I tell stories for a living. And sometimes I get to tell great ones!
My kids laugh when I say I tell stories for a job. They laugh even more when I say I help other people tell their stories.
I get it, it’s funny.
They get my stories for free every night and are curious how I can make a living telling other people’s stories. Why would someone pay me to tell a story?
But that is what I do.
I tell stories to shape people’s perceptions and influence their actions. And sometimes I am lucky enough to tell really special stories.
Before I tell you one of those special stories, let me ask you a question.
Do you know your brand story?
If I asked you over coffee would you be able to tell me your organisation’s story in a way that would stir interest and excitement? Could you hook me in?
What if I visited your website? Or read your brochure? Or checked out your social media? Is your story clear? Is it compelling?
If not, you are in trouble. Let me say that again. If not, you are in trouble.
As a company or organisation, even as a sole trader, your story is your greatest asset. You need to know what it is and how to tell it. Not just once, day in day out, through lots of small stories that together make up your big story. They are the tiles to your brand’s mosaic.
The small stories can be anything that communicates what you do and the value you offer. A letter from a happy customer, the story of a changed life, an image of your product in the hands of a fan. You get the idea.
The way to hook people in, create interest, form what they think about your brand and ultimately to stir action is through your story. If you and your colleagues do not know what it is or how to tell it I encourage you to make it a priority and invest in it. You will not regret it and will see results immediately.
Here’s a special story.
A few years ago I and two of my old workmates were invited to tell a series of stories for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. We spent two long days filming and listening to some of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Hearing their stories of pain, hardship, passion and determination was both energising and draining. They made me laugh and cry, a lot.
The project was part of an initiative by CPA to tell stories that people needed to hear. The 14 people we interviewed covered all age ranges and life experiences, including paralympians, musicians, students and successful business people. They spoke about their hopes, achieving their goals, coping with discrimination, as well as offering advice on how to build confidence and push past life’s obstacles. These are the tiles of CPA’s mosaic.
The struggle with editing was choosing what not to include, as every person had a unique story worth sharing. And because we did not have the luxury of filming their everyday lives, we incorporated animation to visually support their stories and emphasise key points.
Here is one of the six videos we produced.
Your story is your most powerful and influential asset. It will hook people in and ultimately stir positive action.
If you would like to chat about your story, let me know. The first conversation is on me.
Darryn Atclass considers himself very lucky to work as a Brand Strategist for The Learning Community, a great little powerhouse that helps you get smart with your marketing, people and systems. Write to him at [email protected].