Storytelling is an innate human activity. Like any Art it helps make sense of the world and connects people across the boundaries of time and space. So it should be no surprise that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you can use to captivate and grow an audience.
Great storytellers work hard on their craft, they practice and of course read continuously. While I’m purposefully over simplifying, storytellers stick to generally three pillars in their writing. If you don’t read anything else, know that they are charismatic and transparent, making their story personal, emotional and entertaining.
Storytelling techniques aren’t only specific to sci-fi movies and Nicholas Sparks novels. They can (and should) apply to business content and blogging, adding excitement to otherwise static content.
These three powerful storytelling tips will help transform your content and explode your blog’s traffic.
If only this could be more general, said no one ever.
Still, there exists this notion that the more general something is the more relatable it will be. Don’t exclude anyone and naturally, you’ll gain a larger audience. WRONG. The exact opposite is true.
The sheer amount of content online means that if something is bland/general (think most business writing) everyone will ignore it.
What you want to do is be as specific and focused as possible. What better way to do this than to speak from your voice. But beyond the possibility of grabbing the attention of like-minded people, I also believe in the essential consistency of the human condition. Ok, woah, that was deep. Let me explain.
Storytellers have always know that “I” is powerful, it creates intimacy, and when done right, a reader can feel as if they’re “inside the head” of the narrator. When a story is truly compelling the reader can become the author, and therein lies the real power of storytelling: seamlessly expressing and conveying values (which might be at odds with the reader).
Be authentic and you’ll be interesting, be authentic in your voice and you’ll naturally standout and at the same time be completely relatable: have that cake and eat it too.
Overnight success stories are for the weak-minded. Nothing dilutes faster than reoccurring overtly positive “celebrations”. Your struggles are what define who you are, and your character. Embrace your constraints and write about them!
An excellent example of this is Groove. They adopted an entirely transparent content strategy on their blog. They shared their success AND failures in detail and very publicly.
Mailchimp has recently done this, as well. To get “closer to their customers,” they have launched their own brand. Meg sends beautiful newsletters that I look forward to that read more like a diary than a business blog. See how rule 1 is bleeding into rule 2? When you’re authentic in your voice, you’ll talk about things as they are. Not better, and not worse. In the challenges, you’ll share how you problem solve and how you deal with real life. No one likes curated bios.
So now you have to shift your thinking away from yourself and your brand. Take a moment and wonder who exactly would want to read your post? Is it just your mom? Try again.
If you have a brand, try to think about what your customers would be interested in. Where do your lives overlap? It’s not hard to find subjects and whole content areas that you think would bring value.
For example, if you’re a jewelry brand whose customers are single professional women, one idea could be focusing your content on what it’s like to run an independent business. You can even narrow it down to something that could potentially help them: how to use jewelry as a modern day “power suit. That might be super corny, but you get the idea.
Storytelling can be used to connect to your audience, but if you have NO idea who you want your audience to be you’ll be building a McMansion without thinking of the location.
Try starting your posts off with an anecdote. They work wonders in getting users quickly engaged.