Storytelling has always been around in business. The early online entrepreneurs I’ve looked at all have a ‘rags to riches’ story. It just wasn’t called something as yummy as ‘storytelling’ at the time, though.
So what’s changed? I think it’s that with Social Media Marketing, Neuroscience Marketing and the fact that Sole Proprietor Entrepreneurs have now become a mass market for infoproducts, it’s exploded. Splat! I also think that it’s a paradigm in marketing, which will get replaced by something else in the future, or called something else.
Anyway, now I’ve got my opinion out of the way. Here’s my lowdown on storytelling:
Stories aren’t about ‘making stuff up’. They’re about telling your life story. Your business story. And anything else in-between that you think will appeal to make you stand out to potential new clients. When you’re marketing your life story or details, this kind of marketing falls under the category of Personal Brand Marketing. In recent years, it’s become quite commonplace to share (overshare?) intimate stories.
What stories can you tell?
- Origin stories (overcoming the monster, rags to riches, rebirth).
- Vision stories (explaining how you are inspired, your quest).
- Reason-why stories (explaining why you are inspired).
- Testimonial stories (social proof, which used to just be called straight up ‘proof’).
- Life stories.
Where can you tell them?
- Social media.
- Mailing list emails.
- Guest blogs.
- Magazine articles.
- Client calls.
- Prospective client communication.
I’m candid about my personal stories on client calls IF AND WHEN I think that using an example will be useful to explain something, or give another insight. But, I do try to be careful not to become the ‘protagonist’ of the call.
One thing I really don’t like are overly-crafted personal stories (think Instagram highlight reels). One thing I really do like are random little tit bits of people’s lives that show they are not afraid to poke a little fun at themselves. That’s probably because I’m a Brit and can relate to self-deprecating humour!
That’s just me though! I guess anything goes these days.
P.S. I don’t think it’s worth investing any money in learning about storytelling. It comes naturally!