Here at Pulse we have many opportunities to attend events, conferences, presentations and meetings. During these outings, we hear various people tell their stories to show audiences how they became successful. Every speaker uses their story to evoke an emotional response from the audience. It doesn’t matter if that audience includes one other person or several dozen, their story helps others understand why their business is an integral part of their personal story, and why that influences the way they operate the business.
These individuals use their story both as part of their personal brand, and also as a marketing tactic to help show, rather than tell others how they will work hard to provide them with an excellent product or service.
Using a story to motivate someone to act is marketing. Understanding that is the first step you should take before you begin trying to sell a product or service or build your personal brand. If inspiration to find your own story is growing, here are three resources that will help you become a better storyteller (also known as a marketer):
- TED Talks. TED has built a movement dedicated to the power of stories. That’s what people do while they’re up on the TED stage – they tell a story, whether it’s about how the arts help homeless youth heal and build or using data to build better schools. TED, a platform for telling stories, has a page on their website dedicated to the art of storytelling, which you can find here: https://www.ted.com/topics/storytelling. Try watching Joe Sabia’s “The technology of storytelling” TED talk first. It’s less than four minutes long and is a great introduction to why telling stories is part of our culture.
- The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling by Cody C. Delistraty for the Atlantic. To understand why storytelling makes effective marketing, you must know a little about its history, and a lot about its psychology. For example, “people remember information when it is weaved into narratives ‘up to 22 times more than facts alone,’” according to Jennifer Aaker, professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (as reported in this article). This article is a great introduction to the psychology of storytelling and offers additional resources to delve deeper: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/the-psychological-comforts-of-storytelling/381964/
- The Four Truths of the Storyteller by Peter Guber. This article was published in Harvard Business Review in 2007. It builds an incredible case for storytelling and is a great story in its own right. Guber is an excellent writer – he kept me hooked from beginning until end with his captivating tale about using storytelling to convince Fidel Castro to let his team film the waters of Havana Harbor. Check it out here: https://hbr.org/2007/12/the-four-truths-of-the-storyteller
“At the end of the day, words and ideas presented in a way that engages listeners’ emotions are what carry stories. It is this oral tradition that lies at the center of our ability to motivate, sell, inspire, engage, and lead,” Guber wrote in his article. Take advantage of these resources to learn how you can become a better storyteller for your personal brand and your business.