Associate your products with excitement to inspire others to spread the word
One of the first things I learned as a HubSpot partner is that as content marketers we want to create stories so inspiring others tell their friends. This is part of the delight or entertain phase in our Inbound Marketing methodology.
To recap, so far in our blog series on Storytelling for Early-Stage Startups we’ve learned the importance of sharing stories not facts, crafting stories for the right audience and grabbing people’s attention from the start with a strong opener. Now we need to kick it up a notch and think about how we can capture people’s emotions to get them talking after you leave.
Do you know why I chose the name Peacock Media to represent my company? It originates from my time in broadcast news. One day my news director pulled me aside and said, “Kate, you’re a Peacock in the Land of Penguins, and I hope you never change.”
She was referring to a fable where a group of orderly and predictable penguins are resistant to change. Then Perry the Peacock arrives. Perry is creative, imaginative and full of energy and enthusiasm. At first the penguins and Perry are pleased. “Together” they thought they would achieve great things. But as time went on some of the penguins started to grumble, saying Perry was too flashy. They ask the peacock to put on a penguin suit. Perry doesn’t understand why they want him to change to fit in, especially if they like his work. When Perry asks why, the penguins say this is the way we’ve always done it. Saddened, Perry flies away to The Land of Opportunity. Here Perry can be colorful AND appreciated. In this new land there are all different kinds of birds, with many different perspectives. This shared knowledge makes them wise and successful. It’s a state of mind that revolves around being open to new ideas, having the willingness to listen, eagerness to learn, desire to grow and the flexibility to change.
This is the philosophy I’ve adapted as the CEO of Peacock Media when developing creative content that attracts attention for businesses online.
So now that I’ve shared my story with you, let’s dissect it.
To inspire you, I used simple language, short sentences and I included the presence of characters - more specifically villains (the penguins) and a hero (Perry the Peacock). Let’s face it, even a romance is boring if the story doesn’t have an antagonist.
In my story I also shared with you my passion for storytelling. It’s the main reason why companies choose me over a marketing firm to represent their brands. No boring stories here! I’m going to get creative, listen to you and grow with your company. This is important for winning over the competition and connecting with new customers online, especially as trends in digital technology continue to change.
But how can we introduce a villain into a sales story about technology?
Well a villain could be a circumstance or a side effect. Something that evolves imminent danger, or happens if the customer chooses not to use your product. If you can get a customer to feel danger, your solution becomes more attractive. If they don’t know the risk, your audience won’t consider the value of the product. Creating the emotional difference also gives the story sticking power.
Doug Buerkle, Founding Executive Director of the NEXUS-NY clean energy seed accelerator shared one of his favorite pitches with me saying, “One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is that good stories can be effectively re-told by the audience,” said Buerkle. “This young women is not a trained presenter, but I think very effective. I remember her story and could re-tell the punch line even though I haven’t heard it in over a year.”
In the below video you’ll hear from a young entrepreneur at MIT who aims to change the world with small satellite systems. She references these tiny satellites to softballs, that can provide global Internet coverage and even make responding to natural disaster like wildfires more efficient! The problem? There’s a key piece of technology preventing these small satellites from revolutionizing the world - propulsion. And can you guess who’s proposing to solve this problem? Her company, Accion Systems!
“We worked on one of the very first prototypes. We tackled some really tough challenges. And we grew passionate about bringing that technology to industry. That technology is now the first suitable propulsion system for small satellites. And it’s the size of a penny”
Watch the video to learn more about Natalya Brinker and her team’s novel technology.
Natalya made her story relevant to everyone in the audience by explaining the importance of small satellites. She shared what her team did to achieve a solution. And then she really got the crowd’s attention by highlighting successes like securing their first launch into space!
She was also smart to close with an “ask.” To grow her company the team needs more than funding. They need talent, which Natalya refers to as “superstar engineers.” She also let the audience know Accion Systems needs a larger manufacturing facility to complete orders for agreements already in position.
Upstate entrepreneur and startup investor Martin Babinec expressed in his blog, Prepping the Pitcher:
“I believe it’s essential to end a pitch with a specific appeal for help. Often times someone in the audience can assist the entrepreneur. They just need to ask! Requests for help shouldn't be limited to financing. Telling people what else your startup needs right now gets everyone thinking about how and who they know that can assist.”
Now before we go and promise a new client or an investor the world with our colorful stories, let’s discuss what it means to manage expectations. In my next blog, I’ll share with you ways you can control your sale, and still leave a customer or investor enthusiastic about your product.