/How to ensure your audience sticks with your content

How to ensure your audience sticks with your content


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When I started creating content in 2008, all I had to do was pick a keyword, write about it, and it would rank and drive traffic.

Today, the most important thing is No the information you publish, but how the audience interacts and reacts to it. You must create something worthy of a person’s time and attention. In this article, I’m going to give you a system that I use to help ensure that your audience sticks with your content.

Whether it’s for a blog, podcast, video, book, presentation, or even a sales page, this article will forever change the way you create content.

The history

Let me start with a simple question:

Where is the best place to keep your money so that it is safe and easy to access?

If you’re thinking the answer is a bank, then…

You’re right!

Another question:

Where is the best place to store your stories so they are safe and easy to access?

The answer is…

A bank of stories.

Using stories is the secret to creating engaging content. The problem is that we don’t have a useful system for capturing and categorizing our stories so that we can summon the right story at the right time.

And by stories, I don’t just mean the life-changing stories we use in our content (like how my life changed when I got laid off from my architecture job in 2008), but the little stories, the seemingly irrelevant stories. that, when unpacked, are actually interesting, useful, and hold the audience’s attention.

Even if they don’t sound shocking to you, their stories still work because they are genuinely personal, unique, and also relatable when used in the right context.

Like the time my son asked me to play Minecraft in the car on my iPad when he was 8 years old. Instead of saying no, I asked him, “Why should I say yes?”

Eventually, he went on to say, “Dad, if you let me play Minecraft, I can learn more about building and teach you how to be a better architect because I know you used to be.”

Capturing this moment in my life allowed me to turn this little story into a big lesson for my audience about knowing who you’re talking to and understanding the language that will resonate with them. I even shared this story on stage during my closing speech at the Youpreneur conference in London a few years ago, and people still remember that story and lesson today.

Another story was about the time he used to work as a waiter at Macaroni Grill, a chain of Italian restaurants. There was one person who came in at the same time every week, a very busy businessman, and I quickly realized that he always ordered the same thing. Eventually, I became the waiter he requested because he knew what he wanted even before he asked me.

This story and the lessons I was able to draw from it ended up in my book, superfans.

All of these examples were just small moments in my life, but after capturing, analyzing and detailing them, they became two of my favorite stories to tell on stage.

Sometimes I’ve even used the stories from my in-person story bank at dinner parties and get-togethers, and I must tell you, they always seem to leave a lasting impression.

Your call to action

Start your story bank and try to build it to one week. If you like it, go ahead!

Here is the process, step by step. I like to keep things simple because if I complicate them too much, I use them too little.

Step 1 – Choose a tool or app that works for you to capture these moments that happen in your day.

You can use anything you’re familiar with: Notion, Evernote, or even just the Notes app on your phone (which is what I use). Most importantly, whatever you use, make sure it’s easy for you to access. It doesn’t take long for a moment to pass and be lost forever.

Step 2: When something interesting or curious happens, capture it on your own log or page.

You don’t have to capture every second of every day. Simply, if something interesting or curious happens, add a new record for it. Also include anything else on your mind about that moment. And without editing. Just download the brain so it’s there and you can come back to it later.

Here’s an example of my recent screenshots in my Notes app:

Notes app with story bank binder
Notes app with story bank binder

As you can see, it’s messy, it’s random, but it’s there, and that’s what’s important.

In many cases, I’m out and about and capture a moment in my notes app using the voice keyboard. I prefer this to the voice notes app because it captures thoughts in text (although not perfectly), which is much easier to scan than audio.

Step 3 – At the end of the week, review your screenshots with this question in mind: “How could this story be useful or interesting to my audience?”

Filter each capture based on the question above, and if you can’t quickly find any kind of important connection, archive it.

Step 4 – After filtering, choose a story to drill down to and define one with a beginning, middle, and end.

This is where the fun begins. Pick a single shot and zoom in on it. Create a setup or introduction (a hook) for the story, share the story, and link it to the bigger picture.

For example, there’s a random moment the other day that I captured where I noticed a whole row of white cars in a parking lot at Target. It was just weird, but on further thought, it has a connection to the fact that we as humans love to see things in order, and also to the purple cow effect (i.e. something you don’t see every day). days).

You’ll try to flesh out some stories, and it seems forced and gets nowhere. Don’t force or fight. If it just doesn’t reach you, move on to a different capture. Other stories, however, seem to flow so smoothly that you know this is a story you’re going to continually structure and tell over and over again (and get better each time you do).

Step 5: After drafting a more detailed narrative, tag the story with as many relevant tags as possible.

I have tags for audience growth, branding, podcasting, videos, and much more. You can have as many tags as you want. If your software does not allow you to tag individual items, add your tags to the above from each of your stories so you can use the Search feature to locate stories that have certain keywords attached to them.

Labels should help you remember what you need when you need it. For example, if I go to a podcasting conference to speak, or write an article about podcasting, I hit my podcasting tag and boom! It brings up all the stories that involve a podcast in some shape or form, and then it’s just a menu that I can choose my content from.

Storytelling is a key skill to learn, but it’s hard to tell stories when you’re not actively capturing them. Start your story bank and give it a try!

Also, a big shout out to ramit sethi who was the first person to introduce me to the power of story banks.

I hope you enjoyed this 5 minute read! For more like him every week (again, totally free), sign up below!


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