There’s a reason human beings have been telling stories for as long as human beings have been around.
It’s because stories, unlike any other form of communication or entertainment, resonate with us on a deeply emotional level. Stories stick with us. We may forget someone’s name or face, but if they tell us a good story, we’re likely to remember the encounter for years to come.
Digital storytelling places the ancient, evergreen practice of storytelling against a digital backdrop, using technologies like film, video, graphic design, and other media-based materials to tell a story.
While artists and filmmakers have been using digital storytelling for years, the trend has only recently made its way into the business world. Smart entrepreneurs and marketers alike have stepped away from mere content creation and embraced more story-based marketing efforts to phenomenal effect.
So what does all this mean for your growing fitness business?
As a coach, trainer, or wellness professional, digital storytelling has the power to set you apart from the competition, make your message more memorable, and win you more clients.
Because when prospective buyers know your story, they feel like they know you. From there, it becomes much easier to build the trust that’s necessary to take the plunge and do business with you.
But not all stories are created equal. In order to incorporate digital storytelling into your marketing efforts, it’s important to tell the right kind of story – the kind that will resonate with your current and future clients.
There are three types of stories that make for great digital storytelling. They include:
- Personal stories
- Third-party stories
Read on to find out which type of story will resonate with your audience, and how to incorporate that story into your marketing.
Tell Your Story
There’s a reason you became a coach, trainer, or wellness entrepreneur. Something drove you to want to improve your health and well-being while helping others improve theirs.
Maybe you’ve always been a fitness fan, or maybe you had a challenging health problem that served as a wakeup call and inspired you to get healthy. Whatever your story, consider sharing it with your audience.
The narrative you choose to share will help clients instantly connect with you. Some coaches may have a dramatic personal story that involves overcoming an extreme hardship or disability, but most of us are just regular people with regular life challenges. The trick to making digital storytelling resonate with your audience is to choose a story that appeals to their emotions.
Are you clients fed up with being unhealthy? Afraid of disease and obesity? Hopeful about gaining strength and changing their lifestyle?
Tap into these emotions, then look for a personal story from your own life that appeals to those same emotions and shows that you’ve been there too.
Finally, make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the story you choose to share. It’s great to get vulnerable and really open up, but if the story you share is too private you may hesitate to share it at all. Choose a tale you wouldn’t mind printed on the front page of The New York Times.
Tell a Client’s Story
What if you don’t have any personal stories that will resonate with your clients?
For instance, you might be a weight loss coach who has never had a weight problem. While your personal fitness level and experience may make you a great coach, your clients will probably have a hard time relating to a story about your lightning-fast metabolism.
No sweat! Instead of telling a personal tale, you can tell someone else’s story. Choose a client success story to share, or relate the relevant story of a friend from childhood.
For instance, if you recently helped a client lose 100 pounds, sharing the story of their journey (with their permission) can be incredibly powerful for your audience. As long as you’re touching on the specific emotions of your client base, anyone’s story will do.
For some audiences, parables resonate more strongly than personalized stories. If you’re a motivational speaker or life coach, the use of parables can add depth and meaning to your talks, workshops, and private sessions.
For some, the word “parable” may conjure up sleepy Sunday mornings spent in Catechism class, but in marketing a parable can be any tale that teaches an important lesson your audience needs to learn. Parables can be used to illustrate a point or show how an idea plays out in the real world.
Here’s an example of a parable about the contagious nature of negativity:
A man gets fired from his job. When he gets home, he yells at his wife. His wife yells at their son. Their son kicks the dog. The dog, bewildered, asks “What did I do?”
Parables allow you to show your audience what’s most important about an idea instead of merely telling them. In the above example, we don’t know anything personal about the characters in the story. But the action of the story itself illustrates the parables’ point and serves as a memorable lesson that lasts in the audience’s mind.
Platforms for Digital Storytelling
Once you’ve identified the story or stories your audience will find the most memorable, it’s time to weave those stories into your marketing content.
Digital storytelling doesn’t necessarily have to be in video form, or take place while speaking to an audience of thousands. Instead, you can use digital storytelling to transform your ordinary marketing content into extraordinary extensions of your personal brand.
- Email blasts, webinars, blog posts, live talks, and podcasts are all great platforms for storytelling.
- If giving an interview, see how you can use stories to answer the interviewer’s questions instead of answering directly.
- Whenever teaching your clients a new skill or driving home a point, storytelling is your best friend for increasing effectiveness and memorability.
You might find that you have a strong personal story, compelling client stories, and even a parable or two that you want to share with your audience. Don’t be afraid to combine all three story forms when creating your marketing content.
Finally, if you find you have multiple stories to share, choose one main story to serve as the story of your personal brand. You’ll use this on your website, “About me” page, social media profiles, lead magnet and other materials used to help clients get to know, like, and trust you.
Digital storytelling is the new form of content marketing. Choose a compelling personal story, client case study, or parable to pepper your marketing materials with memorable tales. The result will be a target market that remembers who you are and can’t wait to work with you!
For more insider marketing strategies to grow your fitness and coaching business fast, download your FREE Entrepreneur Jump Start Kit or get FREE COACHING by clicking here now: http://johnspencerellis.com.