Telling Believable Stories

The 3-step process to ensure your messaging resonate with clients.

Following up with yesterday's post: Marketing consulting services is all about showing people how they will benefit from a change, and why you're the best person to help them do it successfully.

Since we consultants deliver that change through expert advice and/or implementation, our solutions are often technical or complex - hard to be communicated. That's why storytelling matters. Stories allow us to simplify and add emotion to the message, making it easier for your clients to connect with it.

But the question then becomes: How do we tell a story people can believe in?

I believe this involves three steps:

  1. Understand your clients' worldview.
  2. Create a story that matches that worldview.
  3. Ensure your story is authentic by injecting uniqueness into it.

Understand Your Clients' Worldview

Each one of us has our own worldview, which is a big mix of our values, beliefs, assumptions, ideas. A person’s worldview is influenced by their personal experiences, genes, environment, and all kinds of cultural influences we're exposed to. Their worldview determines which stories they’re going to believe in.

So your clients are not all the same. But then again, they aren’t completely different - people from similar backgrounds develop similar worldviews. Your job is to find a group of people who have nearly the same worldview and tell a story that speaks directly to them.

That's yet another reason why every marketing strategy should start with positioning. The larger the group you decide to take as clients, the harder it becomes to identify similarities among those people's worldviews.

Create A Story That Matches That Worldview

Once you narrow your positioning and learn what are the strong commonalities in your clients' worldview, the next step is to actually create a story that matches it.

The key here is understanding how the brain responds to new ideas and how we process information. There are several frameworks and techniques that will help you create great stories - open loops, hero's journey, character motivations, etc. You can either study them or hire a professional storyteller (not me) to support you in this process.

Inject Uniqueness Into It

When people encounter something new, they compare it to what they already know. Automaticity, disruption, and mystery are strong attention triggers. If you're simply repeating a story your clients already heard a thousand times, you can be sure they will ignore it.

The best way to make people engage with the new information you give them is by making sure your story is unique and authentic. Let your personality shine. Add your contrarian takes and the point-of-view you have developed so far (if you don't have one, start writing more).

Telling great stories will make your marketing more effective. Start crafting yours.

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