To be compelling, a story needs to be authentic and share a real outcome with results. By definiton, that means that sometimes you will be sharing stories with happy endings and other times not-so-happy endings. That’s life and people want the good, the bad and the ugly. Telling an authentic story with real outcomes and results humanizes you and the point you are trying to get across.
Writing your own story
When I wrote Regaining Trust, I had just come through a bit of a rough patch in my life. By writing the story, I acknowledged that the experience had not killed me and had instead, as the old saying goes, made me stronger. It’s an authentic story and I shared the outcome. The customer discussed in that story remains a valuable and important client to this day.
Another story about rising from the ashes is 9/11 – There are no guarantees. This story is one to which we can all relate. On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, I looked back on where I was and how my business was impacted that day and in the month that followed. I wrapped up with our emergence from the ashes that day created. Most of us have our own 9/11 stories; so it’s easier to relate to the shared experience.
Share results that matter to people
When writing The power of social media audience there was no expectation that it would become the all-time most popular post on this blog. When it did, I began to ask others why they thought that was the case. Many said it’s a great story. Others said it’s got results; real results. Finally, someone piped in that it has to do with social media and those posts always do well. In hindsight, the reality is I just told the story exactly as it happened. The compelling part had very little to do with me and everything to do with the reality of how it played out.
So, when you are not sure what to write about, how about telling us all a story – your story?