What? You Don’t Use WordPress to Tell Stories? You Lose.

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WordPress is just for blogging. Right? Wrong. In business, facts – not stories – sell your product, service, or point-of-view. Right? Double-wrong. Our minds are wired to process stories, not facts. WordPress is a POWERHOUSE storytelling engine. Don’t use it? You lose – customers and business. First, we’ll explore why short stories – not “death-by- Powerpoint” bullets – engage your buyer, capture their attention, and convince them to buy your product, service, or point-of-view. Second, we’ll drill into how I used WordPress to build a storytelling engine – and you can too. Want more sales? Forget the website, build a storySiteTM.

For audio and slides, go to http://theideamechanic.com/stories-and-wordpress-indieconf-2011-soundslides

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  • Good afternoon\n
  • My name is Doug Foster\n My business is the Idea Mechanics\n We help people sell\n Think of the words Tell, Show, Try\n We help people ...\n Tell their story\n Prove what they said is true - like a demonstration\n Create “try-before-you-buy” experiences\n Our core approach to selling: Tell, Show, Try\n
  • But today we’re going to talk about 2 things\n First we’ll talk about stories\n Our talk about stories is not technical, it’s kinda “right-brain”\n
  • Second we’ll talk about WordPress\n It’ll be more technical, but not deep. Kinda “left-brain”.\n During Q&A or after the session we can drill down if you want\n But I’d like to keep it high-level during the talk.\n If you take away ONE thought ...\n I want to convince you that ...\n WordPress is a storytelling engine\n
  • This is Lilly\n Lilly is a junior at Athens high school in Raleigh\n My daughters went to Athens\n I’ve been on the Business Alliance for over 16 years\n Last month we interviewed kids for the Cary Youth Leadership program\n I interviewed Lilly\n Lilly’s resume didn’t sell me\n Lilly’s grades didn’t sell me\n Lilly told me a story.\n She described herself and how she overcame adversity\n She described why she wanted into the program and what she would do\n Lilly sold me. \n It was a personal, emotional, & engaging story\n It wasn’t a long story. It was a short story.\n
  • That’s point #1 of 3 points I want to make about stories\n Short stories CAN sell\n
  • This is a WW2 bomber - a B-25 Mitchell\n The date was November 7th,1945\n 66 days after Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri (Sept 2)\n Wingspan is 68’, length is 53’ \n The B-25 had a pair of supercharged, Curtis Wright R-2600 radial engines\n Each engine: 14 cylinders, total displacement of 2600 cubic inches, 1750 hp\n Cruising speed for a B-25 was about 230 mph, max around 300 mph\n A B-25‘s range is 1200 miles, ceiling height is 25,000 ft.\n
  • This is Mt. Fuji - highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 ft\n Mt. Fuji is about 60 miles south-west of Tokyo\n Classified as an active volcano, \n Last erupted on December 16, 1707\n Crater is 820 feet deep with a 1,600 foot diameter\n
  • This is the story\n It starts at Atsugi Aerodrome in Tokyo\n Dad was a Crew Chief for General Whitehead’s personal B-25\n This day (2) pilots came out of the officers club ...\n As Dad said they were “well oiled”\n They told Dad to grab his gear, going for a ride\n Crossed Tokyo bay at 50’ ...\n buzzed a bridge at < 50 ft.\n Lots of prop wash off a B-25\n
  • ... and headed for Fuji.\n Climbed up to the rim, then dove inside\n Dad still remembers the wingtips being below the rim\n then they nosed up, climbed the rim, then rolled it to the left\n they dropped nearly 10,000 feet in an instant back to the tree line\n
  • So B-25’s are NOT supposed to roll\n I asked Dad “What were you thinking?”\n He said “I was glad to be alive!”\n Then I asked Dad “What were they thinking?”\n They said “That’s was fun! Let’s roll her right.”\n They climbed, did it again, this time to the right\n Dropped 10,000 ft in a 60 degree slide\n The torque from the engines kept it from rolling\n So let me ask you a QUESTION: What was the date? (11/7/45)\n QUESTION: What was the displacement of a CW engine? (2600)\n
  • That’s the second point - Point #2 - about stories\n Facts make a story believable,\n but we remember the story, not the facts\n
  • Anyone read Dan Roam’s book “The Back of the Napkin?”\n It is excellent\n It explains how our brain works\n A thought starts in the LOW brain (WHO, WHAT, how much, ...)\n And ends up in the HIGH brain at WHY\n We think in story: who, what, when, where ... and why\n
