Your business story is your most effective “hook” for earning buy-in from industry partners and for fostering loyalty among your customers. Business owners who understand the importance of their story — and who are able to communicate it in an emotional way — will forge both a stronger brand and stronger customer relationships.

Anyone interested in creating or refining their business story so that it can create emotional connections can look to the following five tips to make it more powerful.

Write Your Business Character as Someone People Root For

Your first goal with writing any story is to create a main character people can be invested in. The most popular stories all have a distinct human (or human-like) protagonist because audiences empathize more readily with these characters. As a result, the emotions your character experiences can be felt directly by the audience.

Whether casting yourself or a fictional persona as the main character of your story, make sure that they have qualities people will root for. Generally speaking, people love characters who are:

  • Underdogs — Especially people following a certain passion or value
  • Compassionate — People driven to reduce the suffering of others
  • Visionaries — They follow their dreams and live out scenarios others fantasize about

All business owners are risk takers, so emphasizing the first and third qualities within your own story can give you a solid foundation. Then, you can enhance the aspects that show how you care about your customers or how you intend to change the world for the better.

Character traits like these hold instant, universal appeal and drive emotional connections within your story.

Do Some Method Acting for Strong Emotional Connections within Your Business Story

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan once said “the medium is the message,” which means that the various devices used within a type of media are the true ideas being communicated. Use this principle to your advantage within your business story.

If you want your business to seem driven, dedicated and energetic, use short sentences dominated by powerful verbs. If you want people to feel bittersweet, highlight details in your story that pack an emotional punch.

Putting yourself in the desired emotional mindset when you write can make these devices appear more naturally. Let your ideas stem from those emotions, and don’t hold back. You can always revise and refine later.

Align Your Story with Your Brand Promise and Brand Values

This one’s simple: your story should always reinforce or enhance your brand values. Even if you think you have a really great story of how you started your business, you may have to tweak it if it conflicts or feels irrelevant to the prime values your brand exudes.

Use Suspense

No matter how familiar your story may be, you can ham up the suspense to keep your audience interested. For instance, if you are telling a classic “I followed my passion” underdog story, then you can play up a moment where you felt challenged or experienced self-doubt.

The negative tension people will feel within these moments makes the positive follow-up emotions all the more powerful.

Always Ensure Your Business Story Ends with “To Be Continued…”

If you’re still in business, your story hasn’t ended yet. Just like J.K. Rowling gave us the “19 Years Later” epilogue in her Harry Potter series, your business story should always end with your current vision of the future. It should also reflect briefly on the connections you currently maintain with your customers, your community, and your colleagues.

Open-ended stories invite new customers to become a part of it while reminding current customers that they, too, have played a part. Putting all these devices and practices together, you can transform your business story into something powerful and unforgettable.