Stories are how we connect with (and sell to) other people. Where do you find yours?
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
Decorating my Christmas tree every year is a stroll down Recollection Avenue*.
🧸 A tiny velvet teddy bear with a red bow around his neck, hugging a jingle bell, always hits the tree first; it’s my favorite from the collection of “bears and bells” themed ornaments my grandmother started for me when I was born..
🖍️ A giant glass globe, decorated with paint pens by said grandmother, reminds me of my family’s annual Christmas Eve crafts, which my grandfather would ultimately sabotage with savage glee.
🕺 (It also reminds me of the year my dad’s gingerbread man looked like Michael Jackson, and the year we gold spray–painted pasta angels. Eat your heart out, Martha.)
🐈 A ceramic disc painted in purples and oranges features the silhouette of a cat in the clouds; my bestie bought it for me in remembrance of my [dead] cat River.
❄️ A wooden snowflake conceals a hidden sentiment about a year many of us would rather forget.
🎄 And the stained-glass holly leaf always goes up last. It was my dad’s and my thing to find a perfectly positioned branch where the bulb could shine directly through the red berry in the middle.
I never understood people who just buy boxes of colored balls and hang them up (though no shade if that’s you). In my home, some ornaments are missing limbs or a corncob pipe, but every ornament has a story.
(Except the plastic figurine of Nala from The Lion King. I have no idea where she came from, why we had her, or whether we ever had a Simba to match.)
For me, this is a season to collect stories I can save for a rainy day.
But really, every day is an opportunity for collecting stories.
When I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about The Email Experiment, I heard from several people that they really struggle to square what they do with a storytelling approach to marketing.
But stories are how we connect with other people.
Stories are how we become relevant in the lives of our customers, how we build trust and warm fuzzies, and how we set ourselves apart from the folks who just sell, sell, sell (or spew the same stats and insights as everybody else in their industry).
The stories you tell don’t have to be uber-personal like mine, btw… This approach seems to work for me, but depending on your business, your mileage may vary 🚗
(And if you made it to this point in the email and are thinking, “Why the F did you just write 270 words about Christmas ornaments, you dork?” then perhaps at least one of my points here is moot.)
A side benefit to banking stories for your marketing: Every day offers new opportunities to slow down and think about what’s happening and what its significance is, rather than operating on dissociated autopilot.
Where are you finding stories worth sharing?
* See how I deftly avoided that tired metaphor?
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F-S: Reserved for rest