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4 Tips for Mastering Storytelling in Your Marketing


4 Tips for Mastering Storytelling in Your Marketing

What IS the secret to a good story? One that stays with someone long after they have read or heard it? One that can change things – a person, an action, a moment? Here are four tips for that will help you move from pushing content to mastering storytelling in your marketing.

A Great Story isn’t a Long Story

Today we are battling for mere seconds to interrupt and impact each other, and we are coming up against incredibly limited attention spans. A Microsoft study released in 2015 found that the average adult can remain focused for only 8 seconds, a full second less than a goldfish. So what can you say in 8 seconds?

Remove One Accessory

Coco Chanel famously advised that every woman should look in the mirror before leaving her home and remove one item. We have a tendency to over explain, over talk, and over sell. Find the distraction, the superfluous – and remove it.

Use a Photographic Eye

I began my professional career as a photographer in the 90s. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and photograph some remarkable people, from the cast and crew of Cirque du Soleil to the First Lady of Uganda, Mrs. Janet Musevini. One of the biggest challenges is finding that shot, the one that says everything without having to say a word. A great photo tells the story of a person, creature, or perhaps a place – in a moment in time. It captures and translates the moment into that 8-second digestible story.

When you look at the top of this post, what do you see? What story does it tell you about that moment? What does it make you feel now?

Write What You Know

Having a hard time telling the story? Stop looking at it from the outside. If you can’t relate to it, no one else will. It doesn’t matter whether the topic isn’t your specialty because THAT isn’t the story. The story is the dilemma your reader faces. It is the common relatable emotion or motivator that many people would feel when facing similar circumstances. Find yourself in the story and you can find others.




60 Second Read – Marketing to People

60 Second Read – Marketing to People

I’ve been working in marketing in some form since 1996. What began as a crash course in promotional marketing as a photographer evolved and grew into a long career in B2B and B2C marketing. From architecture, pharma, tech, food, and even pet care, countless hours have been spent in strategic meetings with clients and partners discussing our “audience” and how to best market to that “consumer”, “brand”, or “target audience”. As marketers and business people, we have a tendency to over analyze. Even when we think we are lasered in and we talk about the personas, we are disconnecting ourselves from the easier answer, we are over complicating things.

I believe personas and target audiences are important, I also can speak to unique challenges when marketing as a B2B business provider versus direct to consumer as a B2C. However, I firmly believe that we need to remember that no matter what we are marketing and to whom – brand or consumer, we need to peel back the layers and remember that at the core, who we are marketing to is quite simple.

We are marketing to people. People like us.

The challenge lays not in who, but what. Are we marketing a product or service? A solution, distraction, education, or entertainment? Figure that out and then we just need to remember that all people are driven and motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically. There is no magic around basic motivational behavioral psychology.

Determine what you are marketing and how it serves the intrinsic and/or extrinsic needs of yourself and others and then tell THAT story. Step back and stop over thinking, and stop wasting hours on meetings that over complicate the process.