How do you speak to your prospects about your senior living community? If your website focuses on listing your services, amenities and features, you may need to hone your storytelling skills.
Your social media feed, printed literature, advertisements, direct mail pieces and website should work together to tell the story of your community. Why tell your story?
- It connects you to your prospects.
- It engages your prospects in learning more about your brand.
- It makes your community genuine.
- It enables your prospects to envision themselves in your community.
Every successful senior living community has its own unique story. Here are some tips for understanding why you should tell your story — and then telling it in a way that resonates.
The Benefits of Storytelling
As part of your marketing, a story does not equate to a fairytale. Your story is not what you’d like your community to be; it’s what your community is and what it means to your residents and staff members.
Your community may have a scenic campus, an ideal location, and services and amenities to please just about everyone. The features of your community certainly matter, and prospective residents will compare your offerings to those of other communities.
But what makes the difference between an impressed prospect and one who chooses to become a resident of your community? Your storytelling. To make the decision to move into a senior living community — one of the most significant decisions of your prospects’ lifetimes — individuals must feel a connection to your community, its residents and its staff members.
You make that connection by telling the story of your community. What type of people live there? What do they like to do? What kind of people choose to work for you? What do your residents do every day, and do they enjoy life? How do your residents and staff make a contribution to the larger community in your area?
Telling your story has multiple benefits for your community.
- Piques your prospects’ interest. By telling the story of your community, you encourage your prospective residents to come back again to find out more about you. Whether they return to your social media feed or your website — or pay you a visit in person — you begin to form a relationship with your prospects by telling your story effectively.
- Gets across your personality. The features of many senior living communities can come across in a similar way to prospects. Most communities have nicely landscaped campuses, beautiful buildings, and a full schedule of activities and wellness programming. What differentiates you from other communities is your unique personality.
- Makes an emotional connection. Storytelling is one of the best ways to create an emotional bond with your prospective residents. When you tell real-life stories about your residents, your staff members and your campus, you make a human connection. You may have a manager who overcame adversity to find success or a resident who served with distinction in the military, for example. By telling real, human stories about the people who make up your community, you connect and engage.
Crafting Your Story
To begin crafting stories relevant to your community, do some research. What stories do prospects and local residents already tell about your community? Perhaps you have a well-respected former university president living in your community, or one of your employees is a champion chess player. Maybe your dining director came from one of the best restaurants in the country or your fitness instructor runs marathons.
Storytelling, as the name suggests, is the art of explaining — in a narrative style — what’s special about someone. What steps should you take to begin telling your stories? To get started, consider the answers to these questions:
- What stories do your prospects, residents and employees tell about your community?
- What types of stories will appeal to your average prospective resident? Stories may be funny, sad or inspiring.
- Does any of the user-generated content on your website or social media — including community comments and blog posts — spark ideas about stories you can tell about your community?
By harnessing the power of storytelling, you can connect with your prospective residents and make them want to know more