The most influential people and brands are master storytellers. Even though ‘storytelling’ is often overused as a buzzword (or some sort of mystical thing that only your agency can do for you), it’s very important.
In this week’s video, Tara talks about the importance of HAVING a story, not just telling one (and not in the sense of creating an ad).
What’s Your Story? | Truly Social with Tara
Transcript of the Video:
What story are you trying to tell?
This is a question I often ask when I look at someone’s content efforts that seem to
be all over the map.
The answer to this question is usually a, “what do you mean?”
Or a blank stare.
“You’re not going to say anything. You’re just going to stare at me.
That’s what you’re bringing to the table.” Always Sunny in Philadelphia
But as I’ll explain today, everything you put out in the world should be tied to that
story you want to tell.
And that story shouldn’t be…”Buy my product.”
My name is Tara and this is …Truly Social.
Whether you know it or not, what you are putting online – and everywhere else
frankly – is telling a story.
No, I’m not referring to a once upon a time story with a beginning, middle and end, though
sometimes we tell those stories, too.
What I’m referring to is the underlying story of what you stand for and why people
And, of course, this requires the essential detail of, well, standing for something in
the first place.
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Sucker Punch
This is, as you’ll find out, the most important part of the equation.
As Annette Simmons says in her awesome book The Story Factor (you should really pick it up):
Now, if that sounds a bit fluffy to you, I get it.
“It’s so fluffy!” Despicable Me
For years, as soon as I heard people talk about storytelling, I’d roll my eyes and
ignore anything else they had to say.
Storytelling is so subjective.
It’s not measurable.
It’s a buzzword that’s completely overused.
But reading Simmons book really helped me see it from a different angle.
No, there wasn’t data points or studies throughout the book, but she was masterful
in using story to demonstrate how people connect
with certain messages while they ignore other messages.
“Why is everyone ignoring me? ANSWER ME! ” Deleted Scene from Anchorman
It just kept occurring to me as I read through the book
that it is the brands and people that live their story are
the brands and people we tend to pay attention to.
Think about it.
The most influential people out there are the best storytellers.
Obama. Masterful storyteller.
Bowls me over every time with her stories about vulnerability.
And Gary Vaynerchuk?
Now there’s a man who literally lives his story and tells it while he’s living it.
And so, then, what is YOUR story?
And, if you are creating content for a brand, rather than for yourself, how do you find
Okay, I’m going to start with the individual because that one is a bit easier.
Your own story is found in your passions, your values, and your experience.
Basically, what Nilofer Merchant, who I’ve mentioned before and whose new book has just
launched, talks about as Onlyness.
Onlyness is the opposite of trying to fit in or trying to be just like someone else
It’s the process of recognizing who you are, what you stand for, and figuring out
that your voice matters.
Obviously, it’s not something you can just turn on and off, but I’ll cover the process
a bit more in-depth in a later video.
But what do you do if you are in charge of content for a brand?
And what if that brand doesn’t really seem to stand for anything…but selling stuff.
“It’s like people only do stuff because they get paid,
and that’s just really sad.” Wayne’s World 2
We’ve all been there.
If a brand has no story and you’ve been given the task of creating
communications and content for that
brand, it can seem like an impossible hurdle.
As Annette Simmons says:
A brand that isn’t living the stories they tell will not be influential to their audience.
Now, I think the answer to this question is too big to bite off in just this one video,
so if you are convinced
that you need to tell a story, you should come back next week
to get the deeper dive into how to find that story.
And better yet, subscribe and click the bell to be notified when I post that video.