There are many times when we need to tell stories in our business and marketing. Nicola outlines a 5-point plan for making sure you are telling stories with the most impact!
Clicks And Leads is a “tongue in cheek” digital marketing Vzine by entrepreneur, author, podcaster, speaker, Nicola Cairncross.
On the blog
- What Does Success Mean To You
- What To Do With Your Goals
- Beating Resistance – Tip 1
- Beating Resistance – Tip 2
- What You Focus On Increases
- And So It Came To Pass
- Why People Buy: Guest Sue Okell
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Okay, well, it’s Nicola here and I’m just about to head off to the Amora Hotel for the SuperFastBusiness Live conference. Starts tomorrow and goes on for the next day, big dinner tomorrow night. But most people are getting together this afternoon as they’re sort of arriving in, so I’m going to go down and meet a few people that I’ve met only online, which is going to be exciting.
I’ve had an amazing week, I’ve had just an incredible week. I was speaking for a big corporate coaching company on Thursday night, and then they took me out to dinner at Cafe Sydney on Friday night, which was just the most incredible view over Sydney Harbour from the customs house.
Then I went down to Wollonngong to see my friends Lorraine and George. Lorraine, where I shared flats with her when we were in our teens, so that’s how long we’ve known each other. And I had to go down on the train and they got the most amazing trains here, they’re double deckers! I don’t know why I found that so exciting, but I did.
So you step onto the train at platform level, and then you can either go upstairs or downstairs. Fabulous. I do, I do get excited about silly things. And that was really lovely. Lorraine laid out a spread in her garden. And it wasn’t particularly sunny but it was warm enough to see outside and they’ve got a little deck and a pool and everything, as they all do over here.
And then what happened? Yeah, I’ve just had a really incredible time going around. I’ve had my nails done, I’ve been resting, I’ve been learning about writing from a master class I bought, and I’ve been treating myself to lots of lovely deli kind of food and the odd meal out as well as hanging out with my brother quite a lot which is nice.
So let’s get on with the show, shall we?
So this week I want to talk to you about story telling in your marketing.
As you probably know, I’m learning how to become an author, how to write a novel, fiction. It’s really quite hard work, but there are some principles that I’m finding incredibly helpful in my own marketing and the first principle of storytelling is that, usually, things are told in what’s called three acts.
So you have the first quarter of a book, then you have the last quarter of a book, and you have the middle section of a book.
And this is called the First Act, and this is where the ordinary world of the hero happens and then at the end of the First Act, in what’s called an inciting incident happens. An inciting incident is something that calls the hero to adventure and makes them have to make a choice about whether they stay in their ordinary world or go off on this adventure.
In the middle section, things now happen to challenge the hero, so there is usually one, possibly two, complications in the hero’s life. And at the end of that middle section, at the 75% point, yes that’s right, then there’s usually some sort of climax or crisis that make the hero have to recommit to their journey or change in some way, there’s a change in the hero, and often a change in their circumstances, too. Perhaps a mentor has come along and helped them or given them something special that will enable them knowledge or a tool or a trick of some kind, or magic, that enables them to overcome the crisis at the end of this part of the book.
And then the final section of the book is where everything gets resolved. You’re sort of cantering towards the end of the book now and all the ends are getting tied up and everything’s happening to the satisfaction of the storyteller. And there’s some more stuff about the three act structure but it’s really a great structure to use when you’re trying to make videos, for example, or write a blog post. Because if you could start out with the describing the ordinary world, describing the hero and how they lived, whether that’s a hero or a heroine, obviously.
And then you talk about the inciting incident, the thing that makes them change their ordinary world and strike out on an adventure and they may or may not meet a mentor who goes with them for part of the journey. And they have several complications in and on their paths. Challenges, or tests if you’d like.
And right at the three-quarter point, they’ve reached some sort of crisis or climax which they overcome by means of some special knowledge gained or a mentor’s given them something like a bit of knowledge or a tool or a talisman of magic of some kind. And then you resolve the story to happy ever after or not happy ever after, depending. And that really is the basis for a lot of our films, and a lot of our much-loved movies.
And the best thing of all is that it’s like a nested Russian doll, so each book is done in three acts, each part of each act is done in sort of three sections, and each scene within each act is done in three sections. So you can see that format carries on.
So if you were going to write, say, a series of e-mails talking about case studies of successful clients that you’ve worked with, that’s the kind of format you’d be looking to use. If you’re going to get up on stage and tell your own personal story, the origin story, as it’s called, which is one of the things that makes people really relate to you, if you tell your origin story first. Because a lot of the people in the audience will be able to relate to your origin story. The structure and the format of it, if not the actual details. And that would really help you to connect to your audience.
So when you come to teach them something, they’re more open and receptive to hearing what you’ve got to say and what you’re going to teach them.
And so what I do every time I need to write a story is I literally get a sheet of paper and I divide it up into three sections, either vertically or horizontally and I write down what’s going to be my ordinary life, the story of the hero, what’s going to be the inciting incident that makes them change their ways, what’s going to be the complication number one, complication number two, what’s going to be the crisis, and is there going to be a mentor or a father-figure that’s going to give them some bit of knowledge or a tool, or a bit of magic that they’re going to be able to use to overcome their crisis or climax.
And I just think that if you could just get that into your head, those five things: The ordinary world, inciting incident, complication one, complication two, and then the resolution of it all, then that’s really good basis for any storytelling. I hope that helps, I hope that didn’t sound to waffle-y and confusing. If you’ve got any questions at all, as ever, do feel free to ask them underneath this video.
I hope you enjoyed this and it will be of help to you.
So on the blog and the podcast this week I’ve been talking about the top ten Amazon FBA seller tips and I’ve just been talking about resistance, what it is and how you can work around it or with it.
On the podcast episode 220, Judith and I got very woo-woo indeed because there’s been so many freaky coincidences around this trip to Australia that I’ve been wallowing in my amazement of it all and how it all came together and how fortuitous it all was and I’m convinced that I made that happen with positive vibes on a physics level, not on a spiritual level; on a physics level.
So we talk a lot about Abraham Hicks and manifesting and how to raise yourself up into the highest possible vibes and the most amazing things happen to you. That’s episode 220, so ownitthepodcast.com/220 or as always you can catch it all on my blog at NicolaCairncross.com/Blog.
Have a great week and next time I see you, I’ll be back in Shoreham for a week. And remember, thoughts become things, so think good ones.
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Drone footage of The Mani
Drone Footage of Shoreham by Sea
Scott Wright Photography
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