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How To Be A Great Entrepreneur Storyteller In Your Content

Are you tired of churning out cookie-cutter content that lacks depth and connection? Do you yearn to make meaningful stories that resonate with your audience? You're not alone. In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of storytelling, exploring how your personal experiences can be transformed into powerful narratives that captivate and inspire. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let's unleash our inner storyteller!


**This was also a podcast episode (episode #203. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.


The Power Of Storytelling In Your Content As An Entrepreneur

In a world flooded with generic content, it's the personal touch that stands out. People crave authenticity and relatability. By infusing your personal experiences and unique perspective into your storytelling, you create a genuine connection with your audience. Remember, you are not just creating content; you are building bridges of empathy and understanding that will lead to growth in your business.

As humans we enjoy and learn through stories. This is why they are used in school as we learn because we tend to remember them more than facts and figures. When there is a beginning, middle and end, we tend to remember and are able to recall information more.

This is helpful for us as entrepreneurs because often we are trying to teach or inspire others and if we can tap into using storytelling as part of our marketing, we can likely influence more people in a positive way.

"I don't want to make people like stuff, I want to make things people like." - Jay Acunzo

How To Pull Stories From Your Entrepreneurial Journey & Life Overall

Every experience holds valuable lessons and insights. It's time to dig deep and extract those non-obvious gems. Ask yourself, what knowledge or perspective do I possess that others wouldn't know? Perhaps a simple trip to the local grocery store unveiled a profound truth about consumer behavior. By uncovering these insights, you transform mundane occurrences into captivating tales.

"The difference between a good storyteller and an effective storyteller is that an effective storyteller moves you. And specifically they move you by making sure that you have internalized the meaning of the story." - Jay Acunzo

We often overlook the power of everyday experiences in storytelling. But guess what? Mundane moments can pack a punch too! Find metaphors and parallels in the ordinary and elevate them to deliver potent and impactful messages. Just like a pizza place's secret starter creates unique dough, your personal experiences are the "starter" for creating standout work.

"I would ask people to change that [something noteworthy] to notable, in that you noted it. It stuck in your brain for whatever reason. That's a sign, there's something there and you can use it." - Jay Acunzo

"Everyone has a story" on a wall with books and a couch

3 Parts To Tell An Effective Story:

Jay shares his formula for telling an effective story and broke it down to make it simple and applicable:

Part 1: "This happened..." (describing the event that really happened)

Part 2: "...which made me realize..." (connecting it to a topic that you teach)

Part 3: "...which means..." (share what this can change for the audience)

Here's an example of how this could sound:

Part 1:

"It took me literal years to stop buying espresso or asking my wife to use the machine we have in our home to make it for me. For years I would not make it myself but today I make it all the time. What changed? I made it for myself one time."

Part 2:

"So this made me realize that so often when we feel intimidated or we hold back, our usual behavior is to go and research things, talk to experts, outsource it or resist. We just don't do it but what I realized in that moment is we fear the things we just haven't tried before. So what we fear is not actually the task, it's the unknown."

Part 3:

"So what if in moments we feel afraid or we feel like we just need that extra hour of research or we've got to hire that consultant or we need more budget or, I'll just delay this a day. What if in those moments, all we really need to do is to try the thing one time because if what we're really afraid of isn't the task but the unknown, then as quickly as we possibly can, what we need to do to get over that is to make the unknown, known, right?"

How To Become An Effective Entrepreneur Storyteller

There are two pieces of the strategy that Jay shares that will help you step into being a great storyteller:

  • The backend strategy

  • The frontend strategy

Backend Story Strategy

This is the easier part of the two and it's how you deliver the story. By following Jay's 3-part formula you can tell an effective story but the key is to share the story through your lived experience.

"Ask yourself, what is something that only you would know if you lived it or experienced in the way you did?" - Jay Acunzo

By doing this it allows you to share your unique experience, therefore it will be different than how anyone else can teach that lesson. Plus, when you're close to the experience you can pull from it specifically and it allows you to connect more authentically.

And it's critical to lead with your unique experience versus sharing that at the end of the lesson. It's important to start with your uniqueness.

