Have you ever been asked, “What’s your story?” and then not had a ready answer?
Why Do I Need A Story?
“My wines speak for themselves, I don’t need a story.” I’ve heard this comment over and over again, which is why I decided to write down the answer.
Peopleconnect with us through our stories. Wine drinkers, bloggers, distributors, and wine writers all look for wineries that make great wines and have a story they can relate to, or they can share with others. If you don’t have a story, your winery is just another business that sells wine, even if it’s superb wine. There are so many wineries that make excellent wine, there needs to be a way to differentiate one from another. You could miss the perfect opportunity by not having your story to share.
Lost Opportunity to Avoid #1
Folks planning trips to wine country (and yes, that will happen again one day soon), use your website as one of their decision-making tools. It’s great to have lovely photos of your vineyards, your grounds, and your tasting venue. It is also really important to have a list of the wines you make and what you might have available for pouring during someone’s visit. But, with so many wineries to pick from, what is the compelling reason someone will choose your winery over the dozens of others nearby?
Give your website viewers something they can connect to—share your story so they’ll call and make a reservation to taste your wines rather than visit a neighboring winery. Give them a compelling reason to connect with and choose you!
Lost Opportunity to Avoid #2
A variety of people peruse your website for a variety of reasons. Wine media and bloggers are always looking for stories, and websites are the first source they turn to when looking for article topics. Once at a website, they look for what makes up your story, what they can write about that will have others connecting to who you are, what you do, and the wines you produce.
Consider developing web pages that describe what you’re about, your history, your philosophies, and give a flavor of the winery’s, winemaker’s, or owner’s personality. There are so many options for delivering this information, yet so many winery websites are light on these topics, and in some cases, devoid of any words that speak to your story.
In 2020, I wrote a couple of blogs on multi-generational family wineries. I was thrilled when I found some of the wineries had information on their websites telling their story. I also discovered websites where the winery’s rich history wasn’t anywhere to be found, or that the information was sparse, incomplete, or even incorrect.
Don’t ponder too long on why bloggers or traditional media aren’t writing about you if you haven’t given them what they are looking for on your website. Research is done online, and if you don’t have at least enough of your story online to intrigue someone, they aren’t going to hunt you down for your story. (Then there is the SEO aspects of good content, which I’ll address in another blog soon.)
You can add distributors and wholesaler buyers to the list of who uses websites to glean information. They, too, are looking for a good story to help them sell wine.
We never know who doesn’t call, text, or email us because we didn’t have our compelling story online for them to read.
If you haven’t developed your story, it isn’t too late. And, if you still think your wines can “speak for themselves,” you might seriously consider how many other wineries also make great wines but have a great story to go along with those wines.