Making the most of storytelling

Are you forever dreaming up content to serve and inspire your tribe? Plotting your next video or interview, or podcast or blog, to share your expertise and connect... 

Storytelling is one essential tool to help you connect with people, and to develop their emotional investment in you and your business. 

Since ancient times, we have woven stories to tie together our sense of self, our families and communities. To understand what is unknowable or unfamiliar. To express and empathise across cultures and generations. To face adversity and convey wisdom. To seduce and spook and to entertain. 

To do business.

Storytelling is the "human technology for making people care," as pithily described by storyteller extraordinaire  Tom Dawkins, Co-Founder of Start Some Good, in a recent interview.

We love a good story. A grand tale to transport us over 1000 nights, or even a long-format blog post or podcast when we are commuting.

While there are gazillion ways ways to create a powerful narrative, a snappy story is generally better in business settings, where there are so many demands on people's attention and money. Your waffle or chitchat can cost you, as your ideal client gets bored or distracted within 20seconds and moves onto the next shiny internet thing. 

Here are some tips to help you make the most of storytelling online for your business... **


1. Get clear on your strategy.

Map out your why and who is the ideal client you seek to connect with via this content. Frame your story to be value-packed for your tribe. Identify which 'hooks' you will use to capture their attention, and to build connection and impact. ***

Choose how will you share your story, and tailor the telling to this platform (social, website, email, youtube, blog, podcast etc). With video it's great to plan the story to a brief timeframe, like 1, 3 or 10 minutes. Map out your content with the following considerations...


2. What do you want your tribe to do? 

What is the call to action? Do you want your ideal clients to participate in your program, to meet with you, to gain awareness and share your stuff, or to invest their $ or time? 

Your invitation, ask or offer may well be timed for the end of the story you tell, but you should make sure to emphasise it and make it easy for people elsewhere. Add some clear copy, a button, links or other simple highlighted ways for people to act, as they may well not make it to the end of your tale...


3. How do you want them to feel?

Inspiration, trust, empowerment - consider the feelings and emotional investment you seek for your ideal clients? How do you ensure to convey your charisma and authentic self, so they empathise and are motivated by your why? Set your intentions and imagine you are speaking directly to your ideal client, which will help you achieve connection.


4. What do you want them to think? 

What core messages are essential to share with this interview? Get clear about the outcomes you deliver or what do you want them to learn, the significant evidence or beliefs you seek to share. You may want to let them know what experiences or intangible benefits can they expect from working with you. Own your expertise and your strengths!


5. What do you want them to notice?

Consider the non-verbal messages and branding you seek to convey. You can use rich media, even if you are not working with video, through details such as imagery, composition or audio. With video, you could consider details like your body language and how you want to appear, the background, as well as storyboarding/structure, to best serve your message and branding.


6. Practise!

Reflect, learn, refine and do it all again. By continually practising and showing up, you will refine your storytelling, build those cherished marketing 'know, like, trust & connect' factors, and inspire your ideal audiences to join your journey.


What are your tips or challenges for effective storytelling?  

A wonderful tale, but what is the answer to  The Neverending Story ?

A wonderful tale, but what is the answer to The Neverending Story?


* Thanks to Tom Dawkins for this super quote - there will be lots more gold soon to be published in our interview!

** Thanks too to Rob Irving, Lead Pitch Coach for The Funding Network, for the awesome 'notice, think, feel, do' planning framework for successful pitches.

*** Stay tuned to lots more resources coming up, about crafting hooks and impactful storytelling! And I'd love to hear what works (and doesn't yet work so well) for you in sharing your story...


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Kathryn Gray