What You Ought to Know About Storytelling Before Writing Your Next Blog Post
Don’t just write. Write about something. Do more than entertain. You’re not a dancing monkey. You’re a storyteller, embrace that responsibility. ~ Chuck Wendig
When we market our business, message, or cause online there is an obligation, inherent to attracting attention and building an audience, that we tell our story.
Our story sets the foundation for every action we take.
Stories activate the portions of our brain simulating the event or experience we’re describing. A well told doesn’t just metaphorically place our audience inside a scene or moment in time, but our brains actually attempt to duplicate the sensory functions as if we were there.
Facts are boring.
A series of facts, bullet points on a powerpoint, your product details, a list of services, a mundane tweet or Facebook post…
…our brain recognizes the words, categorizes them and shuts back down. A short burst of activity in a very small portion of the brain.
Our brains are capturing the information but in no way stimulated to take action.
But when confronted with a story our brain lights up like a redneck 4th of July party (think five-year-olds with Roman Candles… lots of action, everywhere).
Why is it important to activate your audience’s brain?
An activated brain wants to take action.
As marketers and business owners isn’t this why we tell our story in the first place? So our audience will take action? Buy our wares?
Hell yes it is.
Stories allow us to touch our audience with the broadest stroke.
Robert Fulford, in The Triumph of Narrative, wrote:
Of all the ways we communicate with one another, the story has established itself as the most comfortable, the most versatile–and perhaps also the most dangerous. Stories touch all of us, reaching across cultures and generations, accompanying humanity down the centuries. Assembling facts or incidents into tales is the only form of expression and entertainment that most of us enjoy equally at age three and age seventy-three.
For this reason stories are essential to Connected Generation marketing.
We forget to tell our story.
We often forget about storytelling in exchange for SEO… or social media marketing strategies… or what widgets we should have in our sidebar.
I’ve let my brain go to these places as well. But it’s time to stop.
Storytelling is what engages our audience, captures their attention, and ultimately turns readers into customers and clients enamored by our brand.
Storytelling is what keeps customers and clients coming back over and over again.
Your story is a drug.
When you can consistently activate your audience’s brain it becomes a narcotic. Your audience becomes subconsciously addicted to the sensory activity they feel when consuming your stories.
Consumers may visit us on price, they may inquire on price, but they’re staying for the story.
I don’t believe a single word of the nonsense being propagated throughout the business community that Connected Generation consumers don’t care about the human side of the business…
…if anything they care more!
It’s just that traditional new business acquisition has been for so long about who can spend the most. Today’s average business owner and/or marketer has simply forgotten how to tell their story.
Telling the story of our business will soon be as much a part of our job description as the ability to type on a keyboard.
Those who can’t or refuse to tell their story for fear of being judged or because of some misguided attempt to “sound corporate” will be left behind…
…chasing tactics and schemes never able to achieve the results experienced by their peers.
Your Next Blog Post.
Make your next blog post a story… but not just any story.
Your next blog post should tell the story of how someone else HELPED YOU. Not how you or your product helped someone else. Your next blog post should have NOTHING to do with your work or how someone can work with you.
I want you to SELL someone’s else’s product, service, message, cause, beliefs… what they do or how they helped you doesn’t matter.
To tell our own story better we must first be able to tell the story of others.
Here’s a simple framework for your story:
- Start with your problem
- Why did you choose this particular individual or business?
- How did they help you?
- What has been the impact of that help?
Very basic stuff.
Tell their story and when you’re done email me a link to your story. I’ll feature here on Content Warfare in a future post on Storytelling.
Thank you and Good luck,
I am Ryan Hanley.
P.S. if you enjoyed this article on Storytelling and would like more information on becoming a Content Warrior click here.
photo credit: …-Wink-…
DROP SOME KNOWLEDGE
How has storytelling impacted your business? What advice would you give someone currently NOT telling stories?