6 Ways to Make Your Story Matter
(Help Folks Adore You)
Tesla believes their intrinsic value far exceeds the value of their inventory. This basically means that why and how they exist towers above what they do. This isn’t some esoteric, soft fact, either. And proof is in the numbers. Just take a look at their stock value—it’s much higher than would be expected based on actual sales. That’s interesting.
Economists call this the “story stock” effect.
Tesla’s co-founder Elon Musk believes a story is what folks want. Way more than a car. And especially so when the story revolves around a hopeful future that includes them.
Take away this story and Tesla is just another Saturn or Yugo flash in the pan. So what if the car’s curves are super sexy? Reminds me of what Tinker Hatfield said about designing Nike’s Air Jordans: “Your product may enhance performance, but it’s pretty much meaningless unless it has meaning.”
Kind of sums it up, doesn’t it?
Everything you do, all day long, needs to be this compelling story. Here are 6 ways to make sure your story matters (at least as much as a fresh pair of AJs):
1. Prepare the Story: Your story isn’t just a narrative. It’s also everything else—your vocal tone, inflection, body language, essence, vibe, energy, overall effort, enthusiasm, your biography, timing, actual verbiage, sense of humor (or not), empathy, listening skills, attire, store layout, signage, your distractibility, that sound you make when you are tired, your need for coffee before your shift starts, whether or not you took a shower this morning. Sweat the small stuff as you create the big stuff.
2. Understand Science: Two people can tell the exact same story, verbatim, and affect the audience in radically different ways. Good storytellers know that vulnerability connects a story to listeners (think Super Bowl commercials—30 seconds and I’m crying). The best storytellers lead with emotion rather than facts. It’s proven that a good story releases oxytocin, the neurochemical responsible for empathy, inspiration, and collaboration. There’s a reason why after watching Rocky III you hit the gym. It’s science. Go do some.
3. Know Your Story: This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked at how many folks talk about their brand story yet can’t sum it up in a snap. Remember that killer Simon Sinek TED talk from like ten years ago—What’s Your Why? Go watch it again. Your story proves why you do what you do. It shares how you do it. Your entire team needs to be able to rattle this off with enthusiasm. When your brand’s values align with your customer’s, magic happens.
4. Share Your Story: If your story is a genuine reflection of you, this probably happens naturally. But you still ought to look at where and how you wave your flags. Do you constantly remind the world how much you love your brand? Do you ensure anyone paying attention gets a sense of how they might fit in? Your story, in a sense, is like culture. Eventually it becomes you. Until that happens, the telling must be done strategically, and nonstop.
5. Co-create the Story: Gone are the days when one visionary person at the top of the hierarchy rolls out a game-changing idea that miraculously came to him (and it was usually a him) in a dream. That shit’s old school. Besides eschewing patriarchy, which is a completely different list, the most innovative people know that collective smarts surpass individual intellect. Get all staffers involved in the brainstorm. Get customers and vendors involved, too. When folks know they played a roll, they feel deeper involved.
6. Change Your Story: That’s right, change, rewrite, revise, or reinvent it. Before folks stop raving about the original, release the sequel. Be like Bowie, Arnold, Bo Jackson, or Al Franken. The best version of you always lies in the next iteration. If you wait until you need change, you’ve waited too long. Your future success will not be defined by your present or past success.
Your story will give people something to feel good about. Something to adore. And once they start associating your brand’s story with something that makes them feel good, they’ll probably think of you first.
Tom Griffen is a highly sought after presenter whose message transcends industries. He’ll help you alter your narrative in a way that adds joy, satisfaction, and overall success to your life.
Coming soon…No Plan B, Tom’s book on altering the story you’ve been telling your customers for years.
Also…More to come on Tom’s 2018 storytelling walk across the USA!