  • That’s my third point - #3 - about stories\n Our brains are wired for stories\n As a child: “Tell me a story”\n As an adult: stories are for children\n
  • Let’s recap: 3 great things about stories\n
  • Let me also give you a TIP about stories\n This is the iPod Nano\n Does anyone remember when it was introduced?\n September 7, 2005. That’s beside the point :-)\n
  • Oh, and one more thing ...\n The Nano introduction was memorable\n
  • If you believe my 3 reasons for using stories ...\n Alway have a few stories in your pocket\n
  • This October I was in Jonesborough, Tenn\n 39th National Storytelling Festival\n No 2 speakers were the same. No 2 stories the same.\n People want to know YOUR story\n So don’t tell someone else’s story, tell your own story.\n 5 STEPS TO GET YOUR STARTED TELLING STORIES\n First you need to Find your story ...\n It will help you understand WHO you are.\n\n
  • Second step: Write it.\n Forget form, think content.\n What is your VALUE?\n How are YOU different?\n LHH SOAR approach: Situation, Obstacles, Action, Results\n Find the essence of your story\n Mine? We help people sell\n It took me years to find it.\n
  • Third step: Prove it\n When you tell your story ...\n First thing people ask is “Prove it”\n Facts I gave you made Dad’s story believable\n But his flight log (TRUST me) is proof - it makes it real\n
  • Our sales approach is called Convince Me\n A sales cycle has 4 phases (explain)\n We focus on the second phase\n Tell, Show, Try are the key steps\n Wrap in plan and satisfy\n Google both words ...\n Out of about 65 million hits, we’re #5 on the first page\n Point #4: Make your story convincing.\n
  • My last point - #5\n I took this photo on the island of Capri\n Look at the expressions on their faces\n I’m sure the guy in the middle is in the middle of a story\n A story is not a story unless it’s told.\n Tell your story\n
  • Recap\n HOW DO YOU START TELLING STORIES?\n 5 steps: (read the slide)\n
  • My son-in-law Kevin, in Venice, on his birthday \n I love this quote. BASIC physics.\n The world is full of stories; go find them\n
  • Time to shift gears a bit\n We’re going to talk about WordPress\n Let’s talk left-brain for a while\n
  • BREIFLY\n I’d like to give you 10 things I learned ...\n
  • ... building my storySite: theideamechanic.com\n it’s NOT really a website\n it a platform for telling stories\n
  • Lesson #1:\n I chose Hostgator\n Choice: Shared -> VPS -> dedicated\n product is good, their customer service ROCKS!\n cost is +/- $100/year\n You CAN run a storySite on shared hosting\n would a dedicated or virtual server be better? maybe\n 1 click WordPress install (most have this)\n (warning - 1 click is NOT enough but it gets you started)\n Techie: I minify, zip, and cache the code\n Deliver html pages, but they’re built “dynamically”\n
  • Lesson #2:\n You need both a sandbox (test) and battlefield (production)\n Play in the sandbox until you like what you’ve built\n I create a .test subdomain \n Then move it to production\n I use BackupBuddy plugin to backed/copy the site\n
  • WordPress started as a blogging platform\n It has become a full-blown CMS engine\n Great examples\n UNC-CH Reese news - multi-site WP\n http://wordpress.org/showcase/\n
  • 4th thing: TONS of resources\n I belong to 2 local RTP Meetup groups\n CODEX docs are terse but good\n 2 BILLION hits on “wordpress”\n SO much is available\n
  • Understand WP back-end and front-end\n Backend starts with a host running MySQL, PHP, and Apache\n This is the core of the performance engine\n
  • WP uses front-end THEMEs to style GUI “presentation”\n Thousands of free and paid themes available\n I use a theme called THESIS. A framework. I love it.\n I build my storySites on top of Thesis\n I add my own PHP code for logic, CSS code for styling, and Javascript for interactivity (including Javascript framework libraries like jQuery)\n plugins too - like sliders from Slidervilla\n
  • Speaking of plugins\n The 7th lesson I learned\n Leverage other people’s code\n Good and bad: not all plugins are “Commercial” quality\n I spent ALOT of time selecting, testing, (and debugging) my storySite plugins\n
  • At number 8 – Analytics\n Yes, Google Analytics is free\n At $60/yr for 10 sites ...\n I chose Clicky Analytics.\n I like the detail and the simplicity.\n
  • 2 SEO types: onsite, offsite\n Thesis theme has GREAT on-site SEO\n Plugins like “All in one SEO Pack” (Semper Fi) are excellent\n Also, I create sitemaps and ping the search engines automatically\n
  • A keyword phrase we focus on: “help people sell”\n ... was #1 and #2 out of 620 million hits. Not bad.\n
