Entrepreneurs can center marketing strategies around personal experiences

When small businesses are designing a print strategy, whether it will be based on direct mail or centered around poster printing, they should remember to design with one thing in mind: consumers' emotions.

Emotional branding is one technique that entrepreneurs are using to connect with potential customers, with the CEO's personal story often taking center stage in the pitch. Consider Inner City 100, for example.

The group is made of "urban pioneers," who work in inner cities and often use their characteristics as women or ethnic minorities to tell a story. However, just how much of their personal tale they tell is something that will need to be decided relatively early on in a venture, Inc. magazine writes.

"In some areas it works against you; in some areas it works in your favor," Lanre Olotu, a Nigerian emigre-turned entrepreneur, told the source. "For the people who think it's a plus, sometimes they feel sorry for you, so they give you an order. Which is OK. I'll take it any way I can."

Whether small business owners decide to integrate their own stories into an ad campaign, they still must make sure that they use a catchy headline and bold colors, or risk having their tale get lost in the crowd.