another. So, by getting to know your audience and by using language that speaks to your audience, you can really get to know them. You get to see what they see. You get to solve their pain points. You get to move them from one emotion to another.

Not manipulation. That’s not what I mean. And that’s a very different thing. But by knowing what worries your customer, what troubles them, and what bothers them; you can look to fix it for them. You can be their hero.

Neil Patel details the importance of emotions and psychology in an article he wrote and published called, ‘how to incorporate psychology and emotions into your copywriting’. In it he looks at and describes what we look for as buyers and what factors we may think of before we purchase.

He also goes on to address the well-known book by Robert Cialdini called, ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’. In which Cialdini talks of the 6 key principle human behaviours in varying situations; ‘Cialdini mentions the six keys of influence as follows:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Liking
  5. Consistency
  6. Consensus

These six principles are the key to understanding human behaviour in a range of situations. You as a writer and marketer can use them effectively in your copy to reach your audience in a unique way.’

So you see, emotions really do play a vital role in understanding your audience. By seeing your customer’s real-life situations and providing a valuable solution; you get to address your audience. You get to offer them insight, inspiration and to create a channel of communication.

Not only can you do this through your product or service, but in the copy and content that you produce too. By having your ear to the ground, you can offer very practical solutions to very real problems that your audience has.

How you make your customer feel, creates a customer experience like no other. Of course, don’t force emotion within your copy and content. Keep it natural and align it to your business and brand.

Secondly: Feedback is like an unpolished diamond

Don’t throw it away. This is where the gold lies. It’s like an unpolished diamond. By listening to feedback and absorbing what is said, you have the opportunity to adjust and to make sure you are always adapting to the wants and needs of your audience.

Just as it is described in an article by Vision Critical; you can use feedback to build a better picture of who your audience actually is, ‘rather than make assumptions on your audience based on a loose idea of who your buyer personas are, what if you could ask them directly?

By gathering customer feedback over-time, it becomes easier to separate your readers from your non-readers, and find similarities and differences between the two. By asking them about their content preferences and habits, you can build more accurate audience personas and improve your content marketing efforts as a result.’

Feedback gives you clues about your customer and how you might then be able to relate to them. Feedback gives you insight and it allows you to measure satisfaction, plus it helps you to retain your audience and clients.

Feedback can be left in all manner of places. For instance, it could be within comments on your website, through testimonials, through phone calls, emails and through comments on your social media posts.

You have the sparkling crown jewels within your grasp. You have untapped value in feedback that you can use to speak back to your audience. But also, that speaks to your business too, as it says how aligned you are with being able to meet with your customer’s wants and needs.

Your audience feedback may give you ideas for posts, blogs and videos. Undoubtedly it will give you the language that your audience and clients use. This will give you the ability to truly communicate on a human level with your audience.

Thirdly: Empathy has unknown super-reach

According to a Forbes article by Josh Ritchie, ‘Merriam-Webster describes empathy as the, ‘ability to understand and have empathy with others.’ Brené Brown describes it as, ‘feeling with people.’

So, what does that mean to you and why should you care about empathy and its unknown super-reach?

Well…to feel is to empathise. To create empathetic content for your audience, you need to showcase a degree of empathy towards them. You need to understand and share the highs and the lows with your audience. You can do this by putting their pain into words, and by then offering them your solution.

Offer them value, offer them an escape. This enables them to connect to you. They want to have a relationship with you, your business and your brand.

Be the star of the show by offering your audience a pain that is less than what they are feeling. A remedy or a welcome distraction to their thoughts and pains. By empathising, it allows you to truly get underneath the surface and to know how your audience feels.

Naturally with empathetic content you increase your engagement levels with your audience. Which then in time may create customers from your audience. Whilst also widening the reach of your content to new members of your audience.

Think about how you will address your audience with empathy. How does that convert into your content? Who are you talking to? Be specific. If you’re talking to everyone, then you’re talking to no-one.

Also, think about what your audience is interested in and where do they go? What can you then do with your content that will fit into those things.

Josh Ritchie, CEO/Co-Founder of Column five says, “Decrease the amount of selling in your content and increase the amount of time listening to and thinking about your customers.”

Lastly: Woo-them by telling them a story

Did you know that 81.7 million people follow National Geographic on Instagram?They have the strong ability to stop the scroller in their tracks. Why? Not only do they use great and captivating images to stop their audience. But they also have the unique ability to tell a powerful story with the accompanying text.

Now it may not be a part of your strategy to add photos. Perhaps it’s video. Or perhaps you weave a tale with words. National Geographic uses value-based content with purpose. What you want to do is to tell a story to your audience.