"We are the starters in our work. We need to start with our own lived experiences. We need to start with the things that make me, me. Don't sprinkle it in as a topping at the end." - Jay Acunzo

Frontend Story Strategy

This is the part of the strategy that takes time and it's how you walk around and become a storyteller. Basically you want to approach life with the lens that everything that is notable to you could be used in a story.

"It's almost like you have a certain colored pair of glasses on and you see the world in a certain way that allows everything to appear at inspiration for your work." - Jay Acunzo

How To Develop Your Unique Premise For Your Business

Stories are great but the goal in your business content is to connect with your audience and share a centralized message with them. You've likely heard of niching down and getting specific in your business and that's where this comes into storytelling. In order for your audience to know your uniqueness, it's important to have a cohesive and consistent message.

However, coming up with your unique message is tough to do! Jay shares that he calls this your "Premise" and that it takes time to define but the key is to make it specific and clear.

If it feels too big to identify your overall premise for your work, Jay suggests breaking it down into smaller chunks and he uses this framework in his membership: The Creator Kitchen.

Step 1: Explore Your Frustration

Ask yourself what are you frustrated by right now?

Step 2: Start Sharing with Empathy

Take that frustration and share it in your content with the goal of sharing and finding the others who are interested in this topic. You don't say you have all the answers, you are simply sharing your journey.

Step 3: Create Your XY Premise Pitch

Once you've shared content, you come up with a simple sentence that shares your premise for your content.

Here's the template for that pitch:

"This is a podcast about X. Unlike other podcasts about X, only we Y."

For Example:

"This is a podcast about entrepreneurship but unlike other entrepreneurship podcasts, we explore the idea of unapologetically using the methods and tools that work for you, not what others say you should use. This is The Unapologetic Entrepreneur."

Just like the title of a book or movie, your premise statement comes last and after several iterations and trying different words. You have to get started and go through the messy phase in order to figure this out.

"Aerate your ideas with others before they feel ready to support your whole business and that's scary but that's how you build these transformative ideas." - Jay Acunzo

Creating exceptional content takes time and effort. Don't be afraid to iterate and refine until it feels right. Embrace the journey of frustration and empathy, learning from your missteps and celebrating your victories. The process of crafting meaningful stories is a constant evolution, so keep experimenting and evolving.

"That's it: Do a thing. How did it feel? What do you think about that thing? Do it again slightly differently." - Jay Acunzo

Take Away Message / Action

As content creators, it's our responsibility to move beyond surface-level content and forge real connections with our audience. By sharing our personal experiences, extracting insights, and embracing the art of storytelling, we can create impactful narratives that leave a lasting impression.

So, tap into your unique perspective, find inspiration in the everyday, and let your stories paint a picture that resonates with the hearts and minds of your audience. The world is waiting to hear your voice! Remember, the journey to becoming an effective storyteller is ongoing. Keep honing your craft, and don't be afraid to unleash your inner storyteller!

Until next time give yourself permission to be a great storyteller and grace along the way. I'll talk to you soon!

About Jay:

Jay Acunzo is one of the world’s most sought-after business storytellers. He's an author, speaker, and the host the podcast Unthinkable, where creators take us inside unconventional choices that led to refreshingly original work. Jay was an early leader in the rise of content marketing, holding media and marketing roles for startups as well as brands like Google and HubSpot. He’s developed and hosted original podcasts and docuseries for clients like Salesforce, Wistia, Help Scout, GoDaddy, and Drift, and he’s now the cofounder of the Creator Kitchen, a membership program helping professional communicators push themselves creatively. Jay’s grandest aspiration-slash-delusion is to be the Anthony Bourdain of workplace storytelling.

Jay's Resources:

Other Resources Mentioned:

Ep. 202: Lazy Content Creation with Shannon Weinstein

"The difference between a good storyteller and an effective storyteller is that an effective storyteller moves you. And specifically they move you by making sure that you have internalized the meaning of the story."

- Jay Acunzo


Build Your Business YOUR Way!

Image of Program: Proffitt Podcasting

In my book: Why Not You? An Accidental Entrepreneur's Guide To Success, you create your Y.O.U. Promise which becomes your guide to building the business of your dreams...not your nightmares.


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