On: March 26, 2015
The best marketing today revolves around great storytelling, not mindless advertising. People are overwhelmed with information – if you want to succeed you need to make them pay attention and care. To do that, your stories need to connect with your audience emotionally.
No one “opts-in” to boring stuff. We have a world of choices at our fingertips.
But telling great stories isn’t easy. In fact, it can be pretty damn hard. People are too often trained to be “professional” when writing for business purposes. Unfortunately professional has become a synonym for boring, verbose and officious. That doesn’t work.
So if your company, government department or not-for-profit wants to tell better stories, take heed of these tips from great writers.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it – Elmore Leonard
As for your use of language: Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long. — Kurt Vonnegut
The first draft of everything is shit. — Ernest Hemingway
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. — Neil Gaiman
Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet. — Zadie Smith
Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. — David Ogilvy
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. — Jack London
So there you have it, put interesting, compelling words on the page that a regular human would want to read and you are on your way to a better story.