Telling stories is a great way to connect with your audience. It doesn’t matter if you’re up on stage, teaching a class, writing an email to your list, recording a podcast or writing a blog post. Storytelling should play a big part of your content creation and marketing strategies.
Storytelling plays many roles in communicating with your customers. It helps build authority, personality connection and emotional connection faster and deeper than other ways of communication. Developing parts of your content in all forms and all media around your core stories will have much more impact and start better relationships with your audience.
But how do you come up with those stories in the first place? Here are seven tips to help you keep the storytelling ideas flowing so you can come up with just the right one for just about any situation.
NOTE: The stories you choose are not random or for entertainment. They should serve an intentional marketing purpose. They must relate to your customers and how they benefit from working with you, how others had a great experience and their lives were changed, and also your backstory in an emotional way as to why you are doing this work. This helps brainstorm for posts and ongoing content but remember to have your same 3 core stories for your business that you use for all your main content pieces (site, emails, downloads, etc). These ideas here can help you wrap those core stories into additional content but keeping to your main message.
Share A Recent Encounter
Often the best stories are things that are happening to you and all around you. Think about who you’ve met recently, what you’ve been doing or what conversation you’ve been having. Can you tie that little story to an email or blog post you’re getting ready to write?
Recall A Conversation
Conversations you’ve had are another great source of story ideas. Without going into too many details or sharing too much information about the person you were talking to, share the basic message of the conversation in your story telling.
Dig Deep and Share A Childhood Memory
Childhood memories are another great source of story ideas. The memories that stick with us from way back when are often the ones that taught us an important lesson or had a big impact on who we are today. Think back on what you remember from your childhood and how you can tie those memories into what you’re doing today.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
There are stories going on all around us. Pay attention to the situations and conversations people have around you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many story ideas you’ll get just by paying attention to your surroundings.
Carry A Little Notebook
We’ve established that there is plenty of stuff going on around us that can help us come up with story ideas. The hard part is remembering them when the time comes that it will be a good fit with the content or product we’re sharing. That’s why it’s important to write them down. Stick a little notebook and pen in your purse, briefcase or jacket. Keep it with you and jot down short notes about ideas, thoughts, conversations and situations that have storytelling potential.
Listen To Your Family and Friends, and your associates and clients
Pay attention to your loved ones. They are sharing stories with you on a regular basis. Listen to your kids when they come home from school. Sit down for an after-school snack and ask them about their day. You’ll have an almost never-ending supply of storytelling material.
Connect Two Unrelated Events or Situations
A great way to get people to pay attention to your stories is to surprise them. And a simple way to do that is to connect two completely unrelated things. Find a little common ground between the two events and make it work. For example, you could tell a story about how your daughter got on student council and find a lesson in there that can also be applied to growing your social media audience. “How my daughter’s seat on her student council can help grow your Facebook reach” grabs your attention, doesn’t it?
Keep looking for new ideas and keep telling those stories to grow your business, connect with your audience and make the sale.