When creating content marking, how do you position yourself or your product?
Here are some examples:
Monster Under the Bed
A woman I know set up a webpage to help raise funds to fight breast cancer. She was looking for a way to inspire people. Using a “Monsters Under the Bed” archetype, she personalized her site by writing about her own struggle with breast cancer. People empathized with her. They wanted to help. Not only did they donate, they checked back over time to find out how she was doing. People identified with her struggle. They became invested. They wanted to know the end of the story.
Rites of Passage
A friend of mine started making jewelry. She created a story for her jewelry line around collecting her memories of when she was a girl and the things that were important to her. She positioned her jewelry as a means to hold onto the memories of her youth and as a reminder of her experiences and accomplishments. Before long, her jewelry became legacy pieces.
I have a friend whose life fell apart. He lost his business, family and job. So he started over as a physical trainer. He didn’t have a background of experience in this field, but he knew his stuff. To market himself, he created a mystery: “How did I end up here?” In his story, he examined his mistakes. He explained what happened and how he figured out a way to move forward. He demonstrated how he solved his problems. His story made him appealing and accessible. It made people empathize and identify with him; and it served the dual purpose of explaining how, despite his limited experience as a trainer, he had the life experience to do the job.
A friend of mine wrote a movie. He wanted to film it, but he didn’t have the money. So he started a kick-starter campaign. When he looked at similar pages, he realized everyone was pitching their story and hoping to tug on the heartstrings of people who enjoyed movies. He added another element to his story. He appealed to people’s fascination with filmmaking. He gave them the opportunity to actually participate in the process if they invested. He raised the money he needed, and he brought his investors along for the adventure of making his movie.
I recently saw a page for a freelance writer whose story embodied the superhero archetype. He had been a tech guy but he preferred the written word to writing code. So he saved some money, quit his job, built a website and began an email marketing campaign to his former clients offering his new services. At first, it was slow going. Then he changed his story. Instead of emphasizing what he could do for clients, he told the story of how he developed his skills, the awards he had won and how he could use his superpowers to help others in need of his services.
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For those of you who don’t truck in the film business but found these essays helpful or interesting, thanks for stopping by.
For those of you who are writers or aspiring writers, part of the job of being a screenwriter is to manage the business side of your career as well. It’s all too easy to forget that you need to curate your own story so that producers, directors and actors think of you when they are considering writers for a specific project.
Today, half of your “brand” as a writer comes from what you write. The other half comes from what people know about you and how they view that information.
Your visibility and how you present yourself — your story — is as important as the ones you write.
2 thoughts on “Beyond Movies: Why Stories Matter in Business – What Story are You Telling?”
Excellent way of constructing the beginning of a marketing plan. Hadn’t thought of it in these terms before. Very good idea!
Thanks. These story archetypes have been around for centuries for a reason. It’s also helpful to identify your audience and work backwards as to which structure might work best for you.