It happened again this morning. (Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day around here.)
Groggy-eyed, I opened my email to find that someone else was talking about the power of storytelling. Again.
In case you hadn’t noticed, “storytelling” is the latest craze. It’s the new “black” of content marketing. The new buzzword of marketing gurus.
And it’s a bit of a problem for those of us who need to learn how to tell better stories.
Seriously! How many blog posts or articles do we need to be convinced about the power of stories?
What we need most is to practice telling (and listening to!) stories. Each and every day.
Read more. Write more. Listen more.
The author shared the results of an experiment he’d conducted in his business. (It told a story!) And then it shared some specific ideas on how to incorporate more storytelling into our blog posts.
Go read it. I’ll wait.
My point is this:
Real-life examples that showcase results are your best content marketing tools.
In other words, stories.
What kind of story could you tell in a blog post? If you’re still stuck, I’ve got some ideas for you…
15 ways to get your storytelling juices flowing
Note: For each of these prompts, I’ve linked to a sample blog post so you can see exactly how the storytelling aspect could be incorporated.
- The Teachable Moment. What did you experience recently that’s a perfect example of Why or How XYZ needs to happen in a certain way?
- Your Soap Box. What bugs you about the “way things are” in your industry? What would you like to see your competitors do differently? What’s missing from the world-of-what-you-do? This could be the beginnings of your Manifesto!
- The Case Study. What project have you recently wrapped up for a client? What was their big challenge when they came to you? What changed? How did you help that change happen?
- The Interview. Who do you look up to? Who’s accomplished something pretty cool and how did they do it? Ask them to share their story.
- Recent Challenge. What problem or quandary have you been dealing with lately? How did you solve it?
- The Back Story. How did something in your business come to be? How did you become the superhero/mentor you are today? How did you choose your branding themes and metaphors? Why did you create your products?
- The Spotlight. What are your clients or colleagues up to that you find impressive? Who could you promote just because you think they’re wonderful (and not because you get any affiliate money out of it)?
- Common Complaints. What do you hear people talking about in terms of challenges? What kind of advice do you wish you could give them?
- True Confessions. What are you afraid that people might find out about you? How are you dealing with these fears? Your vulnerability helps people see you a real human!
- Common Questions. What do your customers keep asking you? Every time someone asks you for advice — especially if you hear the same question over and over again — that’s a clue you need to write a blog post!
- Your Process. You may not realize it, but you’ve got one. Especially for those things you do repeatedly. Take a close look and write it all down. Share it. And share your results, too.
- Myth busting. What common beliefs need to be dispelled? What messages are your clients and prospective customers hearing from “gurus” that you know need more explanation or complete busting?
- What You Wish You’d Known Then. What advice would you give your younger self? How would your life be different if you’d had the benefit of knowing what you know now?
- What We Can Learn From (TV show/Movie/Book/Favorite Character). If you’ve got a favorite TV show or you’re a fan of anything, odds are, so are a bunch of other people. Look for and share the lessons that apply to your business and/or products.
- Big Problem, Personified. Your customers have problems. BIG problems. And they’re actually characters in the story of your business (think antagonist, nemesis). Give those problems a name and a face and talk about how to defeat those evil-doers.
What would you add to this list? Share one of your favs in a comment below.
Need help adding engaging stories to your blog posts and content? I’ve got you covered! First, make sure you’re getting Story Bistro emails.
Next, sign-up for my Master the Art of Business Blogging course. Check it out. We start polishing our storytelling skills again in just a few weeks.