Seth Erickson: Using the Power of Storytelling to Get Outstanding Results for Your Business

Seth Erickson

Stats work.

And they definitely help deliver value-adding information.

But without context and a well-narrated story, it’s literally impossible to keep someone engaged.

Storytelling is the heart of marketing, but what exactly is it you need to know about it to engage your audience?

In today’s episode, Adam Force, the co-founder of Change Creator, connected with Seth Erickson, the Chief Mischief Maker for Storify Agency and an award-winning author of “How to Hack Humans: Storytelling for Start-ups” book.

More About Seth:

Seth has built by merging aspects rarely found together:

  • Business
  • Creativity
  • Wit

Seth uses storytelling as a way of helping businesses, specifically start-ups.

90% of start-ups fail. 

Seth’s vision is to reduce this disheartening number by at least 10%.

Seth teaches budding business owners one of the most effective communication methods – storytelling.

Key Takeaways:

  • Seth shares his professional journey and explains what’s hot in today’s market.
  • Why does storytelling matter? And how can it help hit your KPIs?
  • Are what you offering effective, even though your customer doesn’t know about it yet? If it’s not, you’re being paid a lot for nothing.
  • The role of storytelling in branding.
  • How important is it to align different aspects of branding, and where does storytelling fit in?
  • From designing sites to helping clients achieve results, what elements does Seth thinks has helped them move the needle the most?
  • How important is it to understand your customers before tapping into the power of storytelling? If you’re not conveying your story to the right person, you’re already doing it wrong.
  • The different layers of storytelling – does Seth just focus on the primary brand story and similar variations of storytelling or more? What layer of storytelling does Seth and team focus on?
  • What kind of companies does Seth works with?
  • How does someone know if they need help with their brand story?
  • How important is it to target the right people for storytelling to work? Your audience should feel connected to the story.
  • Why does storytelling work? The science behind it.
  • The role of emotion in making people take action.
  • Is your “About Us” page your story? Or should you focus on conveying your story across digital touchpoints?
  • Don’t use storytelling to manipulate people – use it as a weapon to get good things done.


Storytelling drives emotions. And emotion is what’ll make your customers drive action. Does storytelling work? Yes – but only if you do it right. You can have the most intriguing story in the world yet still fail to achieve results if you’re reaching out to the wrong people. 

Tap into the Power of Storytelling with Seth:

Need Help with Branding?

Chat with Adam at:

Subscribe HERE:

Other Episodes You May Like:

Transcript (Unedited):

Adam G. Force  0:00 

How do social entrepreneurs and small businesses create an authentic brand people love so they can get the edge they need to stand out, create Predictable Revenue and compete against the big guys. That’s what we’re here to discuss. I’m Adam forest, the founder of change creator and this is the authentic brand mastery podcast.

What’s up everybody, welcome back to change creators authentic brand mastery podcast show, this is your host enforce. I’m so sorry. We missed it last week. But the last episode we did post was with Chandler bolt, but two weeks ago, and it was a great conversation. So we’re all out here, whether you’re running ecommerce or you are in the service business, or your coach or whatever it is, building your personal brand, there’s a time for that. And it’s a great

strategy to help kind of reach more people and have them connect with your brand. So some of the steps that we put in place to do that is we’re publishing books and things like that, right. And so we had a couple of conversations with people in the past about how do we do that? when’s the right time. And this is what we talked about with Chandler bolt. So I would definitely go back, check that out. There’s a lot of value there. And I’ll answer a lot of the questions you might have around a strategy like that. Today, we’re going to be talking about some fun stuff that I love, storytelling, branding, all that kind of stuff. And it is with Seth Erickson, who is the Chief mischief maker for Storify. Agency. He worked at that they like to work with startups and other businesses. And basically they’re building they’re building brands, and they’re bringing their unique stories out and all that fun stuff that connects with the world. He’s also an award winning author, he has a book called How To Hack humans storytelling for startups. Alright, so lots of good stuff here. You know that we’re all about storytelling here, we ran Captivate, I have a storytelling workshop you can get into. So we’re gonna have a fun conversation here about storytelling. I think this is just an ongoing topic to learn about to help your marketing. So yeah, without further ado, we’re gonna get into that. Don’t forget, leave us a five star review on iTunes. It just helps the show grow. We’re going to be looking to bring in some really great people. Hope you guys enjoy today’s conversation with Seth. Let’s do this. Okay, show me that he know. Hey, Seth, welcome to the show today, man. How you doing?

