by Tom Ruwitch
A few years back, I was helping a financial advisor power up his business stories. He liked my approach because, he said, I “keep it simple.”
He told me he’d spent lots of money and time on other storytelling consultants and courses that made his head spin.
“I just want to write better emails and blog posts,” he said. “I don’t want to keep track of whether I’ve put all the story elements in the right places. I’m fed up with systems that are TOO complex and require a master’s degree to implement.”
I can feel his pain.
So many marketing “experts” present storytelling for business as if they’re teaching an advanced screenwriting course.
They liken business stories to Star Wars and the Godfather and Casablanca. And they encourage you to load your business stories with all the elements of a good screenplay – like backstories and heroes and villains and conflicts and resolutions and so on and so forth.
Good luck keeping up with all of that.
There’s one “expert” who tells you to master “12 Storytelling Brand Archetypes.”
Another offers a “simple 10-step system” for business storytelling.
Call me simple. But a “simple 10-step system” seems like seven steps too many.
When I sit down to write an email or blog post, I don’t want to worry about Aristotle’s plot formula, the seven steps in “Freytag’s Storytelling Pyramid,” or the 12 stages of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.”
And, trust me, you don’t need to know a thing about ark-UH-types to captivate prospects and inspire them to buy.
Don’t get me wrong…I believe in storytelling.
If you harness the power of storytelling, you can transform your emails, social posts, and other marketing material from boring to brilliant. And you can turn content creation from frustrating to fun. (Yes, I said, “fun.”) .
Storytelling for business does not have to be so darn complicated. You shouldn’t need a lengthy checklist every time you sit down to create a business story.
The best business stories have three simple parts. I call this the 3E Story Power Process:
1. Empathize. Put yourself in prospects’ shoes. Remind prospects where they are and show that you know how they feel.
2. Envision. Show prospects where they can go. Reveal a solution, a better place.
3. Enable. Reveal a path for them to journey from before to after. Show how your products and services can transform them.
That’s it. 3 “E’s” No archetypes. No 10-step systems or 12-stage journeys.
But to do this right – to empathize, envision, and enable – you have to understand what makes your prospects tick. You have to dig. You have to discover your prospects’ stories.
That’s where most business storytellers fall short.
If you can discover your prospects’ stories and then deliver those stories in an entertaining way, you will stand out. Your content will be relevant, memorable, and powerful.
Prospects will know, like and trust you. And more of them will choose to hire you.
Tom Ruwitch is the Founder and Chief Story Officer at Story Power Marketing. He’s offering a free, 12-minute micro-training called “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Buy -- Without Pitching and Prodding.” Instant access at: StoryPowerMarketing.com/3keys.