What's the story with storytelling?
If there's one word that has top trumped 'authentic' in the game of buzzword-bingo, it's gotta be…
Marketers tell us the storytelling is the cure for bad conversions, low engagement, and getting lost in the noise. I couldn't agree more.
But first, you've got to have a few things straight before you go dancing through the street, telling your tales like the magical pied piper, hoping customers will follow.
Talking of magic. My 10-year-old has just left for school camp (his absence has meant our house is the tidiest its been in almost a decade)
Before leaving, he had a few days at home sick which left him in a panic, wondering if he'd make the trip.
"I don't want to listen to everyone's stories of how great it was, I want to be IN the stories Mum."
And that's what we all want really.
When we hear a tale well told, we see ourselves in the story. Our rational brain is bypassed, and our subconscious lights up with delight.
Why then does it feel so hard?
So many people say to me:
"I'm not a storyteller."
"I'm not a writer."
"I don't know where to start."
But storytelling is pretty formulaic (more on those recipes another day0
First, you need to make a few strategic choices.
1.Decide who your story is for
This sounds like a stupidly obvious question, right?
But, without clarity on your audience, you end up with a story that's ALL about you and, not at ALL about your customer.
Find out what your ideal customer really wants or desires and work out how your brand and business fill that need.
2. What is your story plot or archetype?
Christopher Booker developed the theory that we live in a world where 7 plot archetypes play out in every story we consume.
Whaaat? Only 7 stories on repeat?
These story archetypes help us connect with our audience, which may be experiencing the same scenario in their lives.
You might have a story archetype of 'Rebirth.'
Perhaps you started out on a path of struggle, disconnected from your true calling. Maybe it was a job that sucked your soul or a relationship that left you empty. At some point you decided to make a change, you met a mentor who showed you the light, things transformed life has never been the same since.
If your customer is looking for transformation and they don't really believe in themselves, somewhere on the inside, they're thinking "this isn't possible for me". Hearing your story of rebirth will help inspire them and activate them to pursue the change they are seeking.
To learn more about how your story archetype can help you connect with your audience and help you create content that converts;
3.What belief does your audience need to have to work with you or buy from you?
Perhaps they need to believe that Facebook ads are the answer to getting more leads.
Or knowing their unique metabolic constitution is the answer to long-lasting weight loss.
Whatever it might be, identify the core belief they need to have and take them on that journey.
Get clear on these 3 things, and your stories will have people beating down your digital door for more.