Jeff Shuford: 5 excellent benefits of storytelling for startups

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Too many startups postpone storytelling until they've become successful or acquired investor funding. They believe they're too busy trying to build a startup to put any focus on content marketing and social media outreach. The sad truth is, they're making a critical mistake.

Storytelling at an early stage is one of the savviest moves a startup can make. Failing to hone a storytelling plan-of-action from the moment a startup launches can be an error in judgment with serious consequences. If you're a part of a startup that hasn't discovered the powerful potential of storytelling as a growth hack, following are five benefits of storytelling for startups you ought to understand.

Define Your Narrative

Storytelling allows you to define your narrative. Tech reporters and journalists don't define your startup's story. You get to determine how you want your startup portrayed online and how your growth efforts are framed. If you do only one thing to increase your startup's chances of increased customer acquisition, develop a detailed storytelling strategy from the start.

Competitive Advantage

Storytelling gives you a significant competitive advantage over other startups in your sector. While your competition is still trying to determine their go-to-market strategy, you can be telling your brand's story for all to hear. Not only is storytelling awesome for search engine optimization, it helps your startup develop a reputation with potential customers and vendors.

Impress Potential Investors

Storytelling doesn't just let you impress potential vendors and customers. It is also fabulous for garnering attention from angel investors and venture capitalists. When investors see your team is savvy enough to have a detailed storytelling strategy that you're executing flawlessly, they're more likely to believe in your team's capabilities to bring a product/service to market.

Optimize Talent Acquisition Efforts

Startups with sound storytelling strategies are often better at attracting talent. Hiring impressive talent is a tough challenge for many startups. When there is increasing competition for everyone from software engineers to marketing talent, your startup's ability to tell your own story might be the deciding factor for potential employees. If you want to optimize your startup's talent acquisition efforts, nailing your storytelling strategy is a smart move.

Improve Customer Understanding

Storytelling also helps you better understand your target customer. The engagement you receive on your business' blog posts can give you a clear indication as to whether your product/service is resonating with customers. Offer content marketing posts on a variety of platforms like your blog, LinkedIn, and Medium and the response to your content will let you know whether you're on the right track with your customer targeting.

These are just five of the many advantages of storytelling for startups. The more effort you put into your startup's content marketing outreach, the greater your rewards are likely to be.

-- Jeff Shuford is president of Tech From Vets, an award winning veteran-owned technology company. Tech From Vets merges NFL veterans and military veterans in the tech industry and develops innovative websites and mobile applications for their clients nationwide.