About Social Pros Podcast:
Social Pros is one of the most popular marketing podcasts in the world, and was recently named the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards. Listen for real insight on the real people doing real work in social media. You get the inside stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN, and dozens more staff, operate, and measure their social media programs.
Thank you to our sponsor ICUC Social.
Apple Podcast Reviews:
The Social Pros podcast has quickly become a favorite in my feed! I'm consistently impressed by the engaging conversations, insightful content, and actionable ideas. I truly learn something every time I listen!@Arlie K
This is absolutely an awesome listen for anyone in communications or social media!!@Will31C
This podcast has become one of my staple weekly podcasts for learning about marketing! Love the conversations that they have and it's always enjoyable and educational!@Simonstone95
Love the podcast - informative, in depth and spot on for any business size.@MissTriathlon
Kindra Hall, President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective, discusses how brands can increase consumer storytelling and solicit better stories from their customers.
Connect With Your Audience on Social Media Through Storytelling
As a species, we’ve told stories since the first caveman (or cavewoman) painted mammoths inside cave walls. We’ve definitely got better at it since then, but the foundation of storytelling and how stories have the unique ability to drive emotion from deep within us has remained the same.
There’s no denying that although the essence of storytelling hasn’t changed much, the way we tell stories certainly has. Even traditionally published books have had to make room for the digital screen age of storytelling and what is a social media post other than a short-form story?
As Kindra Hall, President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective says, every Instagram post is a stage for you to connect with your desired audience. So, you’ve got to make every word count and get people in your ecosystem to want to tell their stories with you. If you can find a way to solicit better stories from your customers, you’re well on your way to success.
In This Episode:
- 05:08 – How Kindra got involved in storytelling as a thought leadership platform
- 09:24 – Which of the four types of stories are best suited for social media
- 10:47 – Why so many brands are using stories the wrong way on social
- 15:06 – How visual content and multimedia can impact your stories
- 19:31 – How to increase consumer storytelling and solicit better stories from your customers
- 27:36 – How do you know when a story is working
How to Build Relationships With Your Audience Through Storytelling [Full Episode Transcript]
Kindra Hall: As a storyteller, I was looking for physical stages to be telling my stories and connecting with people. Now you don’t have to do that anymore, like every Instagram post is a stage for you to connect with your desired audience. So spend those extra thousand characters. I think on Instagram, you get 2,250, if I’m correct, to tell those stories.
Jay: I couldn’t agree more, and you see that all the time in Instagram now, people using a lot of characters to tell a more fully realized story, and our guest this week is the storytelling expert. What a fun episode, huh?
Adam: What a fun episode. Kindra has so many great stories, as you would expect, and even how she tells and articulates stories drives your emotion. I can feel us both kind of rising to her emotional level. I think that’s a big part of storytelling, and one of the things that she really shares with us is that you’ve got to get people to rise to your level and you’ve got to get people to tell their stories.
Jay: Yeah, what is a social media post other than a story in short form? And you’re going to learn a lot about the art of storytelling here on this episode. Also I loved what we talked about in this conversation about how to solicit better stories from your customers, really smart tips there. You’ll appreciate that section of the show for sure.
Adam: Absolutely, and that’s sometimes I think what we forget, that social media when done right is not a mass communications devices, it’s a narrow band, one to many, one to a few type of channel, and when you can get that engagement and you can get those people telling their own stories, check, you’ve succeeded.
Jay: Yeah, no doubt. Speaking of success, one thing to keep in mind, if you haven’t registered for the big Social Fresh Conference, take the time to do that. What an incredible event down there in Florida, excellent, excellent speakers mostly on the corporate side. I’m sure a lot of Social Pros listeners will be there, a lot of Social Pros listeners are speaking and some of our previous guests are speaking as well. Go to Socialfresh.com for details on that.
Jay: Also don’t forget to download the amazing research from Adam and his team at Salesforce called the State of Marketing Report. More than 4,000 marketers interviewed for this survey to find out all the things that they care about in 2019 and beyond, they cover social media of course, AI obviously, influencer marketing, the role of CX in marketing, it’s pretty great stuff. Make sure you get a copy if you haven’t yet. Go to Bitly/jaysays, that’s Bitly/J-A-Y-S-A-Y-S, that’s all lower case, because Bitly is case sensitive, as you may know.
