I often say to my clients, “this is no time to be humble.” What I try to convey to them is just how critical storytelling is to their business. And yesterday, I had someone tell me the same.
Let me tell you the story…
I spent the day off the grid at the Leadership Louisville Center for our second in-person learning opportunity with the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program. Just as we experienced at West Baden last month, it was refreshing for my brain to get out of the daily grind and be surrounded by some amazing local businesswomen, all looking to lead better, to improve ourselves and to continue learning.
Yesterday’s session was called “Well Voiced” and in the first part of the day we focused on one of my favorite topics, storytelling. Our guest speaker was Keturah Jenkins, Associate Vice President, Information Technology, Humana, Inc. Keturah shared great information and guidance and she started out with a fantastic story (“HEY COPY GIRL!” – if you know, you know) as an example of how to tell better stories.
So as we listened and engaged with Keturah, and as she taught us how to tell better stories for ourselves, I took copious notes because her tips are all things I can share with clients. In the world of social media marketing, we are in the business of storytelling. Often we’ll hear from clients (or their team members) that they are uncomfortable sharing on social, that they don’t feel ready to publish their own story. And as I say time after time after time, storytelling is a key step to sales. If you want to use social as a means to land leads and potential sales, you’ve got to take a leap and put yourself out there.
- Company owners telling us their why – that’s storytelling;
- Team members sharing information about a product or service – that’s storyteling;
- A brand sharing a customer testimonial – that’s storytelling;
- A company telling us about how they give back to the local community – yep, storytelling.
Keturah helped us write our stories in simple steps. She shared several ways to tell stories – video, blog, graphic, photo and even the six-word story which was a new one to me (the example she gave was “Strangers=>Friends=>Best Friends=> Lovers=>Strangers.” In those six words, there’s a story, right? Fascinating.
We talked about the connection between your head and your heart – does a story give you information in your head or does it pull at your heartstrings? And which is more likely to get you to take action?
In leadership courses, we talk a lot about our why. In this session, we really focused on the how and the when. It was fantastic lesson in storytelling.
The day went on to teach us how to better hear each voice on your team and we had a top-notch lesson in negotiation. We ended the day catching up in our small groups.
I’m getting so much out of this program and tonight I get to thank Alice Houston, herself, for paving the way for women like me at an event honoring her and her husband.
For now, I’m back to work. Lots of storytelling to tell over here!