In the penultimate episode of Exceptions, we try to move storytelling back from buzzword to core component of our jobs as marketers. What does it take to tell a gripping story? What does a brand story do for a business, and how do we vet and tell stories nobody else is telling? We talk to Contently’s Editor-in-Chief Jordan Teicher to find out.
You can get Exceptions on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Or listen to the full audio version below 👇
Want even more on storytelling, check out the books Jordan suggested in this episode:
- Anatomy of Story by John Truby
- The Storytelling Edge by Shane Snow & Joe Lazauskas
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott
- Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story by John Yorke
- The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect on Twitter with @jayacunzo @JordanTeicher @Contently @Drift @hypergrowth_pod.
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Jay Acunzo: There’s this phrase out there that used to be a foundational part of marketing that’s become our industry’s latest overused buzzword. It’s not digital transformation, or thought leadership, or even nano influencer, although yes, that’s a thing. The phrase I’m talking about is storytelling. Lately, it seems like every marketer you come across on LinkedIn has storyteller listed as one of their skills. Hey, I get it. As somebody who quite literally tells stories in front of cameras and microphones, and on stages for a living, I get how powerful and exciting a good story can be.
Stories can transform us and change how we see the world. They can shift our and our customers’ perspective, and teach people something. Best of all, stories create trust, action, and yes, revenue. Storytelling from oral history to Game of Thrones has been a fundamental part of humanity since, well, humanity. Also, if the first thing that comes to your mind when I mention Game of Thrones and storytelling is Tyrion’s last mention of how stories are important, I know, I know, stay strong. The show is still worth our time, but just be strong.
But, the problem is not how Game of Thrones wrapped up, although that’s a problem for a different show that we should totally talk about. The real problem is that not every story is a good story. Not every story needs to be told. In fact, not everything that marketers claim is a story is even really a story. This is why I had to speak with Jordan Teicher, the Editor in Chief at Contently, a software platform helping brands like Google, Walmart, and IBM tell better stories through their content marketing.
Jordan, who was actually the editor of my book, Break the Wheel, talked to me about what storytelling in marketing actually looks like when done well. Contently is one of the OG content marketing companies out there, and their whole motto is, “Tell great stories.” In fact, when you walk into their office in New York City, there’s an old Native American proverb painted onto their wall spanning floor to ceiling. It says, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.”
Our challenge today, if we choose to accept it, reclaim the idea of storytelling from a buzzword to, you know, our jobs.
This is Exceptions, the show about why brand matters more than ever in B2B. We believe that in this era of infinite choice and control by the buyer, and total feature parody between competitors, brand is the most defensible moat around your business. On the show, we explore how the world’s best approach this idea, and we’ve gone deep inside companies like Zoom, Gusto, Envision, Wistia, First Round Capital, Workfront, Twilio, Optimizely, and many more.
Today, let’s take back that word “storytelling”, so we can use it proactively to build our brands. Let’s talk to Jordan Teicher.
There’s a lot of buzz and a lot of bullshit around the idea of story. As somebody who writes and edits all day every day, what is a story? Can we just break it down to it’s barest essentials?
Jordan Teicher: Sure, so a story, I believe, has conflict, which is the most important part. It should have characters. It should have rising action that sets up the story. Basically, all the elements of a narrative that you learned back in grade school that make a good story, but probably conflict being the most important one.
Jay: What does a brand mean when they say “story” and get it wrong? Like, what are you seeing? Because it’s weird. It’s like brands have turned story into a buzzword, like storytelling, which is I think similar to the culinary world turning “food” into a buzzword. Ostensibly, that’s our jobs, but for some reason it’s now jargon. What do you think is causing that?
Jordan: I think first off you’re definitely right in something that we’ve been thinking about a lot. I think what’s causing it is a few people started doing it well. A few people were telling good stories, and I think everyone realized that it was resonating, so they tried to shoehorn whatever they’re doing into a storytelling mold. What they’re doing could be valuable. They could be delivering really useful advice, showing people how to do things that they didn’t know how to do before, but that doesn’t make it a story and that’s okay.
