| Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 14, Issue 11 – 15 November 2018
The first interview about my journey to publishing both the collection of stories and the novel has been published in the papers. It’s an article called ‘On her own terms’ by Indra Sathiabalan.
Meanwhile, I share a review I wrote about a storytelling book that came my way and Rohi shares a piece about creating a viral challenge for your audience.
This nifty book is full of useful information that will be a blessing for all storytellers. For those who are beginners in storytelling, you’ll not make the mistakes that veteran storytellers make. For veteran storytellers, you’ll understand why your stories written for a business setting aren’t converting to sales and how to correct such mistakes. It is, essentially, an important guide for those who need to learn how to market their products more effectively.
Let’s analyse this book a little more. For one, the subtitle to this book gives a glimpse of what’s ahead in that Koorhan says that the book shows you how to use storytelling to connect with the hearts and wallets of a hungry audience. The focus of his audience is those involved in corporations and businesses.
An overview of the book will reveal that it consists of the following. Koorhan explains why stories are so important in business. Then, he gives a warning that you should stop spinning tales about your business and, instead, focus on telling the truth. He then identifies the link between your values and your brand and why it’s so important. You’re then shown the many types of stories available and how to use them to your advantage. Other basic elements of storytelling, such as setting a theme and characterisation are also explored. It is only then that you begin to tell your story.
The most fascinating parts of this book are the home truths he tells. For example, he highlights that when you ask business owners what’s special about their business, they’re likely to parrot the same phrase – their people, their processes and their technology. Here’s the home truth – every business out there has unique people and processes, and their up-to-date with their technology.
Have you been in a situation where you’ve spoken to a leader in the business and he spews jargon? You have no clue what he’s saying and, quite frankly, you’re bored. This is the second important message that Koorhan has – when telling the story of your business, don’t use jargon. As he says, ‘It’s called corporate speak. Don’t use it.’
Perhaps, the most important warning that Koorhan has is that if you’re going to sell something, you need to tell the truth about it and about your business. At the very least, you should tell yourself the truth. And he adds, ‘Telling the truth to ourselves requires awareness and practice.’
And what is that one element that will change everything whenever you tell a story from this moment on? Emotion. Inject emotion into your story from the very beginning and there’s no doubt that you’ll convince anyone at all about what you’re trying to share with them.
Koorhan writes from knowing how this works from the ‘inside’. In fact, in the book, he writes that he’s ‘an award-winning filmmaker and cofounder of Crossbow Studio, an independent film and video production company. His company specialises in uplifting stories that inspire, educate and entertain. He is also the founder of ProfitArcher, a digital marketing firm focused on helping you generate leads for your business by creating compelling content aimed straight at the heart of your audience.’
On a more personal note, the one thing that didn’t resonate was his advice to use ‘the short story or beginning snippet as a teaser to click through to read the full blog post.’ For years, I tried this when sending out my newsletter. Last year, I asked the subscribers to my newsletter about this and they all had the same thing to say: they’d prefer to read the whole story in the newsletter rather than click through. In light of Koorhan’s advice, though, maybe I should revisit this point because he insists that by providing a mere teaser to the newsletter, I’d succeed in getting each reader to ‘touch point to support the greater whole.’
The last word, however, belongs to Koorhan. As this website is focused entirely on the art of storytelling, it is impossible to state the benefit of storytelling any better than this: ‘A story can get a customer engaged more that any brochure, listing just features and benefits. A story can literally make someone feel the value of working with you. Stories do what data does not.’
“Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.” ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
There is no better way to get out of your comfort zone than a challenge. As you learn to take on bigger and bolder challenges, you will improve your chances of success and satisfaction.
Five Steps to Create Your First Challenge
It should help your readers to overcome the struggles and challenges that they face. Think of some small and quick but significant wins that they can get from your challenge.
What are the main benefits of your challenge?
Once you’ve defined the topic and title of your challenge, you need to plan the technical details. For example, how will people sign up for the challenge? You need an opt-in box so that you can add them to your list of email subscribers.
Also, decide on the duration of your challenge. It is best to keep your first challenge short and sweet. The ideal duration is five days or a week. Finally, consider the format of the course. Again, you can opt for a series of five emails or blog posts but you can use audio or video or more than one format to deliver the challenge.
The next step is to create a rough outline the challenge. You can use free writing or mind maps to dump all your thoughts and ideas. Then organize them into a logical sequence that takes your audience to the desired result. Cut out any unnecessary steps. When you’ve created the outline, write the content for your challenge by filling in the blanks.
This is the most challenging part of the process. One way to make it easier is to set a timer for 20 minutes and focus on one step of the challenge at a time.
How will you spread the word of the challenge to your target audience? You need a detailed plan because this is crucial for the success of your challenge.
You can promote your challenge by blogging about it and sharing on social media, especially Facebook groups. You can also send participants of your challenge to your Facebook page or Facebook group for additional interaction.
People love to join challenges especially if it is well-planned and executed. If you do the groundwork, your challenge is bound to be highly successful.
Once you have completed the content of your challenge content, add details of your products or services at each step wherever appropriate. The simplest way is to add a “P.S.” after the challenge step, or you could post a link to your landing page at the end of the challenge.
Another way to monetize your challenge is by selling the challenge itself. For example, Nathalie Lussier gives the option to either wait each day for the challenge steps or pay a small fee to access all the steps right away. If your challenge is in video format, you could charge a fee for lifetime access as well as transcript and worksheets.
If you don’t want the hassle of providing a multi-day challenge to your readers, you can start by adding a mini-challenge in your blog posts. For example, Nick Polizzi, founder of The Sacred Science, has this challenge at the end of his post, Healing In Your Sleep: “A sleep challenge for you: This one is so easy you could do it in your sleep. Actually, you kinda have to. For the next three days, put away your favorite nighttime distraction—sitcom, page-turner, or wine glass—and wrap the night up early. The goal is to be horizontal with eyes closed by 9 pm at the latest. That’s it! Try that for three days and please report back to us on how it affects your life. We’d love to hear about your experience.”
For more inspiration check out these ten free challenges for writers:
This free challenge consists of 30 days of mini-challenges and is specifically designed to allow people to live “The Better Life” through small, incremental changes that have a big impact in the long run.
It consists of the following five modules:
In addition to changing your life for the better, you can win monthly prizes such as an Apple Watch, DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter, $500 QuikTrip Gas Card, Fitbit Blaze, $300 Amazon Gift Card, HP Pavilion 13.3 Inch Touchscreen Laptop, and more.
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