Welcome Video Storytellers… Yeah, I am Talking to You Whether You Think You Are a Storyteller or Not!
When people think of storytelling their brains often go right to novels and movies mostly based on fiction. Great storytellers like Stephen King, Walt Disney, Anne Rice, George R. R. Martin, and heck even Dr. Suess come to mind.
We often forget that most stories are somehow based on real life whether it’s the human condition, personal experience, the impact of the imagination on someone who has truly lived in reality, or an actual story based on real events.
We are told stories from the moment we are born and our mother bounces us in her arms, sings, hums, and tells us it will be ok. Stories are how we communicate and most important of all (in my humble opinion) stories are how we create “relatability” for our audience.
So yeah, you ARE a storyteller by nature and that shouldn’t go out the window just because you are filming a video. Let’s dive into some really valuable and practical ways you can introduce storytelling into your video content.
Why Storytelling Isn’t Just For Campfires: A Business Perspective
🎯 The Emotional Connect: Storytelling isn’t just about telling tales; it’s about creating an emotional connection that turns casual viewers into loyal customers. If you give me a reason to care I will follow you until the end… of the story anyway. At its core, emotional storytelling is about creating a sense of empathy and shared experience between the storyteller and the audience. It’s about tapping into universal human experiences such as love, loss, joy, and fear, and using those experiences to create a connection between the audience and the story. Empathy and shared experiences… sounds a lot like “Relatability” to me. 😉
🛠️ Quick Wins: Implement the “Problem-Solution-Result” framework in your next video to instantly make your content more relatable. To craft compelling stories and case studies, you need to follow a simple structure that covers four key elements: the situation, the problem, the solution, and the result.
- The situation sets the context and introduces the main characters of your story or case study.
- The problem describes the pain points, challenges, or goals that your prospect can relate to.
- The solution explains how your product or service helped the characters overcome the problem or achieve the goal.
- The result showcases the positive outcomes, benefits, or value that your solution delivered.
You can also use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or PAR (Problem, Action, Result) frameworks to guide your storytelling and case study creation as well. Don’t just give data… tell a story instead.
📈 ROI of Storytelling: Did you know that videos with a strong narrative structure are shared 3x more often? Boost your business metrics by embracing storytelling. Again, creating relatability not only gives your audience a reason to “care” but also gives them a reason to “share”. Because as humans if we experience something awesome (like a funny meme) we instantly want others to have the same experience and “relate” to us through the shared experience.
🎥 Visual Storytelling: Use visuals effectively to support your narrative. A well-placed image or animation can speak a thousand words. I have gotten many compliments about my use of solar system imagery in my “Solar System Methodology” Framework and Videos because it helps the user/viewer cement the framework into place and makes it really fast to absorb. Check out the video and its visuals by CLICKING HERE.
📚 Case Studies & Testimonials: Nothing sells a story better than real-world success. Consider incorporating brief case studies or testimonials to add credibility. A great way to do this is to hire a company like Video For Entrepreneurs to interview your best clients and then turn their testimonials into high quality branded videos to use on your website, email list, and social media channels.
The Story Spine: Your Blueprint for Compelling Narratives
📖 What is the Story Spine?: Think of it as the backbone of your story—a simple yet powerful framework that structures your narrative from start to finish. But, the Story Spine is more than just a framework; it’s the DNA of your narrative. It provides a structured yet flexible approach to crafting compelling stories that resonate with your audience. If it is good enough for Disney and Pixar, it’s good enough for me.
🎬 How It Works: The Story Spine starts with a setup, introduces a catalyst, and leads to a resolution. It’s the classic “Once upon a time…” but for business videos. One of my absolute favorite business stories that uses the story spine is that of Sara Blakely. I made a video about it you can watch by CLICKING HERE.
🛠️ Practical Application: Use the Story Spine to outline your next product launch video or customer testimonial. It’s a game-changer! The first time I gave the Story Spine Guidebook to a client who wanted to record a video testimonial for me, what I got back was nothing short of awesome! I still use that testimonial to this day.
🎥 Why It’s Perfect for Entrepreneurs: Time is money, and the Story Spine saves you both. Its straightforward structure allows you to quickly craft narratives that not only entertain but also convert, making it an essential tool for busy entrepreneurs. Also, you can fit nearly any story into the framework which means you can reuse it over and over and over… just like Pixar does. 😉
📥 Get the Lead Magnet: Want to master the Story Spine? Click here to download our exclusive lead magnet that breaks it down step-by-step.
Practical Storytelling Techniques That You Can Implement Today
🎭 Character-Driven Stories: People relate to people, not products. Introduce a character who embodies your target audience’s pain points and aspirations. Remember that the hero in your story can be the new product, the upcoming event, the customer journey, or even your own journey. If you think of your subject matter as the main character you will treat the way you tell the story differently. I promise.
