The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It
Stand-up Comic Turned Copywriter
Kevin Rogers is a guy that gets Story. As a stand-up comic turned copywriter, he has worked with some of the most successful marketers in the world and now focuses his efforts on connecting business owners with copywriters through his company Copy Chief.
I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kevin on his Podcast The Truth About Marketing where we exchanged notes about our separate Hollywood journeys, as well as going deep on some story writing and storytelling tactics. We start sharing about my time as a story editor in Hollywood with Disney and Oliver Stone.
While this may sound like a dream job with endless perks, keep in mind the biggest moment up until that time was when they gave me an LL Bean tote bag to carry around the 20 scripts I had to read every week before defending the most production-worthy stories to Oliver Stone’s team.
The Surprising Truth About Stories
My biggest takeaway during that time is that the best stories aren’t always the ones that are most technically accurate regarding the grammar and pros, but the stories with the best ideas that lay underneath.
Before my time defending scripts to Oliver Stone, I thought the best movies were identified by how big the explosions were and how dramatic the actual story was. But in actuality, the more specific the story is, the more universal it becomes. When it comes to story, many people are afraid to be specific because they want to relate to as many people as possible. But in effect, this dilutes the story and makes it impactful to no one. As the saying goes, you can’t be everything to everybody.
In that vein, the power of Story comes from the specificity of the story, and that's where the universality comes from as well. We cover the topic of specificity and more on this episode. As well as...
- The ONE thing likely missing from your tale that’s killing your connection with your ideal customer.
- The single biggest question you absolutely must answer before you even think about writing your story… and it’s got nothing to do with your “hook” or “writing chops.”
- The “something’s gotta happen” tactic to catapulting your story from “dull n’ dreary” to rocking tale your audience never forgets —even if you’ve never told a story before.
- Why I bolted from the Hollywood life despite working with big time players… and the ONE thing I wish I did different. (If you’re feeling “out of place” at your current gig… you’ll want to hear this.)
- The “locksmith” trick to getting your client so invested in your work they’ll even fight for you when someone wants to change it… even if you barely know your client right now.
Just like the Hollywood story editor with 20 scripts to read through weekly, your story has many filters to get through before grabbing the attention of your customer. The market is fragmented and it is harder than ever to resonate with a reader across the numerous mediums, platforms, and devices now at our fingertips.
Are You Building Your Brand's Story?
I would love to learn more about your Story and help you make it amazing as well as accomplish the goals that you have in mind. There is no bad story, but learning to tell it with authenticity and in a way that captivates your audience is where the magic happens.
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