I think the problem is that people aren’t aware that it’s okay, so they’re doing things that aren’t true stories, that don’t have the elements that I just mentioned before, and trying to say that is, which is causing a problem. I think that dissonance is really what people are realizing, and seeing, and reading when they have content on their computer screens that isn’t quite what they’re expecting.
Jay: Yeah, I’ve seen home pages of tools that help your SEO, and they’re like, “We heard marketers tell better stories.”
Jay: No, you don’t. You help marketers rank on search, right? You help marketers optimize for keywords with their articles, and figure out which keywords to rank for, which keywords are ripe for the taking. Whatever, fine. Great. Just own what you do. For some reason, there’s this claim being made to the idea of telling stories, like you said, by either organizations or just one piece or tactic. It’s so obviously not a story, and we’ve been learning this shit since we were kids.
Jordan: Yeah, totally. It’s just been corrupted, and it’s very misused and misinterpreted right now. Maybe part of it has to do with the split between marketing and traditional media, maybe people not totally comfortable with their job roles and job titles, and they aspire to be something that they’re not. I think those aspirations are good and could be helpful in some cases, but it’s still not a story.
Jay: Give me an example of a story that you have published. I think what would help people cement the idea of what is an actual story is to hear it in a brand context, because I think we all understand that Lord of the Rings is a story. The Avengers is a story. The article you’re reading from a magazine or The New York Times, or The Washington Post about a person or an organization, that’s a story. So, we understand what the story is outside of marketing, but I think there’s this problem that we all face, which is as marketers we put on a hat, and it says we do marketing, and for some reason we then, while wearing that hat, forget everything that happened when we weren’t wearing it.
Maybe just keep us in the hat. What is a story that you have published, that is marketing for Contently?
Jordan: Sure, so we publish a print magazine called Contently Quarterly, and in the magazine, we tend to highlight our best stories, the ones that really stand out from a lot of the other marketing content out there. One in particular that I wrote ended up with the title of The Quest for the Perfect Headline.
Jordan: Now, what I set out to do was try to find the most optimized headline possible, the perfect headline, whatever that is, and as I started researching and looking at all these tools out there where you can get scores for all the headlines you type in based on different algorithms, look for the most common words and the best headlines, things like that, that ended up creating the tension and the conflict as I was going through. There are different characters along the way. There are people who believe that their algorithm or their tool can help you find the perfect headline that are old school headline editors from places like The New York Post, and The New York Times. They have their own philosophy on how to do a great headline.
I did all this research. I met these different characters, and I found that central tension, the central conflict, which was maybe there isn’t a such thing as a perfect headline, or aspiring to find a perfect headline could be a fool’s errand in itself.
Jay: A lot of the time when you’re hunting for a good story, you end on something you didn’t set out to find. I think good stories have this way of springing up on you in the middle of your research. It’s actually possible to put a simple system in place to surface stories continually right into your world. I remember I once asked Buster Olney how he found stories. Buster is one of the top baseball writers in the world, working for ESPN.
Back in 2008, I was an intern in their PR Department, and part of my job, probably the only sexy part really, was interviewing on air personalities and columnists so ESPN could create promotional material for their shows centered on their talent. Back then, I was an aspiring sports journalist. I would write for my college paper, and take internships at print publications each summer. Also, I generally obsessed over everything that people like Buster wrote. To talk to him was, well let’s just say I’m sure when I answered the phone, instead of saying, “Hi Buster, my name is Jay. I’m with ESPN PR,” I said something like, “Hi Buster. My name is PR. I’m with ESPN. Jay.”
Not my finest hour. But, Buster was great. He was super nice, and I asked him how he always seems to find these amazing, unique stories that nobody, not the hundreds or even thousands of baseball writers he competes with, seem to find. He told me two things. First, “Keep your story small. We don’t need the huge end to end tale of triumph. We just need something true.” This works in our world as marketers, right? Little observations about the world around us can be just as powerful as the story that everybody else is telling, the influencer, the brand, everybody.
So yeah, little observations about the world around us, and also conversations with customers and prospects. And, Oh my God, please talk to customers regularly. But Buster also told me something else. The point isn’t to find stories, per se. It’s to find story leads, little threads that you save somewhere like an app that syncs on mobile and desktop, and when you do have more meaningful time, pull a thread or two to see where it takes you.
