The idea of telling your story can come with a lot of preconceptions.
Perhaps you’re picturing a colossal pile of papers, notes and scribbles that make up your entire life story. Perhaps you can picture yourself writing with a feather quill at a Chippendale desk, toiling for year upon year, through golden summer evenings, and piercing cold winter nights. Over the endless hours, your story would be drafted, redrafted and finally perfected, before being bound in a beautiful leather book. At last, your work done, you would hand this book to your grandchildren, and whisper something profound like ‘the next chapter belongs to you, my love!’
While that’s nice-sounding nonsense, it touches upon a key concern that most people have, which is: telling your story is difficult, because writing is difficult. It’s a huge, arduous task to which incredible amounts of energy must be devoted, in order to see any chance of success. And to a large extent, those people are completely correct.
Writing properly is hard. It’s something that has to be grafted at day in, day out. First drafts are famously soul-destroying things to fight through. Stephen King has a great quote about there being no escape from the grind: you simply have to turn up each and every day, give the very best of yourself to the craft, and carry on ‘even when it feels like you’re shovelling s**t from a seated position.’
Does that sound like the kind of extra stress you want to introduce into your business life? I thought not! And yet, a lot of coaches with storytelling frameworks, marketing courses, and private groups require you to do exactly that; a ton of hard graft that you have to keep up week in week out. Unless of course you sign up for their 1-1 coaching program, or better yet, pay them a pretty penny to do it for you.
So it’s all very well for me to say ‘you need to break down your life into key moments and tell those stories,’ but how does that actually work in practice?
Well don’t worry: we’ve devoted a ton of time and energy into figuring out how you can tell your stories quickly, easily and consistently, with no writing or hard graft involved whatsoever, so you can get back to what you actually want to be doing, which is delivering for your audience.
But before we get to that: in terms of all the online mediums that might be a good place to start, what are your options?
The written word
For the sake of argument, let’s take a quick look at the written word. How about turning key moments from your life into a blog or an article? Great idea! But as we’ve just hinted at, doing it consistently takes a real commitment of time and energy. You could use an AI writing assistant, but so can you competitors, and then you can say goodbye to that crucial emotional spark that comes from finding your own voice. Perhaps you could outsource it? But then you’re not really telling your own story, and your authenticity takes another hit…
So how about writing much shorter snippets as tweets, or Linkedin/Facebook statuses? These are hot stuff at the moment, and very effective at generating great engagement and maybe even the occasional share. They’re easier to write, too! But that means they’re a little lightweight, and will never really wield the emotional heft of a properly-told story. Definitely still worth doing, though.
How about podcasts? Now we’re cooking. If you can get over the technical hurdles, find the right gear, and set aside the time, they’re the perfect place to weave your own stories in amongst your main subject, and there’s no real need for tight scripting. Your personality can shine through, and your authentic self is revealed! But you’ve got to have a ton of stuff to talk about, and a strong conceptual hook to hang the whole thing on. And perhaps most importantly, getting your audience to download and listen to a podcast requires serious buy-in from them. Most people have just 8 podcasts they listen to regularly, so it’s a huge task get onto that list. If you manage it, you’d better be in for the long haul and keep the consistency up! That said – if you can, go for it. Podcasts are awesome for businesses.
But Video is KING
So how about video? Well…what kind? The super-slick, scripted masterpieces on YouTube that feature graphics and snazzy editing? Get ready to throw a ton of time into researching gear, developing your editing skills, or sucking up the expense of outsourcing. And you’ve still got to plan and write them! That means a ton of work before you even get to having to learn the script off by heart, or reading from a teleprompter, which is an authenticity-destroying skill all of its own. Again, if this all floats your boat, by all means get stuck in.
But…there’s another option. A really good one. Enter: the humble smartphone. The video camera that everyone has in their pockets. It’s the simplest thing in the world to whip it out, hit record, tell a story, and have it online in seconds! What could be easier? Well, not so fast my friend. Can you be certain you’re telling the right stories, in the most compelling ways? Can you tell an entire story in a single video, in one go? How about getting all the formats right for whatever social channel you’re looking to post on?
My friends, if only there was an app that…
- 1Served you regular story challenges that helped you pick key moments from your life that will make best stories for you and your business.
- 2Broke those stories down into bite-sized questions and prompts that you could record one at a time to ease the pressure of being perfect, remove the need for a script and let your authentic side shine thorough.
- 3Automatically edited those clips into a finished video that could be posted straight to your social channels, where your audience can see it in a heartbeat, and spark that true emotional connection that everyone is looking for.
Well good news: we built that app, and it’s called Content Captain.
Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to turn your story into compelling video content that sparks an emotional connection with your true audience.
If you believe in what you’re selling, get ready for a wild ride!
That brings this series of articles to an end, and it feels like we’ve come a long way: you’ve discovered that your story has incredible value. You know it’s worth telling. You know what can turn it into a superpower. You’ve learned to look at it in a whole new way, and now you’ve discovered a tool that can help you use it to drive the success of your business.
There’s only one thing left to do: go tell that story!