I believe in the power of great stories to change the world. Seriously. I do.
Storytelling is an inherently human and sociocultural activity. It changes the teller and the listener. It helps us build empathy and helps us understand the unique experiences of others in the world. It connects us.
Whether you’re a person trying to get clarity on the path of your life or career or someone with an idea trying to build a business or a movement, understanding your story and being able to share it effectively is the best path to impact. At least in my experience.
I love writing and I am a communicator at heart. It comes easily to me. But that isn’t true of everyone and even when it’s easy for me, sometimes it’s hard. Figuring out the right structure and approach to a short story, a novel, or a marketing or business strategy takes practice. And understanding. That’s what I’ll try to do with this newsletter each week. Share what I’ve learned in decades (just over two) of applying this skill of weaving together a series of ideas into a coherent story with you, the reader/learner/creator. Ultimately, I want to help you leverage the power of storytelling in your life.
To be clear, sometimes I write fiction, sometimes nonfiction, and sometimes a brand strategy but it is always about truth seeking and sharing. Writing for me is social and authentic and connects us as humans beings. I hope you’ll use what I share with you to make things better in the world in whatever medium you work with.
This week I wanted to share a framework I’ve used in the past to put together brand stories. I think it’ll help you organize the key elements of any story to help you begin to share it in whatever medium or outlet you choose. They’re my brand story pillars and when I’m sharing my expertise as a brand strategist, I tend to use this framework to help entrepreneurs begin to wrap their heads around sharing their brand with the world through a cohesive story. The elements are voice, narrative, and plot. The exercise is sitting down and figuring out how each of these elements come to life in your story.
My voice for this newsletter is casual and approachable, but informed, with a lot of enthusiasm for the topic and sharing it with you. The narrative is still coming together, but the main character is me and maybe you the reader, as helping you drives a lot of how I approach this and we’re going on an adventure together. The key defining moments—our plot—well that’s coming together and will over the next weeks, months, and hopefully years. Stick with me.
Let me know what you think of the framework in the comments and if you’re able to apply it in your work or life. And, please, if you think this might be helpful to someone as they work through their own approach to storytelling, please share it and encourage them to subscribe.
See you next week.
Also, in case you missed it, Beyonce did a thing. It’s called Black is King.
To be honest, I haven’t watched it yet, but Ms. Knowles-Carter is a well-known storyteller working with one of the best companies in the storytelling game, Disney. It’s probably good and likely to teach us all something about craft (and black people artistry!).