SNM069: 7 Storytelling Mistakes that are Turning Off Your Customers

Storytellings i teh most important part of any business’ message.

Storytelling is a dying art in our society and that is very unfortunate.

You aren’t here for my content, you are here for my story.

There are plenty of people with blogs and podcasts about writing and making a living online.  The reason you follow me is that you feel a connection.  You know me and understand my story.

My story is how we have rapport.

This is how we connect with everyone around us.

We all have amazing stories, but most of us don’t know how to express them.

We don’t get enough practice.

We rarely talk to strangers.

More and more in our society we are creating social walls that make it harder to practice telling your story.

Most people communicate using micro-conversations.

We text and we tweet to get acrossour messages and the messages keep getting shorter.

Most people look at copywriter or sales and only see the trees, but storytelling is the forest.

I’m not the greatest writer in the world, but I do one thing write.

I include many personal stories in all of my non-fiction books.

And those stories are the key to your success.

[easy-tweet tweet=”“Well-crafted stories can make you 10x more money than poorly crafted stories.”” user=”ServeNoJonathan” hashtags=”servenomaster”]

When I was in my late twenties I took a class on telling “emotional stories.”

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I spend hours writing a story about my father that was a real tear-jerker.

All about one of the defining moments of my high school years.

But it was so forced.

One day I had a revelation.

What if I just told stories with real emotion?

Instead of telling stories in an emotional way, I simply began to tell stories that really affected my emotions.

It entirely changed how I talk to people, how I teach and how I write.

With that basis, take a listen to today’s show to learn some of the most common mistakes new storytellers make and how you can avoid them.

Show Notes:


Key Points:

  1. Start improving your site now
  2. Don’t go plugin crazy
  3. Backup your site immediately

Resources Mentioned:

