Jun 18, 2010

Story Streaming: Creating an engaged audience month-after-month

When you read a book you follow a logical stream of thoughts. The pages flow, ideas form and you are drawn into the text. The same thing happens with music albums. Artists assemble a set of songs that tell a story. Each song builds on the next, and you come back looking for more.

Take a look at your digital content. Does it tell a story?

Now go a step further, and ask a few more questions. Is there a stream of consciousness? Do your customers get to know more about you and your firm in each post? Is there a consistent thread of ideas to learn and grow from? Is your audience asking for more?

We are naturally drawn to stories. They convey ideas, share wisdom and entertain us. Think of your digital content as a living story. Each posts builds on the next, and provides your audience a reason to follow you.

Having someone read one article is nice, but having them read every article you have ever written is even better. When your customers are anticipating what you have to say next, they will subscribe for more. That followership is golden.

Create a living story

It’s very telling when you visit a blog that hasn’t been updated in 12 to 18 months. It’s as if the blog was abandoned. What impression does that leave? Would you subscribe to it?

Digital content does not have a beginning, middle and an end like a book or a movie. It lives. This is a key aspect of followership. Your audience is participating in the story, and they want to see where you will take them. Your digital content is not static, it’s a stream

Building your story stream is a commitment. Your audience will follow your content if it is fresh and current, but they will quickly lose interest if the story slows down. Yesterday’s content is well yesterday’s content. You have to keep the story alive.

Great stories have characters

Characters make stories interesting. Think of your favorite movie. Can you picture the main characters? What about them do you like or dislike? What makes these characters memorable?

Work to bring yourself into your content, and become a character. The more you can share of yourself, the more interesting you can become. One-dimensional, flat characters are not as interesting as three-dimensional ones. Share your personal stories, your interests and your opinions. Let your audience know you are a real human being, and not just another business person.

Story streams build trust

Trust takes time. As you share your content you will build trust with your audience. Each exposure provides a little more insight about you, your firm and your approach.

Give your audience a story, and help them form a trusting relationship with you and your firm. To create a story stream you must be consistent, relevant and interesting. Remember, it’s a living story. Breathe life into your content.

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