Using Metaphors for Your Online Business Story
A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers to something as being the same as another thing for rhetorical effect. Examples include “those two friends are peas in a pod” and “the park was a lake after the big rain”. Using metaphors for your online business can be an effective way to incorporate storytelling into everything you share with your community.
My favorite type of metaphor is a parable, which is simply an extended metaphor that is narrated as an anecdote. An example of this is the illustrating and teaching done in works such as Aesop’s fables. In my own business I regularly use the metaphor “time is money” to teach the importance of time management.
Recently I was watching a broadcast over on YouTube where visibility expert Denise Wakeman interviewed Michael Kass and Tea Silvestre Godfrey on the topic of How to Use Metaphors to Tell Your Story. This conversation was brilliantly crafted to explain exactly how and why these are so crucial to our businesses.
I can remember attending an online marketing conference years ago when I was just getting started with my own Internet business. As I approached the large conference room there were groups of people gathered in circles, talking about a variety of topics related to themselves and their businesses. I didn’t know anyone there so I just stood by myself for a few minutes, listening to bits and pieces of conversations. One circle of people to my left was talking about a woman who used to be a school teacher and was now becoming successful as a marketer on the Internet. I leaned in a little bit closer to see if I could hear them mention her name. Imagine my surprise when one of them said “Connie Ragen Green”!
At that point I went over and introduced myself to the group. This was an important lesson for me. I learned on that day that my story would precede me and that it was completely up to me to share a story about myself that would portray me in the light in which I wished to shine. Ever since that time I’ve used metaphors and storytelling as a regular part of my marketing strategy.
Stories also make everything easier for people to remember. When you think about Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln, can’t you just picture him walking several miles to return someone’s change when he worked at the general store? And as Tea Silvestre Godfrey reminds us during the broadcast:
“If you’re attempting to teach anything, it’s more effective to teach with a story than with presentation of data.”
What’s your story? How are you sharing it with your audience? I recommend that you spend an hour watching Denise Wakeman’s broadcast I referenced above and learn how your stories will enhance everything you do and how to use metaphors for your online business story, while also taking advantage of how this will set you apart from others in your niche.