The Best Business Storytellers Do These 2 Things

Cathy Goodwin
2 min readNov 14, 2023

Business storytelling can support small business marketing…or not.

Adapted from an image by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash.

A few weeks ago I came across a fascinating story on a business owner’s blog. The story has the potential to inspire my audience and teach a valuable lesson. I immediately invited the business owner to be a guest on my podcast.

The business owner initially was enthused…but then she pulled back. She hadn’t realized how her story might come across to others.

It’s not the first time this has happened. We’re seeing a lot of business storytellers out there. In my experience, the TWO things that set apart successful storytellers from unsuccessful storytellers are:

(1) They are marketing strategists first and storytellers second.

They begin with the question, “What is my goal as a marketer?”

For example:

In this marketing piece, do I want to use a story to sell — to get listeners to say, “I *must* have that!”

Do I want to explain and differentiate my services?

Or do I want to engage and introduce myself as the human behind the website?

(2) They choose stories consistent with their archetype.

When you go through your inbox, you’ll probably notice that some people open every email with a personal story. Here’s a quick overview:

Some will share a story about themselves and their lives; they’re almost always Role Models. Others will define “personal” as something they did in their businesses, maybe when they were new; they’re most likely Educators. Still others will share a “pull back the curtain” story. They’re Celebrities. Some tell stories about their clients’ transformations. They’re usually Innovators.

Passionate Advocates rarely use email marketing. That’s a topic for another day.

Your story archetype influences every aspect of your marketing, even your opt-in page. When I work with clients, that’s where we start: where your story meets the client’s backstory.

I’m Cathy Goodwin, a copywriter, storyteller, and strategist. My clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and solopreneurs. I help them get new clients through digital marketing, with a unique mix of copywriting and storytelling that produces results without sleaze or hype.

Want to learn more about how business storytelling really works? Read my ebook on Amazon, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time.

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Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story.