Breaking Orbit

Serve No Master on Amazon

Most other links can be found in my TOOLBOX


Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com



Read Full Transcript

Seven storytelling mistakes that are getting between you and your audience and what you can do to fix them on today's episode so it is brought to you by social pilot the social media marketing tool for bloggers and small businesses join over 20,000 social media pros and Servo\social pilot today are you tired of dealing with your boss you feel underpaid and underappreciated to make it online to start living your retirement dreams now you come to the right place welcome to serve no master but how to open new revenue streams and make money while you sleep presented life from a tropical island in the South Pacific by best-selling author Jonathan Greene now is your house feedback I got when I began this blog what my podcast episodes when I began send them out was that I needed to start with stories I needed to open with an engaging story some people feel more connected to me listen my earlier blog post I often went straight into the meat and now I try to be better by telling a personal story something engaging to get a little bit interested telling stories is not easy craft art there's a reason there are people who are professional storytellers unfortunately it's a bit of a dying art there are many people travel from town to town telling verbal stories anymore but we do come from very much an oral tradition very much is the way we develop most of our story structure the Merck racer's all-time work told stories I I'm very much involved in different aspects of copywriting and part of the business and when it comes to copywriting it's very much about telling us towards often telling the hero's journey which is a particular type of story you can think of Star Wars as the prototypical hero's journey the ghost to the seven phases of becoming hero discovering the your hero discovery of a hidden power finding a mentor finding your enemy finding a challenge overcoming the first challenge in these different phases and people chop up the your journey to different stories but you can pretty much follow Star Wars is a pretty good example of their several different variations but we tell the stories in different places and I listen to a lot of people looking for investment or business as I love listening to those work you have a new small business and there pitching it and that the same thing as idea of sending a pitch is that you want the investors to put money in your company is a tell them a story to get them engaged and often times people want to get better better this and they spent thousands tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring companies to design the pitch deck everything from the slides to the content of their stories because well-crafted story can make you 10 times more money than a poorly crafted story understanding some of the most common mistakes will help you as you tell stories to write your blog website products and sales processes one of the most common mistakes is the attempt to shock the audience we always want to grab everyone's attention and there's a balance sometimes in a movie you'll see something that's too far it's not the right genre movie sometimes you're watching a movie that's for kids and any insert a storyline a subplot that doesn't affect the main story it has an intense and shocking element often they slip and lately things about child abuse are things about other horrible things and that area and it doesn't fit sometimes you would've that doing this movie I thought this was a kids movie what is a kids movie have this this much is those stories sometimes need to be told they don't always need to be in a cartoon or a movie for children the something everything I want to expose my children to when I was younger many parents thought a great movie to show their kids would be for Scott forgetting that in the very beginning of the movie it shows the mom sleeping with the school principal in order to get her son into the school and it doesn't show a lot but you could hear the noise he had a kid listen to his mom doing something horrible is that something you and expose your children to the fine movie for adults no problem it's not something I want my Phibro singlet with the teacher I want my children asking the scabs questions we movies have the scenes better shocking or that are over the top and when they're too far we then don't like the movie there are certain times when different things are appropriate in certain times when things are not appropriate and in your store you will often try to find the most extreme example of this happens when we try to talk about both positive and negative things you will see these selfless commercials with SAO if you spent a week work on this project to me $500 million there was cities bigger bigger numbers and because they're so unrealistic there trying to shock you with how big the number is and then you go I stop believable it actually hurts the story so when you're try to create those emotional waypoints in your story very important to be more realistic and one of the ways that he will do this in sales letters is rather than saying $500 million of say 497 364 $170 they do very specific number because it's more believable something people connect with a little bit better by having something there that's a little bit more real snow gets a paycheck for a number ending all zero euros get checks with a bunch of different random numbers in the this is taken up for taxes gets taken for this that expect our paychecks to be a little bit off-center we don't expect them to be perfectly zeroed in numbers in other ways of shocking me don't always have to tell the most extreme story I try to when I share my different stories about my life my experiences find a story that fits the rhythm over talking about II don't often try to shock you in the previous episode we talked about getting hacked or why you must back up your webs and damage that could happen and rather than telling a very extreme story I simply told a few light stories about times when I had to deal with attacks on my website it's very tempted to take that story into someone use my website hurt someone else to do is think you can make it a very extreme very specifics story the three shocking good on that path but as much is your desire to shock and something that we really want to do because we see on television storytelling stuff all the time now it takes it too far and you lose the direction of the story the second mistake is very interesting an attempt to be very authentic you end up giving too much information good storytelling is about efficiency if you can tell the story in three minutes instead of for three minutes is better with storytelling and sales letters all often write a very long L script and then the rest of the time is spent deleting as many senses from as I can the shorter your sales message the shorter story is the better especially with video sales letters you really want a message that's very short and that therefore people can absorb when you get into sales more and more and you will as you begin building your business and you get to experience more more sales videos you'll notice that the shorter the video is the more sales you make this your for really long video that I would stay to the end you lose people every few minutes to shorten the story efficiency of the store using time wisely is very effective sometimes you hear someone telling