When you were a kid you loved them. You begged your parents and probably anyone else who would listen…”Tell me a story!” If you have kids, you’ve heard it a hundred times at least. That’s because kids, and adults if they’re honest, love a good story and they always have. Since our ancestors sat around the fire, telling yarns and tales of real adventure, we have all felt the power of a good story and in the world of marketing, that power gets us to take notice.

The artist who paints a portrait is telling us a story about their subject. It’s a picture and we know how many words a picture is worth. The documentary film-maker, even with the most somber or alarming subject, knows the impact of their message must be made with a story. And the company that wants to sell us their wares knows it too…if you want to connect, tell me a story.

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Digital marketing, social media and the deluge of information available today are just more modern, electronic mediums of storytelling. If you heard a particularly good story as a kid, you couldn’t wait to tell your best friend. If you see a compelling video as an adult, you can’t wait to share it with your friends too. But those friends may be all over the world. You use Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to share your find. That’s because telling a good story or hearing one is all about sharing. We love to share things that are interesting to us and we love to have things shared with us because it makes us feel liked…or at least remembered!

Marketing. There’s that word. It sounds cold to some of us. Even dirty to others. It conjures up images of manipulation, coercion, even of control over our actions. But it doesn’t have to be.

Today we hear about permission marketing…” may I tell you a story?”  We hear about SEO…” this story is about finance, finance, and finance…you like finance don’t you?” And we hear about algorithms, and Google and bears, oh my.

But it’s not all about business or selling or manipulation. If you want to get a message out in the world, then you market. Your book, your film, your cause. Your passion, your mission, your handmade totem pole blog. All require marketing and all require that you tell us your story if you want us to listen.

Stories have power and everyone has one to tell. So tell me a story…