Editor’s Note: Ryan Biddulph and I have known one another for quite some time. What started as an online blog-buddy relationship, has now turned into a friendship. We met up in Bali when I was there practicing being a Digital Nomad–and we have kept in touch ever since. I am honored to feature Ryan on my blog–his storytelling is out of this world!
The weird thing is, I can tell more fascinating stories from my days as a security guard at a shipping terminal than from my 6 years of circling the globe.
Sure I once faced down a spitting cobra in Bali. I was attacked by not 1, but 2 wildmen in Kathmandu. I evicted a menacing, 8 inch long centipede, bird eating tarantula and 6 inch long scorpion from the same home in Thailand.
But I also talked to a trucker whose best trucker buddy was Jeff Bezos’ uncle. This trucker would have been worth over $100 million dollars if he didn’t laugh off his nephew Jeff’s “silly business he was running out of his garage” and ignore his nephew’s pitch for a loan of a few thousand dollars.
I learned exotic tales from deckhands stationed all over the globe and even saw some 30+ US law enforcement agencies storm the shipping terminal one day when a potentially dangerous container entered port. You’d have thought Godzilla was stopping by.
The point I want to make is that any marketer can tell an emotionally-moving, entertaining, business-building tale about any topic whether from a personal or 3rd person perspective. Your customers and clients are itching for stories. We were all raised on stories, whether watching TV, sitting around the campfire, reading novels or for current day aficionados, watching Netflix.
Stories sell. If you market your business with stories you will connect with human beings on a deeper level because stories appeal to the imagination like few other marketing vehicles.
You may recall good marketing advice. But I guarantee you that you will remember and be indelibly changed by an enthralling, inspired marketing message conveyed through a carefully crafted story.
If you’re hitting on a client pain point or sharing a thrilling success story, or maybe you just want to draw an analogy between your life and your business to inspire your readership, following these 3 tips can help you access some serious storytelling skills.
I tell my zany travel stories on my blog not to push some selling agenda. I share these terrible or funny tales to entertain, to inform and most of all, to have fun.
Truth be told, my blogging style was flat out boring for many years. I resisted adding stories to my blog because I believed simple, practical, 3rd person advice would resonate with my readers.
Boy was I wrong.
I eventually learned how most great marketers tell enchanting, inspired, emotionally stimulating stories that move people into prospering actions. I also gleaned that top marketing storytellers genuinely enjoyed crafting tales that struck a chord with their clients and customers.
Have fun telling stories! Doing so helps you tap into creative reservoirs within you that may have laid dormant for years or decades.
The Corleones wouldn’t like good marketing story telling.
It’s personal *not* business!
Bland, robotic, dull, storytelling usually reeks of business-speak. You know exactly what I mean. Marketers attempting to weave a captivating tale by explaining how to synergize backward overflow.
Meanwhile I’m telling stories about how being attacked by 2 Thai ladyboy prostitutes in Bangkok teaches you 7 successful blogging lessons (this really happened).
Either inject your own personal stories into your work or tell a 3rd person account after putting yourself in the character’s shoes.
Getting personal adds authenticity and zest to your stories, making your tales memorable.
Add details to your story to make the tale come alive.
Marketing through stories means making it easy for readers to see, feel and experience the recount through your strict attention to detail.
A few years ago I lived in a remote Costa Rican jungle for 6 weeks. Entirely off the grid.
My wife Kelli accidentally stepped into an army ant horde while walking to the shower.
Version 1 of this story: A few army ants bit Kelli on the calf. She yelled in pain. Then ran away.
Version 2 of this story: Kelli looked like she was performing “Riverdance”. A swarm of stout army ants savagely laid into her calves, sinking their marauding mandibles into her legs, causing her to hop from one foot to the other. The jungle natives used the soldier ants for suturing. 1 bite and ant decapitation later you have yourself natural stitches. Anyway, after brushing off the serious soldiers she sprinted to the hut like Usain Bolt on a 32 espresso high.
Which story seems more memorable? The second, of course.
Build a memorable marketing message. Tell a vivid story with ample details to make the vision come alive in the minds of your readers.
Have fun. Get personal. Add those deets.
Telling stories adds serious juice to your marketing message. Start weaving colorful, memorable tales today to grow your business and brand from an entertaining space.
About the Author: Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.