Storytelling has always been a passion of mine. It started way back in high school when I was the editor of the school paper. I even had a couple stints at a local Polish American newspaper and WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York, before I graduated. These internships made me realize just how much I loved finding, writing, and telling stories. So, when the time came, I enrolled in the Journalism program at Emerson College in Boston, MA. (#1 Journalism school in the country, woot!) But as you’ll see today, my job title doesn’t include journalist, editor, or even the word content. Over the years, I have found myself in a sales role, but I’ve also learned that my storytelling skills are as essential to sales as they would be to any literary career I could’ve entered.
Not only is today Thanksgiving Eve -- it's time to prep those stretch pants for turkey, stuffing, and pie, y'all -- it's also one of the busiest travel days of the entire year. I'll admit I'm pretty lucky, as my days of dashing through airports, racing to make trains, and wallowing in holiday traffic are behind me since I moved closer to home about 10 years ago. But that doesn't mean I want to leave you brave Turkey Day Road Warriors without inspiration as you chart your own journey home toward family, friends, loved ones, and tryptophan. To help you on your way, here are nine addictive podcast episodes across a wide range of topics: productivity, storytelling, leadership, UX, when life falls apart, time management, and everything in between.
Marketing is all about telling a story. Your brand and your products or services need to have a story to engage people. It’s the story that separates iconic brands from forgettable companies. We live in an age where more opportunity exists than ever before. More and more people are building very profitable businesses with nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection.
Being able to tell a captivating story on your website is an internet trend that has quickly taken off.
People love stories. Just think about it. From our childhood bedtime stories and adolescent novels, to our favorite Netflix series, video games, and even conversations around the dinner table, storytelling is ingrained in our social nature as human beings. Stories grab our attention, make up our memories, and connect us on a personal level. The very best leave a strong emotional impact and, as every good marketer knows, emotions are a key driver in making purchasing decisions (even B2B purchases). As Seth Godin once said, "all marketers are storytellers," only the bad ones are liars. Great brand stories tap into more emotions than any flat sales pitch, boring value proposition, or cold list of features/deliverables ever could.
What is it that makes an idea or story memorable? Why is it that some impact us harder, stay with us longer, and drive us to share them? What makes them stick? These are the questions that brothers, Chip and Dan Heath, set out to answer in their 2007 Business Week Best-Seller, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.
The best fortune cookie I’ve ever gotten read, “The best way to stay healthy is to eat more Chinese food.” No seriously. That happened. I still have it at home. In her book, The Fortune Cookie Principle, best-selling author and marketer, Bernadette Jiwa, argues that the only reason people want fortune cookies is precisely for insightful (or in this case, memorable) “fortunes” like mine. “...[W]e’re not buying that cookie or the taste of it,” she explains. “We’re buying the little piece of paper that’s inside and the feeling it creates inside of us… that little bit of magic, that little bit of joy in the moment.”