Storytelling is everywhere. We tell stories every day of our lives. And of course – we hear them every day as well. Countless stories. Some complete. Some mere fragments. Stories that friends share to make us laugh. Stories we hear that make us cry. Stories that help us understand the complex. Stories that help us connect.
Stories have the power to change entire organisations. If you share your stories, your business will change. I’m not talking about creating stories for the sake of creating stories. I’m talking about weaving stories into the very fabric of your organisation.
Storytelling isn’t a tactic – it’s a philosophy.
Storytelling in business isn’t a new concept. The art of telling a great story is part of the broader Content Marketing movement – a movement I believe in. I’m heavily involved with Chris Marr at The Content Marketing Academy (CMA). He’s developed an incredible community that I’ve learned so much from.
The CMA community are using stories to grow their businesses. Whether they’re a hairdresser, shed builder, independent shop owner, IT consultant or accountant – they’ve made a commitment to share their stories.
Here’s Gary Vaynerchuk’s perspective on Storytelling. (Contains swearing.)
Those stories have to be real. Those stories have to be well written. Those stories need to have a purpose. The stories also need to be more about ‘them’ and less about ‘you’. Rather than TELL someone about your service, share a story about how that service helped someone else. Someone like them.
That makes your content relatable. People project themselves into the story because the subject of the story sounds just like them. Sharing these authentic stories builds trust – a critical element of building any organisation.
The Story Hunter
Your job is to be a story hunter. Be tuned in at all times to the opportunities to tell a great tale. Don’t let them slip through your fingers and don’t trust your memory. Note them down as quickly as you can. Create a file and make sure you dedicate the time to write and share them.
If you’ve got a team, engage them and create a story hunting culture. This isn’t the job for one person, so get everyone involved.
Starting with Case Studies
A Case Study is the perfect place to start your storytelling journey.
So what is a case study?
Here’s a definition from Wikipedia
A particular instance of something used or analysed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle.
Here’s my definition
A Case Study is a framework for telling a ‘problem – solution’ story about any given subject.
I think of case studies as testimonials on steroids. Testimonials are great, but most of them lack the elements of a story. They don’t have the context. They’re missing something.
If you’ve got any testimonials – they’re a great place to start. They can be the foundation for a full case study. I’ll be sharing more posts on this subject over the next few weeks.
Case Studies are just part of the story of story, but they’re a perfect and practical place to start.
Over to you
Have you got any case studies on your site? If you do, please share them in the comments – I think everyone would get value from seeing some real-world, practical examples.
PS – I’ve created a free email 5 Week email course called – ‘The Case Study Code’. By the end of the 5 weeks, you’ll have a complete framework to produce compelling and authentic case studies. Simply enter your first name and email address in the form below to sign-up.
PPS – I’m a sponsor at for the next Content Marketing Academy conference in June 2016. It would be great to see you there. If you’ve got any questions about it, please just ask me.