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What Storytelling is and is Not

storytellingAs Annette Simmons once said, “If you wish to influence an individual or a group to embrace a particular value in their daily lives, tell them a compelling story.”

Storytelling is a powerful tool in marketing your business. However, be aware, I want to be crystal clear about what I am advocating and what I am not advocating. Marketing with stories is not a license to lie, fabricate, or trick your audience. When you think of stories, instead of imagining a used car salesman, try to imagine instead the stories your favorite uncle told you about his early years. Sure, most of the time the story was designed to keep you from making their mistakes, but they were true, honest, and actually did the job.


Marketing with Storytelling

Marketing with stories isn’t that different. It is about crafting realistic stories that impart the knowledge to your audience that they need to make a decision to solve their problems. It’s also about creating relatable content, surprising and delighting your audience, all while being realistic and truthful. Let your audience get to know you on a whole new level, break down boundaries, and create brand loyalty with your audience. That cannot be matched with other marketing methods.

Ultimately, you want your audience to laugh, cry, or jump for joy that they’ve finally found what they need and your story should easily accomplish that. Your marketing stories can be the difference between your brand and another brand that promises two for one if you buy widget A. It can compel your audience to take the leap to solve their problems without any false sales tactics.

Making a Connection

At its core, marketing with stories is about making a connection with your audience. After all, the stories you create are about them. That’s right. The stories you write will be about your audience. They will address their concerns, their needs, their pain points, and how your product or service will fix those issues. Remember nothing has changed about basic marketing. It’s still about your audience and its benefits over its features. As harsh as it may sound to you, no one cares about anything other than what’s in it for them. They only care how your product or service solves their problem. Really, the price is far down on the list, as are the many other features.

The Benefits

storytellingMarketing with stories gives you a good way to make it about your audience, focusing on benefits over features by telling your audience’s story in a new, interesting and compelling way. By telling stories about your audience and customers you tell your audience exactly what they want to hear. Think about it, when Uncle Bob tells the story about TPing his arch enemies house and getting arrested for vandalism remember, it wasn’t really about that.

It was about telling you what not to do and teaching you about the consequences that actions carry. By sharing his story he hoped you could learn from his mistakes. However, the only way to get you to listen was to try to make the story humorous so you would listen to the end and get the moral of the story. Did you still get the message? Yes. Of course.

Soon you will learn that every story you tell has to include some very specific elements for it to work. Now, in next weeks post, I’m going to tell you what your stories need to include. Also, what they always need to have in order to get the results you want when marketing with stories

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