imgPart IIIStory Rules

Parts I and II dealt with approaches to writing, as well as some grammar and usage. Part III looks at something more elusive but no less important to modern marketers: the idea of story and storytelling. This is a short section that admittedly only scratches the surface of the topic—a little like chipping away at the visible parts of an iceberg while an even more huge part remains below the surface, unexplored.

But to leave it out of this book entirely felt wrong somehow. So here we are.

First, let's talk about that word story.

Story and storytelling are two of those words that I sometimes find impossibly squishy in a business context. For me, they often conjure up thoughts more related to performance art than industry.

But here's the thing. Storytelling as it applies to business isn't about spinning a yarn or a fairy tale. Rather, it's about how your business (or its products or services) exist in the real world: who you are and what you do for the benefit of others, and how you add value to people's lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs.

At its heart, a compelling brand story is a kind of gift that gives your audience a way to connect with you as one person to another, and to view your business as what it is: a living, breathing entity run by real people offering real value.

In that way, as we wrote in Content Rules ...

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