Jay: Also this week the show brought to you by our friends at Emma, a fantastic email marketing company located down there in Nashville, Tennessee near where Adam is from originally, although he’s an Austin man today. But originally a Tennessee man, and you can go to Myemma.com/jayisawesome, a domain name that I did not select, Myemma.com/jayisawesome to learn more about their fantastic email marketing platform. It’s got all the features and functions you’d want in an email platform, but perhaps even more importantly, they have an incredible team of real, live, breathing human beings that will help you if you get stuck or you want to make your email better, more successful, you can actually call them and talk to them on the actual telephone and make your stuff better. That level of support is a rarity these days, and they’re delivering it to you so check that out, Myemma.com/jayisawesome.
Jay: That’s the story that I’m going to tell you about this week’s sponsors. I want you to learn about storytelling, you will in just a second. Please meet Kindra Hall, this week’s guest on the Social Pros Podcast.
Meet Kindra Hall, President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective
Jay: Could not be more excited this week, ladies and gentlemen, to have on this very podcast my friend, one of the greatest public speakers in the world today, and an incredible thought leader on the very important topic of storytelling, she has a brand new book this week that I beseech you to purchase. It is called Stories That Stick. I actually even have a little quote on the back of that book saying just how fantastic it is. She is also the President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective live from New York City, the one, the only, the incomparable Kindra Hall. How are you, my friend?
Kindra Hall: Oh, I’m so good. I’m so good. Thanks for having me here.
Jay: We are so pumped about your book. It is going to help so many people. It is such a good book. I just really am fired up to get it out there in people’s hands. How are you feeling? Are you just like, freaking out?
Kindra Hall: Yeah, it’s like … So I have two kids, so I’ve been pregnant before, but I’ve never been pregnant with a book before, and it’s worse. It’s worse. You’re just waiting, you’re waiting for the delivery, it’s finally here, and you just hope that nobody says you have an ugly baby, but I will say, once you wrote in and said that, “Hey, Kindra, this is a great book,” I felt a lot better. So you’re my ultrasound, and now everybody else gets to see the baby.
Jay: Every book pregnancy is a C-section, I will tell you that. That’s kind of how that works. And trust me, somebody will tell you that your baby is ugly. It doesn’t matter how good the book is, somebody’s going to hate it. I have learned that the hard way.
Kindra Hall: Yeah.
Jay: So don’t sweat it. Don’t let the haters get you down. We’ve never had this conversation before, how did you get involved in storytelling as sort of a discipline, as a thought leadership platform?
How Kindra Got Her Start in Storytelling
Kindra Hall: You know, that is a good question, because I know for example, I’m not the only one that’s talking about storytelling. It’s a business buzzword right now, which is good for me. It means job security, it means a publisher wanted to publish the book, it means I can speak on stages. But the difference is I didn’t come to storytelling from a marketing background. I came to storytelling when I was 11. It was an assignment for fifth grade. I had to learn a children’s book and then I was supposed to go read it to a third grade classroom, but I walked into the classroom and it was at the end of the day, it was springtime in Minnesota, the kids were bouncing off the walls, picking bugs off. The teacher was sitting in the back of the room like when does the bus come?
Kindra Hall: So I put the book down and I just started telling the story, and in that moment, I held those third graders in the palm of my hand and I realized then that I was onto something. So I kept telling stories, they were mostly fairytales, folktales, I told stories at my church where I was protected by God, and my friend’s kid sister’s birthday parties, then in high school I joined the speech team where there was a whole category where you could compete telling stories. And I did really well, and it happened to be that one of the coaches from another team said, “You know what, Kindra, there’s a national storytelling competition. You should enter.”
Kindra Hall: And I didn’t really want to … I was interested in boys, I wanted to go to prom. I really wasn’t interested in storytelling beyond this speech time, but then one day my mom was encouraging me to fill out scholarship applications. She kept getting on me about it and on me about it, and I was so annoyed with her that instead, I decided that I would enter and submit my story to the storytelling com- … You could tell, I was a rebel, rebel from the start. So I submitted my story to the storytelling competition, they accepted it, I won, the next invitation then, the grand prize, I thought it would be a car or a scholarship, but no, you got to tell at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Kindra Hall: So I was 18 years old and I went to Jonesborough, Tennessee, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been there. You know how you measure towns by stoplights, there are no stoplights.
