Our Stories Matter -- A Content Manifesto

Wendy Kelly
Jun 03, 2015

A Content Manifesto — Our Stories Matter

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Quick: What do you get when you mix a {near} MSc in mental health counselling with a storyteller's heart + a dose of sleep deprivation?

Answer: This blog post. {Read on:}

A Storyteller's Manifesto

Content Matters poster

I believe that you have a story. I believe your story matters. I believe your story is your heart and soul and you can learn to tell your story.

That goes for your brand, too. 

Finding your brand's story is sometimes a difficult process. At the core is knowing your brand's core beliefs. You know how you can find this out? In a very similar way to the way you find out your own core beliefs. By noticing. Notice what your brand says, what your brand does. Notice. Observe. 

I often write (and talk) about audience development. How it's crucial to know who your audience is and speak to them in their language. You can use many of the same techniques that you might use for audience development to learn about your brand and your brand's core beliefs. 

The tricky part is to be honest with yourself. What you wish your brand would do and say is {maybe} different from what actually happens day to day, in real life.

{The same thing is true for us as humans, which is why therapists can stay in business.}

I wish I could tell you that it is easy to figure out your brand's core beliefs and values. It is dead simple: You simply observe and write down what your brand does and says. You just have to want to actually see and hear that stuff. Which is often hard to do.

{Which is why a person called a business consultant can thrive. You can hire one to tell you this stuff.}

From Beliefs to Story to Manifesto & Back Again

Okay. Remember back at the top of this page when I mentioned sleep deprivation? Bear with me on this, because I think it is important. What I want to you do is a little exercise.

Write "I believe" on a piece of paper, maybe 5 times. Like this:

  1. I believe ___________
  2. I believe ___________
  3. I believe ___________
  4. I believe ___________
  5. I believe ___________

Add the answer for your brand each time, trying to really reach for what your brand stands for. I did this for myself, not really as a brand, but for my role as a storyteller/content strategist. I came up with:

I believe: Content matters - Content is the heart and soul - Voice matters - Our voice needs to be heard - We know our story - Story is Our heart and soul - Our story matters - Our voice was hushed too much when we were younger - Some people confuse story with penmanship - We can learn to tell our story 

Honestly, some of that reads like the depraved sleep-deprived maniac I am today, but I do think it's good enough to have a ring of truth to it. That is what I really believe.

Now. Does it gel with my real words and actions? In everyday life, do I ever act as though someone's story doesn't matter? Do I ever hush anyone or interrupt them or not hear them? Do I ever confuse story with appearance? Well, yes.

So, for you. For your brand. Can you do this? Can you sit down, write down what you believe, and then do a not-so-fun comparison between what you believe you believe :) and the real life words and actions that make up your core reality? 

If so, you are on your way to an amazing, business-consultant-free life. (I'm kidding a bit about business consultants. Some of my dearest friends are business consultants.) 


Try out the above suggestions and let me know how it goes. From my point of view, helping you get your story out is hugely important to me. I'd love to hear your story and what you feel you are bringing to the world.

Good luck.

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