Seth Erickson  2:35 

I’m great. Thanks for having me, man.

Adam G. Force  2:37 

Yeah, I appreciate you taking the time. Storytelling, websites, marketing. You’re right up my alley. I love it. So I’m excited to chat about these things. I mean, I see you got step one brand blueprint guy. Yeah, that’s the that’s the same language I like to use to the brand blueprint. Yeah. It’s nice. Because I mean, I was just getting in the conversation yesterday. And it was like, we’re talking about how, you know, people are building websites and doing all these creative assets without a brand strategy in place. And so it’s like, how do you know how to build a house without a blueprint? Right, exactly. That’s the concept, right?

Seth Erickson  3:12 

Yeah, I want to analogize the idea. So it’s simple for people to go, oh, there is a plan. We’re not just winging it here. As we’re writing the story, there are steps or parts or pieces of the ingredients that need to be in the cake to make it an actual cake. So

Adam G. Force  3:28 

yeah, yeah. So Well, before we get too deep, why don’t you just give a little background so people know who the heck you are. And you know what you got going on these days? What’s hot? Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll try to simplify it, I guess. So I ran a

Seth Erickson  3:47 

very successful award winning web design agency. That wasn’t successful by my standards. And by my standards, I mean, making a lot of money was great. And winning awards was great. But we weren’t actually moving the needle for our customers. We would build them a new website, they would be like, we’d love your website, and I’d be like, great. Are you getting more customers? And they’re like, no. Okay, what the fuck are we doing here? That yeah, like, yeah, like, you’re just paying us money for no reason, apparently. And, like, so. And then. Yeah, I had a friend who was the head of branding, Head of International branding for GoDaddy, who talked to me and, and basically, gave me this book called Winning the story of wars by Jonah sacks. And that book kind of like opened my eyes to the world of storytelling. You know, I’ve always been a fan of movies and books, I love reading. I love watching, you know, stories unfold on the screen, but I never thought, oh, I should be a storyteller. And so I got this book, read it and then kind of went on a tear through audible, downloaded like over over 50 books read all those books in under a year and went, this is the direction we need to go. And so we did exactly what we tell a lot of our customers, which are startups, which is, you know, test your ideas in the market. So we started applying storytelling. And we started seeing Bounce, bounce rates on websites going way down, we started seeing clients selling more of their products and services, we started seeing email open rates going higher, we started seeing click through rates going higher, and we went, Oh, we actually have something here that works. And that was the kind of the interesting thing is that we were great at, excuse me, were great at pushing pixels around the screen. We were great at developing things. But we weren’t very good at marketing those things. And so we kind of had to learn that new skill. And then we, when you go down the marketing path, you find a lot of things that like, don’t really fit with you, you’re kind of like, ooh, this makes me feel a little achy feels a little scammy and questionable. Whereas storytelling is as old as humanity. And so, you know, we kind of dove into that with with both feet and decided that that was the path we should go. So we actually rebranded our agency to Storify agency, which most people think is a made up word like Spotify or Shopify, but Storify is an actual word that means to tell ordinary end story. And we thought, that makes a lot of sense, we should call ourselves that. So that’s, that’s how we come to where we are today.

Adam G. Force  6:29 

Oh, man, it’s quite a journey. And I agree with you. I mean, there is a lot, you know, comes down to, I guess, perception, right. So we get into the world of selling and you could be the manipulator, the scammer, or you can be the well intentioned, I want to help you, salesperson, right. And so you know, these things can feel scammy. And I’ve had that happen to like we do. Because I’m like you, I was doing courses, and I was running like a premium magazine, interviewing Richard Branson, all these guys, and, you know, just wasn’t moving the needle for customers quite that doesn’t really I was like, Yeah, okay, so we started doing services and courses and things like that. And I found that, to your point, like, building a website is great. But if they’re not getting more sales, what’s the point? So now it’s, you know, everything is grounded in how are we converting more sales? Like, what are we doing? And so I’m like, right there in and I hear as you push people out of their comfort zone in selling, and you’re talking through these processes, the storytelling factor, the copywriting, and how we see these things can make a significant difference in how we approach it to be to your point, not scammy.

