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Articles filed in: Storytelling

Stories For Good


Stories are our most persuasive technology. The stories we tell can be powerful catalysts for change. But the stories that silence us are the most potent of all.

The stories we choose to believe and believe in are the making of us.

We can use our voices to raise the voices of those whose stories have been ignored.

We can choose the narratives that survive and thrive.

We can use stories for good.

Image by Tamarcus Brown

The Captive Vs. The Captivated

When people are given the microphone or stand on a stage, they have our attention, we listen. They have a captive audience for eighteen minutes, an hour or maybe a day—if they’re lucky.

Here’s the thing, you don’t need a captive audience to be heard. You need better true stories, well told. You don’t have to rely on luck to tell better stories, you can do it with intention and practice—by design.

The world is waiting, not to be held captive, but to be captivated by new voices—for the hopeful messages and stories, each of us has to tell.

You don’t need permission to take the stage. You need to find and practice telling stories that matter.

*Today is the last day to register for the current session of The Story Skills Workshop.
Here is a special link for my blog readers to join us.

Image by Tommi Boom

Are You Ready To Find Your Voice?


Eleven years ago, as I was pivoting my business, I began reading a new book. I was barely two paragraphs in when the following sentence stopped me in my tracks.

‘Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.’

Those words, written by my friend and colleague, Seth Godin, over a decade ago still hold true today. They inspired me to find my voice, own my story and invest in becoming a better storyteller.

Eight bestselling books later and ten years after I first read those words, Seth and I built and launched The Story Skills Workshop. We’ve been blown away by the impact it’s had on the thousands of people who have taken it.

We’ve just opened the workshop again today. If you’re looking for a proven, effective, powerful way to find your voice and your stories, I hope you’ll join us.

My blog readers can register using this discount link.

To find out more visit The Story Skills Workshop and hear what others are saying about how the workshop impacted them and their work.

Are you ready to find your voice, own your stories and create the impact you want?

Image by Wonderlane

The Myth Of The Gifted Storyteller


Over and over again, we’ve heard people like Steve Jobs described as ‘a gifted storyteller’. We’ve come to believe that storytelling is an art reserved for the chosen few—that great storytellers are born, not made. How can that possibly be true?

What all great storytellers have in common is more than a talent for storytelling. They aren’t ‘naturals’ or ‘born storytellers’. What they are is ‘practised storytellers.’

Last weekend I was at an event where the legendary author Margaret Atwood spoke. When someone asked if she read fiction and why, she told the audience she reads to understand. ‘I want to know how they did that,’ she said. One of the best storytellers of our generation, a woman who has twice won the Booker Prize, whose books sell in their millions, reads other people’s stories to learn from them and make her stories better.

Storytelling is an act, something you practice—a skill you can learn and get better at.

*The Story Skills Workshop is back by popular demand. We open for registration on March 3rd. You can register for more information by visiting here.

Image by David Geller

The Best Stories Are Lived

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m visiting the smallest branch of my favourite chocolate shop. It’s a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business, and it shows.
The enthusiasm of the assistants is palpable.

‘I’ve never worked for a company like this,’ the woman behind the counter says. ‘I’ve been here for five years, and I love it!’

When I ask why she talks about how much the owners care.

‘They’d do anything for us. They even get up on a ladder to change our lightbulbs. They remember our birthdays. They want the best for our customers and us.’

As the conversation progresses, ‘they’ becomes ‘we’.

‘We don’t export. We’re just proud to sell a beautiful Australian product at home.’

Storytelling is more than clever copy. It’s the act of showing up, with intention.
Your story is more than a tagline or a positioning statement—it’s not only what you say—it’s what you do.

The best stories are not just told, they are lived.

Image by Avant

Simple Questions To Ask When Your Marketing Isn’t Working


My marketing isn’t working.

This sweeping declaration leads us to draw (sometimes incorrect), conclusions that influence our future marketing plans and business strategy. We can’t fix our marketing when we don’t know why it’s broken. But where do we start?
Here are seven questions to ask when your marketing isn’t working as well as you’d like.

7 Questions To Ask And Answer When Your Marketing Isn’t Working

1. Why isn’t this marketing working?
Not necessarily why, in fact, but why do you think—what’s your best guess as to the reasons you’re not achieving the results you want?

2. Did we reach enough of the right people?
How many people do you need to resonate with to achieve the numbers of sales or attract the clients you want?

3. How clear is the message?
Does your message clarify how exactly you solve your prospective customer’s problems, unmet needs or unspoken desires?

4. How well does the message resonate?
Do you know enough about your ideal customers to craft a message that resonates with them and calls them to act?

5. Are you meeting our prospective customers where they are?
Did you use the right medium, in the right place at the right time?

6. Did you give it enough time?
Is the marketing broken, or are you impatient to see results?

7. What would you change given your response to the first six questions?
What one thing can you do today to improve your marketing?

All marketing is testing. Rinse and repeat.

Image by Tim Mossholder

On Finding The Right Customers


Building a sustainable and fulfilling business isn’t just about finding enough customers—it’s about finding enough of the right customers.

Here are ten questions you can ask yourself to guide your thinking about what kind of customers will enable you to do your best work.

10 Questions For Finding The Right Customers

1. If you could only work with a handful of customers, which would you choose?

2. Why are these customers ideal for you?

3. What do your ideal customers want from a service provider?

4. What do you want from your customers?

5. What story will you tell customers about why you are the best fit for them?

6. What story will you tell customers about why they are the best fit for you?

7. How will you price your products and services to attract only those ideal clients?

8. How many of these ‘right customers’ do you need to build a viable business?

9. Where will you find your ideal customers?

10. How will your ideal customers find you?

Customer-company fit is underrated.

Image by Cristina

Believed In


The one thing all successful ideas have in common is that they spread. But why?

The essential ingredient for making ideas spread is trust.

We must trust something before we can believe in it.
When we believe in something, we stick with it and share it.

So the first question we must ask ourselves isn’t how to get our idea to spread—it’s how can we do or say something worth believing in.

*If you’d like to get your message believed, not just noticed, consider joining us for
The Story Skills Workshop today at the discounted rate for my blog subscribers. I’m looking forward to helping you to tell better stories.
Here is your link to join.

Image by Mike

The Story Advantage


How can we get more attention for our idea?
How can we increase brand awareness?
How can we make people notice our work?

These are the questions I am often asked by the people and companies in search of a message that will give them a competitive advantage.

I don’t need to tell you that getting more eyeballs on your work won’t get any easier. Every day new businesses are launched and more videos, podcasts, articles and books are published. There will never be less competition for people’s attention than there is today.

But I’d argue that getting attention and building awareness are misguided goals. Fulfilling careers and thriving businesses are built on more than being noticed. And that’s good news for all of us.

We don’t need to go in search of some elusive message that might gain fleeting awareness. We already have an inherent competitive advantage—our unique, true stories about our life and our work. Those stories, well told, enable us to share messages that build strong ties with the people we hope to serve.

Our goal must always be to do what it takes, not just to be seen—but to matter. We don’t have to manufacture a message to get more attention, we have to create more affinity by getting better at saying what’s true.

If you want to get better at telling your stories, please consider joining us for the upcoming Story Skills Workshop.

Image by Clem Onojeghuo

Make Your Customer The Hero

Most marketing makes the company the hero.

Most companies go to great lengths to prove that their product is better.

Most marketer’s main aim is to close the sale.

The most effective marketing makes the customer the hero.

Beloved brands show people who they can become in the presence of their product.

The best marketers give people something to believe in, not just something to buy.

Image by Monica Leonardi