BUILD TRUST BY SHARING YOUR STORY
Guest Blog Post By Andrea Scoretz
Storytelling serves as a way to make information stick in the reader’s brain. It makes complex ideas understandable.
A good story allows the reader to relate to you and your plight, creating an instant connection.
A good story seduces us to the point that we cannot stop reading it.
We simply must know what happens next!!
It’s the same feeling one get’s when binge-watching a Netflix series. 🙂
We want people to feel emotionally invested in the stories we share.
We want people to care about what we have to say.
The human brain wants to find the meaning in what we are reading. It actively seeks out meaning, even when we don’t notice it’s doing so.
The meaning our brain decodes from stories has the ability to influence our entire lives.
The stories we share are seeds. The quality and level of authenticity is the water that turns those seeds into a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.
What you share with your reader has the potential to impact them for the rest of their lives.
That’s the power of storytelling for business.
Words are insanely powerful. In fact, writers are some of the most powerful people in the world.
Which means quality is incredibly important if we want to connect with our readers.
Particularly if we want our readers to respond favorably. (IE: click link/buy product/like page etc)
We are in the age of content shock (I wrote about that here). To permeate the content shock wall we need to make sure our stories are succinct.
The message must be clear, or we run the risk of losing our reader very quickly.
We’ve also got to make sure we are putting out content that people care about.
We want to build up a favourable rapport with members of our community. I’m talking ‘auto-sharing our content’ kind of trust. Therefore…
We’ve got to wrap our heads around the fact that a good story can change a life.
Storytelling is a powerful business tool when done correctly.
So how do we do it? How do we write something worthy of a full read, and hopefully, an action post read?
Let’s start at the beginning…
What is a story?
As Lisa Cron said in her fabulous book Wired For Story: The Writer’s Guide To Using Brain Science To Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence:
“Story is how what happens affects someone who is trying to achieve what turns out to be a difficult goal, and how he or she changes as a result.”
That’s quite the description!
We need to extract some details. We’ve got to find a concept or idea to build our story around. Let’s start the process by asking some big picture questions:
(1) What are some significant life events that made you who you are today?
I’m sure everyone has a long list, but it’s worth taking an inventory. Specifically of the events that made you who you are today. Those significant moments are learning opportunities.
You never know who might connect or relate to your story. You never know who’s life might be changed by what share
(2) Are you willing to be vulnerable?
Connection and vulnerability go hand in hand. Consider any places you are unwilling to go, then press a little deeper.
Why don’t you feel comfortable sharing certain aspects of your life? Those may be the very things you need to release and put out there
(3) Is your story useful?
Have you ever thought, “Gee, I sure wish someone had told me that” ?
I think we’ve all been there!
Does your story have the potential to help others? Great! Perhaps someone else could be saved from much headache and heartache if they knew what you knew.
You have the power to change a life by sharing your story.
So Now What?
Once you’ve done the internal research and decided on a topic for your story, you need to stay focused on that topic.
Many stories lose readership early on because they don’t stay on point. It’s very easy to lose sight of the purpose of your story by getting lost in the details.
Here’s three questions to continually ask yourself, before, during, and after the writing:
1) Whose story is it?
The story is about the protagonist’s internal struggle and/or journey (that’s you!). Don’t get sidetracked by outside players that don’t fit into your story. Stay on point!
2) What’s the deal here?
Again, it’s easy to get lost in a story, particularly when we include details that aren’t necessary. Including unnecessary details is a fool proof way to lose a reader.
If you stay on track, and focus on answering the following within the guts of your story, things will work out nicely for you:
- What was the obstacle you had to overcome?
- What events were unfolding because of this obstacle?
- How was your life being affected by it?
- What did you have to do to overcome the obstacle in front of you?
Focus on the significant parts of your story. Include the events that shaped and affected you.
Ditch any insignificant information.
Remember to stay on point. Make sure what you are sharing is useful and relevant!!
3) What’s at stake?
Answer the “what would happen if…” questions. Your ability to connect is in the answers you share!!
- How would your life be different if you didn’t overcome this flaw that may have kept you from the optimal path?
- What do you want your reader to learn from your story?
- What do you want your reader to think about when they are done reading?
Wrapping Things Up
If you’re having trouble wrapping up your story, consider including some insight into what may have unfolded had you not overcome the obstacle. It validates how far you have come and inspires others.
Don’t listen to your ego
Even the most pessimistic thoughts are no match for the power of storytelling. I’ve connected with some incredible people over the years by sharing my stories.
Some of the connections I’ve made began when I shared a story I felt wasn’t worth sharing. But I pushed through my ego’s negative self talk and got some pretty amazing results!!
Remember: we want our readers to care about what we’ve written.
The brain is searching for a reason to care.
So give your reader a reason to keep reading. Give your reader a reason to come back for your next story,
Build a connection by sharing your story. Dig deep and put yourself out there.
Happy Storytelling 🙂
Meet Andrea Scoretz
Andrea Scoretz is a university-trained technical writer with a background in marketing, journalism and computer science. Located on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, she has been freelancing for over 11 years, and has created documentation for a wide-range of clients in various industries.
After attending Mount Royal University, where she majored in technical communications and minored in computer science, she began her writing career in the oil and gas industry, creating equipment manuals and various other instructional documentation.
Shortly thereafter she began freelancing as a consultant on website design and content, with a sharp focus on usability. Today, she continues to freelance, and is concentrating on networking and her modest yet growing social media presence.
In her personal blog, must love crows. she shares essays on life and poetry.
Her passion is writing to connect with others, and she dreams of writing a book one day.
Currently, Andrea is working on submissions to literary magazines, guest blogging, and networking with other motivated and driven individuals.
SOME ADDITIONAL INSPIRATION
Keith Keller & Zdenka Sciacca talk about the power of storytelling to promote your business and generate raving fans for your brand.
— Keith Keller (@KeithKeller) September 4, 2016
OVER 30 MORE FREE PODCASTS HERE!!
— Keith Keller (@KeithKeller) July 28, 2016