Seth Erickson  7:41 

Yeah, I mean, I started looking at everything through the lens of, are we effective? Or are we not effective, because if we’re not effective, then we got paid a lot of money for nothing. Like it’s basically a loss, even if the customer didn’t see it that way, you know, and so that that was really frustrating. And I think, you know, like you said, with storytelling, whether you’re selling or whatever, at the end of the day, you have to be able to communicate in an effective way. Again, there’s that effective word. And an effective way to help customers understand why they should buy your product, why it’s better than the next guys. And the way that we do that is through words, whether they’re written or spoken. And storytelling helps us do that effectively.

Adam G. Force  8:24 

Yeah. And you know, one of the things I’ve always found too, is and what people miss, and I think you already have the design and development side, because when you do the brand blueprints, like you’ve talked about, and the strategy work that informs everything you’re doing right, so I always would say that the story is verbal and nonverbal. So the story is being told visually, but also to your point like words on the digital real estate, right?

Seth Erickson  8:54 

Yeah, well, what we say is, you have your brand, at the center of your brand is a story. And at the center of that story is your customer. Yeah. And so you’ve got to get those things to align. But like from a branding perspective, the way that I like to analogize it to help people get a better understanding of like, how do you create a brand is to say a brand is very much like a person, right? They have a personal style, the way they dress, that’s your visual elements. They have their own way of talking. That’s your copywriting. They have their own personality, which also should go into your copywriting. But most people don’t put that in their copywriting at all. They have their principles that they stand on, right, like the things that they believe and those could be your core brand pillars or whatever. And then if you think about it, again, like a person, you may have a good relationship with that person. You may have a very close relationship, you may have a you know, a very distant relationship with that person and that you can tie into brand affinity like do people actually care if you’re coming or going or do they love seeing you every time you around, you know, so we try to analogize it in that sense so that people can go, Oh, I get it. Okay, I need to, I need to figure out what my you know, what my company’s clothes are and what you know it so I can tie a lot of these things together by helping the customers think about it like that as opposed to going, Well, okay, we got to figure out your brand strategy, your brand affinity, your brand, this your brand that you know, and then they’re just like lost because they don’t understand these these concepts, even though we understand them as like branding people. They’re just like, I have no idea. Like, this guy just keeps talking. And I

Adam G. Force  10:36 

see that. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s nice, too. Because if to your point, it’s like, you have all these pieces of the puzzle. And if you start just tapping into them as like, tactical pieces, like people were just like, like, what are we doing like they, to your point, like you tell these analogies and stories to help them understand, like, in a simple way, like, we need these things to align, and like make sense to people. And I like the idea of think of it as a person because it very much becomes that way. And I think people can, then they can see it, you know, they can see the whole picture, because it is kind of big.

Seth Erickson  11:05 

Yeah, yeah, you’ve got to be able to help people contextualize the idea so that they can go through the mental schema and go, Oh, I understand that this thing is like this other thing. And now I can follow along and understand what you’re talking about. Yeah.

Adam G. Force  11:18 

Yeah. And what have you found to be some of the key most important pieces of the puzzle? Because you’re just talking about making a shift from designing pretty sites to actually getting clients results? And what are some of the pieces that are now being introduced that have helped move the needle the most for that?

Seth Erickson  11:44 

Yeah. So it’s, it’s, well, part of it is just changing how they’re communicating with their customers. And, and storytelling is obviously the main thing. That’s, that’s my whole thing. But we started changing, you know, because a lot of people use corporate speak, they’re just like, dear sir, madam, I would like to introduce you to a company, you know, a and done it. And it’s like, don’t don’t talk about that, like, talk about the story that you want to tell. And the way that, you know, I think is most effective is to start with a problem, understand where your customers at what is the problem they’re having? And start with that as the as the, the opening to the conversation? Yeah. And then, you know, expand on that problem. Help them understand why the problem may be bigger than they see it. Because sometimes they go Oh, yeah, that’s, I feel that’s a problem. But like, they may not understand the knock on effects that that problem is actually creating for them. So I call it sticking your finger in the wound. Yeah. And, and then through that process, you know, then introduce your product service company, or whatever, as the solution to that thing, and then help them see the transformation that is on the other side of that. And that’s where, like I say, the simplest story you can tell is problem solution transformation. Right? Yeah. Whereas a lot of people don’t, don’t even use that formula, right? Like I said, they just go on, they start talking about themselves, how they’ve won these awards, or their customer service is really amazing, or whatever. And it’s like, dude, who the hell cares? Like, nobody’s going? I want the worst customer service company ever. I want them to I mean, design company ever. Yeah, right. Like that. That is stuff that people expect you to have and do. And you’re bragging about something that like that. You’re it’s like you’re bragging about breathing? It’s like, okay, yeah,

Adam G. Force  13:31 

everybody does it. Yeah.

