Storytelling is essential for forging relationships with your audience in today’s marketplace. You might understand the need for storytelling conceptually, but in terms of execution…well, you’re stuck at “once upon a time”. Starting is actually the hardest part for any writer whether they’re an old pro or a casual storyteller. Use this checklist of questions to ask yourself to find and to inspire your story.
How to Find Your ‘Who am I’ Story
The first story you tell is an important one because you’re letting your audience know who you are. This is the story most audiences use to decide if they like you and want to get to know you better. To help you identify the story, pretend you met your ideal audience member in an elevator. What would you tell them?
- Who am I? What do I do?
- Why did I start my business?
- What excites me to get out of bed every morning (related to my business)?
- What do I hope my business accomplishes?
- What challenges have I overcome to arrive at this point?
- How am I / is my business special or unique? What do I do differently from everyone else that adds value?
These questions get you started. Keep in mind that your story isn’t a whitepaper, so you should relate personal experiences. Personal experiences humanize you, and they help audiences forge emotional connections with you. If you were inspired to start your women’s clothing business because a bout with breast cancer in your 20s made you feel unattractive and your goal is to make all women feel beautiful, then tell that story. It’s part of what makes you stand out.
How to Find Your Audience’s Story
A substantial part of your story is your audience’s story; however, instead of thinking of audience broadly, think small. Pick one perfect, ideal, super-fan audience member and discover their story.
- Who is my super-fan? What do they want?
- What are their problems? How can I solve those problems?
- How does my audience see themselves and how do they want to see themselves?
- What causes does my audience believe in?
- Where does my audience work?
- What websites do they visit? Where do they shop? What social media groups do they belong to?
Essentially, you want to create a profile of your audience. The best way to go about this is to interview a handful of super-fans to understand them. You might be surprised to learn that what your audience really wants is only a hair off of what you thought they wanted (which can make a huge difference).
How to Find Stories that Add Value
You have your story, and you have your audience’s story. Now you need to find stories that add value to your audience while relating with your brand identity.
- What new information or tips can I provide my audience? What would help them? (Think in terms of ‘how to’ information.)
- What experiences can I share that will help my audience? (Think of times where you succeeded or failed and talk about those experiences.)
- What resources do I have that will help my audience solve their problem? (Think of the resources that have helped you, and then create a list that explains how they improved your life.)
At the back of your mind, you should always ask, ‘why’ and ‘how’. Why does my audience need this? Why is this good information? How is this different from what’s already out there? How is this solving my audience’s problem? These are the questions that not only help you find your story but that help you continue telling it.
The power of great storytelling is real. If you’re not sure where to start your story or how to engage your audience on multiple platforms, contact us, The Storyteller Agency. Our storytelling experts can help you find and tell your story in such a way that you’ll see real results.