So, here’s the system that I currently use to find story ideas for all the various shows I host and articles I write. I host several shows, both for brands and my own, and then I also write a lot of columns. I need a lot of stories to fuel that stuff, not to mention all my keynote speaking, and the books I write. So, here’s the system that makes it easier for me to get these stories delivered to me, instead of break my back to find them through hours of research.
First, I subscribe to a ton of newsletters. I search for them on Google, I ask around what are people subscribed to, and I subscribe without hesitation. Things like trivia, pop culture, sports, other industries and so on. Once you subscribe, filter them out of your inbox into their own unique folder in your email client to save your inbox from total overload. Then, spend time once per week or every couple of weeks, maybe 10 minutes total at a time, combing through the newsletters really quickly to find good ideas for stories.
As with everything I’m about to tell you, sometimes you want to save the links or snippets you find directly. Sometimes you’re saving a new idea that was inspired in your head thanks to whatever you’re reading. Okay, so the first thing, subscribe to a ton of newsletters. The second, set up Google Alerts for key phrases. For instance, to fuel my podcast, Unthinkable, I set up alerts with the phrase, “Unconventional brand,” and another one with the phrase, “Unconventional company,” because the show is about exactly those things. I filter those emails, those alerts, into their own email folder too, to save my inbox.
Third, carve out time to go for a walk. I’m dead serious. It sounds so trite, but you need time to be bored, to not stare at a screen or fill your head with stuff. Walk your dog. Do the dishes. Go for a drive. Shut off all inputs except the world you’re walking through. Let your brain kind of work in the background to figure stuff out. It sounds so damn cliché, but it works. It just plain works.
Fourth, consume social media through curated lists. These are built over time, but they’re hugely helpful. I can’t remember the last time I actually viewed my Twitter feed from people I follow. Instead, I view two private lists; one which is people I learn from, which is pretty broad and spans lots of industries; the other is inside circle, which are people directly related to the craft of making shows for brands. That’s the topic covered by my education company that I run, MarketingShowrunners.com. So, far Marketing Showrunners, I go to inside circle.
Fifth, ask everybody you talk to, especially guests on a show if you host one, or interview subjects for your blog. Ask everybody you talk to what are they reading, who are they learning from, who they’d recommend you talk to. Use existing contacts to find new contacts, and thus new stories.
Okay, so that’s five things. There are probably dozens, but to run that back again:
- Subscribe to lots of newsletters
- Set up Google Alerts
- Schedule gap time
- Create social media lists
- Ask those you know to find those you don’t
That’s how you can find story threads. Again, stories, as Buster told me, can be small, true tales unfolding all around us. The key is to have a kind of trap system so that all those stories as they unfold come into your world. But, we have to be proactive in finding them.
You sometimes bifurcate what it means to tell a story, I think. The bifurcation is either it needs to be a firsthand anecdote, so there’s a lot of self-referential. I think people struggle to get out of this idea that if I’m writing a story, it doesn’t have to come from my life. I can go and find a story and almost report on it. I remember going through a few years in marketing where I had started in journalism, then went into content marketing. Some of the things I’d learned in journalism wore away. Everything started with I all the time. So there was like, that’s one flavor of story.
But then there’s another type too, which is like I mentioned, you’re a vessel. You’re going to go and collect this story for somebody else. This is what I do on Unthinkable Matters show, where I’m talking to somebody else, and then I’m trying to capture their story. It’s not exceptions. The interview I’m doing with you right now, we’re not packaging this as a story. It’s not a narrative. So, you gave me a good example of a personal journey you went on. Are there other times where you’ve told stories on behalf of the Contently brand where you weren’t personally involved?
Jordan: Oh, absolutely. Another piece from our print magazine, I started researching and reported a story on content marketing in the pharmaceutical industry because there was this tension there about the idea of well these companies are telling people what medicine to take, and they have a lot of power and a lot of responsibility there. Should they be allowed to do content marketing in the first place? I spoke to a number of people at pharmaceutical companies, a few people on the other side at Watch Dog Regulators, and organizations like that, and told that story, that tension between the two sides and whether or not it was ethical or proper for those companies to do that.
