In my earlier article titled Do You Have It In You To Be A ‘Storyteller Founder’? I talked about the mindset and the key traits an entrepreneur needs to have to become the chief storyteller for his startup. Once as a founder or entrepreneur you decide to embark on a journey of telling stories of impact, you need to take a few steps to begin with. As with any project that your organization undertakes,you will need a well-thought plan for creating and telling stories within your organization and outside of it.
Planning For Storytelling
Identify Stories To Tell
Stories are everywhere.They are within your organization and out in the communities with whom you work.They are as much about your product as about the impact it creates. They can come as much from the field staff as from senior executives. Hence it is vital for you to identify which stories are worth telling.
4 types of stories
Stories that showcase proof of social good, define your social cause, discuss the benefit of your innovation or convey learning and inspiration should be preferred candidates. Here’s a quick interactive template to identify the right story for your brand.
Determine The Format For Telling Your Stories
Stories can be told in multiple formats. Here are some of the key formats to tell a story:
A story can be told in any of these formats. Visual stories are the most effective in creating an instant emotional connect with your audience since they capture emotions more perfectly than any other media. They transport the viewer to a world you want them to experience. Written articles on the other hand help in articulating complex issues and present an opportunity to provide detailed arguments for a qualified audience.
Workout The Budget For Telling Your Stories
Budget of storytelling chiefly depends on the format of your stories and the frequency at which you want to tell the stories. Short films will clearly cost you more than written articles or illustrations. So, while films are expensive to make their outreach is much larger than anything else. Typically you would have films made on topics that reflect the efficacy of your organization’s core impact initiatives. Also, the more films you make in a year or more articles you publish, the more it adds to the budget.
Budget for storytelling should have an optimum mix of various formats closely aligned with the brand vision of your organization and some immediate key objectives like raising funds, enrolling partners or educating your target communities.
Plan The Outreach Channels For Your Stories
It is crucial to plan how your stories will find their way to the right audience. There are various ways to do this. Social media is the most optimum channels to create sustained interest. Regular updates on a project accompanied by still images from the field can slowly but steadily build an online community of supporters. (4 Interesting Ways In Which Social Good Brands Use Instagram)
Showing short films during high visibility events like fundraisers, film festivals or even in a closed boardroom full of potential investors can generate attention to your cause and convey a specific call to action. Publishing thought or educative articles on a regular basis in popular content platforms can help you create strong brand positioning.
Set Expected Outcomes Of Your Stories
Each story needs to have an expected outcome or a desired effect. Nonfiction short films effectively employ storytelling to compel donors to sympathize with you and convert that feeling into a monetary donation during a crowdfunding campaign. Similarly, accounts of satisfied employees working on current projects showcase the work ethic of the organization and what it means to be a part of their team.
Outcome of a story should be measured against the primary objective of the story and the reaction of the target audience. The later is generally a response to a specific call to action and can be measured in many different ways- social media likes, shares & comments, donations and of course even the people approaching you to talk about the issue and mentioning that they liked your short film or an article.
As with any project that your organization undertakes, embarking on a storytelling exercise needs you to prepare in advance to be more effective and to focus on specific outcomes. Here we have compiled a quick list of 5 things you need to do to make a sound start.