🌟 The Hero’s Journey: Adapt this classic narrative arc to show how your product or service can transform the viewer’s life or solve a problem. Borrow from this timeless narrative structure to craft a story where your product or service acts as the “mentor” guiding the “hero” (your customer) from a problem to a solution. This creates a transformative arc that resonates deeply. You don’t have to overdo it here either. You can check our Dan Harmon’s Story Circle to see a distilled version of the hero’s journey in action. He used this method in both of the hit shows “Community” and “Rick & Morty”.
🎶 Musicality in Storytelling: Use background music strategically to enhance mood and emphasize key moments in your narrative. Music isn’t just an add-on; it’s a powerful storytelling tool. Use different musical themes for different sections of your video to set the mood. For instance, a soft melody can underscore an emotional point, while an upbeat tune can highlight a successful outcome. This is SOOOOOO easy to overdo so remember… “When it comes to musical score, less is definitely more.”
📝 Scriptwriting Tips: A well-written script is the foundation of a compelling story. Learn how to write dialogue that’s natural yet impactful. One trick I use personally is to “Dictate” my scripts and then polish them afterward. Using a voice capture method like this lets me speak conversationally so that when I read my script back on the teleprompter it sounds conversational and natural. When I write by hand, I sound like a scientist instead of a human. 🧪
Your script is your story’s blueprint. Focus on natural dialogue and avoid jargon. Use rhetorical devices like questions and pauses to engage your audience. You know, like you would in a real life conversation.
Remember, your script should sound good when spoken aloud, not just when read. Want some help writing your next video script? Download my Video Script Template for free by CLICKING HERE
🎨 Visual Metaphors: If there is anything I have literally said thousands of times over the years it is that I only know how to learn and teach using metaphor and analogy. It’s a great problem to have because humans love understanding complex ideas through relatable stories. Use visual elements to symbolize complex ideas, making your story more engaging and easier to understand. The only bad metaphor is one unused.
Some other methods that work well are Similes and Allegories! Here is a great article covering all 4! CLICK HERE TO READ
📊 Data Storytelling: Numbers don’t have to be boring. Turn your data into a compelling narrative to prove your points and drive action. Transform dry statistics into a compelling narrative. Instead of just showing a bar graph of increased sales, narrate the journey behind those numbers. Highlight key milestones and challenges overcome, making the data a character in your story. Remember that your numbers and your data can be main characters as well.
Storytelling For Business Growth
🎯 Customer-Centric Narratives: Shift the focus from what your product does to how it impacts the customer’s life. This approach makes your brand more relatable and encourages customer loyalty. A quick way to approach this is the “5 Whys” Method. Go beyond features and benefits and find the story inside your product or service.
💡 Idea to Action: Use storytelling to guide your audience from the “Aha!” moment to taking action. Create a compelling call-to-action that feels like the natural next step in the story. Every story should have a climax—a moment that compels the viewer to take action. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase, your call-to-action (CTA) should feel like the logical next chapter in the viewer’s personal story not just some random ask out of nowhere. Use persuasive language and visual cues to make your CTA irresistible.
🔄 The Loop Effect: Create stories that encourage repeat business. A well-crafted narrative can turn a one-time buyer into a recurring customer by teasing what comes next. Think of your customer’s interaction with your brand as a continuous narrative loop rather than a one-off event. Tease upcoming products, services, or content at the end of each video to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. This storytelling technique can significantly increase customer retention rates. Often referred to as the “Open Loop” this approach is what storytelling giants like Netflix use to make people binge their favorite shows.
📱 Social Media Amplification: Use snippets of your storytelling videos as teasers on social media platforms. This not only extends your reach but also creates anticipation for the full story. In our “Solar System Methodology” Framework, these types of videos are lovingly called “Satellites”. 🛰️
Don’t let your storytelling efforts be confined to a single platform. Cut your video into bite-sized snippets and share them as teasers on social media. Use compelling captions that tie into the larger narrative to pique interest and drive traffic to the full-length video. We call this the “Flow of Gravity”
🤝 Community Building: Stories are social glue. Use them to foster a sense of community among your customers, encouraging discussions, testimonials, and user-generated content. You have to follow up your stories with REAL interactions if you want to build a true community.
Stories are the fabric that binds communities. Encourage your customers to share their own stories and experiences with your brand. I often challenge people to find any YouTube comment or LinkedIn comment that I haven’t responded to. I dare yeah! This not only fosters a sense of community but also provides you with valuable user-generated content when they engage further.
📈 KPIs & Metrics: Storytelling is an art, but its impact can be measured scientifically. Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like engagement rate, conversion rate, watch time, and customer lifetime value to assess the effectiveness of your storytelling strategies. Regularly review these metrics to refine your approach and maximize ROI. Again don’t forget to measure the impact of your storytelling efforts and then go and tell that story too!
Your Story, Your Success
You’ve got all the tools you need to turn storytelling into your superpower. It really does come down to making a conscious effort to tell better stories in your videos.
Remember, a compelling narrative does more than entertain; it builds trust, fosters community, and drives business growth.