Storytelling: It’s vital to building and growing a business, from sales & marketing to pitching for capital

Travis McConkey, of Cultivation Studio, led a Founders Forum presentation focused on how founders can start telling their story and capturing their audience’s attention. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part so having some frameworks to follow is helpful. A big thanks to Travis for coming out and sharing his expertise!

The Essence of Attention Capture

“The target of all business strategy is the human mind.” In a world filled with distractions, the ability to capture and sustain attention is a business’s most prized asset. Moreover, storytelling isn’t just another sales technique; it’s the linchpin to winning over customer attention.

The Ingredients of a Compelling Story

To comprehend what truly engages us in a story, Travis broke down the fundamental building blocks. Narrative arcs, identifiable characters, location in time and space, authentic emotions, and specific details were all vital components highlighted. The real secret, it was explained, lies in the unifying principles across various storytelling frameworks.

The Journey of Value in Storytelling

Travis introduced several storytelling frameworks. The Storynomics framework, which outlines the structure of a compelling narrative stresses that every story should commence by establishing what the protagonist desires or values, setting the stage for the conflicts that drive the narrative. As the story unfolds, the protagonist must invest effort, face challenges, and make sacrifices, introducing conflict and tension into the narrative. Crucially, the story must convincingly show that the desired value is worth the costs and challenges, engaging the audience emotionally, and ultimately, the story must provide a judgment on whether the desired value was achieved.

Frameworks that Guide the Way

We delved into other frameworks such as Pixar’s 22 Rules and the Storybrand approach, a popular guide from Donald Miller. (We actually read the Storybrand as part of the Accelerator program curriculum and highly recommend!) These frameworks provide storytellers with a clear path to crafting engaging narratives with a business’s client or customer as the hero of the story and positioning the Founder as a guide through a process to solve their client’s pain point.

Harnessing the Power of Gaps and Tension

The insights shared about what keeps us hooked in a story were intriguing. Knowledge gaps, emotional gaps, and action loops were highlighted as key components of narrative tension, driving business results. Knowledge gaps stoke curiosity, emotional gaps compel us to seek resolution, and action loops motivate customers to take that all-important next step.

Storytelling isn’t merely a tool; it’s a strategic necessity for capturing your audience’s attention. Whether you’re a marketer, a presenter, or an entrepreneur, mastering the art of storytelling is key to thriving in an attention-scarce world.

Remember, Founders Forums are monthly (with the exception of December and July) so keep your eyes open for the next one coming around the corner!