a story they want to tell you everything about themselves and they tell too many nonrelated things about their childhood I could tell you very extensive stories about dealing with issues as child we all have stuffy nose as a child bonus not relevant it doesn't fit and I have certain episodes specially observe my talk went dealt with depression why open up about a lot of things my childhood but in this episode would be completely irrelevant and would it make sense of time SCO plugs and started talking about top stuff as a child or stuff in my family we all stuff in our families but it's not relevant and it loses your audience is much as you're trying to be authentic instead you've revealed too much you want to reveal just enough to get people engaged in the story not so much they start to go Isaac I tell him his entire personal story and it's a tough balance this leads into our third storyteller mistake which is read over depth what we want to tell everything about the story we tell five minutes when every character perfect example of this is a movie I watched very recently cause suicide squad for the first 35 minutes your introducing characters each of the seven main characters gets about five and some introduction now if you've managed to sit through this entire movie and if you have a very proud guy barely was able to do it to me to separate nights two get to the story people always talk to house the worst movie ever made on these other things the main problem with the story I can tell you right now is Brett there were adept they tried to get you engaged with every character but most of them are not memorable at all if you watch that movie and I said tell me the names of all the characters I bet you can tell me the names of two or less I think I can name three but I'm not 100% about the third name only because two of the characters I'd seen in other movies or comics or cartoons before you have all of these characters and they did breath and that's one of the biggest mistakes you can make a movie to same reason but every time they do a series of X-Men movies they people getting it disengaged by the later movies because the keepers in two main characters they go for breath and in your story if you're telling too much Brett which is very common it's very tempting on top of everything that happened you'll have an ineffective story it's better to go very deep into one story how did it make you feel what really happened what was the experience of this single day of your life those stories are very effective there much more engaging because as humans we love depth want to know how is he feeling what was he thinking would happen deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper the fourth storyteller mistake is an attempt to mask failures or embarrassing moment sometimes in the story you are the villain or you're the person who got tricked perfect example I could have said rather than admit that someone hacked my website and shoved it a much pornography five or six years ago without me knowing I could've said happen to someone else I knew you were say nothing very generic is it's it's not very exciting or something you want admit tell people that you got hacked and the website got damaged stinks does make you feel good no one amid our failures but on amid those embarrassing moments at times when things went wrong because when we do we feel like it lessens our self there is this thing in our society we were obsessed with showing him how perfect we are and a lot of marketers in the same field is mere this way they never admit their failures they never show any weakness it seems like since day one David make $1 million a month and I hate falling people like this because having been through this business for seven years have been throughout experience as I know every express his ups and downs I've had very big months in very bad months of the past seven years I've had days that were amazing and months the brutal and that's reality it's a real business it's a real journey and you always have ups and downs I haven't had a month where everything was perfect since I started there's always something that you could do better that you could succeed with you could have done and made more money always make mistakes never stick loses money and stinks but retell the stories we act like I've never done anything wrong was imperfect within people can't connect with you the biggest mistake people make when writing the story and this is the number one reason movies fail is they create characters with no flaw the second problem was suicide squad is that none of the characters has a flaw and when I say flaw I don't mean injury having a broken arm or being a mutant is not a flaw it's a characteristic of flaw is I don't trust people flaw is that I don't know to talk to women of flaw is that I don't believe myself flaws that I'm shy these are the types of character flaws and is a type of character flaws and over the course of the story character comes over there flaw and then achieves their victory permit example Harry Potter's flaw is that he doesn't believe himself yes to learn of the course of seven rate nine movies how to believe in himself that's really the journey is much as he's fighting bad guys and everything else there's an emotional journey in three important have that and circle back to suicide squad not to hate on that movie but no character growth and emotional journey their attempt to create the journeys the flaws of the criminals in the end they begin to care about humanity that's an incorrect application of the flaw which is why we don't feel any engage with the characters I can't tell you which characters live and die by the end of the movie I think a couple of characters died and another which once and I don't care because I create because they failed to create a connection and the connection requires a flaw really great stories there something wrong with the main character and expend the journey overcoming it the early Jason Bourne movies a really good also that's because the original author only wrote three movies and in those stories he's overcoming certain flaws am I good or evil I don't how to interact with people I don't know who I am that's his flaw and it's a little bit of an injury the way Robert of the rights it's very much your following this characters trying to figure who you try to fight if it's good or evil on this journey emotionally and intellectually as much as he's fighting villains and everything else if you watch the movie as he watched the latest movie you may have noticed that by the fourth movie because they revealed his entire past they try to make it interesting by revealing one more layer of his past and it's not interesting you feel very engaged with the main character even if you enjoy that movie and the actions fine there's nothing wrong with the action scenes in the movie the problem is that certain aspects of the movie or repetitive but also that the character doesn't show afloat what's the flight as those passed here to learn his past and lastly he doesn't know a little bit more of his past about his dad like that such a small thing that doesn't create enough engagement that's why most people didn't feel most engaged with the character if yes people why they liked or didn't like the movie most people are not able to identify because were not trained to but if you look at movies you didn't like we did engage with the character subtype because the character showed no flaws flaws are actually good thing they should