I think to your larger point, a lot of what’s missing from the marketers who are misusing the concept of storytelling is reporting. It’s just going out there and talking to people, and finding the story because I think what we end up seeing is a lot of the “how to” content is just third person, how to do something. There’s not really anyone involved. Like, anyone can read it. I think that’s the problem. If anyone can be the character in the story, it’s probably not a story.
Jay: Right, and there’s a couple of ways you can figure out that this is that type of piece. One of my favorites is like- favorite is maybe not the right word- but, one of the most common ones that makes me roll my eyes is, “Everybody knows the importance of doing this in marketing.” It’s like how they start, because they’re trying to be like, “This applies to everybody out there. Here’s what we’re talking about today,” and then they write a very maybe potentially over-optimized post. But, they remove the reporting out of it, and it’s like whatever they can do in their own minds.
I kind of understand that to a degree. I understand that there are some people out there that are just straight up lazy. There some people out there that are hucksters. But, the people who like to listen to this show- this is going to be sucking up to my listeners- they give a damn. Even if you give a damn, it’s not enough to just care and all of a sudden have more time to do what you care about. So, you’re somebody who has deadlines, you oversee the content strategists, there’s a lot of pieces there.
You also oversee The Freelancer, which is Contently’s other blog to the other side of the marketplace for the writers in content marketing. There’s a lot going on in your world. It doesn’t have to be something… I know you’re not going saying go out and research for six weeks in a row and create one piece out of that. So, what systems do you have in place, or little techniques do you try, that can help you still report, but doesn’t break your back?
Jordan: The first thing that comes to mind is our weekly edit meetings that we have at Contently. We have just the Editorial Team, and a few outsiders from other departments in the company. We sit in a room. We bring ideas, and we just sort of hash it out. That’s really helpful because there are a number of occasions where people will come with half baked ideas that end up becoming good stories, or good feature pieces. But at the time, they’re just kernels, or they’re just a “how to” piece.
In those meetings we’re looking for ways to elevate the material, and that’s helpful to have the sounding board where you talk to people and they can say, “Oh wait, that intro you’re writing where you’re going to start with everyone in marketing knows this, but they’re not sure exactly how to do it,” which I totally agree with you, that’s a big pet peeve of mine. Just talking to someone can help you get out of that mindset and help you think about something in a different way.
Jay: I’m a big fan of using others in my network, my peers, my coworkers, listeners, as idea sounding boards. I think the more you aerate an idea with a small group of your audience, or even people you trust, the better they get when you put a full marketing push behind them. That’s great news, because you might not have a team of dedicated collaborators like Jordan does, but I bet you have somebody in your life, or you can carve out a small list of somebodies in your audience.
Something that I’ve seen stop people from telling their stories time and time again, is this worry. This worry that the story isn’t good enough, or new enough, or it’s not worthy of someone’s time. Well, you know how to find that out? Give it to some people. Just dole it out in small doses. If you’re on a huge beach, you’re like, “Do I dig this hole? Is it worth my time? I don’t know, I have to find gold. That’s my story.” No. Grab a metal detector, look for beeps, look for a signal that you should stop what you’re doing and invest more heavily right there.
That signal is a small number of people reacting in big ways. That is a strong enough signal to pursue that story further, to blow it out, make more content around it, market it more. That’s how we can avoid this idea that, “Oh, if it’s the not the massive brand or celebrity story, who would care?” The thing is, it’s you that makes your story different. Remember how we defined brand on this show. Brand is how others feel about the collective behavior of your people. No competitor has access to your people.
The trick here is to set up a kind of filtering system so that you can make any story unique and different, or at least filter out the ones that wouldn’t be. I call this, The One Simple Story. This One Simple Story is made up of three parts, because all stories really just have three parts, and finding yours will create that framework. Here are those parts to the One Simple Story:
- A status quo. A statement of fact that others can agree with, an observation, a status quo.
- Some conflict introduced to the status quo. Some kind of tension, or frustration, or change. Conflict.
- A resolution. The better way, the new way, the overcoming and solving of number two, the conflict. A resolution.
Status quo, conflict, resolution. One Simple Story.
