I’m deviating a bit again from my website strategy series to bring you an expanded version of the post I wrote to the amazing people subscribed to my newsletter.
I’m about to share with you the best idea I have right now about being super connected with your audience.
I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and I can’t believe I haven’t shared it explicitly here. I’ve only mentioned it casually because I assumed everyone already knew. But lately, I’ve realized how important it is, and how some people don’t totally understand it. Why would they? Not everyone thinks about communication and audience all day, right?
(But for those of you who have thought about what I’m going to say, think deeper. Think, well yes, but am I really doing this?)
Anyway, this best idea revolves around narrowing your audience. Yep, that might sound a bit crazy.
I’m taking a break from my website strategy series to bring you a blog on storytelling that was originally published on TechSoup. If you like this, don’t forget to check out my other posts on storytelling.
Remember the old woman who lived in a shoe? Or the man who stepped in a puddle up to his middle? Or Peter Peter, pumpkin-eater who had a wife but couldn’t keep her? Even if you don’t remember the full rhyme, one of them probably rings a faint bell. That’s because these aren’t just children’s nursery rhymes; they’re sticky stories, or stories that stick with you for decades.
When we were children, we all knew how important stories were. Many of us demanded them every night, sometimes over and over again. We like to be entertained, and we definitely like to hear about the impossible.
So, isn’t it obvious that’s how you should be reaching your audience? And I don’t mean rhymes, but really high-impact, emotional stories, true stories. Because there are many out there waiting to be told.
Now I know storytelling is a buzzword right now, and buzzwords come and go. Storytelling has been a buzzword before, and will be again. As a former journalist, I was passionate about it before, and I will continue to be long after people have moved onto the next buzzword. But even when storytelling is not a buzzword, your story needs to be told.
And these stories you want to tell need to stick, they need to entertain, and yes, sometimes they need to talk about the near impossible.
I’m in the process of writing a series of blogs about nonprofits doing storytelling well. In my last blog post in December (if you read my newsletter, you’ll know that I took a couple of months off to focus on my fiction writing) I wrote about charity: water.
In that post, I included two awesome stories that just happened to be by Tyler Riewer. So, of course, I looked him up, along with his background. I wanted to find out more about this guy who did such a great job with storytelling. Well, turns out, there’s a great deal to tell. So that’s what I’m going to do.
The story begins like this: once upon a time there was…no, scratch that. Let’s just start with, there is “the charming and wonderful world of tyler riewer.” And the highlights include a link to a series of videos where host Tyler takes you on a trip to Ethiopia to showcase some of charity: water’s work, information about his year-long hobby adventure (p.s. you can join), a video inspiring people to get to know their neighbors, plus creepy mustache photos, photos of recent acting gigs, and links to a couple of secret clubs.
But let’s start off by talking about “The Journey.”