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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

An art.

Not a process, method, or technique. Storytelling is described as an art … the “art” associated with storytelling.

And — like art — it requires creativeness, vision, skill, and exercise. Storytelling isn’t something you are able to grasp in one sitting,   after one course. It is a trial-and-error process of competence.

Sounds like a lot of work, correct? It is, and rightfully so because storytelling has become a crucial component of the most successful marketing campaigns. It sets apart vibrant brands from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time, stop-in shoppers.

It is also the heart of inbound marketing.

Storytelling is an extremely valuable tool for you to incorporate into your proverbial marketing tool belt. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, to help you discover and master storytelling and weave gorgeous, compelling tales for your audience.

Pick up your pencil, and let’s dive within.

graphic through ReferralCandy helps outline what stories are and are not .

what-is-storytelling

Storytelling is an art form as old as time and has a place in every culture plus society. Why? Because tales are a universal language that will everyone — regardless of dialect, hometown, or heritage — can understand. Stories induce imagination and passion and create a sense of community among listeners and tellers alike.

Informing a story is like painting a picture with words. While everybody can tell a story, certain individuals fine-tune their storytelling skills and become a storyteller for their organization, brand, or business. You might’ve heard about these folks — we typically refer to them as marketers , content writers , or PAGE RANK professionals .

Every person in an organization can tell a story. But before we get into the exactly how, let’s talk about why we all tell stories — like a society, culture, and economy.

Apple, one example is. Computers and smartphones really are a pretty complicated topic to describe to your typical consumer. Making use of real-life stories, they’ve had the opportunity to describe exactly how their products advantage users … instead of relying on technical jargon that not many customers would understand.

Tales bring people together.

Such as I said above, tales are a universal language of sorts. We all understand the tale of the hero, of the underdog, or of heartbreak. We all process emotions and can talk about feelings of elation, wish, despair, and anger. Spreading in a story gives however, most diverse people a sense of commonality and community.

Inside a world divided by a multitude of things, stories bring individuals together and create a sense of community. Despite our language, religion, political preferences, or racial, stories connect us with the way we feel and respond to them … Stories make us human.

TOMS is a good example of this. By revealing stories of both clients and the people they serve through customer purchases, TOMS has effectively created a motion that has not only increased sales but also built a community.

Stories inspire and motivate.

Stories make us human, as well as the same goes for brands. Whenever brands get transparent plus authentic, it brings them down-to-earth and helps consumers connect with them and the people behind them.

Tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad is how stories inspire and motivate … and eventually, drive action. Stories also foster brand loyalty. Creating a narrative around your brand name or product not only humanizes it but also inherently marketplaces your business.

Few brands use inspiration as a selling approach, but ModCloth does it nicely. By sharing the real story of their founder, ModCloth not only makes the brand relatable plus worth purchasing, but it also motivates other founders and business owners.

storytelling-modcloth

Source: ModCloth

Power of Storytelling course, there are three elements that make up a good story — regardless of the story you’re aiming to tell.

  1. Characters . Each story features at least one personality, and this character will be the essential to relating your audience back to the story. This component is the bridge between you, the storyteller, and the market. If your audience can put themselves in your character’s shoes and boots, they’ll be more likely to follow-through with your call-to-action.
  2. Issue . The conflict is the lesson of how the character overcomes a challenge. Conflict in your story elicits emotions and connects the audience through relatable experiences. When telling tales, the power lies in what you’re conveying and teaching. In the event that there’s no conflict inside your story, it’s likely not really a story.
  3. Resolution . Every good story includes a closing, but it doesn’t always have to be a good one. Your story’s resolution should summary the story, provide context across the characters and conflict(s), and leave your audience using a call-to-action.

Now that you know what your tale should contain, let’s discuss how to craft your story.

target market and define your buyer persona(s). This process will get you accustomed to who might be reading, looking at, or listening to your tale. It will also provide crucial path for the next few tips as you build out the building blocks of your story.

2 . Define your core message.

Whether or not your story is one page or twenty, ten minutes or sixty, it should have a core message. Like the foundation of a home, it must be established before moving forward.

Is your story selling a product or raising funds? Explaining a service or advocating for an issue? Very best point of your story? To help define this, try to summarize your story in six to ten words. If you can’t do that, you don’t have the core message.