Storytelling in business makes it compelling for people to engage with you. It forms trust, it builds rapport and it helps to create valuable relationships with your audience. But it must also contain a focus to retain the attention of the reader.

When storytelling with your copy and content you should be able to understand and identify the following;

  • To always know why you’re telling your story?
  • Who is telling your story?
  • Know why it should be important to your reader?
  • Know what challenge is being overcome?
  • What message is behind your story?

Storytelling takes your audience on a journey with you. It builds loyalty in following, and it gives an insight into your world, and for you to get a glimpse into theirs.

You can make your audience a part of your story by helping them to see themselves on the page, or in your blogs, or on your website and in your videos.

Share your learning with your audience from things that you have achieved, the things that you’ve done and maybe events that you have been to. Use the day to day ordinary things to form a part of your story. Look to choose things that your audience will want to share with others, where they’ll want to comment and where they’re likely to get involved.

Keep the process of storytelling going and make it a part of your content strategy. To increase your chance of success always see it through the eyes of your audience.

Don’t make your copy and content hard to read. Make it an insightful read. Ensure it uses language that your intended audience can and will want to engage with. Make your content accessible for your audience. Make your audience feel like they matter to you.

Are you making it all about your audience? Do you think about your audience when you produce content for them? Do you make them feel like they can relate to you, your business and your brand?

Let’s summarise;

  • Never underestimate the power of emotions when reaching out to your audience.
  • Treat feedback like a priceless jewel.
  • Know the value of natural empathy in your copy and content.
  • Understand the journey you take your audience on with storytelling in business.

Never underestimate the power of your content.

 Let’s keep the conversation going…

Come and chat to me about how your copy and content should talk to your audience. You can find me on LinkedIn: @Amber L Smith and you can send me an email at:

How to bake to perfection your content for your brand and business…

So, you’ve written your business piece, your blog, you’ve posted your post, typed your article, created your content, made your video. But does the middle part of your content seem muddled? Does it align with the message and tone of the whole piece?  Does it match the question in the title? Does it correspond to the conclusion?

We spend a large proportion of our time perfecting our introduction, and tweaking the end, but does the guts of the piece fit in with your overall message?

This blog article is all about how you can help to keep yourself on track with ensuring your middle is baked to perfection and not more akin to a cake that looks better than it tastes when you bite into it.

Let’s start with the muddle part of your baked business content

The muddle is the middle. It’s what sits between your title and leads your reader through to the end.

It’s the juicy bit. The meat. The special sauce. It’s what gives your reader their takeaways from your content. It’s what your reader will learn. It’s what will guide them to the end. It’s your story.

As well as being gripping and interesting your content needs to peak enough interest to keep the reader wanting more. You want your reader to feel satisfied, empowered in some way, to have insight, to gain awareness and to enhance their knowledge of you and their reason for reading, viewing or watching what it is that you have to say.

As well as what you’re writing or presenting, your reader wants to see consistency in your content. But most of all they want to see value in your content. Don’t allow your content to veer off topic.

3 takeaways to consider for the middle part of your business content

1) Message match throughout all of your content that you produce. Relate it back to each section and then ensure it still relates back to your reader.  What is the meaning of your message? Identify its purpose.

2) Keep it simple. Think with clarity. Make it easy for your reader to follow your message throughout. Make it digestible.

3) Who’s it about? Always make sure your reader is the star of the show. Your audience should always be at the forefront of all of the content that you’re creating. Think about what you are trying to tell them?  What’s your unique selling point? Who are you aiming your message at? Does the content do its job? Does it make sense? Is it any good?

Some content creators like to use formulas and frameworks such as PAS (Problem-Agitation-Solution) and AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Conviction-Action) to keep them on track. You may find that this helps your business to create the best content it can offer and to ensure the whole piece of content is focused rather than elements of it.

The middle is just as important as the end, the beginning and your call to action. It will all be for nothing if the pieces do not connect with one another.

Focus towards your one goal of the piece, with the content you are creating.  Make your audience want to move in some way to connect further with you, your brand and your business.

Let’s address the star ingredient of your business copy and content – the reader

It’s always your intended reader. Your audience. Every last bit of copy and content that you produce has to relate back to your audience. It has to offer value. It has to offer learning. It has to offer something for your audience to take away. It has to offer enough to intrigue them to want more.

Have you got personas of your target audience? To create the best content and to relate it to your reader you have to know who they are. Knowing this helps you to know what content to write, to post, to blog, to put into video form. It allows you to use it as part of your content strategy.

On a star ranking blog written on the website they list 7 questions to get to know your audience. So, when you are wanting to make your reader the star of the show make sure you can answer these questions about them;

1) What are they like?

