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Going on a Story Hunt: How to Build a Storytelling Map for Your Business

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Business storytelling fails all the time. The secret to success, while simple, proves critical to success: a storytelling map. Learn Erin Feldman's tricks for developing your own map and writing stories that capture attention and produce business leads.

1. We’ve told stories from the beginning. Stories help us make sense of the world and our place in it. We’re hardwired for story, from cave paintings to the latest Marvel film. Stories let us escape, teach us lessons, and leave a record.
2. Stories cut through the clutter. They stand out in a TV commercial or tweet.
3. Stories capture emotions. People don't respond to dry data; they respond to stories. They make purchasing decisions with their emotions first and their brains second.
4. Stories motivate people to act and get involved.
5. Stories remove barriers to entry. People won’t invite a smarmy salesperson in the door, but a storyteller? They’ll get out the tea and biscuits.
6. Stories go horribly wrong for a variety of reasons, but these are some of the common culprits.
b. Pushing products
c. Being inauthentic
d. Using out-of-date, unverified, or untrue data
e. Employing jargon, clichés, et cetera
f. Telling irrelevant stories
g. Relying on “standard” stories
7. Getting the story right requires a map. You have one with the five Ws and H.
a. Who’s in your audience?
b. What makes you unique from all the other “unicorns”? Is it customer service? Employee morale? Dedication to innovation?
c. Why do you do what you do? Why this product or service and not that one?
d. Where and how should you tell the story? A couple of options: website copy, company blog, video, podcasts, photography, social media, et cetera.
e. When should you tell the story? Answer: Think "evergreen" and seasonal.
8. Build your story skeleton, using the answers given to the questions above. Then, create a brief that spells out audience, tone, and purpose.
9. Publish the story.
10. Assess, refine, and repeat.

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Going on a Story Hunt: How to Build a Storytelling Map for Your Business

  1. 1. GOING ON A STORY HUNT How to Build a Storytelling Map for Your Business
  2. 2. Why Storytelling?
  3. 3. Stories Cut through the Clutter
  4. 4. Stories Capture People’s Emotions
  5. 5. Stories Motivate People to Act
  6. 6. Stories Remove Barriers
  7. 7. Stories Gone Wrong •  Stories go wrong for many reasons, but these six are common culprits. •  Pushing products •  Being inauthentic •  Using out-of-date, unverified, or untrue data •  Employing jargon, clichés, et cetera •  Telling irrelevant stories •  Creating controversy for the sake of “buzz”
  8. 8. Get the Story Right
  9. 9. Who
  10. 10. Brand Example: AirBnb
  11. 11. What
  12. 12. Brand Example: General Electric
  13. 13. Why
  14. 14. Brand Example: First Round
  15. 15. How & Where • Should I tell my story with words, vocals, or visuals?
  16. 16. How & Where • Where should I tell my story? •  Website Content •  Company Blog •  Video •  Podcasts •  Social Media
  17. 17. Brand Example: IKEA
  18. 18. When
  19. 19. Brand Example: HBR
  20. 20. Build a Story Skeleton • Audience • Person and Tone • Purpose • Business Objective(s) • Outline
  21. 21. Publish the Story
  22. 22. Assess, Refine, Repeat
  23. 23. Erin Feldman is Write Right Digital Marketing Strategy Content Writing and Editing http://www.writerightwords.com

Business storytelling fails all the time. The secret to success, while simple, proves critical to success: a storytelling map. Learn Erin Feldman's tricks for developing your own map and writing stories that capture attention and produce business leads. 1. We’ve told stories from the beginning. Stories help us make sense of the world and our place in it. We’re hardwired for story, from cave paintings to the latest Marvel film. Stories let us escape, teach us lessons, and leave a record. 2. Stories cut through the clutter. They stand out in a TV commercial or tweet. 3. Stories capture emotions. People don't respond to dry data; they respond to stories. They make purchasing decisions with their emotions first and their brains second. 4. Stories motivate people to act and get involved. 5. Stories remove barriers to entry. People won’t invite a smarmy salesperson in the door, but a storyteller? They’ll get out the tea and biscuits. 6. Stories go horribly wrong for a variety of reasons, but these are some of the common culprits. b. Pushing products c. Being inauthentic d. Using out-of-date, unverified, or untrue data e. Employing jargon, clichés, et cetera f. Telling irrelevant stories g. Relying on “standard” stories 7. Getting the story right requires a map. You have one with the five Ws and H. a. Who’s in your audience? b. What makes you unique from all the other “unicorns”? Is it customer service? Employee morale? Dedication to innovation? c. Why do you do what you do? Why this product or service and not that one? d. Where and how should you tell the story? A couple of options: website copy, company blog, video, podcasts, photography, social media, et cetera. e. When should you tell the story? Answer: Think "evergreen" and seasonal. 8. Build your story skeleton, using the answers given to the questions above. Then, create a brief that spells out audience, tone, and purpose. 9. Publish the story. 10. Assess, refine, and repeat.

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