“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”Madeleine L’Engle.
Do you realize how much power your story has? Stories get remembered. They distinguish you from everyone else. They have the potential to move people, connecting you with your audience. Your leadership is based on your personal story. It’s who you are.
So, you may be wondering… what’s next? How do I get my stories noticed?
What’s the best way to attract followers from my stories?
How do I market my stories for results? Here are a few tips…(with stories, of course!)
Tip #1: To Get Noticed: Use compelling words. Write as you speak. Make it conversational. Choose words that stand out. Use colorful verbs, just as you’d add spices to your food. A compelling subject line is especially important in an email or press release. If your words don’t’ evoke curiosity, chances are that no one will want to read your message.
“It has been said that next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.” -Khalil Gibran
My story: While doing publicity for the A.G. Bell Montessori School, one of the fathers decided to enroll in the second grade with his deaf daughter. It was a fascinating story! He wanted to learn Cued Speech, a method that makes all phonemes of speech visible, using eight hand shapes for consonants and four positions around the mouth for all vowels. Cued Speech allows deaf children to learn the same vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar as their hearing peers. What better way to learn than by practicing every day? When I wrote the press release, my subject line was: “42-year-old Father Returns To Second Grade!” Did this story get picked up by the media? You bet it did!
Tip #2: To Attract Followers: Be authentic. Select words that reflect who you are to those you want to reach. Your perfect clients will mirror your values, traits and characteristics. Your ideal story must convey your benefits and move our emotions. Think about what makes a movie or play great. Its powerful story gets inside your heart, and makes you cry or laugh out loud.
My story: We’re recording a WGN-TV commercial with the famous singer, Lou Rawls. The TV studio execs are nervous about one section of the music, where Lou’s voice does a little backsliding. (It’s his style!) They ask Lou to sing the notes straight on. Lou says, “If you want it milquetoast, I’ll give it to you milquetoast.” (singing notes without his swinging inflection.) Lou sings it per their direction, and the song sounds flat and ordinary. Our composer speaks up. “You hired Lou Rawls because you wanted his style. Why not let him do what he does best?” The execs agree and the recorded song is a hit! “Chicago’s Very Own, Channel 9” played for many years. I still have the lead sheet with my lyrics framed over my desk, with Lou’s message, “Lynn, it’s great — hang on in there.” I’ll never forget that day.
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” -Phillip Pullman
Tip #3: To Market Your Stories: Jump into the social media world. Whether you like it or not, the world of social media is the key to building your influence. The masses are not getting their news through newspapers and magazines. (Other than celebrity gossip!)
According to an Adweek study done in 2014, almost 9 in 10 companies across the United States are using social media for their marketing. That figure was predicted to rise from 88% to 89.5% by 2016.
To get started, choose at least two different social media sites to post your news and connect with followers. Be sure to comment, “like” or repost someone else’s messages. There is an 80/20 rule you can follow. (Just like GoRead). Spend 80% of your time recognizing others, and only 20% on talking about yourself.
My story: My goal was BIG! It seemed impossible. To become a best-selling author on Amazon over CyberMonday. But I decided to take action. I enlisted several people to help promote my children’s book, “Dancing With Tex: The Remarkable Friendship To Save The Whooping Cranes” through social media. We connected, shared and engaged with au audience who cared about the environment, children’s literacy and endangered species. Lo and behold, my book DID make it to the best-seller status! Wonder of wonders! Social media works!
BONUS TIP #4: Take action!
What’s the most important thing you can do now?
Build a team of people you can trust, plan a strategy around your stories and take action. There’s a saying, “Plan your work and work your plan.” It’s really true. You’ll get more done with a plan.
Challenges will always happen. But if you’re willing to persevere, I believe you can surmount any obstacle.
Marketing your stories for success takes courage. Step out of your writers cave with faith, belief and perseverance. You CAN do it! Once your stories are written and published, they need to be discovered. The world is waiting for you!.
P.S. I invite you to join our Difference Makers Media community on Facebook and post news about your stories and causes. We’d love to interview you, and bring your stories to life!