This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Angela Jackson
Sample Ghost Written Introduction of "Micro Story Magic": How Do You Market an Elephant? One Micro Story at a Time
What is this book about?
Well, I can't write everyone's story, so I want to give them the ability to do that themselves.
The reason I feel that storytelling is so important to businesses - and I'm gonna get really passionate about this - is because of my aha moment at a business building conference last year.
It was entrepreneurs doing the elevator pitch going up to each other and asking:
"What do you do?" And I would say: "I'm a marketing writer, a storyteller and a journalist. I help people tell their stories through different mediums in ways that help their businesses grow."
So people would say: "Oh, that's really cool. I know I need a Facebook page. I need to be posting online. I should have a blog. My website sucks; it's terribly written. But I just don't know how to write."
Then I would say: "Well, what do you do?"
And they would tell me these amazing stories about hiking up the Himalayas or collecting vintage dresses or talk about all the transformations that they'd walked their clients through but then they would always come back to this same problem:
"I don't know how to get that in writing".
And that just hit me like a ton of bricks.
If you can't get your stories out of your head and onto the page, if you can't communicate who you are, what you do, and who you help - you're really gonna be limited. You're going to have a hard time growing your business.
That's what started me thinking: how can I help these people do this? I can't write everybody's content for them so what can I do?
How can I teach people, in a very simple way, how to tell their stories without having to resort to paying 1000s and 1000s of dollars for a marketing professional or without feeling chained to their computer because they have this beast that they have to manage?
By writing Micro Story Magic.
We just take those main stories - your origin story, the moment that you realize you need to do this thing or follow that path, stories about client transformations - then break them down into tons and tons of little stories so that people will have endless content.
We then organize everything according to the five core sales principles: stories, proof, valuable information, call to action, bonuses.
By the time you're done, you'll just naturally have a really good marketing plan that should work without you having to spend hours and hours or 1000s and 1000s of dollars trying to hire somebody else to do that for you.
If the conference was my Eureka moment of how storytelling is so important to building businesses, this would be part of my origin story:
I once interviewed an architect for an article and after I wrote the story, she called me up and said: "Hey, I wondered if I could pick your brain about my Facebook page. I'm actually a new architect so I've only designed one house. Now I've done one post about my one house and that's it - I have nothing else to talk about."
And I was like: "There's a million things you could talk about!"
The house is massive. One day, you could talk about where you sourced the beautiful Douglas fir that was used for the custom door. The next day, you could tell the story about the man that actually built that door.
You could talk about how the clients found the property and how you did a bunch of complicated sun studies to be very careful and very deliberate about the way that you put the house on the lot. It protects from the wind, because they were on the ocean, but it gets the most sun on this patio, but then that patio over here has shade in the hottest part of the day so they can move around.
You could talk about how you designed the house so everybody has their own space, but they don't ever feel like they're completely separated.
If you think about your design - it's so complicated and so amazing and there's 100,000 little details involved with the house. Just keep talking about all those details and you'll have plenty of content to get you through until you design your next home.
I went through these ideas with her and at the end the architect was like: "Oh my God, I never thought of it that way."
One house. 100,000 micro stories.
But this is just one of many times where I've talked to clients or friends, or just anybody who has a business, and I realized they all seem to be going at their content from too big of an angle.
They bite off too big of a piece and try to share that all at once. That's why they feel like they have a lack of ideas. It's because they're not breaking that big piece of content down and just trickling out little bits at a time.
Micro Story Magic also teaches people how to notice stories in their everyday life. You can take these little tidbits of things that happen while you're walking down the street and you bump into your neighbor and your conversation, and you can learn to weave it back into how it applies to you and how it helps the person you're talking to. This is fun because people really love these interesting little stories, and it doesn't feel like marketing anymore.
I've been following copywriter Marisa Corcoran for a couple of years, and she does a brilliant job with this. I've learned all about her mom and how her dad died when she was little and how she went to theater school.
She just does these cool, fun little stories all the time, but she always ties it back to a call to action though it never feels like it. It just feels very warm, very personal.
You know who she is as a person, and you trust her. At the same time, she's always filtering out the people that don't connect with her because she's sharing who she really is. I think that's super key. It's also how I tweaked onto the importance of story in business.
How I realized the power of micro stories comes from when I was a journalist.
I've always seen that quote that says copy is currency but for me, my ideas have always been my currency. Until I got regular gigs at magazines where I didn't have to pitch anymore, they were just sending me topics. It was up to me to research the magazine, figure out what the readers wanted and come up with an angle that nobody else had used yet.
When you think of a certain thing and then you come at it from a bunch of different story angles, then that can give you different ways to talk about the same thing over and over and still keep them interesting every time. That plays a big part in how this book and framework came about.
Since one of my first regular writing positions was for a local magazine doing advertorials, I already knew how to tell an interesting story that was very much call to action oriented. In fact, every time I wrote about an alternative healing company, her sales went up.
That was the very first time I realized it wasn't either creative writing like journalism or selling articles like marketing writing - they were both just different forms of storytelling - and that I'd been using those techniques to promote businesses for a really long time.
