Storytelling Tips From The Pros

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So, you want to be a brand storyteller. Great! We advocate for a well-told story all the time here at ECHO Storytelling. Storytelling has proven benefits for your brand’s bottom line, your company culture and building a brand that lasts. Here are some of our favourite storytelling tips from some true experts in narrative to get you started.

Storytelling Tip #1: Speak To Your Audience


Walt Disney is perhaps the most famous example of a storytelling mogul. From Mickey to Marvel, Walt Disney Studios is synonymous with movie-making magic. His storytelling tips are driven by a deep understanding of his audience. His characters, even if they were animated frogs, inspired profound emotional reactions from viewers. Know who your audience is, where they find you, and what will inspire them to engage with their hearts as well as minds.

You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.

– Walt Disney

Storytelling Tip #2: Don’t Mislead, Or Be Misled


Nate Silver made his name in correctly predicting elections. He’s now working at ESPN, using numbers to craft sports stories. Sometimes the numbers tell us stories that buck the narrative. Don’t be afraid to mine your big data to tell stories about your business, and use that to change the message. If your tried and true marketing messages aren’t resonating, there might be a reason.

The story the data tells us is often the one we’d like to hear, and we usually make sure that it has a happy ending.

– Nate Silver

Storytelling Tip #3: Understand that Storytelling Is Hard, but Worthwhile

A lot of people are comfortable with the status quo, including, most likely, you. A lot of so-called brand storytelling is ineffective and unenjoyable, simply because of its poor quality. It might not be very compelling. The writing might stink. It could have ugly design. Invest the time and effort to become better at storytelling. It’s a lot harder to rip it up and start again, but storytelling is always about elevating the brand. It’s synonymous with quality. To get the ROI you deserve on brand storytelling, you have to be committed to creating enthralling stories.

It’s hard to make something that’s interesting. It’s really, really hard. It’s like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that’s written or anything that’s created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity… So what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such an act of will.

– Ira Glass

Storytelling Tip #4: Be Remarkable

Seth Godin has dispensed hundreds of storytelling tips as he’s reframed marketing as an exercise in storytelling, as opposed to an industry of information broadcasting. His manifesto for Ode is a must-read for all wannabe brand storytellers. The hard truth is that we’re in a moment of content overload. The audience has the right to choose you (or not choose you). The competition for audience attention is fierce. If you’re memorable, engaging and spreading an interesting message, you can win their attention. If you’re remarkable, then you’ll be remembered and valued by the audience.

Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences.

– Seth Godin