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Technology & Internet8 Ways to Tell Your Company's Story
If you have ever needed inspiration for how to tell your company's story, you're not alone. Here are the questions that helped take me out of that dark place and share with you this story.
In search of content marketing inspiration, I found the SlideShare production: How to Tell Your Company's Story: 8 Questions to Get You Started by Ann Handley from Marketing Profs. Did the title remind me a little bit of the self-help book? A tad. Was I stoked about finding it? Absolutely. Did the slideshow prove to be helpful? Extremely. Leave it to Ann and the other geniuses at Marketing Profs to ask the most basic questions about your business in a way that gets you to rethink the reasons and motivation behind what you do.
Here is our story and the eight questions that helped us share it.
1. What is unique about your business?
exploreB2B is an international publishing platform. The built-in platform of professionals who serve as your audience makes it different from the self-publishing aspect of a blog (where you begin with no following); on exploreB2B, you have exposure from day one. Unique from a news aggregate, there is more emphasis on developing a personal profile, the ability to sync articles with colleagues from the same company, and strong elements of discussion and connection.
With a body of work to represent your experience, your audience can begin to trust your advice and utilize your products, services or knowledge. The sum of your articles comes to represent your industry expertise, the way you wish to portray it.
2. What is interesting about how your company was founded?
exploreB2B was a Schnapsidee. A Schnapsidee (German) is an idea that comes along with the help of schnapps, or – booze. After a failed first attempt to invest in a different startup, the idea for exploreB2B arose with the combination of Susanna’s work experience in B2B, Jonathan’s social media knowledge and a hearty talk over a bottle of rum.
3. What problem are you trying to solve?
exploreB2B helps professionals address any one of these questions:
How can I gain more visibility?
Where can I access an audience that is relevant to my business/profession?
Where can I write and publish info about my company and me?
Where can I establish my professional expertise online?
Where can I build a professional reputation?
Where can I tap into an international audience?
Where can I have discussion with people who relate to my profession?
Where can I make meaningful professional connections?
How can I establish my B2B brand?
4. What inspired your business?
First, was a desire to help B2B professionals utilize social media, gain professional exposure, and connect to the right people. Susanna, a former energy consultant for five years always thought, “There must be an easier way to do B2B business without expensive and time consuming conferences, meetings and lectures.”
The idea coinsided with Jonathan’s passion for written communication. Believing everyone is a trained writer, Jonathan says, “Social media outlets have trained us in writing and self-publishing. Centuries of human communication have prepared us for the exchange of information and thought.”
Together, these ideas formulated exploreB2B: helping professionals make use of their written capabilities and the task of B2B interaction… easier.
5. What “AHA!” moments has your company had?
Hiring the right people is vital for business. Modus Operandi, our developers, were a gift in the form of a “meet-and-greet” exercise at startup event. The story of finding our social media and content manager is nicely covered by Killer Startups.
6. How has your business evolved?
exploreB2B has turned from a small, regional startup to an internationally recognized platform. With the United States launch in April 2012, the platform has grown over 250% and now represents users from the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, South Africa, China, Japan, India. It continues to expand daily.
exploreB2B has also matured in spirit. After a series of trial-and-error with employees, hired PR firms, design and layout ideas – the team accepts that part of supporting a strong company is to be prepared to encounter difficulty and change; embracing evolution is part of what makes successful companies stronger.
7. What’s an unobvious way to tell your story?
A brother and a sister cracked open a bottle of rum and came up with the brilliant idea of hosting a global platform for professionals to write their own articles and connect. Other people thought the idea wasn't so bad, so it did - in fact - go global.
8. What do you consider normal that other people would think is cool?
We speak German and English in the office, everyday. Susanna has a Newfoundland dog that is 70kg (154 lbs), while Jonathan totes a Chihuahua that is around 4kg (9 lbs). Jonathan and Susanna are brother and sister – and both mathematicians. We are based in Berlin: a developing city with a thriving international community, and the perfect combination of eastern and western spunk.
Thanks again to Ann and those at Marketing Profs for giving us the extra push. For all you marketers, get to sharing.
Very inspiring questions. Thank you for giving me some awesome ideas. :)
I never thought of q8 for instance. Cause, well, it's just normal business.
Also, q2 is made more specific. Like it very much.
Again. I'm very thankful for your article.Reply