The Truth About Using Story Templates To Grow Your Business

Cathy Goodwin
3 min readNov 22, 2023

Business storytelling doesn’t always benefit from story templates. Do this instead.

Image adapted from Depositphotos.

Story templates provide a structure for your story. You answer a series of questions or provide a series of phrases. Now you have a story! For instance, you might have questions about the hero’s goal, obstacles, first steps, key insight, and final outcome, victory or success.

You’ll see lots of offers for story templates, especially this time of year. I’ve been asked if I’ve considered creating story templates. So far, the closest you’ll find from me is my popular course — From StoryTelling to StorySelling. In this course, you get a recipe — not a template — for a story you can use for selling.

Here are 3 points to consider whether you want to work with templates or develop your own story from scratch.

(1) There’s no one-size-fits-all structure for all your stories.

You might share a story to get more clients (a selling story). You might be promoting your expertise with a case study or success story.

If you’re a Role Model archetype, you might share a story to build rapport with your audience. We discussed this on my podcasts with Cindy Bidar and Ellen Finkelstein. (Good for listening if you’ve got a long drive coming up! They were both great guests.)

If you’re an Educator you might explain an idea with a concept story — an analogy. (Another podcast for your list.)

If you’re a Celebrity…you’re probably not reading this message.

(2) When you start a story, with or without a template, begin with the question, “What is the purpose of this story? What do I want the story to do?”

Business writing begins with purpose. If you’re not sure why you’re telling the story, why bother? And if you understand your purpose, you’ll have no trouble sharing the story.

(3) After you’ve written the story, ask the question, “Will this story resonate with my audience? Does it serve my purpose?”

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Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story. http://cathygoodwin.com