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What’s your story? Giving yourself an edge

Being invited to judge the ‘Share your Skype Story’ competition got Emma Jones thinking about the power of stories in winning business and keeping clients. In this feature, she offers suggestions on how to fashion your own compelling story.

I want to buy from you

You’ll have heard the phrase ‘people buy people’ – never has this been more true as consumers shun the brands in which they have lost trust and turn to small and home based businesses from whom they want to buy. To prosper in this personal new world, you gotta’ have a story!

Tell me about you

Here are some suggested steps for crafting and maintaining your story:

  • Easy to find – first things first, create an ‘About Us’ section on your site and have it clearly signed. When we profile home businesses on Enterprise Nation, this is the first section of the site we visit.
  • Make it personal – offer details of why you started the business, what it offers and how you can help the customer. Make it personal by peppering your company bio with humour, mentioning friends & family involved in the business or references to unusual turns the business has taken. A nice example of this is in the ‘About us’ section at www.jonnyssister.co.uk – it takes only moments to read, yet you feel you know the company intimately by the time you’re done.
  • Keep it short – best to keep your story short and sweet but it’s a nice touch to offer a click-through to a longer version for people who want to know more. See this in action here
  • Definitely, definitely include images – as they really do say a thousand words. The image may be of you or of your product. One fine example is on the Izzy Lane site where we see Isobel Davies sitting happily alongside one of her products – definitely worth a look!
  • Remember to update – make a note to check the content every 6 months or so. Things change, the business moves on and your story develops. Reflect this so others can follow your tale.

With your story being such a powerful part of the marketing toolbox, start now by entering the Share your story with Skype competition. That way – you’re in with a chance of winning prizes too!

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About the author: Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’

Enter the Skype competition here

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About Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [www.enterprisenation.com], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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