Storytelling is sometimes misconceived as an inventive way to trick people. "I’m going to tell a good story" can turn into "I’m going to make up a good story".
My core belief is that the truer the story, the more powerful. Storytelling is not fake content, it's a compelling form.
As such, storytelling is both an iceberg and a north star.
Build the iceberg
It’s an iceberg in the sense that what you display in front of people eyes and ears (on your website, when you pitch, when you communicate) must be nurtured and supported by true facts, true feelings, a true vision. That’s why, when I work with clients, I help them dig deep into:
- the origins of their startup: what impulse made them want to become an entrepreneur, what good did they want to create for people, how do they want to shape the world, what higher values are important to them.
- the personality of the startup: having a surprising way to talk and behave compared to your competitors can make a more interesting story to tell. For example, if you create a new cosmetics brand and you show a rough or playful personality, you'll get more attention than by being soft and gentle or behaving like a scientific expert, as most cosmetics brands are.
- the dream of their user: the story you want to tell is "I know how you feel, I’ve been there too, I truly care about your issue, I think too that something’s not right in the way society addresses your issue, let’s make it right together, I’m here to help."
Set the North star
When you combine all of these insights, you’re able to find the right story. And this story will become your north star:
- It will help you create the best brand guidelines: which tone of voice, visuals, marketing actions make your story alive for your users. A good story is not an answer to a question. It’s a way to endlessly orchestrate the desire of your potential users.
- It will help you make tough decisions when needed: which new products, which prices, how to make your customer service live up to your promise when your product has failed.
First, write the true story. Then tell it with style.