Monday, July 14, 2008

Tell Stories and Improve Your Marketing, Your Mission, Your World

My last post was on making the pitch and having that pitch repeated by word-of-mouth. This post takes its lead from Anita Campbell's article on why its a good idea to Tell Stories and Improve Your Marketing through her Small Business Trends blog. There are important differences between pitches and stories. Strangers pitch to each other, people in a community create and share stories. This applies to change-agent organizations as much as it does to businesses. It is good if you can get your customers to delivery pitches for you, it is great if they tell each other positive stories about you. Ms. Campbell's article first appeared in OPEN Forum (which seems a pretty good description of social media on its surface).

T.J. Walker, a public speaking consultant to the rich and famous, wrote about the power of telling stories. Quoting the book "Made to Stick" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, he notes that 63% of people will remember a story from a talk or presentation, versus only 5% who remembered statistics.
He also said this: "Stories are not a luxury; they are the single most effective way to get your audience to remember your messages."

If you want your business to be memorable, and for your message to reach as many people as possible and persuade them to buy, learn to tell stories around your business.

Ivana Taylor, who will be featured in a future post on this topic of social media provided a comment by on May 29th, 2008
Amen Anita! Stories are indeed the most powerful (and FREE) marketing vehicle a small business can use. But getting to the story is sometimes really difficult because we are too focused on the “features” of our business than on the benefits. Here’s a helpful hint on how to get your story started.
- Think of an incident that served as a “eureka” moment. This would be a specific moment in time where you suddenly had a revelation of sorts or a moment where your passion was ignited. This needs to be a real moment in time

Going back to S.O.P. of combining ideas together, I found insights from a master storyteller, novelist Amy Tan, who tells her own story at a TED talk where she sets fire to the TED Commandments in the first minute, and rolls from there. Nothing catches the audience like a good intro. Stories well told will go beyond marketing and into clearing the pathways for beneficial paradigms.

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide? Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process, journeying through her childhood and family history and into the worlds of physics and chance, looking for hints of where her own creativity comes from. Watch this talk >>

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