It’s easy to say that storytelling is important in marketing, but it’s harder to actually write a story.
So when I get asked how to build storytelling into marketing, here’s the structure I typically recommend, based on what you’ll see in your average Hollywood movie:
- The subject of the story (the audience, not you) has a routine
- But they feel like something could be better
- And they’ve heard about potential options
- They seek out the right solution
- But run into difficulty
- They get what they want by working with you
- But there’s a trade off to be made
- They return to their routine
- Better off than before
Notice that it doesn’t require any characters other than your customer and your business. You don’t have to tell an anecdote or create some elaborate narrative. It’s just about structuring your words to fit the form and style of a story so your audience is more inclined to listen and get the lesson.
Here's a quick example, telling a story about this newsletter:
(The subject has a routine:)
Do you feel like your marketing is spinning around in circles?
(But something could be better:)
Maybe you’re not sure where to focus, and not sure what’s working and what’s a waste.
(They’ve heard about potential options:)
The problem is, most marketing tips are just a list of best practices—one-size-fits-all advice that doesn’t fit anyone very well.
(They seek out the right solution:)
So, after you’ve tried everything, it’s time to try a lot less. It’s time to focus.
(But run into difficulty:)
That’s hard, because it means saying no to distractions that look like opportunities. But it also means saying yes to your best clients who value you the most.
(They get what they want:)
The easiest way to start focusing is by reading Kelford Labs. Quick, 1-minute lessons on making your marketing strategy work for you, in the way you want to work on it.
(But there’s a trade off:)
Of course, it takes a lot of patience to build a marketing strategy that works—but that patience pays you back. So the most important thing is finding marketing you like doing.
So you want to stick with it long enough for it to work.
(They return to their routine:)
Stop spinning around in circles, and start marketing in one direction.
Toward your very best customers.
(Better off than before:)
Start by reading Kelford Labs.
Now, you try. What’s your story?