Most storytelling is selfish

Let’s face it, storytelling in business is mostly selfish. It’s about getting attention, engagement, and ultimately, the deal.

The childhood stories people tell, the holiday stories they share, the family stories they post, these are often (not always) just an attention grabbing packaging to trigger emotions so the marketer can sneak in a call-to-action.

How often have you found yourself disappointed after clicking on “read more” when that cute little story was just one more way to grab your attention and get you to click on something.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing that emotions wouldn’t have a place in business or that you should stop sharing your private side.

Actually, quite the contrary: Do more of that. Trigger more emotions. Deeper emotions.

But do it respectfully.

Tell stories ON BEHALF of your audience – as opposed to exploiting them.

Great stories don’t trick us into an action that’s in the marketer’s best interest. Great stories move us to take action that’s in our own best interest.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz


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