Who else wants to stop creating salesy content?

Then storytelling might be the thing for you

We love telling stories. Tall tales, sob stories, romances, drama, stories that got blown out of proportions, we gobble it all up.

Stories are everywhere, everything is a story

I have an artist friend, and she’s amazing with a pencil. Her secret? Telling stories with ink and paint. She recently wrote that she is growing as an artist and is diving into storytelling. But whether she knew it or not, she was already telling stories through her artwork.

I find it remarkable that we’re only now focusing on stories. They have always been a huge part of our history. It’s not a new thing.

Regardless, I’m cheering on the movement shift from ‘buy my amazing product’ to telling a story. Sharing stories can only lead to good things, even if it relates to a product.

Storytelling can take all shapes and forms. When I was younger I discovered photography and got obsessed with macros. Later I got into drawing. At the time it seemed like my stories had dried up. I stopped writing while all I ever wanted to do was be a writer. There were no more stories to tell.

Looking back I knew that wasn’t true. I never stopped telling stories, it shifted.

So I focused on drawing and doodling and photography — something I loved doing. But what I didn’t realise at the time, was that I never stopped telling stories.

Not once.

I moved from one outlet to another. Telling stories has always been a big part of my life — even when it wasn’t. I kept reading, watching movies, diving into new series. I especially love Once Upon a Time because of the intricate script. Everything is connected in that series, that’s telling a story at its finest!

Content marketing is storytelling

It’s fascinating how content marketing and storytelling come together. It has become part of content marketing, though I’m not sure I agree with that. It would make more sense if it was the other way around.

Yes, you need to have a marketing plan, but the real question is: what is the story you want to tell and how do you want to tell it?

You can put the marketing front and centre all you like, but I know no one who watches commercials anymore. They either click away or they mute the tv. And even on websites, there are ad-blockers and all sorts of tools that people use to hide the advertising.

But we love stories. Who doesn’t cry when they see the #becauseofmom ‘commercial’? Or the Christmas commercials where an old man fakes his own death to get his family to come home for Christmas.

Those are more than stories to back up a brand. That is storytelling at its finest. They walk the line between entertainment, marketing and brand awareness. A story that gets us thinking and even walks the moral line always gets our attention.

Find the line and walk it

It’s human nature, to find lines, try to cross them and see how far we can go before we get called back. Like a naughty child that didn’t hold his mother’s hand. But do we have to stay within the socially accepted border?

Looking at children it makes you wonder. They test the borders every single day. As they grow older, those borders keep shifting and changing daily and that is a good thing.

I’m not saying we should move the moral borders, but stories that tickle those borders are refreshing. Looking at novels and series, the ones the successful ones dare to step out of the set comfort zones.

So here’s my challenge to you, step of out of your comfort zone today and tell your stories. I know you have them in you.

Share your why, share your life, your doubts and your journey. But most of all, don’t be afraid be vulnerable. That one thing that you don’t want to share creates the most powerful and heartfelt stories.

Whatever you do, put your story front and centre.

Think out of the box, dig deep and I guarantee you, people will notice. A good story always stands out from the crowd.

Just one word of caution: once you start telling stories there is no going back. Because once you do, you’ll be a storyteller for life.

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