Why telling stories about your work is not always a good thing.
It took a long time for me to get this one right.
But once I did, everything started getting easier. New clients started showing up – not only with more interest in my work but with a greater appreciation for its value.
And yet, this is the one mistake that I see creative business owners making. It’s the thing that keeps them from standing out from the crowd and can turn your efforts to engage your audience into just so much time wasted.
Visit any website (especially your own ‘About’ page) and you’ll see the problem:
Talking about yourself instead of talking about your customer.
I know. I did this. It feels natural to want to show what you can do – or demonstrate the length and breadth of your experience. But your customers and clients don’t really care about you and your story. They care about themselves and their own story. They care about their problems and concerns. And they want to know if you understand them.
It’s Not About You – It’s About Them
Take a look at your website or your latest social media post or the elevator pitch you’ve been using at networking events. Is it all about you and how great your service or product is?
Or could you be telling video stories about the real benefits that your customers are looking for? Start telling stories about your customers and they’ll start talking with you – and hire you.
Here’s 5 essential steps to telling stories about your customers
1. Begin by telling their story.
2. Talk about their circumstances.
3. Present a picture of where they are now that shows you understand their concerns
4. Then show them where they could be.
5. Listen to what your customers & clients want and then show them how you can help them get it.
Air on the side of humanity
The Jet Blue video above does this beautifully. In 60 seconds it perfectly describes the circumstances of the typical frequent flyer – showing the lack of customer care provided by the airline industry. In a review of the video, Adweek points out that the video shows how we’re actually quite pigeon-like, “Much like the humble pigeon, who flies in crowded spaces, gets crumbs for snacks and is generally ignored and/or despised, we tend to be unappreciated when we take to the skies aboard (other) airlines.”
Anybody who’s ever flown can relate.
And it’s funny because it’s a pigeon who’s narrating.
The video closes with a key insight that you can’t help but agree with: “There’s gotta be a way to fly with a little respect.”
Why this works
Jet Blue shows us where we are today – which is a crumby place to be (see what I did there?). And then suggests the possibility of something much better – which speaks to our collective desire.
We want to fly with respect.
Then they hit us with how they’ll take us there – with more leg room and free, unlimited snacks and two slogans to help us feel respected: “Air on the side of humanity” and “You above all.”
This video didn’t go super viral – but it didn’t have to. It just works because it tells a great story.
Want to learn how to tell a great story with video?