This One Simple Story should be told from the point of view of your audience, not your company, not you.
But let me just use an example from my own company, Marketing Showrunners. We teach marketers to create original series to build passionate audiences for their brands. Here’s the One Simple Story for that organization:
Marketing was once about grabbing attention. People would run campaigns, jump out in front of people, a message delivered in one moment in time or several disconnected moments. Marketing was about grabbing attention.
Today, when the consumer has infinite choice and total control, merely grabbing attention might be necessary but it’s insufficient. It’s like digging a hole in dry sand, and nothing we do is made to stick. Once we grab attention, if we look the other way, someone else grabs the attention away from us. Our success doesn’t compound, so we can’t define marketing any longer as the process of grabbing attention.
Instead, marketing today has a new mandate. We have to master the art of holding attention. Don’t just grab attention, hold it. Great marketers today care about subscribers, not cliques. Time spent, not views. A qualified group of people, not just the most people. A retained, passionate audience, not temporary traffic. Marketing is no longer about those who arrive. Marketing is about those who stay.
That’s the story of marketing showrunners. I didn’t mention the brand. I didn’t mention that hey, we teach people to make original series because we believe that’s the best way to get this resolution. No. I’ve told this story from the point of view of the audience of marketing leaders that we wish to serve. The One Simple Story allows us to make better decisions faster about the stories we do or don’t tell, or the angle we take on a familiar story already told.
Status quo, conflict, resolution. Your One Simple Story. Then every other story you find presses through that filter. Now, you can go and find those stories.
Jordan: Do research. You don’t have to spend six weeks, but if you research your topic you can see the angles that other people are taking, and find your own way into it so you’re not just copying the conversation, you’re actually adding to it in a meaningful way. Talk to people. Sometimes you can do interviews on background, where you don’t have a story idea yet, but you know this person’s an interesting character, or this company’s doing something unique. Just talking to people, you unearth the stories that way even if you don’t have it predetermined.
Jay: So when you’re doing all these things, for me I feel like you and I see eye to eye on this, Jordan. Part of what makes a great storyteller is the willingness to do a bunch of stuff obviously, but you’re not looking for fully baked stories. I think your hallmark is you’re really good at sniffing out little threads. Eventually, you pull them. You gave me an example with the story meeting, where you’re kind of like you’re not presenting a whole story you’ve written. You’re like, “I think this should be interesting to write about. I’ll take it into the meeting and see what everyone else thinks,” and then somebody green lights it, maybe the editor, and that writer goes and pulls the thread.
I think the hallmark of a great storyteller really begins with the ability to unearth these little threads, which doesn’t really have to take that long. I’m curious, when you find something that you think is worth pursuing, how do you ensure that it is? Do you have an example you could share?
Jordan: Stories that are usually tied to a main calendar event, something like a holiday or even Amazon Prime Day, for example. You have these big days that everyone’s writing about. I think there’s less incentive there. I try to look for the white space, to use an analogy. I’m interested in where people aren’t looking right now. Like the headline one, for example, there’s a version of that article where it’s just X tools that will help you write the best headline, and if you search on Google, you’d probably get a billion results for that.
I was interested in a different angle in that story, because I was coming across all of these tools all the time. I was curious, well what’s the negative impact of this? Or, if I actually talk to the people behind the tools, what are they saying? It turned out, when I was speaking with them, that they recognized there’s a way to gain this tool and write a headline that gets a great score, but doesn’t really make sense. I think you could use that as a way to make a statement about all the headlines out there that are just optimized for social and search, and aren’t really helping the story along.
That’s one example. I think trying to turn the camera around the other way, and see what you’re not looking at, that’s just been very helpful for me throughout my career.
Jay: Do you have to have a disdain for the industry you’re in? I feel like all journalists I know are skeptical. What causes so many people to go and seek out the white space, is because they personally dislike what is being explored by a lot of competitors. What do you think personality-wise that makes a good storytelling? To me, I’ll throw out two. It’s this weird balance of wonder at the world around you, and total skepticism of it all.