3. Choose what kind of story you’re telling.

Not all stories are created equivalent. To determine what kind of story you are telling, figure out how you want your audience to feel or react as they read.

It will help you determine how you’re going to weave your story and exactly what objective you’re pursuing. If your objective is to …

  • incite action , your story should describe the how a successful action had been completed in the past and explain how readers might be able to implement the same kind of change. Prevent excessive, exaggerated detail or even changes in subject so your audience can focus on the particular action or change that the story encourages.
  • tell people about yourself , tell a story that features authentic, humanizing struggles, failures, and wins. Today’s consumer appreciates and connects to manufacturers that market with authenticity and storytelling is no exclusion.
  • convey values , tell a story that taps into familiar emotions, characters, and situations so that readers can understand how the story applies to their own life. This is specifically important when discussing values   that some people may not agree with or understand.
  • foster community or collaboration , tell a story that will moves readers to discuss and share your story with other people. Use a situation or experience that others can relate with and say, “Me, too! ” Keep situations plus characters neutral to bring in the widest variety of readers.
  • impart knowledge or educate , tell a story that features a trial-and-error experience, so that readers can learn about a problem and how a solution had been discovered and applied. Talk about other alternative solutions, as well.

four. Establish your call-to-action.

Your objective and call-to-action (CTA) are similar, but your CTA will certainly establish the action you would like your audience to take after reading.

What exactly would you like your readers to do after reading? Do you want them to contribute money, subscribe to a e-zine, take a course, or purchase a product? Outline this together with your objective to make sure they line up.

For example , if your objective is to foster community or even collaboration, your CTA might be to “Tap the discuss button below. ”

5. Choose your story moderate.

Stories can take many designs and forms. Some tales are read, some are usually watched, and others are listened to. Your chosen story medium depends on your type of story along with resources, like time and money.

Listed below are the different ways you can tell your tale.

  • A written story is told through articles, blog posts, or textbooks. These are mostly text and might include some images. Written stories are by far the most affordable, attainable method of storytelling as it just requires a free word processor like Google Documents … or a pen plus paper.
  • A spoken story is told personally, like   a display, pitch, or panel. TED talks are considered spoken stories. Because of their “live”, unedited nature, spoken stories typically require more practice and ability to convey messages and elicit emotions in others.
  • An sound story can be spoken aloud but recorded — that’s what pieces it apart from the spoken story. Audio stories are usually in podcast form, and with today’s technology, creating an sound story is more affordable than ever. (For a great story-driven podcast, check out The Growth Show! )
  • An electronic story is usually told through a variety of mass media, such as video, animation, online stories, and even games. This option is by far the most effective for psychologically resonant stories as well as active, visual stories … which is why it’s also the most expensive. But don’t fret: video high quality doesn’t matter as much as offerring a strong message.

6. Write!

Now it is time to put pen in order to paper and start crafting your own story.

With your core information, audience objective, and call-to-action already established, this step is actually about adding detail plus creative flair to your tale. Read more about our storytelling formula to help you with this action.

7. Share your tale.

Don’t forget to share and market your story! Like with any bit of content, creating it is just half the battle — sharing it is the other.

Based on your chosen medium, you should definitely share your story on social media and email. In addition , written stories can be advertised on your blog, Medium, or even through guest posting upon other publications. Digital tales can be shared on YouTube plus Vimeo. While spoken tales are best conveyed in person, consider recording a live performance to talk about later.

The more places a person share your story, the greater engagement you can expect from your target audience.

OEDb’s composing resources

  • HubSpot’s list of writing tools
  • For a Spoken Story

    • The TEDx Speaker Guide

    For an Audio Story

    • HubSpot’s guide on How to Start a Podcast

    For that Digital Story

    • Vimeo’s Video College
    • Animoto

    Over To You

    Storytelling is definitely an art. It’s also a procedure worth mastering for both your business and your customers. Tales bring people together plus inspire action and response. Also, today’s consumer doesn’t decide to buy based on what you are selling, but rather why you’re selling it.

    Storytelling can help you communicate that “why” within a creative, engaging way. Plus, isn’t storytelling more fun?

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