November 9, 2016 Andy Green

Are you using a blunt pencil with your storytelling?


People are only bothered about themselves.

I get so frustrated when people fail to realise this basic fact of life. Isn’t it time we woke up to this when we seek to do our marketing, PR, selling, or people management?

You can relate to this; people now have less time to listen, there’s more noise going on and even if you get through, will you make the impact you want or be remembered?

Yet take a look at your current messages; are they inspiring in any way? Do they relate or create an emotional connection with others? Even what might seem a mundane product can still engage. I really want to help you here.

Are you telling your story with the equivalent of a blunt pencil? Are you failing to miss out on the magnificence that resides in each and every one of us? Try my easy-to-do test to check the health of your brand story.

We now live in an age of content marketing: content is king, or queen. Your content ranges from thought leadership articles to feature stories and blogs, news releases, conversation items and shared conversation items.

Your story and its narrative, however, sit above all this, providing a prism through which you can tell your story – either well, or badly – the equivalent of the blunt pencil.

But I know many of you are resisting the idea of embracing and engaging with storytelling in your marketing, selling, team management or corporate narrative.

I have news for you: you have no choice. Your only option is to do storytelling well. By making no decision, choosing not to investigate or invest in storytelling, you’re choosing the option to do it badly.

By refusing to formally engage with storytelling you are in real danger of telling a story by default. The resulting non-story becomes your story whether you like it or not. You can have a great brand story or a bland one. It’s your call.

The good news: all of us have a compelling story. There is no such thing as a ‘boring story’; only ‘boring thinking’. Trust me, we can find it.

When I work with people like you, the quest is to quickly discover the touchstone that makes you tick and get to the heart of your story. Then you can start the process of connecting your messages with your authentic purpose.

Here’s a quick checklist I have devised to help you identify whether your brand story needs some TLC or serious surgery. I’m serious here; you may be unwittingly failing to fulfil your potential because your story isn’t working hard enough for you.

This will take 30 seconds. On a scale of 1–5 with 1 = Very Poor and 5 = Very Good, how do you:

Rate your brand story – the story that you tell about yourself?

  Very Poor        Poor     Neither       Good   Very Good
         1          2          3         4          5


Now think about other people – when they tell your story to others do they tell a story     that is:

  Very Poor       Poor     Neither       Good   Very Good
         1         2         3         4          5


Now think about your #1 competitor, the one you really want to be like, or better still, be one step ahead of – how does your brand story compare to this best competitor?

  Very Poor       Poor     Neither      Good   Very Good
        1          2          3         4          5


Score 12 or above and you are in TLC territory. It seems you have a good brand story yet it could be useful to get a reality check and, also, look to see how you can maintain its potency, or make it even better.

Score 9 –12 – double strength TLC would help here, with evident scope to improve your brand story.

Score 6–9 – there is work to be done, the bland needs to be transformed into brand.

Score 5 or below and you seriously need surgery. You need to take urgent action to ensure your brand story works for you, and is not constantly undermining you or acting against you.

Are you telling your brand story with the equivalent of a blunt pencil? Act now!

If you would like free brand story consultation for advice and guidance to find out more about how you can improve your storytelling, then get in touch. I look forward to speaking with you.