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7 Ways to Connect With Your Customers Through Storytelling

7 Ways to Connect With Your Customers Through Storytelling

January 20, 2016

7 industry experts weigh in on how to use the power of storytelling to earn more customers for your startup.


The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.


Make It Relatable

Too often we hear stories of places we’ve never been to where people we’ve never met are facing problems we’ve never encountered. It’s hard to understand such an abstract value proposition, and it’s often harder to care. Operating in developing markets, we learned early on that the key is putting things in a context your audience can understand. Empathy is much more powerful than sympathy.

— Kate Woska
Atikus Investments Incorporated


Provide Logical Emotion

We use our minds and hearts when making decisions, so make sure to incorporate that into your story. State the problem the audience might have, present facts around the issue, and provide a story that you might have encountered that brings together the emotion attached to the problem and the logic of the solution. Then, share how you are part of making that solution a reality.

— Jessica Baker
Aligned Signs


Be Personal and Authentic

Coming from a documentary film background, I find that the stories that resonate the most are the ones where the subjects are open about their passion, motivation, challenges, sacrifices, etc.—all the characteristics that make us human. Authenticity comes from maintaining a balance of sharing the obstacles you face as well as the successes you are proud of.

— Ariel Sultan
Food Guru


Drive Connections

Storytelling is great because it allows you to drive purposeful connections with your target audience in a way that isn’t selling, but more showing and growing together. The best startups are the ones that tell a compelling story that have narratives based on the consumer’s wants and needs. It truly is a cost effective way to live in the hearts and minds of your customers while still “marketing.”

— Steven Picanza
Latin & Code


Have a Good Story Leading to Your Product

Every good story has a beginning, middle and end. Think of your brand or product as the story’s end. In order for your audience to want to arrive there, you need a compelling beginning and middle. You need to show them that your business isn’t just another faceless corporation but has values and principles that mesh with their own.

— Steven Buchwald
Buchwald & Associates


Offer Varied Experiences

Lots of businesses rely on telling ONE story; they find one customer that they’d like their base to emulate, and then they blast that story everywhere in hopes of attracting that one kind of client. The reality is, everyone is going to use your product in their own way. You should demonstrate as many roads to usage as possible. Clients bring value to your app first. Most people get that backwards.

— Adarsh Pallian


Communicate the “Why”

Everyone likes a good story, and it can be more important to tell not just about what you offer, but WHY. The mission and the “why” behind your company may be the reason that people took an interest initially. We’ve created a program to train all new employees to use the power of the “why” story behind our products whenever they speak about our company and have seen amazing results.

— Laura Johnson
Salty Girl Seafood


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