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Centricity Podcast

Aug 24, 2021

Storytelling isn’t just a way to share your business’s stories and information; it’s a way to connect with audiences. It’s a way to make connections between you, your products, and the emotions you elicit in your audience. In today’s episode of Aligned, Sean is joined by commercial film director Taylor Robinson in this two-part episode to discuss the art of storytelling.

Storytelling is an art.

  • What is the definition of art? To Taylor, it’s just any form of expression. 
  • People are attracted to other people’s expressions, which is why storytelling is so compelling.
  • Facebook gave everyone a heightened sense of expression by providing the idea that your thoughts and ideas are important, which is why Facebook achieved its high level of success.

Applying storytelling to sales:

  • The difference between bad and good storytelling is the dialogue that allows the viewer to participate.
  • A good story is, above all, relatable to the audience in some way. 
  • Taylor’s favorite movie is Jaws, yet he has never been attacked or bitten by a shark. 
  • However, he knows what it's like to be scared. And great storytelling finds the shared link (like an emotion) to make the audience experience the story for themselves.  
  • Often, the most challenging hurdle Taylor encounters when working with clients is the initial creative process, and the marketer or professional doesn’t know their story.
  • Companies tend to talk about themselves. But the secret is to stop and ask what stories your audience wants to hear.

Starting a Successful Story:

  • Start with two things:
    • What do you want to accomplish? Is it to increase sales, or is it to teach a particular fact?
    • What is the information or story the audience needs to accomplish what I want to accomplish?
  • When crafting your story, begin with a hook: an attention-grabbing narrative that establishes the problem.
  • Story Structure can be broken down into four parts: the problem, the character, the solution, and the place.

Crafting stories to achieve business goals:

  • When creating a story, your business is always the secondary part of the story. If you want to create a powerful video, your true star is the emotion or problem your audience can relate to.
  • An essential secret to storytelling? The stakes, or what the main character stands to gain or lose.
  • If you've got a story that has no problem, you don't have a story. You have a list of features.

What do I do if I see my competitors also telling people stories? 

  • Testimonials are a popular thing, and many businesses rely on them. So how do you make better ones? The good can only be as good as the bad is bad.
  • In great testimonials, people discuss why their previous service or experience with another company was bad, which creates a problem your company can come in and fix. 
  • People want to know what happens next. Even if it’s a bad or repetitive story, the journey to the solution naturally captivates people.

You want the audience to be the hero, not the business (or the product.)

  • You want the highest possible production value you can afford.
  • If you want your brand to appeal to your target audience, you need to create messages that look valuable.
  • For smaller companies and organizations, you probably don’t need to (and can’t) spend $2 million on a TV commercial. But companies like Coca-Cola have to.
  • The takeaway: Coca-cola isn’t selling just a 50 cent mixture of sugar and water; they’re selling their brand. They’re selling a lifestyle and identity.

Storytelling is a business tool that can draw more value from your marketplace.

  • Your marketing message should look like the brand you aspire to be, not who you currently are.
  • The customer should be the hero, not your business. By demonstrating what is at stake, you’ll keep people invested in the outcome. 
  • But also, just don’t overthink it. The art of storytelling is very simple, and if you understand the simple elements of a great story, you’ll be successful.

Episode Resources:

  • Aligned is a podcast for executives of emerging middle-market companies and executives pursuing growth and looking for new levers to pull. 
  • Order Sean’s book Shift.
  • To connect with Sean Doyle, find him on LinkedIn, or learn more about FitzMartin on the company web page
  • You can find Taylor Robinson’s production company at and his storytelling organization at
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder details the steps to a great story, especially on the screen.