Adam: No stoplights.
Kindra Hall: No stoplights.
Jay: Adam knows.
Kindra Hall: Yeah, but 15,000 people flood this town the first weekend in October all to hear stories, and so it was there that I watched these master stories, storytellers who didn’t have an agenda, they weren’t there for marketing — they weren’t there for sales, but they could hold entire audiences from all over, from all different ages, in the palm of their hand, and that is really where I discovered the power of storytelling. And now, of course, at that point I thought it was just going to be a hobby, so I went on to get my master’s degree, I studied storytelling in organizational socialization, how organizational cultures are developed through stories, then I went and got a real job in sales, or in marketing and then in sales.
Kindra Hall: But I still realized that this thing I considered a hobby was really what made business work, and so I quit the job and then I found out a week later that I was pregnant, so then I had a couple of kids. I was doing storytelling consulting on the side and it really led me here. There you go. How long was that story? That was speed storytelling right there.
Jay: That was a fantastic story.
The 4 Types of Stories in Business: Value Story, Founder Story, Customer Story, and Purpose Story
Jay: In the book, it talks about the four types of stories, right? There’s a value story, a founder story, a purpose story, and a customer story. That was a founder story.
Jay: So let’s recap those again for our audience. Value story, founder story, purpose story, and a customer story. Of course, one of the ways that brands tell stories most often today is in social media, because that’s one of the way that brands connect with consumers. Of the four types of stories, again, value, founder, purpose, customer, are any of those, in your estimation, more suited or a social media environment?
Kindra Hall: Yeah, I would definitely say that the value story is … The value story number one, and then number two would be the founder story for social media. Well, no, and then customer stories. So purpose stories are more geared towards internal leadership, aligning your teams, building morale, motivating people around a particular topic. But in terms of outward communication, particularly on social media you’ll be focusing on value stories, which there’s all different stories you can tell there. The founder story, really how it all got started, now of course with any founding of any company, there are many stops along that journey, so you have lots of options there. And then customer stories, which are the stories of the people who love, buy, support what you’re doing.
Jay: Ironically I would say you could classify all podcasts in one of those four ways as well, which would be a fun exercise sometime to do that, to think about the best value podcast, the best founder podcast, etc. If you this about how things work, right? Or all the different shows out there and they all fit into one of those four buckets, I would argue.
Kindra Hall: Yep. Well, and people want to listen-
Jay: But you’re right that storytelling is an increasingly important part of the business lexicon and people are really focusing on it now in ways that maybe they didn’t even just a few years ago. My observation, and you may disagree, is that there are more people aware of storytelling in marketing especially, that’s kind of how we think about the world here on this show, but the stories aren’t necessarily any better, right? There may be more stories, so let me say this cleaner. Volume of stories up, quality of stories flat. Why is that the case?
Storytelling Is Increasingly Popular in Marketing and Business
Kindra Hall: I think that again, just as you said, I think the awareness, the excitement about the power of stories in businesses is a very important thing. But in its rise to buzzword status, there’s been some confusion about what really makes a story, like a brand is not a story. Brands are built of stories, but a brand itself is not a story. Like the About Us page on a website or the features and benefits of a product, I’ve seen people on social media even in live … However it is, say, “Oh, this is our story.” And it’s just bullet points of when the company started and how many offices you have. So I would agree, I think that the word storytelling has become accepted, which is great, it isn’t … People see it as valuable whereas several years ago, they didn’t. It wasn’t something that you focused on.
Kindra Hall: But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re really telling stories.
Adam: Kindra, I love that idea, because I think what stories are is not what we always think. I harken back to my early days at Coca Cola, we were writing the first couple of Tweets for the Coca Cola sign, and I tell the story, I’ve told this story often of two Tweets. Tweet number one, Coca Cola six packs on sale at your local 7-Eleven for 3.99. Tweet number two, when you open a Coke, 12,508 bubbles are born. Happy birthday, bubbles. That was the most retweeted Tweet in the history of Coca Cola, but it was also a story. And it was less than 180 characters, but that was the story and that drove a discussion. My question for you is how do brands continue to create things like that without having great copywriters and things like that, but also understand that stories aren’t always about fiction?