I just love the fact that if I tell a story about someone online or in a brick and mortar, that's going to help their business be successful.
That is my favorite thing in the world.
But having gone through this whole journey of telling one story at a time in a magazine, telling one story at a time for somebody's website and working at an agency and telling 25 stories in a year - that's not very many businesses I'm helping.
So I racked my brains on how I could help many more people with this very common problem of putting together an easy, low maintenance and affordable content plan.
It's such a big thing in people's minds - that social media and marketing in general is a beast that you have to manage, and it takes all your time. Then you can't be running your business and doing the things that you need to be doing but not everyone can hire somebody to do that for them.
So Micro Story Magic boils things down to say: Hey, this isn't a big deal.
Let's brainstorm quickly and painlessly and hopefully in a fun way.
Let's really hone in on your mission - the main passion, the main goals, who you help, what your marketing message should be. Then we're just breaking that down into piles and piles of little stories. And by sliding the micro stories into the 5 major sales components, you're also marketing without having to have a crash course in marketing.
Then boom, here's your content - enough content to fill up a whole year's worth of social media, blogs and whatever you would like to do with your emails. All we have to do now is start writing those posts and putting things out there. We've got a very effective content strategy that's not very hard to manage and doesn't take a ton of time, effort and money to put together.
There's already so much fear and scarcity based marketing out there. I personally don't like that.
I want to nurture and help people, to show them that this is possible, you can do it. That's why focusing on stories is so powerful to me, because you don't need to worry about any of that stuff. You're not even really selling, you're just speaking to your clients directly and authentically.
If you thought of it on a Venn diagram, one circle is what you want to say and the other is what your clients want to hear. When you put those two together, the overlap of your marketing message via storytelling goes in between beautifully. Same thing when you share client testimonial stories - you're building the " know, like and trust" factors.
You don't have to use fear based marketing messages because you just showed them in a beautiful, lovely non salesy other kind of way.
I know it can seem overwhelming.
I've faced the same hurdles as my readers and clients as well. It took me a year to write my own website and I do this for a living - that's my favorite thing to do! I finally realized what was happening, and I had to pretend that I was my own client. I had to stop actually, think about my process and do it for myself. And then boom - in two days, I finished my content and published my website.
Same thing with my own email list and Facebook page - those things get neglected and I get busy because I feel like I just haven't sat down. But when I do actually do that, it doesn't even take very long. I sit down one afternoon, drink some tea, go swing in a hammock and record a bunch of ideas. Now I'm all done.
It could be like that for you too. Just get in the habit of taking out your phone.
I'll be out on a walk and I'll just whip out my phone and I'll be like: "A bird just flew past and it had like a blue string in its mouth and blah, blah, blah…" and then I can talk about this in relation to my course I'm launching next week.
Just record it.
My mission is to show people how to generate infinite content ideas effortlessly but in a way that naturally follows a good content method and without you having to be a marketing strategist as well.
Behind the scenes, a good content strategy is a road map. What's your goal? Who's your target audience and what's your marketing format? You have to decide on post frequency and pay attention to your metrics as well as engagement and so many more components.
But I don't want to come at it like that.
We can touch on those things and I can explain what they are but what I'm trying to do is show people how to create all these ideas in a way that is naturally doing that kind of behind-the-scenes work.
I want to show you that you don't have to be an expert in order for this to work really well.
Again, I can't write everyone's story so I want to give you the ability to do that yourself.
And here's a note about authenticity: with marketing, especially in the coaching world, everyone's talking about "be authentically you" over and over again. It just loses meaning because we've heard it 100,000 times. People know they have to show who they really are while staying away from all these catchphrases which makes them swim in a sea of sameness. They just don't understand how to do it.
Now you need to talk about what makes you unique. Why are you different. This is where you get into story.
For me, that's also why stories are so powerful - because there's only one of you in the world. It's like Dr. Seuss said: "There's no one youer than you". So when you talk about how you grew up, your experiences, little stories here and there, you are being authentically you.
As soon as you speak in your original voice and you just let yourself be who you are, then you're a market of one. You don't have any competition anymore because this person over here is doing a totally different thing and being a totally different person.
But my main focus through this whole process in the book would be to show you how easy it is, how it shouldn't take so much time, and how it never becomes a beast that you have to manage.
Nobody's got time for that.
And if you still don't feel that you can do that yourself, call me.
I will help you.
All you have to do is tell me your stories.
Just sit there and talk and I'll do all the rest for you: pinpoint your stories, generate a ton of ideas, and then apply it in a way that makes your business grow.
It gets to be that easy.
Remember: I can't write everyone's story...but if you'd like, I can write yours.
Angela is full time writer and native Vancouverite.
She is a versatile creator of content, from course curriculum in the hospitality industry to a popular dating blog with 90k+ reads and now as a ghostwriter and author of "Trillions on the Table", a non fiction front end marketing asset.
She also has book and site review experience. While these are examples of her niches, she also loves researching new topics because she is a nerd.
When not reading, writing or enjoying a glass of wine, she is wondering what people with hobbies are doing.