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Believe me

It’s back to blogging after the long Thanksgiving weekend!

While traveling, I had the chance to read Michael Margolis’ new book, Believe Me: A Storytelling Manifesto for Changemakers and Innovators.

Margolis, a storytelling visionary and president of Get Storied, presents 15 storytelling axioms, along with commentary and quotes from luminaries, including Barack Obama, Seth Godin, and Gloria Steinem.

Believe Me highlights why and how storytelling can help you get others to believe in your product, service, idea or cause. It’s an inspiring, big-picture commentary on the use of story in business.

Here’s my take on how some of Believe Me‘s acxioms apply to Success-Story Marketing – marketing with your customers’ stories:

1. Sell an experience.

“People don’t really buy a product, solution or idea. They buy the story that’s attached to it,” Margolis says.

In reality, you’re selling an experience. Success stories and case studies on happy customers convey an expected experience to a prospective buyer.

2. Create value for intangibles.

“Stories are the most direct path to harnessing, managing and communicating the value of your intangibles.”

If you’re selling something that prospects can’t see or touch, like consulting services or enterprise software, frame your intangibles in the context of a customer’s story in order to create value in the solution.

3. Storytellers – take your job seriously.

“It’s your job as storyteller to decide what part of the experience belongs on the cutting-room floow – without losing the integrity of the message.”

You gather a lot of information for customer stories. At the outset, know the goal of any story and make choices that reinforce that goal.

4. Meet prospects where they’re at.

“Your story needs to speak to your audience’s hearts, interests and world view.”

We all crave stories that fit with our beliefs.

If you’re trying to change someone’s mind with a story, “find something everyone can agree on.”

In a case study, that means recognizing and addressing the audience’s top concerns and needs, and building the story from that standpoint –  instead of just telling someone they need to change.

5. Include past, present and future.

“Your audience will experience emotional dissonance unless you can offer the logical stepping stones for them to find their way into the new story.”

Customer case studies usually address challenges, solutions and results for specific reasons.

That’s because it’s important to show the evolution of the customer’s path so that buyers see continuity from where they are now and where they’re going.

Pick up more storytelling tips and inspiration in Believe Me.

2 Responses to 5 Case Study Take-Aways from “Believe Me”

  1. As author of the newly released “Stories That Connect Us”, I’m happy to see this large contribution to the cultivation of a narrative culture and a narrative revolution of the market space. Stories can actually be transformative ways of authentic engagement, imagine that!

  2. Casey Hibbard says:

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for your comment! There seems to be a storytelling resurgance right now. What do you think is driving that?