How Brands Can Tell Stories
Kindra Hall: I think that … I mean, there’s a lot to unpack in that question, but I think ultimately, in terms of fiction, there’s enough happening with any … If you’re doing it right, if you’re serving your customers, if they’re having experiences, if you really do have a product or a service that makes a difference for people, then there’s no reason for fiction. Those stories are out there, those customer experiences are out there. So it really is a matter of now here’s the thing; great storytelling really does require more work. It requires more effort. It requires actually talking to those customers and figuring out where was Coke on that …
Kindra Hall: I mean, I remember I took a trip to Mexico City in college and there was Coke there, it just didn’t taste the same, and I came back and the first thing I wanted when I landed at the Minneapolis Airport was a Coke that tasted like how I knew Coke to be. And that was 20, I don’t know even know how … I’m not going to do the math on that. There’s no math in storytelling. But right there, a story could be … Because how many of us have had that experience, right? It’s just that that taste of Coke means more than any marketing copy could ever express. It’s the story of what that product means.
Jay: Kindra, as you know, because you’ve been doing a lot of promotion around the book and just to remind everybody, Kindra Hall’s amazing new book, Stories That Stick, available now in all the places and ways that books can be procured, including audio book read by Kindra herself, Kindle, all those kind of things. Increasingly in social media as you know, more and more of the content is visual, right? Whether it’s photos and/or videos. Do you find that to be innately or inherently better for storytelling or worse?
Tell a Story Alongside Beautiful Images
Kindra Hall: I think it’s better. I think there is the age-old phrase that a picture is worth 1,000 words and it’s true. Sometimes just posting a beautiful picture on a Friday saying, “Cruising into the weekend like this” will get you plenty of likes and engagements, etc. However, I think there’s also then that opportunity when so much of it is visual, a lot of times you have these beautiful images, it gives you a perfect opportunity to not only have the beautiful image, but then tell a story and it can be directly related to the visual, it can be tangentially related to the visual, it can be not at all really related to the visual, but that first line triggers the reader, the viewer to say, “Ah, there’s going to be a story here.”
Every Instagram Post Is a Stage for You to Connect with Your Desired Audience
Kindra Hall: And so we need to be constantly creating visual content, which then of course is the perfect opportunity for you to be adding the stories that are already there to those images. I think it’s the best thing, so when I first was looking at becoming a storyteller, I was writing blogs on my MySpace profile. And then as a storyteller, I was looking for physical stages for telling my stories and connecting with people. Now you don’t have to do that anymore, like every Instagram post is a stage for you to connect with your desired audience. So spend those extra thousand characters. I think on Instagram, you get 2,250, if I’m correct, to tell those stories.
Adam: So when you work with brands, Kindra, around storytelling to this point of stories are multimedia, and I love that idea of almost a story trigger, the old story trigger is once upon a time. You know a story’s coming here. But how do you work with brands and counsel them to handle things multimedia, that you need to not just tell the story in the blog or on a Tweet or on an Instagram, maybe with a visual, but this needs to be ingrained into everything that your company or brand is doing? How do you recommend that they do that?
Kindra Hall: I think that for me, it’s really a matter of content, and so where brands, especially big brands, but brands of any size, what ends up happening with their messaging is they think they’re … They outgrow the story. So they try to make it bigger, they try to make it broader until it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t include characters so nobody can really relate to it. It doesn’t have emotions in it. It doesn’t happen in a particular setting, in a particular space and time so we can’t create that imagery. So when it comes to multimedia storytelling, it’s this perfect opportunity to take a big story and then cut it into smaller pieces, so you can send some of it out in video, you can send some of it out in text that’s on an Instagram post.
Kindra Hall:You can take one really big piece of content, one really big piece of story, and cut it up in different ways that as long as you maintain those key components of a story, you can repurpose it everywhere. Because you know that people are coming in from all around. So for me, what I say is let’s choose the story, and let’s tell that same story in different ways with different parts and in different visuals and texts, all over the place. One piece of content can be repurposed 100 different ways.
