Business storytelling can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurship, especially for branding and business growth. But…is it everything?
Many years ago, I took my first copywriting course with Lorrie Morgan of Red Hot Copy. At the time I was living in a small town in New Mexico, so I had time and motivation to dive in and absorb everything.
Wow. Copywriting was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Eventually, I gained some balance and realized copywriting was simply a tool for marketing. Like any other marketing tool, its success depends on understanding the craft, knowing your audience, and creating a meaningful offer.
Later I saw other marketers proclaim their own “sliced bread” solutions. Funnels. Design. Blogs. Videos. Podcasting.
And now we’re seeing business storytelling become the “greatest thing since sliced bread.”
I recently got an email (I’ll keep the sender anonymous) promising that business storytelling will…
…help you avoid jargon and cliches
…free you from rules and formulas
…let you share a part of who you are (and yes, “be vulnerable”)
…build on your natural leadership abilities
…save you, your business and maybe the world
I’m the first to say storytelling does a lot, but let’s get real. You can use jargon and cliches in a story. You can tell better stories when you apply guidelines (which aren’t always distinguishable from rules and formulas). Vulnerable? You probably know where I stand on that.
Leadership? I can’t see how storytelling makes you a better leader. It’s more the other way around. Good leaders tell good stories. You can lose credibility as a leader with a lame story.
Save the world? I’m exaggerating but not by much.
Stories have power. Bad stories have a reverse thrust: they come back to haunt you.
In my latest Strategic Storytelling podcast #61, I share 3 stories that drive clients away. I told a couple of these stories myself, when I was starting out and absorbing advice uncritically.
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