2)  Why are they here?

3) What keeps them up at night?

4) How can you solve their problems?

5) What do you want them to do?

6) How can you best reach them?

7) How might they resist?

Could you answer these about your reader? This in turn helps to build your brand, your business. It adds authenticity, it adds weight to your marketing and your expertise. It’s also in understanding how your reader acts online that you can direct your content to speak directly to them. How is your reader likely to respond to your content?

Website content and your reader

Did you know that according to an article on crazyegg.comthe average reader will spend 15 seconds on your website content before clicking off?

That’s 15 second to make an impact. That’s 15 seconds to encourage them not to bounce. Make it count. Make it compelling. Make it persuasive. Make every part of your copy and content worth sticking around for. This of course will impact how Google will view your content and whether or not your reader returns back to the search page that they started on.

Social media content and your reader

Of course, it’s not just the copy or content on your website that you’ll be encouraging. It’s also your social media posts. Despite the reported drops in content engagement over the last few years, social media still plays an important role.

Not only does your social media strengthen your brand loyalty, and build strength in your relationships, it’s also still one of the most powerful conversion tools. Which is why it’s imperative to get to know your audience. To talk to them. Just like you were chatting to them in person.

That’s why social media is encouraging the “social” part. People want more from your content. They want to get to know you. They want to understand you and understand why that should matter to them. They want to engage and connect with your business and brand. Your audience wants to feel connected to you.

Being active with your reader and your content

Being active with your content and relating it back to the reader along with ensuring you are making it all about them –– is the goal. It’s the vital decoration on the cake. This ensures you are on the same page. The same level as your audience.

According to a SocialMediaToday article; 65% of brands post online but don’t engage. It’s one of the easiest ways to make it all about your audience. It shows that you’re real and that you care enough to want to respond to them.

So, make your reader the star of the show. Make them want to read what you have to say. Give them the lead role in your business and brand copy and content.

The icing on the cake: the Hollywood ending with your reader?

We’re not dancing off into the sunset. That’s only for the movies. But you can do a waltz with your audience; with your reader.

It can be hard to add personality and a human touch when you can’t see that person’s face but there is a person behind every profile. Make your brand human by showcasing your human side in every part of your business copy and content.

Find a way to connect. Let’s get social and let’s be authentic in our interactions with our copy and content. Let your business message and your goal also be to resonate with your reader in every aspect of your content. Let your content spark a response. Let your content create a conversation. And let your content offer value and learning.

After all what are you trying to achieve if not to build relationships that create value but that ultimately create long-term, long-lasting opportunities for your brand and business?

And cut the cake: It’s the summary

Each and every piece of your business and brand content is as important as the other. It doesn’t matter what content or copy you are creating, whether it be a blog post, a video, an article or a short form post for social media. Your goal is to move the reader along. Guide them to then end. Create authority for you brand and business.

Take your audience on a journey. Squeeze the value into everything that you do. Make sure your goal for your business and brand content speaks to your reader and keeps the action going right from the start until the very end.

So, what do you think: is your business and brand content looking like it’s baked to perfection?

Don’t stop there: head on over to my other blogs at; or you can email me for help with your copy and content needs at, or connect with me on LinkedIn at Amber L Smith Twitter @simplyamberlou, Facebook Amber L Smith and Instagram simplyamberloucopywriting.

Will I want to engage and connect with you?….

Storytelling is the currency of the modern-day writer, creative and business. We write, we draw you in, we dazzle you with a cleverly woven tale. But does it tell your story? Do you grab my attention? Does it make me want to engage and connect with your brand?

If you’ve ever read a story and felt like none of the issues you thought were going to be addressed were even answered at all: and you learnt nothing new-how would you feel? You’d feel frustrated, you’d feel disappointed- wouldn’t you?

Time is a precious commodity which is why it is imperative to tell your story carefully. It’s why your story should inform and create understanding to make it personal to your audience. Let’s take a look at some of the essential anatomy parts of storytelling;

Keep it simple: write with clarity

Caroline O’Hara wrote an article on storytelling for HBR and in it she says, ‘Not every story you tell has to be a surprising, edge-of-your-seat epic. Some of the most successful and memorable stories are relatively simple and straightforward. Don’t let needless details to detract from your core message. Work from the principle that “less is more.” One of the biggest mistakes you can make is “putting in too much detail of the wrong kind,” says Morgan. Don’t tell your audience what day of the week it was, for instance, or what shoes you were wearing if it doesn’t advance the story in an artful way. But transporting your audience with a few interesting, well-placed details — how you felt, the expression on a face, the humble beginnings of a now-great company — can help immerse your listeners and drive home your message.’


