Telling great stories

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Image credit: Flickr

 

I talked about ways of measuring your online brand on Friday and ways that you can be discovered online.  There are many ways  to discover your online influence score using online grading tools.  Tools like Twitter grader, Squaregrader etc. and give you an idea how transient this score can be.  Klout seems to be the current darling of influence out there at the moment and Allister has a great write up on how to get the best out of the online analysis service, Klout

Whilst it’s all very well and good flooding the networks with your musings, often a huge amount of traffic can also damage your reputation.  See this post by social media today on how Tweeting too much can adversely affect your reputation – especially if you’re someone who tweets a lot. Your brand might become diluted.

So how do you improve your message, increase your visibility and enhance your brand without spamming?

You need to learn to craft compelling stories. 

 

  • Stories have amazing ‘stickiness’ They can be remembered and repeated spreading the word about your brand.  Think of something one of your teachers told you that has stayed in your mind.  How long ago did they tell you that story?
  • Stories, well told can be compelling and engaging.  They can create an emotional connection with the customer which could lead to several things. Once an emotional connections is made, people could be inspired to do something completely different.  They could take up running for example.  Several of my friends have actually started running after watching me struggle to train for the London 10k a couple of years ago.  It can even persuade customers to buy your product or service if you can make this connections
  • Stories can add to company information.  Scorecards, statistics and data are incredibly dull.  Adding stories around the data – human stories can bring that data to life and enhance the experience for anyone listening
  • With a great story you can change peoples lives.  You can change the way that others feel with a kind word or two.  You can change the way that people think with a compelling story.  You can change the way the people behave with a salutary example.  You can change the way that people act towards each other.  A great story can get people mobilised to action.  Think about Churchill’s ‘We shall fight on the beaches’  speech at the start of World War two when you want to think about a compelling orator
  • Stories advertise your brand.  Whether that’s a personal brand or a corporate brand, a good story can get the message out to your readers in a compelling way.

There are a few things to consider when creating your message:

  • Create your story, work at it, craft it, enhance the facts.  Weave a thread through the tale and give it a beginning, middle and end.
  • Create your desired end goal.  Do you want to inspire action?  Do you want to encourage feedback?  Do you want to make people really think?  Start the story with the aim of driving people to your end goal
  • Find the right way to deliver your story?  Can you write well?  If so, tell your story on a blog, book or other printed medium.  If you want to turn your story into a best practice, report, or set of findings, then publishing it online as a white paper or a pdf on something like scribd would be a good idea.  Are you visual?  Craft images for your story, create a slide deck composed of images only and post it to Slide share.  Have you got a great voice? Record yourself and upload the video
  • Prepare your story, rehearse it and measure its effectiveness. Practice practice, practice. 
  • Listen to other storytellers.  Watch the techniques that make them so compelling to you.  Adapt them and adopt their best habits in your own stories.
  • Listen to feedback.  incorporate it and improve your story for the next time. You will never be perfect.  There is always room to improve.

And bring your audience alive.  Make them change their lives / actions / behaviour / purchasing decision.  make them buy your story, your idea, your book, your services.

Make them buy in to you – and your brand…

Happy storytelling…