Marketing:

Be Consistent and You Will Win

When I was 11 years old, I attempted to summit my very first 14,000 ft. mountain. My dad and I woke up at 1 a.m. and began the drive to the Long’s Peak trailhead. I was young and active and full of energy, but I had no idea what I was getting into. Regardless, I was determined to prove to the group of 30-45 year old men I was with that I was every bit the man that they were.

I was an ambitious kid.

I didn’t have to carry much more than a flashlight, so I had no trouble keeping up with the group. Dad had all of our supplies in his black and yellow backpack. But after about six miles, I began to learn an important lesson– one that I carry with me today: The value of consistency.

Before we began the hike, I was told I should eat and drink something every time anyone stopped for a bathroom break, a breath, or for food and water themselves. But I was young and stubborn and if I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty I didn’t eat or drink.

Around mile six I was battling altitude sickness. I hadn’t been eating or drinking enough and I was really sick.

With Dad’s encouragement and my stubbornness, next I knew we were 200 yards from the summit of Long’s Peak. We were at the end. I could literally see the top of the mountain.

But I didn’t summit. I was too sick and I couldn’t take another step up that mountain.

I didn’t summit because I was inconsistent. I only ate and drank when I felt a need to. I could have stood atop one of Colorado’s most challenging peaks as an 11 year old, full of pride and accomplishment. But instead I failed. Many businesses treat marketing the same way I treated my food and water intake; they only do it when they are desperate.

It was on this hike that I discovered the value of consistency.

How would your business change if your customers were consistently discovering you while looking for their answers or solutions? What if they weren’t looking for you, but they found you?

Inbound marketing can help your business become discovered.

The idea is simple. Offer value to your customers and potential customers. Give them what they are looking for and begin to develop a trusted relationship with them– simple and very effective.

Written by Ryan Thomeczek 

Thank you so much for reading. I genuinely love sharing my stories with you and I love doing my part to offer value to the business community. If you have questions regarding this blog or if you want me to cover a topic you haven’t seen yet, please email me at ryan@storyon.co. I would love to serve you.

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Marketing:

Why Some Stories Stick and Others Suck

Every single day, stories are shared and memories are made. Every minute, we have experiences that will be stored in our memory or forgotten forever.

I am sure all of us can remember a funny, sad, and exciting moment from this last week, month, and year. But what about the other moments? Last month, you likely saw hundreds, if not thousands, of social media posts and had countless conversations with people.

For some reason, some stories stick in our memory and others fade away. So what makes up a memorable story? What causes something to be remembered and others to fade away as if they never happened?

As we tell stories with hopes of being remembered, we must work hard to make them more memorable. It may sound repetitive and silly, but every day there are millions of moments shared around us and most stories are never remembered.

All it takes is hitting the refresh button online to see the moments of the day that stand out among the rest.

We call these moments “viral”. While I have not found a formula, I have learned things over the years that help drastically with sharing sticky stories.

In the book “Made to Stick,” Chip Heath and Dan Heath talk about why some ideas stick and others suck. Below are 6 characteristics they see in stories that matter, as outlined in the book. If you work in the marketing, storytelling, or any business with a responsibility or expectation to share content, keep these things in mind.

Simple

Stories must be simple and easy to understand. If someone has to ask a bunch of questions in order to understand your story, what you are saying is too complex or you are saying it poorly.

Unexpected

As we grow up, our brains form beliefs about how we think things work. In order to stand out, we need to tell stories in a way that challenges familiar patterns. We want to share information in a way that breaks the “this is how things work” tool in our brain to shock our memory. This builds expectation and allows an opportunity to provide a solution. If we create expectation without providing or at least pointing towards potential resolution, we will leave our brains confused and frustrated. But if we cause our brain to stop, build expectancy, and provide resolution, we will store that moment or experience in our memory.

Concrete

Our senses drive us. We have to utilize the ability to allow people to comprehend stories with their senses. Give them an opportunity to use their senses to understand your story. The more senses someone uses in consuming information, the more likely they are to remember that information.

Credible

People appreciate honesty. I believe honesty always prevails. With so much clutter in our culture, our BS-meters have become finely tuned and people long to hear honest, believable stories. We long to hear stories that are true and hold value.