  • offload media (videos, photos, audio, slides, ...)\n THEIR bandwidth and horsepower\n THEIR SEO\n Your content\n Google is indexing Twitter and other social media, \n Get your keywords out through off-site channels\n
  • And here’s the last point - #10\n Good news: you now have a powerful engine\n Bad news: you need to feed the monster\n Jot down ideas, \n Making a scheduled, regular attempt to update\n Don’t forget why you did all this work.\n Tell stories.\n Remember: a story is not a story unless it’s told.\n Tell them\n
  • I learned alot\n Hopefully you can gain from my pain :-)\n
  • BackupBuddy plugin from iThemes\n Migrate on the slide?\n I move copies of production into the sandbox.\n Incredibly powerful tool\n
  • Hopefully you have a new perspective\n We’re wired, Short Stories that Sell, WP is an engine\n
  • Questions?\n
  • What? You Don’t Use WordPress to Tell Stories? You Lose.

    1. 1. Stories and WordPressWordPress is just for blogging. Right? Wrong.In business, facts – not stories – sell your product, service,or point-of-view. Right? Double-wrong. Our minds arewired to process stories, not facts. WordPress is aPOWERHOUSE storytelling engine. Don’t use it? You lose– customers and business.First, we’ll explore why short stories – not “death-by-Powerpoint” bullets – engage your buyer, capture theirattention, and convince them to buy your product,service, or point-of-view.Second, we’ll drill into how I used WordPress to builda storytelling engine – and you can too. Want more sales?Forget the website, build a storySite™.
    2. 2. 1. My name is Doug Foster2. My business is the Idea Mechanics3. We help people sell4. Think of the words Tell, Show, Try5. We help people ...6. Tell their story7. Prove what they said is true - like a demonstration8. Create “try-before-you-buy” experiences9. Our core approach to selling: Tell, Show, Try Stories Demonstrations Experiences We help people sell
    3. 3. 1. But today we’re going to talk about 2 things2. First we’ll talk about stories3. Our talk about stories is not technical, it’s kinda “right-brain” Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    4. 4. 1. Second we’ll talk about WordPress2. It’ll be more technical, but not deep. Kinda “left-brain”.3. During Q&A or after the session we can drill down if you want4. But I’d like to keep it high-level during the talk.5. If you take away ONE thought ...6. I want to convince you that ...7. WordPress is a storytelling engine Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    5. 5. 1.This is Lilly2. Lilly is a junior at Athens high school in Raleigh3. My daughters went to Athens4. I’ve been on the Business Alliance for over 16 years5. Last month we interviewed kids for the Cary Youth Leadership program6. I interviewed Lilly7. Lilly’s resume didn’t sell me8. Lilly’s grades didn’t sell me9. Lilly told me a story.10. She described herself and how she overcame adversity11. She described why she wanted into the program and what she would do12. Lilly sold me.13. It was a personal, emotional, & engaging story14. It wasn’t a long story. It was a short story. Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    6. 6. 1.That’s point #1 of 3 points I want to make about stories 12. Short stories CAN sell Short stories can sell Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    7. 7. 1. This is a WW2 bomber - a B-25 Mitchell2. The date was November 7th,19453. 66 days after Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri (Sept 2)4. Wingspan is 68’, length is 53’5. The B-25 had a pair of supercharged, Curtis Wright R-2600 radial engines6. Each engine: 14 cylinders, total displacement of 2600 cubic inches, 1750 hp7. Cruising speed for a B-25 was about 230 mph, max around 300 mph8. A B-25‘s range is 1200 miles, ceiling height is 25,000 ft. Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    8. 8. 1. This is Mt. Fuji - highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 ft2. Mt. Fuji is about 60 miles south-west of Tokyo3. Classified as an active volcano,4. Last erupted on December 16, 17075. Crater is 820 feet deep with a 1,600 foot diameterWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    9. 9. 1.This is the story2. It starts at Atsugi Aerodrome in Tokyo3. Dad was a Crew Chief for General Whitehead’s personal B-254. This day (2) pilots came out of the officers club ...5. As Dad said they were “well oiled”6. They told Dad to grab his gear, going for a ride7. Crossed Tokyo bay at 50’ ...8. buzzed a bridge at < 50 ft.9. Lots of prop wash off a B-25 Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    10. 10. 