I’m going to make three statements that I believe to be accurate:
First, Stories sell. In fact, nothing sells better than a strong, compelling narrative.
Second, I don’t tell stories, it’s not in my DNA, but I still sell a lot of stuff. More accurately, a lot of people buy my stuff (If you saw my email series around sales, you know by now that letting people buy from an internal buying pressure is FAR better than selling them)
Lastly, Most of my sales, referrals, and reputation comes from… stories.
Stories sell, I don’t tell stories, but most of my buyers come from stories. Good luck making sense of that 😉
Let me explain.
If you want a strong brand, great reputation, and droves of buyers that want to buy whatever you’re selling, powerful stories have to exist. There are two ways to do this effectively:
The first is to be a great storyteller.
A great storyteller can captivate, educate, infotain, and change beliefs with their stories. It’s a rare skill but it CAN be developed. Study the great storytellers of our time like Pixar would be a great place to start. Pixar always uses the same framework to tell stories. It’s a big reason they rarely swing and miss.
The second, which is my preferred method, is to allow your actions to plant seeds in a way that other people start to craft their own stories around you and your brand.
It’s not your words, but your behavior tells the story.
This is my preferred method for two big reasons:
It’s much more difficult to change our behavior than our words, so very few people actually master this. Modifying your words is easy, anyone can do it. Modifying your behavior is a much larger barrier and therefore, a much larger advantage.
People always trust their own ideas over the ideas of other people. The stories we tell ourselves will always have more pull than the stories we are told.
I’m not going to tell you what to do, because your brand needs to be about you and who you TRULY are. But I can tell you some things you should avoid at all costs:
Preach about things that you do not adhere to. If you don’t walk the walk, your brand is sitting on thin ice. Too often, stories fall apart when we meet our heroes in real life because the story had nothing to do with their real-life behavior.
Talk a lot. Nothing worse than saying more than needs to be said.
Tell people what they should think about you. It should be obvious. If you have to TELL people you’re 7 feet tall, you probably aren’t 7 feet tall.
Blend in. Just as people use words and images as pattern interrupts in marketing, you should be a walking, talking pattern interrupt. If you blend in, your actions will tell the story then you’re not notable in any significant way.
My challenge to you is to watch your words. Compare them to your actions.
And then have an honest conversation with yourself about which of the two tells a better story.
If your words are more impressive to a person than if they were to watch your behavior for a day… you’re standing on very thin ice, with a fragile story.
PS. I wrote a short book (like 50 pages) on closing the gap between your actions and words right here:
Bumpersbook.com (Digital + Bonuses)
Nicpetersonbook.com (Physical from amazon)