Storytelling is a fun topic and frankly, it’s “hot” right now. Everyone’s advising you to tell stories. In fact, I suspect that anyone who gets stuck writing a 10-point list article will be tempted to throw in “Tell a story!” for item #7. It works for any topic.
But you’ll also find many misperceptions of storytelling — BS facts that almost everybody believes.
Here are 3 of my favorites:
BS Fact #1: You should tell your story even when you don’t have a story to tell.
One company offers a really valuable online service, with free tutorials and updates on a critical topic.
But you’d never know it from their story: “When we started, we didn’t have the resources we needed. So I created them. And now, ten years later…”
At this point, the founder’s story has become irrelevant. Lots of websites offer resources that were missing ten years ago.
Why not tell us how he has made the lives of business owners 1000x easier with the tools he promotes? Or why not give us a mini-case study of someone who was completely stuck till they used one of these resources?
BS Fact #2: Model your marketing stories on movies, campfire stories, and fairy tales.
A business writer’s About Page casually mentions that she was born and bred in a very southern state in the US, but now lives in a western state that’s known for cowboys, ranches and wide-open spaces. But she doesn’t talk about how her background made her a better writer. She writes about the challenges she experienced as a novice writer, starting out as a freelancer who had trouble paying the bills.
This writer has been sitting on a story goldmine! The southern US has a complex history and has also produced iconic writers like William Faulkner. How has her upbringing shaped her writing? And how has she shifted perspective since she moved? How has her writing evolved as her life moved west?
If she can uncover her true stories, she’ll get readers wanting to know more. She can use her unusual background to communicate her sensitivity to culture and ultimately her ability to deliver the best results for her clients.
BS Fact #3: Find a way to use stories to make your copy come alive.
Believe it or not, sometimes that advice won’t apply to your marketing.
You might have a story about how clients benefit from your program. But your prospects might be looking for a simple, straightforward list of benefits. In that case, you convert your story to a set of bullet points that tease your audience and evoke curiosity.
Bottom Line: You gain an advantage when you use stories in your marketing. You gain an unfair advantage when you use the RIGHT story.
I have a free download — 3 common storytelling mistakes most business owners make (and how to fix them) — available when you click here.