Jay: One of the trends we’re seeing now, Kindra, is consumers telling stories about brands and doing so in a way that’s very persuasive, one of the new stats from Edelman Public Relations suggests that 62% of people trust stories about brands from customers of brands more than they trust stories from the brand itself, which is sort of remarkable, right? We are the brand, yet we trust customers of the brand more so than the people who are actually making the product and service. So this whole idea of user generated content, which is essentially just consumer storytelling, is getting more and more attractive and it ties into the whole idea of influencer marketing as well.
Jay: As a storytelling professional and thought leader, where do you think that heads? Do we see brands tell fewer stories and sort of say, “Well, we’re just going to let consumers take care of that”? Is there going to be a backlash there? What’s your prediction?
Kindra Hall: I think it’s one of those if you can’t beat them, join them. Brands should always be telling their stories, and you should have that repertoire so that if something does go wrong or whatever it is, you have this long history of storytelling and people feel connected to you. They feel like they know you. It’s not just a brand, you’re a person. It’s personified in that way. So that being said, I think we should encourage consumer storytelling and from a storytelling perspective, in this way you want them … There’s a big difference between a five star review and a story that is told.
How to Encourage Storytelling from Your Customers
Kindra Hall: So one of the things that I encourage brands to do is to encourage storytelling, to want somebody, if you’re capturing that information, if you have their email address, which so many … I’m not going to go into it, this is a story for a different time, but I had a moment the other day where I was like, “Wow, brands know me way better than I know myself at this point.” Right? So we have all this data, we have all this opportunity, but to send a message back out to your customer, this is where the customer story comes in, and ask for their story. Now, you can’t just say, so there’s several different tiers of this. You can’t just say, “Hey, if you love our product, give us a review,” and then they give you five stars. That’s about worse case scenario.
The Best Way to Ask Customers to Share Stories
Kindra Hall: You can’t just say, “Hey, tell us what you thought of your product.” The best brands, when it comes to accessing and encouraging customer storytelling, is to ask for the stories in a very specific way. I talk about this in Stories That Stick, but you want to ask them about okay, so what were you struggling with before you considered purchasing this product? What was on your mind? What were you hopeful for? What were … What made you decide to try us? What made you … What happened once you started using our product and what has been the result following?
Kindra Hall: Now what happens is when they start responding, when your customers start responding in this way, whether you’re asking them to film videos of themselves or you’re having them fill out a form online is they start telling an actual story that has, as I describe it in the book, a normal, an explosion which is choosing your product, and then a new normal, which is what resulted as a result of this product. But that normal is that key part, so when other future potential customers read this or see this or hear this, they’re saying, “Oh, that sounds like me. Oh yeah, I’ve struggled with that before. I’ve been looking for that same solution.” And they connect in that way, so then when the solution is your product, they’ve already said yes. They already feel connected.
Kindra Hall: So I feel like it’s a huge opportunity, I think we should go with it. I think we should seize the moment but I think we need to be smarter about how we ask for these stories.
Adam: Kindra Hall, author of the new book Stories That Stick, you just blew my mind, because I just realized that, that it’s about curating the story that you’re about to hear, and I think you mentioned a couple of words and I was wondering if you could kind of double click on those words, like the example of have people talk about how they struggled before they used or discovered your product, or how the product resolved a particular issue. Are there any other kind of story starters, for lack of a better term, that social media practitioners, marketers, communicators, can use to help facilitate getting and extracting those great stories out of their customers?
Kindra Hall: Yeah, definitely. So one of the key ones that you can refer back to is what was the first time you tried our product? What do you remember about that moment? Right, because when you think about the products that you love, oftentimes we think about the first time, like I just experienced this great nail product, and I remember the first time they put it, it’s nail polish but you can just stick it onto your … It’s incredible, and I remember the first time I was at an event and they were like, “Oh, here, try this,” because I hadn’t gotten a chance to put my nail polish on and they just stuck it on my finger and I was … It was done. I was done in two seconds versus … And it was not $60 and two hours of my time at the nail salon, and I looked down at my fingers and I finally felt like I didn’t have to be embarrassed of my fingers anymore. It was like the first time that I had used that product and it had a huge … It was such a simple thing, but it had a huge impact on me.
