Attend a party or meet someone for the first time and eventually you will be faced with the question that defines all of us in our corporate-America, LinkedIn society: “What do you do for a living?”
I get this question a lot and I tell them the truth: “I’m a storyteller.”
Sometimes people nod as though they understand what that means. Perhaps they think I’m some undiscovered novelist, or that I read books to kids at the library. Others will press me to explain further, and I elaborate by telling them I write content marketing for professionals and companies across the nation.
And that makes me a storyteller, provided I do my job correctly.
We live in a society where we are bombarded with advertisements every moment of every day. Even the typical Sunday drive is full of snappy slogans and photo-shopped pictures on billboards. The majority of consumers have learned to ignore these messages and to treat advertising as nothing more than white noise. Research shows less than 25 percent of consumers trust the ads they see on television, in magazines or hear on the radio. Again, it’s all white noise ‒ and expensive white noise at that.
To reach today’s consumers, you have to give them something more because it is too easy for them to get something less elsewhere.
You have to tell them a story.
When you focus on the stories instead of the brand or the promotion, you’ll notice that consumers will respond with relief as they enjoy a break from feeling inundated by ads.
As humans, stories are one of our oldest forms of communication, dating back thousands of years. Even today, stories still have the power to persuade, relate and convey emotions. They’re not about the information you share in the end; they’re about the experience you create and share with your readers.
Stories allow your company to stay unique, creative and true to yourself. Your business has a history, which makes it different from any other. Share it. Share it with your readers and share it not by focusing on your own corporate messaging but by focusing on the story and sharing of story itself.
Become a storyteller. You’ll be a better content marketer. And you’ll be a big hit at parties.