History vs. Story

When a company is asked to provide their story, they typically tell their company’s history, but what people really want is their company’s story. What is the difference between history and story? Let’s look at some examples:

Company History A

Founded by field service experts in 2001, Field Service Management Software offers solutions that enable end-to-end field service operations. Our comprehensive suite of integrated products provides intelligent and automated field service scheduling, partner management and real-time wireless communications for mobile field service resources.

Company History B

Our story starts three years ago with two brothers, two backpacks, and one wild adventure…an adventure that would open their eyes to healthy foods around the world. With their hearts set on exploration, Luke and Matt Geddie ventured through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, and Vietnam with a desire to see and experience everything nature had to provide.

Both of these examples are stories about how the company started. It may be interesting to some, but it fails in one big way: it doesn’t make the reader the hero of the story. Let’s see how we could write it differently:

Company Story A

Originally developed for one of the largest companies in the world, this exclusive software is now available for small business owners like you. Get the power of enterprise-grade field management software you deserve at a price your company can afford.

Company Story B

When her son brought home a new type of coconut oil from Vietnam, she immediately noticed a difference. As a holistic practitioner who understood the power of raw, alkaline foods, she wanted to do everything she could to help other people like her get access to this new type of oil.

History vs. Story

What’s the difference between the ‘company history’ examples and the ‘company story’ examples? When companies are forced to fill out “About Us” pages and description boxes on social media, it’s easy for them to state facts, but what people identify with is stories – but in particular, stories the target market can identify with.

In the first example, the software company is trying to invoke trust by saying they’ve been in business “since 2001”, but in software-years, that’s an eternity and it wouldn’t really matter if they had said “2011”. In the ‘story’ version, the focus is shifted more towards the value that the customer now can access. Something has been unlocked for them, something that’s precious and rare. They are now the hero for recognizing this exclusive opportunity to get “enterprise-grade software” that’s just recently been made available for small business owners like them.

In the second example, the coconut oil company is trying to make the two, young founders be the hero of the ‘company history’ by telling about their exotic travels through Southeast Asia, but this has nothing to do with their typical customer: a holistically-minded mother. In the ‘story’ example, the orientation of the story is flipped to be told from the perspective of the mother, who is more like the target audience. This helps readers identify with the story and they begin to think about how they can be a part of that story – to help spread the word about this new oil.

10 Places to Submit Your eCommerce Product Online

Looking for free publicity for your product? “Cool new product” blogs are one of the best places to do that. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to submit your e-commerce product online:

  1. Shut Up and Take My Moneyhttp://shutupandtakemymoney.com/contact/ – home, kitchen, clothing, tech, gaming, toys, bacon/zombie, beer/wine, random
  2. I Waste So Much Moneyhttp://iwastesomuchmoney.com/submit/ – apparel, fandoms, food and drink, for kids, for men, for pets, for women, gear and gadgets, home and office, nerdy, toys and games
  3. The Awesomehttp://theawesomer.com/suggest-link/ – tech, wearables, leisure, art/design, living, rides, games, lux, music, funny
  4. In Stashhttp://www.instash.com/contact – culture, tech, gear, living, rides, style
  5. The Manualhttp://www.themanual.com/contact-us/ – fashion and style, living, food and drink, travel, grooming, and guides for men
  6. Cool Huntinghttp://www.coolhunting.com/contact-us – design, technology, style, travel, art and culture
  7. Gear Patrol – http://gearpatrol.com/ (email tips@gearpatrol.com) – cars, culture, design, drinks, eats, sports and outdoors, style, tech, travel, and watches
  8. Gear Hungry – http://gearhungry.com/ (email gearhungry@gmail.com) – gear, tech, style, gadgets, food and drink, sports and outdoors
  9. Thrillsthttp://www.thrillist.com/contact – food and drink, travel, recipes
  10. Outblushhttp://www.outblush.com/contact/ – fashion, beauty, home, life
  11. Uncratehttp://uncrate.com/contact/ – gear, style, cars, tech, vices, body

What’s an Example Email to Send Potential Bloggers?

Hey [name]!

I saw your recent post about [subject related to yours]. I’m a huge fan of your work and thought you might be interested in learning more about our product.

I sell [product] and people love it. You can check it out here: [link]

If you’d be interested in hearing more about it, let me know. You can reach me at [phone number] if you have any questions. I think your readers would love to try our product as well.

I’d be more than happy to send a sample your way as well 🙂

Talk to you soon,

[your name]
[contact info]
[website url]

5 Hints for Getting Potential Bloggers to Cover Your Product

  • Have an intriguing email subject that gets their attention and makes them want to open your email immediately.
  • Include a phone number they can reach you at in case they have any questions. This adds legitimacy.
  • Offer a product sample, even if you have to pay for it.
  • Add some personality to your email. Be yourself.
  • Follow up after a week if they haven’t responded.

How to Get More Followers on Periscope: 5 Ways

Periscope is the new video streaming service from Twitter. It lets you stream video live from your smartphone to anyone with the app or via their website (if published).

But how do you get more viewers to watch your Periscopes?

  1. Make a title that intrigues people to watch (definitely don’t leave it blank)
  2. Make sure the “Twitter Post” icon is selected when you’re starting a new Periscope
  3. Encourage or incentivize people to like the Periscope by tapping the screen
  4. Follow more people on Periscope. Like Twitter, they may follow you back
  5. Instead of making it public, choose the private option and invite specific people to watch

Periscope Followers

How can brands use Periscope for marketing?

  • Have a celebrity “take over” the company Periscope for a live broadcast
  • Showcase company culture & the people behind the brand
  • Live Q&A sessions and instant feedback
  • Sneak peeks and teasers
  • Build and interact with community

How are you using Periscope? Got any tricks or tips for use? It’s still a relatively new program so I’m sure there will be more new features and announcements to come, but for now, get as big a following as you can!