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The Power of Storytelling

Last week, I had a lunch meeting with a woman named Tricia who created a storytelling group in Norwalk, Connecticut. When I told her how important storytelling was to marketing, she said her purpose was not to sell anything. It was to create a connection among people in a community. When I think about it, however, that's what storytelling does in the marketing context. After all, storytelling fosters a connection between people, and that's the outcome of good marketing.  Telling your story is a powerful way to establish a connection between you and your clients. There are some memorable marketing campaigns that use stories to establish an emotional connection. For instance, the Subaru ads of driving your car to go camping with your family or the Volvo story of driving to a wedding, are both examples of using stories in marketing. Even though we know they're trying to sell us a car, we can't help but feel the emotional pull of the story. Here are some effective ways you can use storytelling to have a deeper connection with your potential clients.  First, tell a meaningful story.  This can be done by showing a vulnerability, an irony or a redemption.  We have all had successes and failures in life. Our ability to share a failure shows that we are brave enough to show our entire journey, not just the successes. A part of the story may be how your experience made you realize a deeper truth or a path you needed to explore. Also, be authentic in your story. If you know of a great story, but it's not your own, it will not resonate, no matter how effectively it's told.  An authentic and heartfelt story should be about your unique journey or your specific experience. Lastly, connect your story to the goal you have in telling it. I told you the story about my lunch with Tricia because I wanted to write about storytelling today.  For instance, if you have a decorating business, you may tell a story about how important it is for you to create a beautiful living environment. You can end the story with, ".. and that's why I decided to start my business." Believe me, it will resonate with your audience on a deeper level. If you need help crafting a story or creating other marketing content, please reach out. I'm rooting for a happy outcome for your story - no matter what it is! "You can't hate someone whose story you know."    - Margaret Wheatley

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