The Five Essential Elements to Include in Your Stories

Some people are just natural storytellers (she says with a note of jealousy!).  At one of the networking meetings I attend, there is a member who tells the most brilliant and funny stories…and brings them back with a link to his business!  The rest of us are usually lost in admiration with tears of laughter streaming down our faces!!

In this second blog in my series on storytelling, I’m going to talk to you about what to include in your stories so that when you set out to market with stories you can be effective. Every story has to include the same elements for it to work.

What to Include in your Stories

How can you achieve this yourself? First, stories start with understanding and knowing who your target audience is. I know I’ve said this before but it really is key to any marketing. If you don’t know that, you need to stop reading right now and do some research on who your audience is. You need to understand who your story is directed to. If you have an email list or a good following on social media, why not poll your audience to find out more about them before you attempt marketing with stories?

In general, every marketing story needs to let your audience know that you understand them, that they matter, that they’re not alone, that there is hope and that their problems can be solved. If you can craft a story that covers those elements in a personal way, you’ll create a successful marketing campaign centred on that marketing story. A story like that will be shared, commented on and get results.

Every marketing story has 5 essential elements: subject; goal; problem; solution and moral! Click To Tweet

Five Essential Elements of Storytelling

So, let’s look at the individual elements to include in your stories…

All stories need:

The five element you need to include in your storiesA Subject

This should be your audience. Find out who your target audience is, know what their dreams, hopes and problems are. Then weave a story around them. You might even be able to find a customer who has a compelling story already. You can write about how they overcame the issue using your products or services.

A Goal

You must understand where your subject wants to end up. What are they seeking? Do they want to make more money, work from home, learn to do something, what exact outcome do they seek?

A Problem

If you know the goal, then you need to identify the reason your subject is having problems reaching their goal. Is it due to lack of action on their part? Is it due to lack of knowledge? What reason are they having issues reaching their goal? What roadblocks are in their way. This is typically the most emotional part of your story.

A Solution

Of course, you need to be able to show the solution exists to help your subject reach their goal and overcome their problem. The solution is either a product, a service, a mindset, a lesson, coaching, or whatever it is that’s your speciality. You are the solution and you must show that in the story.

A Moral

No story is ever complete without a moral. Essentially, it’s repeating the entire story in a more direct fashion pointing out the solution to the problems, and how simple it is to have if only they make that next step, which you also spell out very explicitly. This is where your call to action goes when marketing with stories.

All of this has to be told and written in a truthful manner to be effective. Don’t go down the fisherman’s tale route of the ‘one that got away’! Your audience, if you’ve studied them, aren’t stupid. They know when someone is trying to fool them. Best to be honest and up front from the start by telling realistic stories with reasonable results.

Be honest and upfront from the start when marketing with stories by telling realistic stories with reasonable results Click To Tweet

Tell the Truth in your stories

The moral of this blog is that if you include in your stories all five of these elements then you are well on your way to successfully marketing your business as a storyteller.

Next post I’ll discuss the steps to writing a credible story that people will share and will get results.

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