humanize him the six mistake is stealing stores or clichés I first started this business teaching men how to talk to women that's one of the first series of books I wrote before I began writing books teaching women how to talk to men and when the most common things is to teach men how to tell a story the structure story and to do that I would often tell my own personal stories and very interesting I was one time in a bar in London I overheard a guy telling woman a story that happened to me very strange that's what happens unfortunately people instead of staying on teaching the structural differences example people sometimes memorize and repeat a story and there funny people in that industry to say just memorize repeat my stories but that's not very conducive cousin you never learn how to actually fish and yoga to be a real self and I most of my stories that I like to tell are about my family about my sisters and that's how I grew about three sisters and so that's where a lot of my engagement when Milan my first interactions with the opposite gender was to my sisters into their friends telling someone else's story I don't mind if people tell my stories and things,, writing my story so good you want to repeat it great but it's very much a short path because eventually people find out that it generally happened you know I'm as guilty of this is anyone else I have definitely retold stories even on this podcast that didn't happen to me most the time I retell a story I meters or someone else told me that thing is valuable and it's like I'm given his applets I overheard someone else say last week an epicenter in Luke 510 episodes ago and interview Derek great I repeated in the very next X out one of the stories he told me we want to make sure that we don't do it too much what happens is we hear someone else's story about 1/3 party we forget what the sources I often do this it's like oh is it was very valuable and sometimes repeat stories are very lessons I heard a story about someone wearing a publisher and this happened and you forget that you heard it I forgot that I heard the day earlier my podcast recording not that it was something I read most the stuff I bring you guys a read and I bear I do interview so rarely I do like one a month or less but I simply forgot that was the source but then later on her every home in someone admitted the source was that wasn't like a full install Starbucks and happened in his life but I've seen two people to that as well there Pete entire story to someone they are the habit of me not you what he done the way this really falls down is when this falls into clichés in a start telling a story about were walking along the beach and I look back there's one set of footprints that's an old story until over and over again Ernie's other things right and they get told over and over again and gather kind of effective but people hurt before then it becomes like too much it's better to create your own metaphors for your own original stuff don't fall in the clichés or tell things you've seen it 50 movies before there are certain things that are really cool the first time you seen the movie but when you see it 56 your hundred times you I keep seeing the same trick one of the craziest things is if you've never watched Alfred Hitchcock movies go back and watch just a couple of the big ones like North by Northwest you watch this movie no go what is he doing stealing other things I've seen all this before but then you realize wait no he did at first reason such a great movie is that all of these very iconic moments from other movies are stolen from him or that's told by the people copying it so we see the same twists over and over in the first time you see a very good twist it's great but if you see over and over and over again it starts to lose its value its meaning see want to very much tell your own original stop this is why you don't need to buy openings or any that stuff from storytelling services or total waste and of telling O'Shea's in the seventh storyteller mistake is the failure to understand the structure of the story this is very important and unfortunately don't have enough time to teach you the entire structure of the story but it begins by knowing the purpose of your story very big picture every movie has three there's the introduction. Self-discovery there's the training. In the second and then in the third section the third act is fighting the veiling no not every move is an action movie but this covers any different type of genre it covers pretty woman opening scene they first get to know each other figuring out who they are second scene they begin partying kind of connecting and wondering if there's something really going on is getting more than just a business relationship the third act is then about overcoming that and ending up falling in actual left 123 so the three act structure is in pretty much every movie and movie that don't have it or movie that missed the length of it are movies that wind up not liking lack of story structure affects books movies everything else just as much as it affects us telling her short stories and that's really just the biggest picture of understanding story structure when you break down the story when you're working on telling for example a sales story when writing copywriting when copywriting and writing video sales letter the tire store that we told you video that's something that's a 35 minute story is on the TV show was so I have to very much follow strict structure now the way to learn structure and I talked about this in the copywriting episode and you should listen that way if you haven't is you look for a version of the story that similar to yours if you're doing a story about weight loss find it very good sales video about weight loss now you cannot steal words that's plagiarism never do that but stealing structure spine learning structure from someone else's fine go oh first he talks about his childhood then he talks about overcoming his child any talks about discovering a cure right have all these things and of course the thought the perfect structure the structure is actually quite long and I have it written down in a file but my structure is like 100 steps for that type of story I like to break down and really read small pieces on people consider 12 or 13 pieces and you could find hundred tons and tons of examples of minor people teach story structure but the best way to learn is to look for someone is succeeding right now and replicate their structure and then write a better or as good story that's true to you there's no reason to steal someone else's stories but to learn structure from someone else's fine that's how they learn from someone else to learning the structure for the seven simple steps avoiding storytelling mistakes will help you better engage with their audience and will increase how well your sales stories convert thank you for listening to this week's episode serve no master make sure you subscribe so you never miss another episode will be back tomorrow with more tips and tactics on how we state that rat race head over to serve no now for your chance to win a free copy of Jonathan's bestseller serve no master all you have to do is leave a five star review of this podcast see you tomorrow thank you for listing this episode of the serve no master podcast make sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single episode

Jonathan Green

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

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