What Is Your Story?
I have been thinking about Cathryn Sloane and her post about Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25. If you are wondering why I am writing about this almost a month later the reason is that I didn’t want to be lost in the noise that surrounded her initial salvo.
Her article was foolish, short sighted and misguided- but I might have said or written the same thing at her age.
In fact I cannot confirm or deny telling a supervisor that they were not allowed to use words they couldn’t spell or define when speaking with me. I might have even have made them so angry they lost the ability to speak and had to leave the room.
Fortunately my tale of what might or might not have happened wasn’t recorded or done in front of millions of people. There is a reason I tell my kids not to upload any movies they make now because what is funny when you are almost 12 might not stay that way for long.
My grandfather always said you can’t screw an old head on young shoulder and he was right.
What She Got Right
She wasn’t completely off base on everything. Cathryn nailed one crucial area and it is worth sharing with you.
“The specificity of the ways in which the method should be used is usually beyond them, however. The typically tired commercial statements or aggressively slang-imitating phrases companies tend to use on their sites do not match the witty, honest, energetic atmosphere these social media outlets offer.”
In simple English it means that brands/companies are doing a poor job with their messaging. We are inundated with content that makes my head hurt. It is not because it is filled with spelling and grammatical errors but because there is abundance of jargon and gibberish that creates chaos and confusion.
Occasionally I’ll read an ad and wonder if it would be less painful to shove a butter knife in my ear than to try and understand what I just read.
It reminds me of a bit that the comedian Lewis Black performs about things that are dangerous to think about. That is the one that starts out with the line, “if it wasn’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.”
The reason it is funny is because it is based in truth. It doesn’t have to be like that. There is an easy and simple solution.
The Power of Simplicity
When it comes to business the power of simplicity works something like this:
- Identify Problem.
- Provide Solution.
- Show How You Provide Solution.
- Ask for Order.
If you want to boil it down further all we are doing is listening to people tell us about a problem they have and then responding with a short story about how we have the solution to their problem.
“Gee Mrs. Hackleshmackle I understand you are late to work because you have to walk to your office. I have a car that is safe, reliable, economical and affordable. Sign here and press firmly, the third copy is yours.”
It is really that simple. Listen, tell your story, answer questions and ask for their business.
The next time you and your team sit down to talk about strategy and to work out what sort of content you need try starting the process by asking and answering What is Your Story?
Use the Power of Simplicity to help drive your business. It works because it is simple and can’t we all use a bit more of that.
What do you think?