Olympics Rings London 2012I don’t know about you, but I’m hooked on the Olympics at the minute. I’m normally not that obsessed with sport, but with this I’m watching everything I can.

Can’t get enough of it.

The highs, the lows, the controversies, the drama, and everything in between – I’m hooked!

And one thing struck me as I was watching the athletics and track events the other day, which I think illustrates a lesson in marketing.

Let me explain.

Growing up I was into music rather than sport. So I started my Olympic-viewing journey with a very basic knowledge about some of the sports, and I can’t claim to have known very many of the athletes (of course I knew the big names like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, etc)

For the first few events I watched these athletes put their life and soul into trying to win a medal.

I watched as a local girl, Aileen Morrison, had her hopes of a triathlon medal scuppered by a bike crash. She was injured, but finished the race anyway despite that. When interviewed afterwards, she fought back tears to say that she had spent 4 years getting ready for this, and she wasn’t going to lie down at the first hurdle – pretty inspiring stuff!

Mo Farah

Mo Farah at the London 2012 Olympics

But it was when I watched a short documentary about UK distance runner Mo Farah that I realised something. The documentary explained how, at 28 years old, Farah was probably competing in his last Olympics. Born in Somalia, he had moved to England aged 8, and had been beaten up on his first day at school, after which he jumped off a bridge.

After huge encouragement from his PE Teacher, he pursued long-distance running, in which he had had many successes, but an Olympic medal had always eluded him.

He was considered by many to be “talented but flawed”

It then explained how last year, he relocated his family from the UK to Oregon, USA, to immerse himself in running culture and work with coaching guru Alberto Salazar (a man who incidentally had once died for 14 minutes!)

And here he was today, competing in the 2012 Olympics. After all that commitment to being the best.

Now, there were probably other athletes who had equally inspiring stories, but I hadn’t heard them.

So after learning all that about how Mo Farah came to be here today, I felt a bit more connected, and I really wanted him to win

So what? I hear you say.

Well. let’s translate that to marketing your business. You see, people love stories. Especially if there’s some triumph, struggle and perserverance in there (which, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll have plenty of).

And if you can use that in your marketing you can gain an edge over your competitors.

You have a story, so tell it:

  • How did you come to start your business?
  • Where did the idea come from?
  • Who told you were mad?
  • How did it do in the early days?
  • What struggles have you had?
  • What successes have you had?

Basically how you came to be here today.

Telling your Business Story image

Tell your Business Story

When people know more about you, they are more likely to relate to you, and support your business

It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be chapter and verse. But if I know more about you, then (as long as I’m in the market to buy from you), I’m more likely to do so over another generic company I know nothing about.

So go and write your story – put it on your website About Me page, on your brochures, and put it up in your Reception area (if you have one).

Your prospects will read it (as will your customers), and will feel a little bit more connected to you.

It’s an easy way of standing out in your marketplace through all the noise and differentiating yourself from your competition

It’s just about stacking the odds in your favour.

Now I’m off to shout for Mo Farah to win the 5,000m gold!

By Aidan Breslin – Google+

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Filed under: Customer AttractionLondon 2012MarketingMo FarahSmall / Medium BusinessStorytellingUsain Bolt

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