Direct Your Customers to a Moment in Time to Get Great Answers and Stories
Kindra Hall: So going back, you can ask them about the first time they tried it, or what inspired you to give this product a try? What were you struggling with before? But the better you are at putting them, directing them to a particular moment in time, the better quality answers you’ll be getting. If you say, “Oh, what do you love about our product?” They’ll say, “Oh, I love this, this, and this.” And it’ll be very general. But if your questions are directing them to specific moments and experiences in time, you’ll get higher quality answers, which then become the story.
Adam: Have you seen examples of brands that have a really great story and they have great storytellers, maybe where the product wasn’t at its best? They weren’t the product leader in a particular segment, but by God, they had the greatest story that connected emotionally and at least kind of talked about the right functional attributes? Any examples that you share in Stories That Stick?
Kindra Hall: Well, as far as Stories That Stick, I’ll have to think about. I need to reread my book. No, but one story that stands out, and maybe this is a little bit controversial and this refers back to the dark side of storytelling, is if you look at Theranos, I’ve watched the documentaries on it and man, bravo to her for the storytelling prowess that there is there and unfortunately, the stories did not represent the reality. But you can see right there the power of really great storytelling unfortunately, the end of that story was not happily ever after. Yeah.
Jay: I’m delighted to announce that the episode title for this show will be Why Kindra Hall is No Longer Embarrassed By Her Fingers. Which is going to be worth a ton of new listens.
Kindra Hall: Yes, that is … There you go, there you go. That is … Yes, yes.
Jay: It’s going to be an all-timer for us, I can guarantee you that. I have one more question for you, Kindra, before we get into the big two, the questions that we ask everybody here on the show.
Jay: And it’s this: how do you know that the story is working?
How to Know if Your Storytelling Is Effective
Kindra Hall: Oh, that is a great question. How do you know that the story is working? Well, number one, particularly as we’re talking here about value stories, they will result in sales. People will buy … So for example, I do a lot of keynote speaking, and in all of my keynotes, I play this before and after video of a brand. The before video is when they thought they were telling a story, it was via video, and the after video is what happens when they actually do tell a story. And the difference is profound. It’s shocking, really, that that story was there all along and she didn’t tell it. It was such a missed opportunity.
Kindra Hall: Now what has happened over time is that I play that video and she can tell when I’m speaking, because then people go … I’m not telling them to go buy her product, but she gets sales every time, and often what happens is not only does she get orders online, but they also … Like in the comments, there’s entire paragraphs there of people wanting to share their stories. So which leads me into number two, so number one, how you know if your value stories are working is if people are buying it, and we do buy stories, never underestimate that. We buy stories.
Great Stories Will Encourage More Stories
Kindra Hall: But number two, you can tell that the story is working when others start sharing their story too. So somebody buys this item after hearing, watching this video and they can’t help themselves but to share their story back. And that is … I had a mentor of mine once say, and this is in connection to dating, but it was also a storytelling advice, he said, “You can tell when you go to meet your boyfriend’s parents, you can tell it’s going well if you tell a story and they start telling stories back.” If you get on this storytelling cycle where you share a story and they share a story and then you share a story and they share a story. Not only are they feeling more willing to open up to you, which is what brands need, they want people to feel connected enough to share their stories with you.
Kindra Hall: But then you also get this breadth and depth of understanding of who each other is and what the want. So I would say that that was dating advice, but it’s also advice for brands. If you find yourself telling stories and then in your comments on your Facebook posts or in the comments on the … Or you start getting the direct messages on the Instagram message app, you’re doing something right.
Jay: I just changed the episode title to Lessons from Kindra Hall’s Dating Mentor. Which is-
Kindra Hall: Yes, that’s good.
Kindra Hall: For the record, I did not have a dating mentor. This just happened to be a mentor that talked to me about dating.
Jay: Glad we cleared that up. That’s good. We want to be accurate here. Tell accurate stories, people.
Jay: Yeah, it’s an important factor. Kindra Hall’s brand new book Stories That Stick is out now. You owe it to yourself to get a copy. I guarantee it, folks, you are going to love it. If you don’t, call me, and I’ll give you your money back. Question for you that we ask everybody here on the show: if you could give somebody one tip, somebody who’s looking to become a social pro, Kindra, what would you tell them?
