Four Common Mistakes Made in Writing Your Story
Last post we talked about seven steps for crafting a credible marketing story. This week we’re going to go over some common mistakes made in marketing with stories. We’ve touched on some mistakes before but we’ll delve into them a bit deeper this time. These are common mistakes made in all types of marketing, including marketing with stories.
We know why storytelling is so important already, it’s because human beings are wired to hear stories and act on stories. That it’s in our DNA. This is how children have been taught morals for centuries and how we learn and have entertained ourselves since the beginning of time. First as oral stories, often using pictures drawn in the sand, on tablets, or on cave walls, and finally as written words.
As powerful as storytelling can be there are some things that should be avoided.
Mistake 1: Using Industry Jargon / Buzzwords
Just don’t do it. Industry jargon sounds like someone just opened up a thesaurus and went crazy making word salad. Talk like you’re a real person and people will listen. Business buzzwords can kill a great story faster than a telemarketer calling you at midnight on New Year’s Eve. In my corporate career, it got to the point where certain buzzwords just made me want to scream!Industry jargon sounds like someone just opened up a thesaurus and went crazy making word salad. Talk like you're a real person. Click To Tweet
Mistake 2: Including Misleading or Inaccurate Words and Phrases
Nothing is worse than clicking through to read what looks like a compelling story only to find it’s just another sales page. Don’t trick your audience, they won’t appreciate it and it won’t work. We live in a time where the public is exceptionally knowledgeable about pretty much anything they want to buy, so don’t treat your audience as if they’re stupid. Also, make sure you really understand the terms you’re using, even if you think something is common knowledge, double check the terms you use to ensure they are accurate. If you want to use terms such as “C’est la vie” spell it right and know what it means.Don't trick your audience. Nothing is worse than clicking through to read what looks like a compelling story only to find it's just another sales page. Click To Tweet
Mistake 3: Incomplete Arguments
When you make any statements of fact, be sure to finish your arguments. Remember the rules of who, what, when, why and how. If you form a sentence that is meant to be an argument for something or against something then you need to answer all five of those ideas within the argument for it to be complete. Always frame your thoughts in terms of how your audience will read them and answer the questions with facts to back up the story.Always frame your thoughts in terms of how your audience will read them and answer the questions with facts to back up the story. Click To Tweet
Mistake 4: Poor Writing Style
The best sentence structure is short. If you can avoid long paragraphs, complex sentence structure and remember to add white space, you’ll make your points easier to read. I personally have to work really hard at this! People like reading chunky content.
Not too many different fonts
Avoid fancy colours
Make it easy for your audience to read.
With the advent of the Internet, we’ve really come full circle. We can now share our stories in a whole new way. One that uses all the senses, much like our ancestors did when sitting around a campfire drawing in the dirt. The difference is that now we can do it with far-reaching technology. Stories can be written and made visual with added pictures. We can even add video and audio if we want to make them more interesting, shareable and compelling. Some things never go out of fashion.Stories can be written and made visual with added pictures. You can even add video and audio. Click To Tweet
Next post we’ll talk about (and try!) some of the ideas mentioned here. As a result, your stories (and mine!) will be more exciting, interactive, fun and memorable.