Last weekend we did a getaway to the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse. I had done some design work for them earlier this year and was anxious to really be part of this great event. It was so much fun! Think hobnobbing with 3,500+ farmers, academics and friends; learning lots from any of the 65 workshops, 23 roundtables and two keynote speakers; and networking with two floors of ag-related business owners. And, oh, the food…it was deliciously diviiiiine.
My husband and I are not organic farmers by trade (we are at heart!). Even so, at the MOSES conference we felt inspired, wiser and excited about the many people who do make their living providing the world with good food. As a marketing professional, I couldn’t help notice a dominant lesson repeated throughout the weekend—the power of the story.
Stories Create Connection
There were two keynote speakers—Mas Masumoto and Liz Carlisle—and they were both captivating storytellers (I’ll share links to their sessions as soon as they are posted so be sure to check back). They shared heartfelt narratives of themselves and farmers, and they emphasized the importance of telling your own story. Masumoto asked each of us to turn to our neighbor and share the story of how we got into organic food. It was slow going for about five seconds and then the conversation took off in an excited hum. What a great way for everyone to realize they have a unique story, all the while meeting other people and hearing theirs.
Organic farmers—well, any business for that matter—can tote facts and features all day long, but in the end, emotions are what really motivate people to buy. This was true decades ago when Dale Carnegie said “we are dealing with creatures of emotion.” It’s even truer today in this “experience-economy,” as Masumoto explained, where consumers are looking for a personal connection to the things around them. When you share your story with others, you allow them an emotional ownership in your farm, your brand and your product.
The World is Waiting to Hear Your Story
So what is your story? As Masumoto asks, “What is your story of significance?” Maybe you have difficulties figuring this out. Or maybe you feel uncomfortable telling it, like on your website or in a brochure.
Here’s where I’m your gal. As a trained journalist, I excel in the interview. I ask lots of questions and get to the heart of who you are. I listen. I take notes. And then I take all this wonderful stuff about you and weave it into a meaningful story, one that captures the emotion of your consumers and motives them to action.
If you need help telling your story, whether in design or in words—I’d love to help.