Seth Erickson  13:34 

It’s so so it’s just, it’s changing the method of communication. It’s applying the storytelling so that that you’re actually talking to your customer, not at your customer. That’s a, that’s a big game changer. And then as long as you’re hitting on the right problem, right, like, we’ve run campaigns where our clients were like, this is definitely the problem our customers have. And then those campaigns fall flat. And then it’s like, well, the story didn’t work. The storytelling thing didn’t work. It’s like, No, you didn’t understand your customer. And so we told the wrong story. So it’s not a magic bullet, right, like, and that’s one thing, like, I always try to like, you know, warning, storytelling is not a magic bullet. But if you are able to tell the right story to the right person, then you’re going to get through to them, you’re going to stick in their memory, and they’re going to understand what the hell you’re talking about.

Adam G. Force  14:26 

I mean, that and that’s it. And and, you know, when we really got into, you know, I got into storytelling a long time ago, when I worked at a company called WebMD. And I was doing all kinds of stuff, and it trickled over into what we do today. And the deeper I went into, like startup world or working with entrepreneurs and stuff. I have found that there’s just so many layers of storytelling because you have the story that you were talking about, which is the company the brand like we’re creating the branding, there’s a story that it’s kind of centered around, and then you have a lot of sales story. He’s right, the different sales stories that you might tell and use in your ads or whatever it is to connect with the customers, you know, every product will have different product stories or you know, results, stories and different things like that. So are you feeding into the different variations of stories? Are you just focused on the primary brand story and stuff like that?

Seth Erickson  15:21 

Yeah, so primarily, we focus on on the brand story, and specifically the brand story on the website, right, because we’re still developing websites. But the reason we do that is because your website is Grand Central Station, so whether you, you know, your salespeople are doing leave behind, whether they’re calling people, whether you’ve got ads running, right, you got billboards, whatever, people are gonna go to your website to research you to figure out who you are, what your thing is, and then possibly consider buying your product. So everything that you do with marketing tends to funnel back to the website. And then, you know, from there, that’s, that’s where I want to tell the story about, you know, the product, the service, the, the problem, you know, the issue and all that. So, that’s, that’s kind of how we we view it.

Adam G. Force  16:05 

Okay, interesting. And what kind of just so I can get grounded, what kind of companies are you working with right now.

Seth Erickson  16:12 

So we mainly work with startups, although, you know, we get, we get, we have a lot of different people on our roster, we have about 10 different startups we’re working with right now. They range from enterprise software to skincare to workout and exercise, health type stuff. But we also, you know, work with a major construction company out of California, we work with a company called cochlear that helps with in bone hearing aids, I guess, are just gonna say transplants, but that’s not right. So, so we do work with a lot of different kinds of companies, even though our primary focus is startups. But you know, it’s like, like anything, you do a good job, people talk, somebody says, Hey, you should talk to this guy. And even though they’re not a startup, they they come and they say, Hey, you know, we like this idea of storytelling, or we like, the way you guys design sites or whatever. And then we end up getting different clients through a variety of channels.

Adam G. Force  17:18 

Interesting. And and so what are you seeing as some of the more I guess, how does someone know if they need help with their their brand story?

Seth Erickson  17:32 

Well, that’s easy. You just go look at everybody’s website and realize that they’re talking about themselves. They’re talking in corporate speak, or they’re giving a bunch of information that that nobody has any clue what the hell they’re talking about. So let me let me give you this example, because I think it I think you’ll like it, and it will, I hope you like it anyway. So if I give you the numbers 1730 to 2511 to a nine, do you know the next number in that sequence? Now? No, of course you don’t. But I gave you all the information. Why don’t you understand? Right? But if I, if I say 123456? What’s the next number in the sequence?

Adam G. Force  18:18 

Well, obviously, seven, right.

