Need Another Revenue Stream? Try Business Storytelling! – by Christina R. Green

Need Another Revenue Stream? Try Business Storytelling! – by Christina R. Green

Novice fiction writers often dream about leaving their day jobs in order to write full time. But, that can feel overwhelming (and completely fiscally irresponsible) for those without large advances. Still, the dream is there every time they sit down to write.

But, you can make money writing stories and you can do it easily. The kind of storytelling I’m referring to can pay the bills without the concerns over a hefty advance…and you needn’t worry about a crowded market or publishers who don’t “get” you.

There are thousands of businesses out there looking to connect with customers on an emotional level and you can help them do that by writing their business story.

What Is Business Storytelling?

Over the last decade, there’s been a large shift from “bullhorn” marketing, where businesses broadcast their desired messages to the masses. The new trend it to create content that will help a business’ audience get to know, like, and trust them. This is a much subtler sell and it requires knowing who the audience is, and being a resource for them.

Marketers can’t just tell people to know, like, and trust them. They have to earn those feelings and that’s the long game. One of the ways to shrink that game a little is by finding ways to connect quickly, to allow for those self-identifying moments when the client or customer thinks, “This business understands me.” Business storytelling is one of the fastest ways to spawn that reaction.

Fiction Writers Are a Perfect Fit for Business Storytelling

Most businesses want to start their business story when the company began, with the details about how it happened. Fiction writers recognize that as backstory. It’s valuable, but not all that interesting.

A business story is the “why” behind what they do and the “how” of how they help. The best business stories cast the customer or client as the hero and the business as the wise sage behind their success. (Think Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.)

Many businesses are still figuring out that their story is actually a compilation of their customers’ stories and you, as a fiction writer, can help tell them more effectively. Occasionally, you’ll see savvy businesses advertising jobs for freelance journalists, or those with journalism backgrounds, to join their marketing department because they understand the importance of story, and have a nose for it. But, fiction writers have their own set of skills they can bring to a marketing team.

Those include:

Character Development
Business stories don’t need a full-blown developed character but the audience needs to care about the person and situation. Fiction writers are particularly skilled in this area.

Sadly, in all the push to tell a business’ story, many have gotten it wrong. These stories often turn out to be boring lists of important dates to the business. Fiction writers know stats don’t tell a story. People and actions do.

Defining the Story Arc
A good business story needs a moment that draws people in. Writers know that without a problem, friction, and resolution, there’s no satisfaction. Business stories require the same structure.

Drawing Connections through Themes
Business stories should reflect the business culture and mission. They need to be woven into the marketing.

Putting together a business story requires real examples, and painting a picture of the environment in which the story occurred. This may mean research or interviews, something fiction writers are familiar with.

The best storytellers possess an aptitude for putting themselves in someone else’s shoes. For fiction writers, that’s fueled by a natural curiosity when it comes to people, their actions, and their problems. So, if you’re a fiction writer who’s looking for some supplemental income or a day job that feeds your passion for writing, consider business storytelling. Businesses are looking for people who can help them connect with their audience and story is one of the most powerful and proven ways to do that.


Christina R. Green is a blogger and freelance writer. She left the corporate world in order to pursue writing full time five years ago. Since then, she’s written for the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, Event Manager Blog,, AssociationTech, and Writer’s Weekly. Her stories have appeared in several anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Women in Love. She is currently editing her first novel, West of You, and fighting off the urge to start a new project before she completes the edits.



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