How I Made a Career in Marketing by Telling Stories


One of the most important things in business today is how you communicate your message with the world.

Every business out there who has a website is looking for two things: traffic and conversions.

If you want to succeed in this highly competitive world, you need to know how to get people to visit your website, get familiar with your company, emotionally connect with your brand and eventually make a sale.

One of the best ways on how you could do that is by telling compelling and engaging stories about your brand, products and services.

Storytelling is definitely one of the more powerful tricks you can find in every successful marketer’s bag of tricks. Why? – Well, because storytelling provides context. It conveys messages, purpose and emotion as well.
Like Jonathan Gottschall, a very famous marketer, once said: “A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of a human mind.

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Storytelling has always been a part of us. It’s what connects us to our past, present and future. It’s just something that helps us relate.

Since the moment people developed communicational skills, we started telling stories.

Fiction or nonfiction, there’s no substitute for a good story. We all enjoy a solid story, whether it’s a novel, a movie, a powerful sales pitch, an intelligent and funny marketing campaign or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us.

The only trick is to figure out what tone, style and narrative works for what kind of audience.

Back in the day, it was historically important to tell stories because they carried what could have been life-saving information and explanations to things that were, at that time, unexplainable. Like, for instance: gravity, stars, current, The Moon and such.

Now a days, we mostly use stories to entertain us and connect us to different human beings. We use them to relive other people’s experiences in our heads, reimagine ourselves as someone or something else, endow morals and principles to other folks, express emotions, entice, provoke, distract, and help us learn.

But, next to this, there are also people out there who make a living from creating and selling stories that have the ability to grab people’s attention and make them fall in love with a certain brand.

Luckily for me, I’m one of them.

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I really enjoy telling stories. Like any other human, I have a set of stories for various occasions that I use for a wide variety of reasons. First and foremost of all, I just love when I see people fully invest themselves in hearing what I have to say. It makes me feel important and it validates my belief in myself as a good storyteller.

The second reason why I create and tell stories is to communicate certain value and provoke emotions. Humans are emotional creatures and they tend to value certain projects, relationships, situations, services and products based on how they feel about them.

As a marketer who has a rich background in copywriting and content management, I’m no stranger to using storytelling as a tool to help me get my targeted audience to digest certain information I needed them to on a more emotional level.

Storytelling has always helped me create loving and lasting relationship between brands and desired audiences. How? – By giving these brands certain voices that communicate with people on daily, weekly and monthly basis.

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Every good story must have the following elements:

A big, juicy, solid & shiny hook – Same like fishing, in order to catch your prey’s attention, you need to lure it with an attractive bait. If asked how does one get people to read their stories, almost every experienced writer would reply: “By writing killer headlines.”

Like in almost every other aspect of life, first impression means everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re telling or writing your story, how you “introduce” it to people will play a crucial part in its success.

That’s why, when it comes to telling their stories, most people back their content with interesting graphics, effects, teasers, taglines and all sorts of other promotional tricks that only briefly introduce what to expect for a certain tale.

A strong voice – it doesn’t matter if you tell your story in a written or verbal form, the tone of your voice needs to be clear, interesting and engaging. You, as the narrator of your own story,must have a trustworthy voice that when I read the tale, I feel like they have experienced something important that they want to share with me.

Part of what is required for me to be consider a certain author as trustworthy is the ability to provide vivid details and an interesting conversational tone.

To grab my attention, a certain storyteller need to know how to distribute his story, in a compelling manner.  He must have control of his narrative, he must not waste my time with unimportant elements or let his “delivery” become long and boring.

If you want people to look at you as a good storyteller, you need to master what you’re preaching about, with whom you’re conversing,  and what kind of tone and style will help you instantly form a connection with your targeted audience and make them register you as a trusted source.

For an example, if you’re addressing a younger crowd, it’s highly recommendable that you use a lot of slang in your story. Also, you should think about if your anecdotes will work with that specific crowd.

Use first-person narrative – For those are not familiar with the term, a first-person narrative is type of storytelling where you tell your story from the first-person perspective. It means that the viewpoint of a character writing or speaking is directly about themselves. MOZ, one of the more popular blogs that writes about SEO, SM and Inbound Marketing uses this type of narrative, and as far as I can see, they had some real success with it.

To get people to relate with your story, you need to offer them something more than just hard facts. They need to get to know you as person, to see who you’re, what you do, what are your strengths, and what are weaknesses. Only then will they form an emotional connection with your content.

Get your facts straight – This is very important. Never talk about something that you aren’t 100% sure about. If people figure out that your “facts” are not really facts, you’ll instantly lose all credibility. So, before you decide to go public with something, make sure that you know what you’re talking about.

Take your audience on a journey from point A to point B – The stories that people best engage with are the ones that promise certain value at the end of the road. “Lose weight in 30 days by doing these exercises”, “Learn how to build your website from scratch”, “Attend this course and become a fully certified digital marketing specialist”,“Order a pizza in 3 easy steps”, “Learn how to be better at your job” – these are just some of the more common examples that illustrate what I’m talking here about.

At one point, every single one of has read or listened to one of these stories searching for that instant knowledge, or just a promise that, upon completion, we’ll have something to show for our investment.

Make your story relatable – It’s true, people best click with stories that they can actually relate to. Many of us have never fought in war, nor did we ever win a Super Bowl, or battled super intelligent monkeys that are trying to exterminate our race. But, contrary to those situations, every single one of has experienced difficulties in finding the easiest solutions for some of our everyday troubles.That’s why most successful businesses in their advertisements are constantly trying to point out problems that their products and services solve.

Define the importance of the topic — If your audience doesn’t think the idea that you’re “selling” is important to you, then why should it be important to them? Now, I don’t mean that you should come in at the beginning of your piece with a paragraph that states how you love what you do, but yes, your audience should acknowledge that you’re passionate about your work, and that you believe in what you’re preaching about.

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So, to underline what I wrote here:

A true art of storytelling, especially in business purposes, is finding a narrative and tone that will really work with your potential clientele on a personal level. Without that kind of connection, no matter how well researched, well constructed or how interesting – your story has no real value.

That’s why is more than important to do your homework well, and figure out whom you’re addressing, what makes your audience laugh, cry, and jump on board with certain ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you liked what I wrote here.
Remember to share this content with your friends and colleagues. Who knows, maybe some of them could really benefit from this type of material.

That’s it for now.
See you soon again,

Have a great day,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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