As we kick of the holiday season, Spotlight on Your Business is hosting a series of both blog and podcast interviews.
This one is with Barbara Edie and we feel it will be great food for thought as you either embark on your own Journey to Authorship or continue on as a self publishing author.
"Do you love a good story? Especially one that includes you, what you do or what you love? Lately, I’ve been surrounded by the power of storytelling, and the buzz around telling memorable stories to rock your business, brand, and even create a bestselling book.
Your personal and work-related stories are some of your greatest assets—no one has lived your life, its unique experiences, successes or epic failures—and YOU are the best one to share those messages. A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed for a podcast on Write Along Radio (http://writealongradio.com/2015/11/signature-story/) all about how to unleash the power of stories in marketing your book, business or visionary work that’s changing the world.
Fantastic stories build connection, credibility, and authenticity with your audience, and people remember stories more than facts, figures and even products. I just saw the Steve Jobs movie, and the storyline included Apple’s legendary, Orwellian Superbowl commercial for the 1984 Macintosh. Apple’s board of directors almost didn’t let Jobs run the ad because it didn’t even show the new computer! The iconic ad ran like a short film and ended with the declaration:" On January 24th Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh and you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984." No one who saw that ad could forget it—or Apple. It’s been voted the best Superbowl ad of all time. Talk about connecting with your audience.
Now if you want to use storytelling to find and connect with “your people,” customers, and readers, or create undying loyalty among your fans, here are 7 ways to amp up your storytelling power.
- Make an IMPRESSION; be memorable
First impressions count. Back to the example of Apple’s 1984 Superbowl ad, whether you’re creating a killer commercial, screenplay, bestseller or blog, open with a story or scene that’s provocative. Be remarkable and you’ll be remembered.
- Get up close and PERSONAL. First-hand examples of life-changing stories, client successes, tales from the trenches, and stunning comebacks build trust, knowledge, and connection. The more personal the story, the more UNIVERSAL it usually is. For example, my PERSONAL story of being hit by a drunk driver and losing my sister just inches from my side, is a universal story of dealing with unexpected loss and the things we take for granted in life—such as more time.
- Be VULNERABLE. When you tell the story you least want to tell, your vulnerability often resonates with your audience in the most extraordinary way. In a recent workshop exercise, we were asked to share our “most vulnerable secret” and then give a short pitch about why we shouldn’t be thrown out of a (imaginary) lifeboat that could only save three people. Everyone got to vote on the three who stayed, and two who had to go overboard. I went all in and shared a story about surviving some very dark times. The others saw this as resilience, strength, and the ability to get through anything. No one voted me off the boat. My vulnerability was my power.
- Keep it REAL. Authenticity in your stories, like vulnerability, positions you as credible and capable of understanding your audience’s needs, wants, and struggles. They see themselves in your story as someone who’s “been there” and can help them get what they want.
- Add some EMOTIONAL RESCUE. People everywhere are longing for emotion. Human beings are driven by emotion…and so are their buying decisions and actions. By adding suspense, honesty, humor, or raw emotion to your story it makes you engaging, entertaining, memorable… and often someone who people want to follow, work with, or hang out with in your tribe.
- Share on MULIPLE PLATFORMS. In this digital age you can share the same great story in many forms: a book, blog or social media post; an audio clip from an interview or podcast; and video or live stream on YouTube or Periscope, among many others. Of course, there’s also “old school” media like print books, magazines, newspapers, and television. Whatever media you choose, know where your audience hangs out and tap into both their “language” and their senses (especially visual and audio) in a format and delivery that works best for them.
- Say MORE WITH LESS. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” Shakespeare said, and I agree with him. Simplicity is one of the key elements of a compelling story.
Clean and simple writing, with a structure that’s easy to follow will attract a much wider and bigger audience.
You might already be a good storyteller, however remember that powerful stories require careful reflection and knowledge about your audience, as well as effective writing, editing, and design to make the desired impact."
Want help with your story?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.barbaraedie.com.
Barbara Edie is a bestselling author, journalist, and editor who helps other writers, entrepreneurs, and organizations, tell more powerful stories to promote their work, business, or mission.
She is the author of the Amazon bestseller Sparking Change Around the Globe: 5 Ways to Make Your Difference in the World, and is working on an upcoming book about how to live a soul-inspired life and bring your wildest dreams into reality.
Barbara’s writing is also featured in Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with New York Times bestselling authors Janet Bray Attwood, Chris Attwood, and Marci Shimoff, as well as several other international writers.
She also co-authored the best-selling guidebook The Manitoba Book of Everything, and is the former editor of two Canadian magazines: The Cottager and Winnipeg Women/Winnipeg Men.
You can find out more about Barbara’s work and writing at www.barbaraedie.com