A recent segment of 60 Minutes was devoted to the life and work of Don Hewitt, the new magazine's creator, who passed away in August 2009. As you may know, 60 Minutes is the longest-running prime-time television broadcast in the country. I enjoyed learning about Hewitt's perspective on the show's phenomenal success, which he says boils down to this: “Tell Me A Story.”
I meditated on this mindset as I watched my 6-year old son “read” the newspaper this morning. While he does not read all of the words, he perceives some of the story elements by studying the pictures. After he finishes “reading” the story, he tells me about it. His rendition is always pretty close to the real thing.
Tell Me A Story
Children aren't the only ones who enjoy stories. Your customers and others you want to reach also like stories.
According to Hewitt, “If you just tell a story, you'll always have an audience.” I extend this one step further to say, “If you have an audience, you'll always have customers.”
Sharing Stories Creates Trust. Trust Creates Customers.
As I approach the anniversary of my 10th year in business, I realize that much of what I have done through the years to grow and expand my business boils down to sharing stories.
Stories about products I like to use. Stories about other successful small business owners. Stories about a how you can take advantage of a changing media landscape. Stories about food I prepare for my family.
I use video, audio, text and still images like those in this FaceBook photo album about my visit to an IBN member's kiosk. I try to tell stories that inform and encourage meaningful discussion, questions and sharing. This sharing creates trust and positive energy, which allows me to have the great privilege of sharing with my audience how I can help them and the people they care about.
That's what business is all about. Creating genuine trust that creates opportunities for you to serve others.
Become A Storyteller
To be an effective media outlet for your business, follow Hewitt's advice and be a good storyteller. And don't bother telling me that you have no stories to tell. That's simply not true.
To get my business, you must first get my attention. To get my attention, you must first Tell Me A Story.
If you are having trouble translating your stories into paying customers, then join me at one of my workshops in Atlanta (save $100 on early bird registration now!), Chicago, San Francisco or New York! I will help you create the storytelling systems that create the trust you need to grow your business in 2010!
Question: How does storytelling help you grow your business? What questions do you have about becoming a better storyteller for your business?