Seth Erickson  18:20 

So the point is, is that when you storytelling, you organize information in the way that the brain can accept, understand and recognize the pattern. Yeah. So I can look around at 90 plus percent of websites. Since you know, we’re web design guys, and read their content, and know that they’re not using storytelling. But they’re but the marketers are sitting on the other side going, we gave them all the information, why aren’t they buying my product? I don’t understand. And it’s because it’s out of order. It’s not, you know, it doesn’t follow a pattern. And so people come and they look at the website, and they’re like, I don’t know what’s going on, or I don’t know why I should buy this, or I don’t know why I should care. So, so as far as helping people with their brand story, there are lots and lots of companies, and especially smaller companies and companies like startups that are starting, you know, what we see all the time is startups focusing on the tech, and then not really spending a lot of time, you know, in the, like, founders especially don’t spend a lot of time taking marketing, branding, storytelling classes, right? They just, they go, Okay, how do I, you know, make a better product, right? Or how do I get the right people on my team or whatever, but they’re not. They’re not communicating? why somebody should care about their product, they’re communicating all the stuff that their product does. And that’s not a story.

Adam G. Force  19:45 

No, it’s not a story. And what do you so I guess, you know, as people hear about this, and one of the things that stands out to me is like, there’s this story and I mentioned earlier about this guy, Paul Zak and he like shows they wanting to see if storytelling can have the same power digitally, as it does in person. And there’s this little video, they have an animation of a boy who is like playing in the yard or something I can’t remember. And I’m watching this as a new father, I’m watching this, right. And he’s in the arts playing, and the father’s looking at them out the window. And the story goes that the father just found out that the kid has like, some problem. And he has, I think it was like, He’s has a short period of time before he dies, but the kid has no idea he’s out there enjoying life has no idea that this is happening to him. I mean, I’m watching an animation and because of the story that’s being told, you know, the example was the, you know, we have the oxytocin, the cortisol, and all this stuff happening in the brain. And here I am, I’m getting watery eyes watching this cartoon, you know what I mean? Like the power behind the mat, and that why was so powerful for me, it would be for anyone who has a heart, but as a new father, I was like, the right kind of I was like the right person, because I’m a new father, it really hit me, you know what I mean?

Seth Erickson  21:03 

Yeah, and that, and so that’s, that’s actually one of the things that I talked about in the book is that we have these things called mirror neurons, and the mirror neurons allow us to, basically have empathy with with, when we see somebody going through an experience, or we’re able to relate that back to ourselves. I mean, it’s the same thing when you go to a movie, and, you know, you see a hero on the backfoot. And you’re, like, stressed out, and you’re like, what’s gonna happen next, or you see him, you know, overcome the challenge? And then you’re like, Yeah, you know, like, so it’s, it’s, so yeah, that’s one of the one of the concepts of the neuroscience behind storytelling is that we have these mirror neurons. And as long as you’re able to connect the story to the person in the right way, it’ll basically incite that emotion. And one of the interesting things about emotion is, that while there’s two interesting things, one is that emotion actually, is what triggers us to take action. If we don’t have emotion, we can’t, we don’t take action. So if you’re selling something, and you’re not creating some sort of an emotional event, they’re not the person is going to make a decision to buy. The other thing that emotion does is it pushes, it pushes the memory from short term memory into long term memory. And the reason that’s important is because short term memory gets cleaned out constantly by the brain, because the brain is trying to be efficient. And so when it goes into long term memory, then you can recall that memory easier, and that helps make you more memorable to your customers. So So those are just two aspects there of of the emotional component and how we as humans work. And so you know, like, one of the ways that I described this as like, think about, you know, any emotion that or emotion any memory that you have, that is super clear, it was either probably something really exciting and fun and, and great, or it was probably something really negative and sucky. And that’s because that emotion pushed that memory out of the short term into the long term. And now it’s stuck with you. So

Adam G. Force  23:05 

that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah, it’s it is it, there’s a lot to kind of grasp in there. And so kind of understanding, I think, I always would say, like, you have to, because I feel like it’s hard to pin down storytelling for your marketing, if you don’t understand how and why it works, right. Like, why is it matter? Like, why does it work? It’s kind of like, if I’m going to play piano, I want to know what the black keys are, what the white keys are, what the pedals are for, like, how does it work? Yeah,

