Be a storymaker

Paul Cash, managing director at Paul Cash, managing director at RoosterPunk, reveals how to become a great storymaker

If you’re a content marketer, you probably spend a huge chunk of your day trawling through lots of resources to find a unique way to tell your brand story.

But all too often brands fall into the trap of creating tales about themselves to broadcast to their customers, when they should be curating customer and employee stories and re-telling them as part of their brand story. It’s what we call storymaking. It’s better to be a maker and sharer of stories than just a storyteller.

The process of great storymaking needs to be inclusive and collaborative to make your customers feel like they’re part of a narrative they want to share. It’s the stories of your customers that will constantly evolve, influence and help to shape your brand story. It’s all too easy to forget your target audience is made of real people with their own stories to tell.

How do you unearth these stories?

Spend time with your customers – whether that’s face-to-face, over the phone or online – to learn about their everyday needs and struggles.  This will provide you with some really rich emotional content to construct your stories with. Of course, this is easier said than done, but thinking about the following will give you some ammunition to get going:

· Who is your target audience and what do you have in common with them?

· What do you already know about their needs and challenges?

· What’s their view of the world?

· What role does your brand play in their lives?

When you’ve gathered a bank of authentic and emotional customer narratives, it’s time to take this rich content and use it to make your story more relatable.

Don’t start the story with ‘you’

Instead tell the story from your customers’ point-of-view. Think about how they see the world and what emotions they’re experiencing, that way you’ll be able to identify how you can use empathy in your story to tap into their deeper emotions, and they’ll be more likely to remember your story and share it. 

Ultimately, great storymaking is about being human. And if you can get under the surface of your customers, you’ll find a treasure-trove of narratives just waiting to take centre stage.