How many times have we looked at someone inquisitively and wondered, “What’s his story?” Other times it’s, “What’s he smoking?”
Truth is, we all have a story. If we tell our story right, it could inspire people and open many doors. Told wrong, it could turn people off and even become a deal breaker.
We’ve all heard about the benefit of having your “elevator pitch” ready at a moment’s notice to sell yourself or your company. That timeline means, you need to tell a compelling and concise story before you get off on the next floor. Some people think that elevator is going to the moon and they have all the time in the world to tell their story. We all have to learn to keep our pitches short and to the point, to tell your story well and in as few words as possible.
It all comes under the heading of marketing, which began as story-telling dating back to the caveman days. They would sit around the stone fire pit (once Og invented fire) telling stories while drinking their brontosaurus nectar, dreaming of an ice-cold beer and a good cigar. No television, radio, internet, or smart phones. All they had back then were their stories. Their stories could elevate their status within their tribe or help them acquire hunting partners, and could even help win over a mate, if only they didn’t go on and on about themselves. I think that’s where the term “a tall tale” comes from. Through the centuries those “tall tales” have been called “B.S.”
Well-known marketer and bestselling author Seth Godin wrote a book in 2005 titled “All Marketers Tell Stories.” Great marketers have the ability to tell an inspirational and powerful story about a product or service so that people become interested and want to buy that product or service. That’s what we get paid to do.
Marketing guru and author Gary Vaynerchuk said, “No matter who you are or what kind of company or organization you work for, your number one job is to tell your story to the consumer where they are, and preferably at the moment they are decided to make a purchase.”
Today, there are many different marketing channels through which to tell your story: newspapers, magazines, billboards, books, radio, television, movies, public speaking, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, Podcasts, and meetings, whether in person or on Skype or a conference call. And, still going strong after thousands of years, the good old campfire, which in urban areas has evolved into the gas fire pit. Either one usually comes with an ice-cold beer and a good cigar.
No matter where you tell the story about your life, your company, your product or service, tell your story with authenticity, humor, passion and brevity. Remember, all stories reveal certain truths. And, keep in mind what singer/songwriter Garth Brooks once said, “Both songwriting and advertising want the same thing: to get to the point in as few words as you can.”