Articles Tagged ‘Stories’

Writing with Truth and the Experience of Life

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

kylepic

A couple of weeks ago I had the utmost pleasure to chat with Paul Greenburg, the author of the acclaimed CRM at the Speed of Light book series. The conversation was excellent ranging from life to social CRM. Towards the end of the call Paul suggested that I read his post “Glass 4/5 Full: Life, Business and the Narcissism of Small Things” on his personal blog. I readily agreed and felt almost foolish for not reading it before.

I’ve always enjoyed Paul’s writing because of the conversational tone used throughout his posts and books. However, this post is more than that. It is something I could only describe as real. It is rare that (as a reader) you have the pleasure to glance past the business… past the technology… past the politics… and read something that is truth.

I may not be fully explaining myself… writing with truth is between the author and the reader. We (the reader) trust the opinion and emotion maintained by the author. This is true whether you are reading Milan Kundera or Twitter Marketing for Dummies. You subscribe to the books, blogs, and podcasts because the content speaks to you in some way. We trust that the author’s experiences, opinions, and emotions will lead us down the true “path.”

It either does or it doesn’t. Writing with truth is the the backbone of storytelling and as marketers we are all in the business of storytelling.

Paul uses his experience, opinion, and perspective to drive the reader to a specific point… to a conclusion. Whether or not the post was meant to build credibility and trust between Paul and the reader is a moot point… because it does. It does because Paul tells a story:

“When I was maybe 7 years old, my Dad was talking to me in the living room of our home in East Meadow, in New York and he said to me (this is an adult paraphrased version of what he told a 7 year old),
‘Paul, your mother and I brought you into this world, but you don’t owe us anything. But because you’re in this world, you owe it something.’

I’ve tried to live my entire life based on that.”

We are all in the business of storytelling. This is the best advice I can give to the social and marketing entrepreneur.

How are you writing with truth? Are you using your experiences and emotions to build a personal brand that stands apart?

kyle lacy
ExactTarget
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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5 Tips to Writing Great Marketing Stories Around Your Brand

Monday, June 13th, 2011

kylepic

When telling a story how do you make it worthwhile to read? Remember… there are very few of us who have 10 to 15 minutes of free time to read cool new stories and articles. How do you captivate your audience? How do you encourage them to turn the page?

The same thought process should apply to every form of marketing leaving the door of your company or organization. How do you tell your story? How does it encourage people to act?

One thing to keep in mind when writing your story is the focus. As storytellers we can easily go off on tangents and get distracted. Stay on track by sticking to the main point of the story. If your having trouble finding your focus then stop and think….
and think some more…

It’s easy to forget a fundamental key in storytelling…thinking.After some reflection and thought… the focus may come. And remember that the focus is what the story is about…why it was told… and how it will encourage your user to act.

Remember the following five tips to better understand marketing and how to tell your story:

1. Remember why your story matters. Why does my story matter? Why are you telling your story? You think it matters but who else does? This goes hand and hand with understanding your audience and telling them a story they’d connect with… emotionally.
2. Do you have a point to your story? What’s the purpose of the story. To teach something? To share an experience that changed you? This is your focus. You should be able to define what that is with only a few words.
3. Why do you tell your story? Original content comes from people who are simply willing to tell their story not attention seekers. So what’s your motivation behind the story?
4. How do you relate to the story? What does this story say about me? Does it reflect you in a good light? Does it tell you audience who you are? Does the story flow? Is there a clear understanding? You want to make your story understandable and relatable. You want to be liked but you want to leave them with something to chew on.
5. What daily activities could I use to better tell my story? Reflect on your daily activities to look for life experiences to help reach and engage with your audience. How do your use your life experiences to shape your story?

Why is it important to focus on the five steps? Because we want to know what the story was about.

We want to know why the story was shared.

We want to take something away from it… connect with it.

kyle lacy, ceo
brandswag corp
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(web) www.getbrandswag.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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The Only Way to Create Real Content is Telling Stories

Monday, December 20th, 2010

kylepic

There are random times throughout my life where I have the pleasure of sitting down with Chris Baggott. Chris is co-founder of ExactTarget and now co-founder and CEO of Compendium Blogware. Our meetings always consist with some type of beverage and spirited discussion around the world of direct/internet marketing.

We were talking about the future of online marketing and where social media, email, blogging, podcasting, search and mobile fit into the discussion. After arguing about a few things here and there we came to the conclusion that everything is about content. Now, it does matter what type of tools you use and how you use them… but that more important thing in marketing is about creating content that moves.

Chris made the comment:

“Above all, it is about taking your story… your company stories… your client stories… your employee stories… and humanizing content. It is about telling your story to improve search and the sharing of the content. Simply put… get other people to tell the story for you.”

This is a conversation that happens quite a bit. I say it all the time… I don’t care about your clients. I care about their friends. Your clients are already your friends! Leave customer service and client retention programs to keep them in the loop.

Create content and marketing strategies that encourage your clients to talk to their friends.

Because the truth of the matter is…

The only people who can truly humanize your content are the people you have already served. They are also the only people (and marketing voice) that will cause potential clients to act… and buy.

kyle lacy, ceo
brandswag corp
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(web) www.getbrandswag.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy
(office) 317.829.1616
(mobile) 765.610.5965

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What separates a good speech from a great speech?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

A good speech has a clear, relevant message supported by facts. A great speech has a clear, relevant message supported by stories that make the topic being discussed more interesting and more memorable.

The goal of every speech is to be memorable and informative. People are inundated with messages and speeches in some shape or form on a daily basis. How can you help make your message stick? One of the simplest ways to make a speech memorable is to tell a story that serves as a real-life example of your message. A relevant, well-told anecdote engages audience members in a way that PowerPoint presentations or statistical data can’t. When an audience is engaged, they are more likely to retain the information being presented. If the story is interesting enough they may even relay it to someone else, spreading your message even further. People genuinely like stories. We remember stories. We dream in stories. Stories help us remember key points.

Of course, there’s also a benefit to the speaker using stories. Stories make giving the speech easier. Story-telling helps relieve the tension that many speakers feel about forgetting their content. Interesting, thought-provoking stories are easier to recall from memory than cold, lifeless statistics. Story-telling is a natural part of conversations and allows for a smooth delivery.

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business
ellen@accentonbusiness.net

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