Tell us HOW – not WHY – to tell our stories

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Discussing storytelling at EntreFEST 2015 in Iowa.
Discussing storytelling at EntreFEST 2015 in Iowa.

I’m seeing a change in what organizations – technically the people inside those organizations – are asking for from me.

When they ask for guidance, training or maybe even a social media audit, most of the time now they no longer want to know why they should be telling their authentic stories. They ask me to show them how to do that.


We are moving in the right direction. Just a few years ago, I used to spend most of my time trying to convince people that sharing authentic stories is worthwhile to do – that it helps lift your brand, your public perception and ultimately will help you acquire businesses.

I still get questions from time to time:

  • Are you sure it works? (That depends on your definition of “works.”)
  • Will this get me customers today? (No, it’s a long-term strategy.)
  • Can we measure everything? (Probably not. We can measure some things. Can you measure the impact of being nice?)

But the discussion has shifted considerably from tell us the why to teach us the how.

Hearing and ultimately understanding the why seemed so hard for a bit there. But then more and more brands started to talk about sharing their stories. Granted, some are just talking the talk and not walking the walk. But even just a bunch of loud people talking the talk can help raise awareness and in turn the perception that something is important.

Either way it’s great to see that we have started the shift from the why to the let’s do this and how can we?

But spotting and sharing authentic stories that people actually want to read continuously can be a challenge. We fall back into what we’ve done for years. We use marketing language again. We leave out some of the most relevant facts, because – oh no – one to two people might not like them.

But there’s hope. We are sold that this works now. We just have to learn, institutionalize it and move the program forward.