5 story ideas you can use this week

Spending too much time coming up with ideas for original content can mean you end up not creating anything at all. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are 5 stories you can tell on your blog, YouTube channel, or social media.

1. How you make a difference

This is a story which will make you feel good and show potential customers what you can do for them. It’s a good one to tell if the entrepreneurial rollercoaster feels like it’s heading downwards and you want a pick-me-up.

How do you make a difference? If you run a charity or a not-for-profit organisation then this story might come very easily but it works for any type of business. Think back over the past 6 months and what you have worked on:

  • Are there specific benefits which run through your projects or that your clients got from working with you that you could pull out and tell a story about? Perhaps you give people confidence, or enable them to do something. Tell a story about one of these themes.
  • Could you share a case study?
  • Has a customer given you feedback about how they used your product?
  • Could you give examples of your product in action? This could be a product shoot. Stories can be told visually, for example, ‘get the look’.
  • You can use a testimonial to tell a story for you.
"Rachel is an excellent storyteller, but as well as being able to tell her own stories is brilliant at coaching you to make your writing a little bit better. I initially wanted to work with her to proof content, but I hadn’t realised how much more she’d bring - suggesting improvement to flow, areas where I could round out content and powerful headlines."
Clare Williams
Loxley Business Support Ltd.
A photo of a rollercoaster by Patrick E on Unsplash

2. Where your business idea came from

Your business has many stories, including where your business idea came from and how you came to set up your company. These might be the same story or they might be different

For example, here’s mine:

I worked as a journalist for 15 years. I always dreaded having to cover the business desk because the press releases that came in were so dry. Was a new person joining the board that interesting? I didn’t think so. Others were full of impenetrable industry jargon. Business just wasn’t interesting to me, I much preferred covering politics.

But then I took redundancy and set up my own business. I trained as a social media manager and started networking. There are lots of networking events in Cambridge, where I live. I was meeting interesting people and having great conversations. After a while someone might pitch a story to me and ask what I thought. I’d say, well that’s not quite there but you told me something 5 minutes ago which was much better.

I realised business owners didn’t know what the stories in their business were, or how to tell them and so I pivoted my business and started helping people use their stories to reach their ideal audience and build their business.

What’s the story behind your business? Give people the opportunity to get to know you. We often feel we have to show people perfection but that’s rarely how things come about. Don’t be afraid to talk about your struggles or the hurdles you faced along the way. 

The version of my story I have just told makes it sound like I instantly came up with an idea which was a hit. It has taken 3 years for me to create a viable business. I had to work hard to get out of my own way, and I still get in it to be honest. I needed to learn how to do all kinds of things I had never done before. And get over my fear of public speaking. 

I can tell stories about all these different things. Think about the path you have been on and all the different stories you could tell.

3. An insight from an event you have attended

Face-to-face events might not be happening at the moment but there are plenty of online ones taking place. I belong to networking groups which have continued to host social events and webinars very successfully. What could you share from an event you have attended which would be of value to your audience? For example:

I caught up with a workshop on making your website work for you from Drive The Network this weekend. It was run by Karen Arnott who had asked for people to submit their sites for her expert analysis. As I was mid-refresh, I thought it would be useful to get her insights. She didn’t disappoint and I hope my website is now more user-friendly.

One of the insights she shared was that while ‘learn more’ is a button you see on a lot of websites, it’s not very meaningful. When your site is crawled by a search engine, ‘learn more’ is just as unhelpful as ‘click here’. What information does it give you? I’m going through the site changing these labels so people and search engines know where they are going when they click. What calls to action do you have on your website?

4. Something that happened to you recently

You might think that a story has to be exciting, something that might make the front page of a newspaper, but you come up with topics to talk about with your friends. You don’t think: ‘that’s not interesting’. You find yourself telling stories without thinking about it.

Anecdotes about your life can also be used to create stories which are interesting to your audience. Tie things that have happened to you recently into insights that will benefit readers of your blog, people watching your videos, or social media followers.

You can find out more about this in my article on how to start an email with a story.

For an example of a story from my home life that I tied into business, read ‘taking lessons from the Blue Caterpillar’.

5. Something that brought you joy

Share a little happiness. Whether you are celebrating something in your business, championing the work of someone in your team, or you want to share something outside work which made your heart sing, tell a story about something that brought you joy.

Don’t worry if it’s not business-related. As long as your audience will enjoy it, you can share it.

I always enjoy seeing your stories so please tag me in any you share on social media. I’m @RachelExtance.

Would you like me to find your stories?

Are you wondering how to tell the story behind your business or what other stories you could tell? You and your business have many different stories which will help people to get to know, like and trust you. 

If you would like to work with me and find yours, take a look at Plot Out Your Stories. You will get your About page written, or LinkedIn profile if you prefer, and a PDF ebook with lots of different stories you can use as the basis for emails, content, and social media.

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