You know what sets your business apart, but do your customers? When it comes to competing with national chains and big box stores, small business success is all about standing out from the crowd. That’s why it’s important to tell your Main Street Story, the side of your business that will resonate with customers.
Simply put, your Main Street Story is the unique biography of your small business. Maybe you run a bakery that has been in your family for generations. Alternatively, you could be an entrepreneur who set out to solve a problem in the local community. Whatever your roots, your Main Street Story is the reason that you’re in business today.
Sharing this unique story with the customers and community around you can help develop new connections for your business. Often, your Main Street Story will humanize your business, giving customers a reason to come back again and again. It’s a marketing tool that’s fundamental to who you are and what your business is – so it’s only logical to make the most of it. Here’s how to get started:
- Keep it Simple
As with any story, it’s important to grab – and keep – the audience’s attention. Your business may have five generations’ worth of history, but your Main Street Story should be short enough to please readers. Choose the parts of your story that matter most to you, and leave the rest for your autobiography. If you’re including your Main Street Story on your business’s website, you can always give readers the option to “Read More” on another page, if they’re interested beyond your simple version.
As your business grows and the industry evolves, you may need to update your Main Street Story. Always remember to keep it relevant to the time by deleting old information that has become obsolete. Adding information about new community partnerships and business expansion can help widen the audience of your story.
- Make it Visual
Visuals can add a new dimension to your story. In fact, HubSpot reports that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember just 10 percent of that information three days later. However, the addition of a relevant image can increase their information retention to 65 percent after three days.
To tell a visual story, add photos of your business over the years. Show off your employees, your storefront, your events and your customers. You can also take on-the-job video of you and your employees to really bring the small business workday to life.
- Be Social Savvy
Research shows that customers will follow and visit your business on social media to find information about promotions, products and customer reviews. While they’re scrolling, give them a reason to learn more about your business.
Telling your Main Street Story on social media should involve more than copying and pasting from your website. Find new and platform-specific ways to connect with your audience. For instance, you can live-stream a business tradition or a grand opening event via Facebook Live. Offer advice and case studies from your years in business in appropriate LinkedIn groups. Leveraging a mix of social media’s different platforms and features will open your story up to a larger audience and give followers new ways to engage with you.
- Be A Guest Blogger
Don’t just tell your story on your own channels. Many blogs accept guest posts from readers. This presents the opportunity for your story to be seen by a new audience that you may not have been able to reach on your own.
Consider guest blogging for a source that you’re already familiar with. For example, if you own a hardware store, your Main Street Story could find its guest home on a DIY blog. Your local news media may also have a blog that features businesses and attractions around town. You can also submit a post to Independent We Stand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
No one knows your Main Street Story like you. Whether you keep things simple with a brief intro on your website or make it visual with a short and sharable video, it’s important to spread the word about whatever makes your business stand out.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering for a business membership. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local to join the movement.