Good content marketing requires good storytelling. Fortunately, the human brain is a story-creating machine. In our lives, we take whatever happens and impose logic and chronology upon it. Consider these common phrases:
- Everything happens for a reason
- One door closes and another one opens
- More will be revealed
- Things happen in threes
People have a hard time accepting the randomness of life. We refuse chaos and can’t stand unanswered questions. So we make things up.
So if we’re making it up anyway, why not edit and rewrite your stories so that they inspire the actions you want? This was a theme in the wonderful book by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility.
I’m interested in the stories we tell ourselves, and how that affects the online content we write for our businesses. When you tell a story about your business, about your clients, and about yourself, you impose your version of the story upon your readers. You also reveal your values and purpose.
It’s extremely important that you edit your stories, and in many cases, you’ll have to do some rewriting.
I’m re-reading a great book by Jim Loehr, The Power of Story: Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life (Free Press, 2007). Here’s what Loehr says:
“Our stories may or may not conform to the real world. They may or may not inspire us to take hope-filled action to better our lives. They may or may not take us where we ultimately want to go. But since our destiny follows our stories, it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to get our stories right.”
The problem is that most of us aren’t writers. Only a few of us have the gift of story-telling. Most of us are intimidated when it comes to having to write something personal and public.
If you’re in business for yourself, you’ve got to get out there online and tell your story. People expect that now days on the Web. And they expect it to be real.
You have to be yourself, and write personal stories, keeping in line with your business objectives and what’s comfortable for you as a professional.
So if you’re a Gen Y youngster that means something entirely different than for someone like me, born in the Baby Boomer era. Actually, I was born just before that era, so there’s a big difference in what writing on the web means to me.
My point is that if you’re going to learn to be a master content writer, you’ve got to learn how to tell stories that engage your readers and inspire action. You can’t write good stories that inspire without working on the stories you tell yourself, about your work, about your business.
And the good news is that everyone can improve their stories. Not only by becoming an astute editor, but by becoming more real, more authentic. More on this important topic coming shortly.