Podcast 21: How to use Stories in Your Holistic Business

content marketing ethical marketing marketing podcast Jul 09, 2020
How to use Stories in Your Holistic Business

We love stories, they’re part of our human existence.  Stories have been the way we relay information throughout history with myths and legends.  Our families have their own personal tales passed from generation to generation.  We love to read and watch movies that immerse us into stories and different experiences.

I’ve been inspired to use more stories in my marketing after attending a class by one of my mentors, Janet Murray.  As a professional writer, she effortlessly uses stories to illustrate the messages she wants to get across to her audience.  They capture attention and are totally relatable, so I decided to experiment and use more personal stories myself.

Here’s a recent one titled ‘Batman Returns’:

Woken by a strange noise, I opened my eyes to find a bat circling the bedroom.

I bravely got up and was about to call Gary (hubby) when it disappeared. Satisfied it’d found its way out; I went back to bed.

The bat re-appeared when Gary came up and a comedy scene unravelled – a semi-naked, middle-aged man, pursuing a bat.

I tried to stifle my laughter as he stumbled and swore in the dark. The bat finally stopped for a rest, Gary made his move, grabbed it and put it out the window – only to have it circle and fly straight back in.

And the chase continued. He finally caught it again and this time threw it clear of the opening.

Why use personal stories?

People buy people and stories help you to connect with others.  They will help you to stand out online amongst all the noise.  Potential clients get an insight into what makes you tick which will help them decide if you’re right for them.  People are naturally nosey and want a glimpse into other people’s worlds and lives.

Think about the conversations you have every day and what you remember – it’s the stories.  They’re relatable because they relay experiences and feelings that you can connect with.  We often see ourselves in other people’s stories which is what makes this so powerful.

Where to use stories in your marketing

Stories can be used anywhere in your marketing to demonstrate points and help understanding.  Weave them into your blog posts, emails, social media posts, videos – basically anywhere you share content.

I’ve been including little personal stories in my weekly emails and then sharing them on social media. It’s amazing the difference it’s made to the engagement I’ve received from comments on posts to private messages.

These are the tips I got from Janet’s class that made a huge difference to my storytelling:

Capture your ideas

Have a single place to capture all your story ideas.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a simple file on your computer, an app on your phone or a notebook – just pick one that works for you.

Spend a few minutes and jot down all the personal stories you can remember that you could use. This will give you a starting point and then add to them as new things happen.

This week I’ve added ideas about a trip to the vets with the dog and missing deliveries.  What may seem boring to you is interesting to others and there are many everyday things that can be used for a story.

Decide your message

The next time you create a new piece of content (blog, video, social media post etc.), decide what message you want to deliver and find a story that fits.

You will need to link them up, but you can find an angle if you’re creative.

Here’s how the bat story linked to the message:

Life is full of making and receiving different offers – I was going to offer Gary the chance to catch the bat. Gary offered the bat freedom from the house.

We make them all the time – inviting people over for dinner or asking for help on a project etc.

Are you making offers in your business? Is this the missing step to you finding clients?

This week’s podcast discusses how you can make offers and sell with integrity

Write your story and simplify

Write your story and keep it as short and simple as possible.  When you’ve finished, delete the first paragraph (or two).  Leaving them in takes away the power of the story and you’ll lose people’s interest by going into long-winded explanations.

Being an over-explainer, I was shocked how much better this made my stories.  They now get to the point with minimal scene-setting.  They’re much more fun to write too and it’s amazing how entertaining you can make the most normal day to day things sound.

Getting into the habit of telling stories will make you and your marketing more memorable.  Weaver them into all corners of your marketing and you can repeat them across different social platforms too.

If you’re struggling to market your practice, book a free discovery call with me and find out how I can help you.

Podcast 21 show notes:

  • Batman Returns story (1:40)
  • Why use personal stories? (2:35)
  • Where to use stories in your marketing (3:32)
  • Capture your ideas (4:47)
  • Decide your message (5:52)
  • Write your story and simplify (6:52)

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