I don’t like speeches. I like stories.
I actually also don’t like marketers. But i do like listening to stories.
We believe business is about stories. When The Pretty Blog was started “eendag lank lank gelede”, Christine and Nicola did not get together to come up with the best way to make loads of money. They did not do market research. They did not open a bank account, see an accountant or write a business plan – there is still no business plan! The story of The Pretty Blog is about a group of girls (and a couple of guys) who love making every day a pretty day. The only thing we love more than pretty things are creative people.
From the start of The Pretty Blog, Christine and Nicola noticed that the wedding industry was filled with creative people starting to write their own stories – beginning with an idea they had, motivated with the passion to create something pretty, to share that with the world and to add value o the lives of other people . The more we shared all the pretty things we found, the more pretty things found us. It is one of the most rewarding things to be able to share in the stories of our collaborators, advertisers and friends who are turning that initial idea of creating something into businesses that inspire others and create value for their customers and so continue to write their stories – filled with interesting characters, princesses and adventures, suspense, laughter, tears, stress and of course, a happily ever after!
When i think about telling the story of The Pretty Blog, we choose not to tell it in the pages of books, but rather on Twitter and Facebook, in our newsletters and with videos. The characters are not a mystical fairies and pirates living in enchanted worlds, but rather people like you and me, living behind their computer screens or workbenches in their studios, offices and 1 room apartments. There might not be fairy godmothers or talking animals, but that does not make our stories less exciting or without magic.
You see, when we start thinking about marketing as “storytelling”, it becomes less about the numbers and more about the people. You need to have a theme to your story. There is a good reason why Cinderella (a romantic, rags to riches princess) and Micky Mouse (a quirky, humorous talking mouse) does not appear together in a book. Your business needs a theme. This is your brand. What people experience when they meet you, visit your website and do business with you. Make sure this story is consistent. When you think about Louis Vuitton, you experience something completely different than PEP stores. This is not a question of right or wrong, but rather being fair to your customer and making sure the get consumed by the story of your brand.
Emotion & Loyalty
If you can think of the best story you have ever read, you do not remember the amount of pages, the font, or what the book weighed. You remember the story because of the emotions you felt. You felt like you were right there with every character, feeling the same emotions and experiencing the atmosphere that every scene painted. We need to have our clients experience the same thing when we talk about our businesses on social media or even in person. They need to share in our joy, our excitement and adventures. This is how you create loyalty and a trust for your brand that ensures your business will grow in the midst of a tough economy and loads of competition. People want to support businesses that they can relate to and that they can feel a part of. Social media is the only thing that allows you to have a personal connection with thousands of people. Let them share in your story.
Lastly, you need to know why you are even telling the story. Doing business for the sake of only making money is a very bad reason to start a business. You don’t read a book just to get to the end of the story. You want to enjoy every word you read. You want to be consumed by the details of the story. A good story will do this because the story teller’s goal was not to finish the story, but rather to make you a part of a different world. Do you know why you are doing what you are doing? Why should people care? Why should they support you in your ventures. Odds are that the biggest part of your life is being spent trying to make your business and creative dreams come alive. Do what you can to make sure that the story is worth telling. Make sure that the people looking at you, the people reading your story and every character involved are so enthralled by your story that they would choose to be a part of no other story than yours.
We love seeing you tell your story and we want to share your story with the world. We look forward to meeting you, getting to know you better and seeing your creativity grow and inspire others.
Fluit fluit, my storie is uit.
This story was told by Roeleen Sieberhagen (who helps tell The Pretty Blog story to the world), in a 10 minute speech at a Kamersvol Geskenke event attended by small business owners in a primarily creative industry.