You may be a business or an organization that is looking to reach more people emotionally so that they can understand your mission, purpose, or how you originated. Storytelling is a great tool that will work if done properly. Heck, storytelling has been around for ages and it’s a fantastic way to get your vision across and understood. There is more to storytelling than a beginning, middle and end. If you had those components in mind, you’re on the right track. However, if you want your story to have impact it must have a few more components. Storytelling is a craft; an art and I have just listed a few ingredients that can make a story shine.
One component of storytelling that many people tend to forget about and by the way is the hardest is figuring out the conflict/challenge. I do think you can tell a story without conflict; however, the story is much better when conflict is present. Have you ever seen a movie without conflict? Conflict is what makes people care. Conflict is what puts the viewers on the edge of the seat wondering what will happen next. For example, in my story about Mariposa Coffee Company, the owner explains that his furniture business in the Bay Area was very successful until the 1989 earthquake destroyed the building they did business in. He was left with nothing. This is a great hook that should lead the viewer to the conflict. At this point you should be thinking what did he do next? Right? Conflict opens the gate to possibility.
The second component to a great story is the character. A good character is going to help with story engagement. If the viewer can’t relate to the character because the character themselves are boring and doesn’t look like they care you’re going to miss out on your story’s impact. Personally, I do not want anyone in front of my camera who is not passionate. You want the people who view your story to be intriguing, emotional, and passionate. No one is going to care about the story if your character on camera is just there. You do not want the first person who volunteers for your story either. Part of finding the right character that fits your idea and vision or the company’s vision should be a very thoughtful process. Sit down with a few candidates and ask them questions. Understand what makes them unique and decide if they are strong enough to carry the story.
The third component of a great story is the purpose. What is your purpose for telling this story? What do you want people to know or do after watching your story? Will your story have impact?
Companies and organizations who want to incorporate storytelling into their marketing efforts should focus on stories that set them apart from others. Maybe there is a customer who benefits significantly from the business or organization. They could tell the story about that one individual and how they are helping them.
For those who don’t know much about how to tell a story there is good news. You can reach out to video production companies and see if they specialize in storytelling. Some companies will create ideas that you may not have thought of and that work perfectly for your operation and vision. Check the video production company’s work and see if they are a good fit, good storytellers, and if they actually know what they are talking about.
Great storytelling can go a long way. Simon Sinek once said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” If your story is engaging, has impact, and has purpose it will strike the hearts of many who view it.