Storytelling has become the future of content marketing and must be included in your personal branding.
Some may fear this new concept, but storytelling is much easier than you think. Stories not only provide custom content, which is what your customers want, but it also helps in building meaningful relationships with your consumers and potential buyers.
“90% of consumers prefer custom content.” Source: Adweek
Becoming a master storyteller is not at all beyond your reach, it simply requires determination, practice, patience, time, as well as, the right medium and toolkit.
A special skill is not required to be able to write stories for you already possess the content, you are just not fully aware of it yet.
Think about it. All of us have had “A Once Upon A Time,” in our lives, in fact, we have had many. No, we are not referring to “Far Away Lands,” or “Fairy Tales.” The storytelling we speak of is non-fictional, instead, it is all about the real world and you.
Therefore, how-to properly structure personal brand stories is really quite simple, if you have experiences, then you have stories to tell.
How-To Write Stories With Structure
The ultimate goal in having a personal brand is to inspire others, whether it motivates change or encourages people to by products, storytelling is a perfect way to shape your desired outcomes.
Stories require more than just words appearing on a computer, tablet, or mobile screen. They must have structure, which comes from including an authentic message, characters, a timeline, and plot.
The idea, is to share with your audience information about yourself so they can get to know you better, not just as a salesperson, but, as an individual.
Each story should be personal, descriptive, relevant, compelling, and factual.
A captivating story should have a short, clear, relevant title. The Body of the post must be 300 words or more with substance, and include 4 Acts to provide structure.
4 Acts Of Storytelling:
Act Structure explains how a plot of a story is composed.
- Set-up: Opens the story, provides background information and character introduction. It creates interest in the audience.
- Conflict: Chronicles the struggle, life-changing event, or experience. The second act is considered to be the core part of a story.
- Resolution: How the problem is fixed, conflict resolved, or a new perspective was gained. This gives the audience the feeling of a “pay-off.” The third act leads to the final outcome of the entire plot.
- Call to Action: Ask questions, request feedback, encourage engagement. Bring readers into the story and invite them to become a part of it.
Example Story: Using The 4 Acts
Putting My Customers First
Add Photo or Video
Blog Post Body:
ACT 1: The Set-Up
I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm clock as I do every day. After eating a light breakfast, I drove to the dealership and arrived at my normal time around 8:45 am.
While walking through the front doors, I get a strong whiff of fresh brewing coffee. I look over to the table on my left and see a big box of yummy glazed donuts waiting for me.
I walk over to my office to hang up my coat and on the way I say hello to my Manager. We engage in small chit-chat, and then hear the front doors open.
A customer walks into the dealership and waves hello to me, as I stand beside my Manager, I wave back.
ACT 2: The Conflict
The first thing I notice about the customer is how she is vigorously rubbing her two hands together, even though she is wearing wooly mittens.
I turned to my right and looked out the window to see that it had started to snow and the wind had picked-up quickly since I arrived at work. I turned back and held out my right hand to the customer and introduced myself. We shook hands as she offered to tell me her name, “I’m Melody.” I welcomed her to our dealership and offered to take her coat.
I noticed how cold her hand felt while shaking it and remembered the hot coffee I smelled earlier.
ACT 3: The Resolution
I told Melody that I would love to get started on talking about cars, but before we do, “How do you like your coffee?”
While holding her mittens, she smiled and responded with, “Just a dash of cream and 2 scoops of sugar.” Carrying the two hot cups of coffee, I walked over to Melody and invited her into my office. As I handed her her coffee, I showed her where to sit.
We began discussing which vehicle interested her the most, when suddenly, she stopped talking right in the middle of our conversation. I looked at her, she was looking down at the coffee cup, and then she looked back up at me.
She started talking again and said, “Thank you so much for the hot coffee. I was very cold and feel much better now. I appreciate that kind of customer service.” I leaned forward in my chair, a bit surprised by her thoughtful words and responded by saying, “My customers always come first.”
Call To Action
How does your current salesperson put you first?
From the example story above, you can see how each of the 4 Acts play important roles in creating structure.
The Acts keep the story on track and provides a nice flow, making it easy to read.
Your customers can now learn a lot more about you and your experiences through the stories you share.
The more structured they are, the less readers will find them confusing, making it a lot easier for them to connect with the story and with you.