Kindra Hall: Don’t be afraid to get personal. Even brands, brands need to get personal. What are the stories that are the struggles? What are the stories that were the mistakes? What are the stories of the people within your organization? You can highlight different leaders in your company, you can … So don’t be afraid to get personal, don’t be afraid to tell the ugly stories. It will lead to better results in the end.
Jay: Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Certainly a big trend. We talked to Mark Schaefer about that as well a few months ago, this idea of productless marketing and really relying on what you’re about as an organization, that is super good advice. Kindra, if you could do a video call with any living person who is not a dating mentor, who would it be and why?
Kindra Hall: Okay, I’m going to say Reese Witherspoon.
Jay: Nice, I don’t know, have we had a Reese Witherspoon ever?
Adam: No, this is a new one.
Jay: I don’t know that we have.
Kindra Hall: I know, it’s kind of … So for a couple of reasons, one, I get comments regularly that I look like Reese Witherspoon, which I think is the best thing anyone could ever say to you, so I’ll take it.
Jay: Yeah, I get John Candy, so yeah, I feel better about your reference.
Kindra Hall: Yeah, I’m going to tell you that you look like Reese Witherspoon.
Jay: Thanks, thanks.
Kindra Hall: From now on, that’s what I’m going to say.
Jay: Thank you.
Kindra Hall: No, but I think in terms of a woman who chose her path, there were plenty of opportunities for complete combustion, she was a child actress, and now she really is, she’s … Here’s what it is. She is owning her story and she is not afraid to help others own theirs. And I love that from what I can tell, she goes light, she goes positive, she knows the power of her voice and she’s using it. And so I don’t know, I just think I would love to spend a couple minutes with her and to say thank you and I don’t know, I think that would be a fun conversation.
Jay: Oh, I’m sure you’ll hook that up. I’m sure she’ll be at some conference where you are also keynoting at some point and be able to do that. She’s a heck of a producer, too.
Kindra Hall: I know, that’s what I’m saying.
Jay: People know her for her acting of course, but she’s running out one unbelievable business. She’s a real powerhouse in Hollywood.
Kindra Hall: And she’s saying, “Oh, there weren’t enough powerful female stories being told. There weren’t enough roles that I wanted to play, and so I made my own stage.” And I just think that that … Actually, I don’t think it’s going to be a keynote, I’m pretty sure she is listening to this podcast right now and she’s going to call me.
Jay: We’ll have her on next week. You do have kind of a Stacy Flick in Election kind of a thing going on, I’ll give you that.
Jay: Yeah, you got to own it. It’s all good.
Kindra Hall: I’ll take it.
Jay: Kindra, thanks so much for being on the show. Congratulations on the book. It is flying off the metaphorical shelves and probably actual shelves too, but I just don’t see shelves very often anymore these days. But I know Amazon is struggling to keep them in stock, it’s that popular, and rightfully so. Stories That Stick is a heck of a book. Everybody who listens to this show should grab one because it will make your job better, make you a better person, too, help your brand, all those kind of things. Kindra, I will see you out there and about at some point, I am sure. Thanks for taking the time and congrats.
Kindra Hall: Thank you for having me here and thanks for the early support.
Jay: Absolutely happy to do it. Friends, go to Socialpros.com for a link to the book and some of Kindra’s work as well, she has some great research on storytelling too, we’ll link that up also at Socialpros.com. As always, every episode we’ve ever done here on this show, Adam and I and even the cohost that preceded Adam in the long ago days, all the episodes are at Socialpros.com. We’ll be back next week with another exciting guest here at what I hope is your favorite podcast. Tell a story about it, won’t you? This is Social Pros, I’m Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, he’s Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. We’ll see you next week, friends.
Quotes From This Episode:
“You can tell the story is working when others start sharing their story too.” – @kindramhall
When it comes to multimedia storytelling, it's the perfect opportunity to take a big story and then cut it into smaller pieces so you can send it out on social. Click To Tweet
“A brand is not a story. Brands are built of stories, but a brand itself is not a story.” – @kindramhall