1. ... and headed for Fuji.2. Climbed up to the rim, then dove inside3. Dad still remembers the wingtips being below the rim4. then they nosed up, climbed the rim, then rolled it to the left5. they dropped nearly 10,000 feet in an instant back to the tree line Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    11. 11. 1. So B-25’s are NOT supposed to roll2. I asked Dad “What were you thinking?”3. He said “I was glad to be alive!”4. Then I asked Dad “What were they thinking?”5. They said “That’s was fun! Let’s roll her right.”6. They climbed, did it again, this time to the right7. Dropped 10,000 ft in a 60 degree slide8. The torque from the engines kept it from rolling9. So let me ask you a QUESTION: What was the date? (11/7/45)10. QUESTION: What was the displacement of a CW engine? (2600) Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    12. 12. 1. That’s the second point - Point #2 - about stories 22. Facts make a story believable,3. but we remember the story, not the facts We forget facts, we remember stories Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    13. 13. 1. Anyone read Dan Roam’s book “The Back of the Napkin?”2. It is excellent3. It explains how our brain works Low brain4. A thought starts in the LOW brain (WHO, WHAT, how much, ...)5. And ends up in the HIGH brain at WHY6. We think in story: who, what, when, where ... and why High brain Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    14. 14. 1. That’s my third point - #3 - about stories 32. Our brains are wired for stories3. As a child: “Tell me a story”4. As an adult: stories are for children Our brains are wired for stories Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    15. 15. 1. Let’s recap: 3 great things about stories Short stories can sell We remember stories We’re wired for stories Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    16. 16. 1. Let me also give you a TIP about stories2. This is the iPod Nano3. Does anyone remember when it was introduced?4. September 7, 2005. That’s beside the point :-)5. Does anyone remember how it was introduced? Tip
    17. 17. 1.Oh, and one more thing ...2. The Nano introduction was memorable Tip
    18. 18. 1. If you believe my 3 reasons for using stories ...2. Alway have a few stories in your pocket Always keep a few good stories in your pocket Tip
    19. 19. 1.This October I was in Jonesborough, Tenn 12. 39th National Storytelling Festival3. No 2 speakers were the same. No 2 stories the same.4. People want to know YOUR story5. So don’t tell someone else’s story, tell your own story.6. 5 STEPS TO GET YOUR STARTED TELLING STORIES7. First you need to Find your story ...8. It will help you understand WHO you are. Find your story Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    20. 20. 1. Second step: Write it. 22. Forget form, think content.3. What is your VALUE?4. How are YOU different?5. LHH SOAR approach: Situation, Obstacles, Action, Results6. Find the essence of your story7. Mine? We help people sell8. It took me years to find it. Write it Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    21. 21. 1. Third step: Prove it 32. When you tell your story ...3. First thing people ask is “Prove it”4. Facts I gave you made Dad’s story believable5. But his flight log (TRUST me) is proof - it makes it real Prove it Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    22. 22. 1. Our sales approach is called Convince Me 42. A sales cycle has 4 phases (explain)3. We focus on the second phase4. Tell, Show, Try are the key steps5. Wrap in plan and satisfy6. Google both words ...7. Out of about 65 million hits, we’re #5 on the first page8. Point #4: Make your story convincing. Find Convince Me! Foster Plan the trip Educate Tell your story Show proof Try it Close Satisfy completely Make it convincing Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    23. 23. 1. My last point - #5 52. I took this photo on the island of Capri3. Look at the expressions on their faces4. I’m sure the guy in the middle is in the middle of a story5. A story is not a story unless it’s told.6. Tell your story Tell itWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    24. 24. 1. Recap2. HOW DO YOU START TELLING STORIES?3. 5 steps: (read the slide) Find it Write it Prove it Make it convincing Tell it Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    25. 25. 1.My son-in-law Kevin, in Venice, on his birthday2. I love this quote. BASIC physics.3. The world is full of stories; go find them “The universe is made of stories, not atoms” – Muriel Rukeyser Tip
