Stories are as ancient to human culture and civilization as the concept of humanity itself. In oral societies, stories were how lessons were passed on from generation to generation. Stories are core to human emotion. They help us to express joy, sadness, anger and melancholy. They symbolize both our experiences as well as our hopes for the future. They can fill us with happiness or sadness, evoke empathy, and stir anger. Marketers continually tell us to use stories as a part of our marketing strategies. Storytelling has the power to transform what you do and make it better.
The power of the narrative is huge. By telling stories, we teach others our lessons learnt, and we make sense of the world around us. We are able to transform the story of the individuals we serve, the people our business help, and turn it from numbers into something more basic that connects us as human beings. We create empathy, emotion and an awareness that reaches at the core of our being.
The most successful enterprises are those which are able to harness the power of story telling. They are able to display their most authentic selves in a way that people can rally behind and support. Seth Godin often speaks about the power of the tribe, and how finding your tribe is one of the easiest ways to succeed in marketing. He states:
“What tribes are, is a very simple concept that goes back 50 million years. It’s about leading and connecting people and ideas. And it’s something that people have wanted forever”.
We need to create, find and assemble our tribes. We need to harness the ability to turn what we do into stories about the people we help, the lives we improve, and the changes we make. Only then can we connect with our audiences and truly become successful social entrepreneurs. The more we tell our stories, the more powerful we become.