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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
You want the audience to be the hero, not the business
(or the product.)
- You want the highest possible production value you can
- 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
- 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.
- Aligned is a
podcast for executives of emerging middle-market companies and
executives pursuing growth and looking for new levers to
- Order Sean’s book
- 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 sixfootfive.com and his
storytelling organization at arcstories.com.
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder details the steps to a great
story, especially on the screen.