    26. 26. 1. Time to shift gears a bit2. We’re going to talk about WordPress3. Let’s talk left-brain for a while Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    27. 27. 1. BREIFLY2. I’d like to give you 10 things I learned ... Ten things I learned building a product Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    28. 28. 1. ... building my storySite: theideamechanic.com2. it’s NOT really a website3. it a platform for telling stories Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    29. 29. 1. Lesson #1: 12. I chose Hostgator3. Choice: Shared -> VPS -> dedicated4. product is good, their customer service ROCKS!5. cost is +/- $100/year6.You CAN run a storySite on shared hosting7. would a dedicated or virtual server be better? maybe8. 1 click WordPress install (most have this)9. (warning - 1 click is NOT enough but it gets you started)10. Techie: I minify, zip, and cache the code11. Deliver html pages, but they’re built “dynamically”Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    30. 30. 1. Lesson #2: 22. You need both a sandbox (test) and battlefield (production)3. Play in the sandbox until you like what you’ve built4. I create a .test subdomain5. Then move it to production6. I use BackupBuddy plugin to backed/copy the site Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    31. 31. 1. WordPress started as a blogging platform 32. It has become a full-blown CMS engine3. Great examples4. UNC-CH Reese news - multi-site WP5. http://wordpress.org/showcase/Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    32. 32. 1. 4th thing: TONS of resources 42. I belong to 2 local RTP Meetup groups3. CODEX docs are terse but good4. 2 BILLION hits on “wordpress”5. SO much is availableWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    33. 33. 1. Understand WP back-end and front-end 52. Backend starts with a host running MySQL, PHP, and Apache3. This is the core of the performance engineWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    34. 34. 1. WP uses front-end THEMEs to style GUI “presentation” 62. Thousands of free and paid themes available3. I use a theme called THESIS. A framework. I love it.4. I build my storySites on top of Thesis5. I add my own PHP code for logic, CSS code for styling, and Javascript for interactivity (includingJavascript framework libraries like jQuery)6. plugins too - like sliders from SlidervillaWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    35. 35. 71. Speaking of plugins2. The 7th lesson I learned3. Leverage other people’s code4. Good and bad: not all plugins are “Commercial” quality5. I spent ALOT of time selecting, testing, (and debugging) my storySite plugins Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    36. 36. 1. At number 8 – Analytics 82. Yes, Google Analytics is free3. At $60/yr for 10 sites ...4. I chose Clicky Analytics.5. I like the detail and the simplicity. Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    37. 37. 1. 2 SEO types: onsite, offsite 92. Thesis theme has GREAT on-site SEO3. Plugins like “All in one SEO Pack” (Semper Fi) are excellent4. Also, I create sitemaps and ping the search engines automatically Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    38. 38. 1. A keyword phrase we focus on: “help people sell” 92. ... was #1 and #2 out of 620 million hits. Not bad.Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    39. 39. 1. offload media (videos, photos, audio, slides, ...) 92. THEIR bandwidth and horsepower3. THEIR SEO4. Your content5. Google is indexing Twitter and other social media,6. Get your keywords out through off-site channelsWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    40. 40. 1. And here’s the last point - #10 102. Good news: you now have a powerful engine3. Bad news: you need to feed the monster4. Jot down ideas,5. Making a scheduled, regular attempt to update6. Don’t forget why you did all this work.7. Tell stories.8. Remember: a story is not a story unless it’s told.9. Tell themWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    41. 41. 1. I learned alot2. Hopefully you can gain from my pain :-) Self-hosted WordPress Test / Production sides Full blown CMS engine Lots of resources Back/front-end tools Plugins, Analytics, SEO Feed the monster Why use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    42. 42. 1. Last TIP for the day2. BackupBuddy plugin from iThemes3. Migrate on the slide?4. I move copies of production into the sandbox.5. Incredibly powerful tool Tip
    43. 43. 1. Hopefully you have a new perspective2. We’re wired, Short Stories that Sell, WP is an engine We’re wired for stories Short stories can sell WordPress is an engineWhy use stories? Your story storySites Wrap
    44. 44. 1.Questions? Thank you!

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