Seth Erickson  23:35 

well, yeah. And that, and that’s kind of what took me down, or took me down the path of the neuroscience was I read a lot of these books on storytelling. I mean, you know, like, there’s the hero with 1000 faces, like, that’s a classic, right? You know, story by Robert McKee. That’s another classic, but neither of those books address, like, what is actually happening behind the scenes, right, they just address here’s how to tell the story. Here’s the structure, here’s the format follow this. And, and so it’s like, you know, like, gave you the cake analogy earlier, it’s like, but I want to understand, like the chemical reaction that’s happening between the flour and the sugar, you know, yeah, like, that was me. And so that’s why I went down the neuroscience route of going, okay, these books keep referencing it, but nobody is, is going deep into it. Although there’s a, I would say there’s a closer book called Wired, Wired for Story by Lisa Kron, which is really good. She goes deeper into it. And so like when I wrote my book, The first third is the neuroscience. But I wanted to kind of give people a foundation of like, okay, I’m not just telling you storytelling is cool. I’m not just going to tell you it’s effective. And you should just believe me, I’m going to tell you what the science says. I’m going to tell you how, you know all these things, that there’s basically scientific studies on work, so you have a solid foundation to understand why you Should you storytelling and not just take my word for it?

Adam G. Force  25:04 

Yeah, I like that. I mean, that’s I find that to be so important, and how has your How have your clients been receiving the process and stuff now that you’ve made that shift?

Seth Erickson  25:16 

I would say pretty good for the most part, because, you know, we, we can make a pretty clear case, not just with science, but also like anthropology, like we’ve been doing stories, since, you know, before people were painting on the inside of caves, before we had the alphabet before we had the printing press. Right, right. Like that was the mode of transferring information from one generation to the next. So so we can not only make a scientific case study for it and prove out our points, but we can also make an anthropological case study for it. And so we kind of, we go through a process of spinning, you know, some time teaching our clients like, here’s why we use this method. We’re not again, we don’t just say use this method, because we’re so smart, and you should do it. So we educate, we educate them into the process. And then usually by that point, they’re bought in and they’re going, okay, I get it. Now, how do we tell a story, and what’s the story we should tell is usually the response. And by the time we get done with the story, they love the story, not because we’re telling them how to tell the story. We’re actually just facilitating the storytelling, we’re asking them questions and putting the pieces together. And then at the end of it, it’s something that we’ve kind of CO produced with them. Instead of going, you have to say this, you can’t say that, you know, like, and just correcting them. Yeah. So, yeah, so it makes for a much more collaborative process where people go, Hey, this is my story, right? Instead of going, Oh, these guys told me this is what my story should be. Right?

Adam G. Force  26:49 

Yeah. Okay. Interesting. And so for people who are, you know, they got the, you know, three sentence about Paige. I, you know, one of the I think one of the misconceptions we’ll wrap up in a minute is that the about page is the story. And I don’t know how you feel. And so I’m curious, which is why I’m throwing this out here. I always say your story is not the I mean, it’s part of the story, right? I don’t I say that it’s not the story. I mean, you could tell your brand story there. But the story to me, is everywhere, you have a digital touch point, right? It’s everything that you’re doing. So that’s always been my philosophy. And that’s a misconception like, well, I have an about page. No, that doesn’t mean you have your story. Like it’s not Yeah, at the same well

Seth Erickson  27:40 

in and so that, like your about page can be kind of the origin story, in that origin story should really be about your customers in the first place. But you know, too many times people are like, you know, I built this company, it’s three generations old, bla bla, bla, bla bla, whereas every company was started to solve some sort of problem for a customer. Right? So So tell that tell that story. Why was your company started to solve your customers problem? Ironically enough, we, we don’t have an About page on our website. But that that is what when people ask me, like, what should the story be? It should be like, Well, the story should be about your customer. And they’re like, Well, what does that mean? Because the story is about us. And I’m like, No, it’s not about you. Because you were created to solve a problem in the marketplace for us.

Adam G. Force  28:31 

Yeah, exactly. So yeah, why does business start to begin with? It’s yeah, it’s that Yeah.

