With the launch of our new Bossify your Brand series, the first of our mantras we want to explore a little deeper is Be a Better Storyteller. Of course, we all want to do this. But saying it without giving any steps how to achieve it is like telling someone to be a better illustrator or a be a better salesperson without providing some guidance. The good news is that everybody possesses inherent storytelling ability (as opposed to having inherent illustration or sales skills, arguably). Don’t overlook the fundamentals. Relearning to have conversations and practicing active listening is where being a better storyteller always begins.
Learning to be a stronger communicator takes small yet significant steps at first, then making a habit of doing them continuously – lather, rinse, repeat. Who knows where they may take you? Maybe they will lead to high tech investment in social listening technology, or professional development pursuits by your staff as they become better brand ambassadors.
Here are a few steps, not earth-shattering, not highly time-consuming, not beyond anybody’s ability, to get you rolling in the right direction.
1) Conscious effort re: stories: Like everything worth doing or that really needs to get done, it starts with having it firmly planted on your mental radar. Whatever method you use to talk to yourself – to do lists, calendar reminders, meeting agendas, or, um, actually talking to yourself – make a conscious effort to make honing your brand storytelling a priority.
2) Collect views from your team and yourself: Whether you’re a SMB or a large company with multiple departments and divisions, gather story material from individuals. No need to overwhelm them. Start by requesting a few examples of stories that they think best exemplify the brand – or ones that really missed the mark. It might be as simple as listing accounts, or maybe they will focus on a particular event or a successful campaign. Don’t be too demanding of details at first. Drilling down deeper can be next step.
3) Consider what others found important or remembered. Perhaps a clear pattern of what events have been imprinted on people’s memories will emerge. But there may be outliers that produce a more surprising result. What was it about a particular account or event that you may have forgotten about that remains alive in somebody else’s memory?
4) Compare your successes with your failures – create a narrative which can begin to identify what worked and why; what didn’t work and why.
5) Commit - Your commitment to improvement will undoubtedly cultivate better storytelling abilities. The steps listed here are internal, lo-tech steps. But they are vital to your success.
Whatever the direction you desire to take your brand, using these steps to develop a culture of high-level communication, and the resulting success of better-connecting to your audience, will be because of your commitment to being a better storyteller.
Need help getting your story started? You’re in luck…it’s what do everyday!