You don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning authorto create stories that get the attention – and win the trust – of your customers.
You just need to find a story structure that works foryou, and that starts with understanding the basic elements of a story. These are the building blocks that every compelling story must have, whether it’s a LinkedIn post or a novel.
Before you start creating your story, think about whyyou’re doing it. What kind of value are you trying to offer to your audience, and what do you want to accomplish?
Whatever that purpose is, you should keep it in theback of your mind as you develop your story into a piece of content.
The first thing you have to do is get your audience’sattention and entice them to stick around. That’s what your hook does.
How do you do that? There are many ways (that’sanother newsletter), but it usually boils down to being unexpected in some way. People see a lot of messages, posts, videos, and articles ever day.
When they see something unusual, they pay attention.
Every story needs a protagonist. Who’s your storyabout? You? Your customer? An employee? It could be an individual, a group, or even an inanimate object.
Conflict is what makes a story compelling. In fact, it’swhat makes a story a story.
You need to create some sort of tension in your story.If you can do that, you’ll not only get your audience’s attention, but keep it. They will become invested in the hero and will want to know the outcome. Which brings us to…
What’s the happy ending? How does your hero overcomethe struggle? How is their life improved as a result?
Finally, what’s the point of your story? What do youwant your audience to take away from it? What do you want them to do, know, or understand?
This is typically where you’re going bring thingsaround to your product or service, but the key is to not be too ham-fisted about it.
The final, and most important storytelling element isdramatic music. If you have enough money to commission Hans Zimmer to score your LinkedIn video, then you’ll have a story that can’t miss.
Those are the basic elements of storytelling. Understandingthem is the first step toward creating stories that will engage your audiences and build trust among your customers.
Next week, I’ll start going into more detail foreach of these, and give you tips for how to put them into practice. I’ll start with the Purpose.