Seth Erickson  28:37 

Not, you know, not just don’t just give a bunch of stats about your company. Right? Like, you can throw some stats in there. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. But like, it needs to be woven into the story that in a way that is organic and authentic, and not just like, oh, we need some buzzwords here. Like, let’s just put that in there. You know? Yeah. So big difference. Yeah. So, you know, like, just as an example, I think a good starting point for an about page is, you know, especially if you’re like a startup is, you know, we saw, you know, a hole in the marketplace where customers weren’t being served by, you know, XYZ product. So we built this product to help customers, you know, fix this specific problem in their lives. And that’s why we exist, right? Like, that’s really simplistic, but the whole the whole focus is on the customer and not saying, Look at me how amazing we are.

Adam G. Force  29:33 

Yeah, 100% Yeah, I like I always like stories. I always say start at some kind of point of drama, if you will, right. Like, if you like watch any movie, that’s good. The worst movies whenever a movie comes on, it starts chronologically. I’m like up, this is gonna be a terrible movie. Whenever it comes on. Like you watch it, like, like, Lord of the Rings comes to mind, but they’re like, it starts with them showing this battle and how the ring fell off and you’re like, Oh my God, what’s Going on what’s going and you’re like, caught into this point of drama and it’s like the further along in the actual story, but then it’s like, Okay, now we’re gonna tell you the backstory how that all happened,

Seth Erickson  30:09 

right? Yeah, yeah. So in screenwriting, that’s called the inciting incident, exactly. And if you don’t have an inciting incident, you don’t have a story, you don’t have a start to your story. And so that’s why, from like a business perspective, I talk about the problem, the problem becomes the inciting incident that you are helping your customer overcome. And it’s the closest thing, the closest felt pain that’s going to trigger any kind of emotion if you’re telling the right story in the customer, so, so the problem becomes the inciting incident. You know, the part where I said, you know, expand on that problem, stick your finger in the wound, from a screenwriting standpoint, that would be called raising the stakes. You know, it’s like, oh, no, if we don’t disarm the bomb, it’s gonna blow up the entire city, you know, like, so. So the Inciting Incidents like there’s a bomb. And then raising the stakes is like, if we, you know, this whole city’s gonna get leveled if we don’t disarm the bomb. So you’re raising the stakes through that process. And that’s what they do in in screenwriting, and that’s what we as you know, marketers, copywriters, branding people need, we need to tell that story in the same exact way. And clearly it works. Otherwise, we still, you know, the Hollywood movie business would not be billions of dollars.

Adam G. Force  31:22 

I 100%. And, you know, one of my catchphrases is always, like, all progress throughout history is only been possible because of storytelling. Yeah, I mean, I mean, think about every major event. And it’s like, because how someone can communicate, tap into the emotions and get people on board to say, Hey, join me, you know, I mean,

Seth Erickson  31:44 

it’s a it’s a form of persuasion when done well. And, you know, I don’t recommend it for using it to manipulate people. But you do need to kind of guide people into action. So I mean,

Adam G. Force  31:55 

that’s just Yeah, and you could do it with good intentions or bad intentions, like anything else. It is a weapon. When harnessed it is a weapon that can be used in a bad way. But it also is how we get a lot of good things done right. When you send the right way. I listened to like copywriting books, and they’re like, please use these strategies with, you know, care, do not use these to manipulate people. Yeah, yeah. All the time. So how do people learn more if they want to kind of see what you’re all about? If it’s the right fit for them to get help? And all that stuff? Where were they go?

Seth Erickson  32:31 

Yeah, so if you go to story fi, that’s STORIF y You can learn about our company, if you’d like to check out the book, which is called How To Hack humans storytelling for startups. It’s in print format on Amazon. It’s available in audio format on Audible. And, yeah, so and then we’ve got some other audio up audiobook outlets that’ll be popping up over the next month or so. So there’s different places like I think it’ll be available in overdrive. So if like, you want to rent the book through the library, like you can do they exist and things like that.

Adam G. Force  33:09 

Yeah. Nice. What’s the name of the book again? Say how

Seth Erickson  33:13 

to hack humans store to

Adam G. Force  33:14 

hack for startups. Cool. Awesome, man. Well, it’s fun chat with this app. appreciate you making the time today. Thanks for tuning into the authentic brand mastery podcast. Don’t forget to stop by change For more information, fresh articles, content and our services if you’re looking to build a brand that people love, and please stop by iTunes, use a five star review. We appreciate your support

Transcribed by

Recommended Posts