4 steps to tell a unique story when you think you have nothing to say!
Another blog post needs to be written. Maybe we need yet another whitepaper or e-book. And now there’s live video. What can we possibly say that hasn’t been said yet?
It’s a pretty common problem for content creators out there. New and relevant content works and both of those requirements (new and relevant) can keep us on our toes and trying to keep up. It’s like in the newspaper business: There’s always another day just around the corner for a new newspaper to be printed.
Sometimes it certainly can feel like that there are no new stories left to be to told and there’s some truth to this concept: Many people have similar experiences - but similar isn’t exactly the same.
The easiest way to share unique stories is to follow this four-step process from my “Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-Term Success” book:
1. Find your unique value proposition
We are talking about your unique story and value that you bring to your customers here. Usually, being the cheapest only isn’t the answer. That race to the bottom can be won by shutting down. Being the most expensive - dare I say “premium” - isn’t the way either. Figure out your reason for doing business and what is uniqueish about you mission and skill wise.
For example: If your purpose is to sell home-made knitted items because you want to help your community buy local but you can’t knit that won’t work obviously.
So be sure to align your mission, stories and skills.
2. Find your unique angle
Joe Pulizzi calls this the content tilt. Find the niche that’s least crowded and that aligns with your skills.
For example, here’s my content tilt:
- I focus on content marketing - which is crowded
- Within that I focus on storytelling and distribution, which is still a bit crowded
- A few years ago I (content) tilted that into authentic storytelling and then organizational authentic storytelling, which was virtually unheard of a few years ago. Today, more and more try to use the term, but it was a really good tilt and differentiator at the time. Since I’ve done it for a few years it still is.
That’s another thing to remember: Do this now! Things continue to change and being first and being able to adjust does indeed help.
3. Find your unique stories
Most organizations have plenty of content. They just aren’t sharing it across all relevant channels as well as they could. Build a Culture of Storytelling and allow people to share their stories. Once those stories are shared, align them with business goals, then distribute them.
Early, many organizations take a while for that process, but the quicker we can move from Ideation to Creation to Publication the more likely content is to succeed. To achieve this we have to break down siloes - or at least work across them. That’s of course easier said than done but is possible when everyone understands the value of content, collaboration and has shared goals.
4. Share your unique takes on things relentlessly
Over at @ctrappe I tweet about twice an hour on average. I share my stories constantly. I blog once a week or more, wrote a couple books and speak globally around once a month. I lose followers and some people unsubscribe from my email newsletter, but overall the audiences continue to grow.
People don’t unfollow for content volume if the content is relevant is relevant to them. Of course the right volume of content changes, so keep that in mind.
There are your four steps. I’m looking forward to discussing them at the December AMA Iowa luncheon in more details and answer your questions.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is much easier to say than to do. What isn’t that’s worth doing, right? But when our businesses are crystal clear about their purpose and reason for existence and know what stories should be shared - constantly - it’s worthwhile for the businesses and their consumers!