Emotional

Our emotions should not make decisions for us, but draw us toward things we value. We need to tell stories in a way that causes people to feel deeply. If what you are saying matters, share it in a way that shows it. People will understand the value of something as they see you value it enough to be vulnerable.

Stories

Our lives unfold in stories. We tell stories at dinner, on airplanes, and hear them on the news. Stories are created and designed to be remembered. The more information we tell in story form, the better. Jesus. Ghandi. Homer. Steve Jobs. Scott Harrison. All of these people will be remembered for ages because their lives have told stories that can be retold and remembered.

As you share information (which you will), consider this simple SUCCES (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories) acronym. Nobody wants their stories to be forgotten.

Put in the work to make your stories stick and not suck.

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We exist to help great brands, and people create and share great stories. SHARE this with someone you know who tells stories regularly. We know it will help them.

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Marketing:

3 Ways to Crush It as an Entrepreneur

If you have ever been a part of a startup, if you have ever opened your own business, if you have ever even dreamed of opening your own business, the reality of these 3 challenging scenarios is apparent to you. Only one third of businesses started today are expected to be around in 10 years.

Story On is committed to helping small businesses change this ugly statistic. Here are some things we have found that make us more successful.

1. Work ON the business not IN the business

I am fortunate enough to have a partner here at Story On, which allows us to manage the amount of work easier than someone running a startup on their own; but every startup has to find the balance between working ON and working IN the business.

If Seth and I were both working with our current clients, with little or no focus on things like planning for our next hires, monitoring and managing finances, implementing our marketing strategy, or curating new clients, we would likely fail with two thirds of other businesses started at the same time. As a starter, balance is critical.

We have found some balance by spending at least an hour each day analyzing our business, looking for anything that needs improvement, reviewing our financials, and perhaps most importantly, paying attention to our employees.

Do they have needs they haven’t voiced? Do they feel confident in their role and understanding of the value they add to our company? The only way you can truly know these answers is to ask your employees. Give them a platform to share.

We believe that when you serve your employees well, they will be excited to serve each of your customers equally as well. Quality will amplify growth.

2. Balance quality and growth

Many small businesses close their doors because of the tension between maintaining quality and growth.

Story On is growing. We are currently trying to find this quality and growth equilibrium ourselves. There is a ton of work to do, and even more sales that need to be done and more contacts to reach out to. We want to be cultivating new relationships and sales opportunities every day.

But we aren’t.

Right now we are spending time and resources developing the best workflow systems and strategies so we can confidently move forward, knowing we can accept more clients with ease and continue to delight our current customers.

We are committed to following good advice and leadership. Tom Watson, founder of IBM, suggests that you should know what you want the business to look like in 20 years and ask yourself what a business like that needs to act like, and start acting that way TODAY.

If you want your business to be great, it needs to act great from the start. Tom Watson said that he wanted to develop a business, not just do business. And he has seen his dream and vision for IBM become a reality.

3. Commit to good time management habits

Entrepreneurs, starters, and small business owners, tend to have a million things to do; after all, they are often the manager, the bookkeeper, the distributor, the innovator, the husband, the wife, the designer, the laborer. How does someone balance so many roles?

A great way to address the abundant to-do list is by knowing your next 48 hours. Knowing the agenda for the next 48 hours can help to narrow your focus allowing you to be more productive. Make a to-do list and review it every morning before you start working.

Cut out things that aren’t necessary and add things that can be done later to the bottom of the list. The sense of accomplishment each time you check something off will also keep you motivated.

When I started keeping a to-do list, I was immediately more productive. I stayed focused on the task at hand and stopped shooting myself in the foot. I used to get distracted by random thoughts and stop the task at hand to “just do this one thing real quick.” Get rid of distractions.

Committing to reasonable work hours will also amplify your productivity. If your business is going to succeed you have to work. You have to work hard. You have to work efficiently. You don’t have to work 19 hours a day.

Taking time away from work to allow your brain to rest, process, and reset, will make your work hours more productive.

For some cool tools to make you and your business more efficient, check out this article found on forbes.com

Story On is committed to providing value to our readers. If you have challenges you would like us to address, or if you want us to tell your business’ story, send me an email at ryan@storyon.co or follow me on Twitter @theryantcheck. I would LOVE to connect with you. Thanks for reading.

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