Stick to the point: allow time to edit well

Don’t add waffle if that waffle doesn’t aid your point and will not get your reader from the start of your article to the end. Your goal is to not only tell your story, and to get your audience to engage- but you want your audience to glide with ease from start to end.

Keep to the point throughout your story. Always check back to ensure you haven’t veered off. Edit and edit well- at first draft you can write it all down: but when you check your draft take out what isn’t necessary.

Don’t be caught up in a word count unless you know all of the material is golden material. Be ruthless once you come to editing. Check back to your original brief. If words or sentences don’t fit or align well then don’t be afraid to take them out.

If possible and you have time in your process before editing why not ask a trusted colleague to take a glance over what you’ve written. Can they understand the point? Would they change anything?

Does it make sense: is it jumbled?

Even if you feel you have stuck to the point throughout your storytelling piece does it flow? Or does it jump from one to many differing concepts before coming back to the original point? How can you edit the work to create the flow you will want for your intended audience?

Always take a look with fresh eyes-you’ll never spot the flaws if you haven’t had time to step away in order to refocus your mind for when you edit.

It’s a myth: it doesn’t have to be boring- even if it’s corporate

I’ve read reviews for books where people have felt the book was boring because the story was too corporate. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Keep it authentic, add weight by reminiscing from personal experience. Remember your brand is you and you are the face of your brand- and so your story should be personal.

When you write of course add your personal touch. You want people to be able to relate to the brand but people also want to get to know the face behind the brand. People want to engage and connect with people. They need to feel it’s authentic so they can place their trust within your business.

‘Because people always remember a good story. A great story that personifies your brand is what you need in order to position yourself in the most effective way.’Jeff Charles HuffPost 2017

Good examples of brands to check out that have nailed this are the likes of Lego, Adidas, Headspace, Google, Apple, Coca-Cola etc.

Think about your colour choices: colours match feelings and emotion

This sounds airy fairy: but it isn’t. Colours spark a reaction and accompanying emotion. Choose colours that not only suit your brand and those that you consistently use but that in type are kind to the eye but also say who you are and creates the right image to match your audience.

A Help scout article written by Gregory Ciotti found that ‘In a study titled “Impact of color on marketing,” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone, depending on the product. Regarding the role that color plays in branding, results from another study show that the relationship between brands and color hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the color being used for the particular brand (does the color “fit” what is being sold?).’

What will they learn from your piece: what’s your message and CTA?

According to the as of Monday 21st May there are 1.82 billion indexed pages online. It’s hard to command attention amidst the noise so always aim to make your content speak quality over quantity.

Align your message within your storytelling with your brand. Always start with ‘Why’ when you write as Simon Sinek says. Then look at how and what.

Know your intended message, audience and goal of the piece/article before you start. Your call to action (CTA) should be clear and simple. You may feel like you’re stating the obvious but that’s because you know what you want your audience to do. The audience don’t forget may not know if you don’t say it. Try and put yourself in the readers shoes-then you’ll know if you’ve hit the mark.

What next: consistency, authenticity and continue to tell your business story

When you end the storytelling business piece, try to involve your audience. Ask them a question, ask them for their expertise or experience etc. Interact with them. You have started the journey but now want to aim to continue that path: and take the reader along for the ride.

Mike Kappel Forbes contributor says to, ‘Use business storytelling to strike an emotional connection with customers. Talk about how an event related to your business affected you and what you learned. This creates an immediate response that makes your story memorable and shareable.

People like to be a part of stories. Your customers can be characters in your brand. Come up with ways to get your audience involved.

For example, Patriot Software reached out to some of our customers to hear their startup stories. Black Sheep Boutique and Lamplighter Brewing Co. were among several companies featured in business storytelling examples on our blog. Showcasing these businesses directly linked our customers to a part of our story.

Telling the story of your brand is an ongoing process. Each day, your business grows, shifts, and adds new chapters to its story. Make business storytelling an essential part of your operations to attract and retain customers.’

Consistency is key along with authenticity. Clarity should always be front of mind when writing your business story along with tone. Align your goals and objectives to fit your story. Know why you are writing-make sure you research what your customer wants and decide how you fit into that.

Enjoyed this post? I’d really like to hear your thoughts-  Send me your comments and opinions…..

  • Do you believe in business storytelling?
  • Do you invest in business storytelling?
  • What brands do you feel get it right or wrong and why?

You can follow me on LinkedIn @Amber L Smith and on Twitter @Simplyamberlou. Your likes and shares let me know you’ve enjoyed the piece and are all gratefully appreciated.

Thank you for being a part of my story and journey… Amber 🙂