“I Don’t Want to Listen to You, But I’ll Listen to You Tell Your Story.”

Hire content marketing writers who can tell a good story. Then have them tell yours.

The biggest problems around creating new, interesting content are:

  1. Finding time to do it consistently.
  2. Hiring talent to do it “magnetically.”
  3. Figuring out an angle to do it “engagingly.”

Those problems go away if you think in terms of stories.

You may not be able to get prospects to listen to you, but if you tell your story well enough, they’ll listen to that.

So, how do you tell your story?

Tell the truth and make it rhyme.

A songwriter named Terry Black tells me that that line comes from a Pirates of the Mississippi song in the 1990s. I once saw it ascribed to John Lennon (or maybe Bob Dylan talking to John Lennon), but I can’t recall where.¹

This is how Homer conveyed The Iliad and The Odyssey. He told the truth and made it rhyme.

All the poets in all the languages do it. That’s what it takes to tell your story.

Why? Because it’s:

  1. consistent, as Steve Shaw points out on his Article Marketing Blog
  2. magnetic, as Jason Cohen describes on Copyblogger (point #9)
  3. engaging, as in the Chris Baggott Guide to Blogging

But most of all, it’s the way we want to hear things, and the way in which we best remember them almost from the beginning of our lives.

As a content marketing manager, you need to set the tone and message for your content. Can you keep bringing it back to stories? Can you bring it back to that same format you’ve known since you were a toddler?

Case studies: Stories out of whack?

Think about the last case study you read. Wasn’t it a story gone wrong? Some writer took all the fun out of a perfectly good story by shoehorning it into a problem-solution-result structure.

“It makes for better reading,” he said.

What if he had simply told the truth and made it rhyme? Wouldn’t it have been more interesting? For that matter, why bother publishing the case study if there’s no story to it?

photo credit: Public domain

¹After posting, I stumbled onto a Linked Answer from Tim Lemire that referred to this same topic. Lennon-minded readers may enjoy the detour: “John Lennon once said: ‘Write what you’re feeling, make it rhyme, and put it to music — there’s your song.'”


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”