I have a few things on my resume. Speaker is not one of them. Yet, I was invited to speak on storytelling in front of a fantastic group of CEOs yesterday.  Sometimes I forget about the Curse of Knowledge (something I learned yesterday). What I mean by that is I forget that not everyone knows storytelling like I know storytelling. Just like I don’t know financial planning, like a financial planner does.

Sometimes, I forget that people aren’t working from the same set of knowledge I am and that I might indeed have something to offer, even if it’s not new to me. I also know that it makes it even more important for me to be clear on what I’m delivering so that they can get pulled in rather than throwing jargon at them and pushing them away.

As an author of fiction, a ghostwriter, and professional marketer, marketing through storytelling is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and researching and there is no doubt, I geek out on it.

YPOBut, it intrigued me that while a lot of brands are participating in it – they aren’t all nailing it. I wanted to figure out some specifics on why some brands were still remembered 20 years later and others forgotten in a year. I shared my point of view on this to the Santa Barbara Young President’s Organization chapter yesterday and wanted to share my insights with you here as well.

As I’m sure you are very aware of, storytelling is quite the buzzword in marketing these days. But, storytelling isn’t anything new, right? I mean, before we mastered logic, facts and figures… we told stories. In fact, it’s really how we are hard wired to learn.

But, that story will either pull people in or push them away.

Here’s what I found works:

  1. Let them find themselves in your story! It’s the fastest most reliable way to get people to take action. It’s why we love movies!! Telling stories ignites your customers’ imagination and puts them in an active role in YOUR story.
  2. Let them know you understand them! And remember, “They don’t care what you know, until they know you care.” Show them you understand and care about their fears, their needs, their wants and their hopes.
  3. Make your story impossible for them to misunderstand. If they don’t know why you do what you do, they won’t care about what you are offering them. Show them you care and why you do. It’s the first step to showing them you have a product or service that can help them make their life better and easier.
  4. Allowing your customers to feel part of a story that shares their deepest and most cherished core values has the power to turn your brand into a movement, and to turn your customers into and eternal tribe of raving fans who trust and love your company.
  5. Wouldn’t it be awesome if people could not only find themselves in your story, but would remember it for the next 20 years? The choice is yours — you can either pull people in or push them away. What will you choose?

**For more info on this fabulous group I shared a couple of beautiful days in Santa Barbara with, please visit YPO – Young President’s Organization and of course, a little video about the organization.

Happy Spring!