Jordan: Absolutely. I think it takes a lot skepticism. I consider myself to be skeptical. But I think I wouldn’t necessarily call it disdain for the industry. I would say it’s more like disdain for the bad actors in the industry, because there are always good people who are trying to do something creative, or trying to do something interesting. I do think in marketing, there’s a lot of bullshit out there with buzzwords and hucksters, and people trying to just get by without really exploring what they’re trying to say.
I just feel like the audience has picked up on that, so now the bar is even higher because you have a lot of crap out there that just people gloss over when they see those headlines. I think it’s a willingness to figure out who the hucksters are, and ask questions that are really helpful. I don’t think it means that the whole industry has a problem, or is something that needs to be disdained.
Jay: I was expecting a little bit more snark from you, Jordan. I’m very disappointed. So, forgetting the finding, and the framing mentally of what a story is, what does it take to be able to tell a great story?
Jordan: I think it takes structure. I want to point out the difference between structure and formula, because when you have this conversation a lot of people conflate the two, and I don’t want to do that. Structure goes back to the core elements of storytelling that we talked about in the beginning, things like conflict, characters, rising action, resolution. They give you the roadway to actually tell a good story.
It’s different from a formula. A formula would be like having the same five beats in every story. Once you do that, then the audience will just gloss over again because they’re used to it. But, the structure gives you a way to put your own spin on things while keeping you constrained so you don’t write something that’s 10,000 words when it only needs to be 2000, or conversely, you have something that you’re stuffing into 800 words that really deserves more.
I think it’s a good way to just check yourself and know when you’re hitting certain moments that are true to a story rather than reading an instruction manual, or a list of core typical “how to”.
Jay: Is there a way you can find structure, if you’re not familiar with it? One of the things I fought against early on in my career was the idea that I should have a structure for how to create… Like, a really example is Unthinkable, the other podcast like you mentioned. It’s like so narrative-style and so complex. If you hear it, you’re like, “Wow, this must have taken a lot of time and effort.” Don’t get me wrong, it does more so than the average show, but I very easily understand what all the sections are that underpin it. Like, I have the X-ray vision.
I’m like Neo in The Matrix, with my own show. I can see all the code and the moving parts and pieces, and that lets me manipulate it and be in control instead of just what I did early on, which is feel around with a gut feel. That was fine. That got me to a certain point, but it was also easy to burn out. It was also easy to lose sight of what I was trying to accomplish in the first place, that like forget about repetition and consistency, it was just like having faith that I could tell a good story.
It’s like going to the gym and having no idea what you’re going to do. You will get more fit than not, but there’s probably a better way to get fit, right? So like, to have a little bit of a plan. If you’re new to that idea, how would go about finding or creating a structure for your story?
Jordan: To use the gym analogy, if you’re going to the gym, the best thing to do when you’re starting is getting a trainer who can show you how to do the exercises. If you’re trying to learn the structure of story, I would say read all the books on the structure of story. Do research. This goes back decades and hundreds of years, Joseph Campbell talking about the Hero’s Journey.
Jay: Probably the most cited book about storytelling of all time, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell. There’s some really great books out there on brand storytelling in particular, and how to craft a story more broadly. I’ve listed a bunch in the show notes, but they include: The Storytelling Edge, written by my good friends, Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas, both of whom are executives at the company Jordan works for, Contently, The Storytelling Edge; The Anatomy of Story by John Truby; On Writing by Stephen King; Bird by Bird by Annie Lamont; Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story by John Yorke; and shout out to Jordan who sent me that list. Again, they’re in the show notes.
What does mastering this craft of telling good stories do for a brand? We’re zooming way back out again, but thinking through the fact that everybody who listens to this will be a marketer for the most part, and everybody has this duality playing in their minds where they’re like it’s one part audience, one part me and the place I work for. So, what does telling a great story do for a brand?
Jordan: Telling a great story gives a brand the chance to differentiate itself, because if you’re just doing the “how to” posts, the listicles, the things that everyone else is doing, you can see on Google that there are so many results that exactly the same. That’s infuriating, because there are relatively simple ways to make those stories your own. I think being more creative, and just having the awareness to try to think about the mechanics of storytelling is already a good first step, and will help a brand separate itself because that’s ultimately what they want to do.
You want to have something unique to say, and ideally that uniqueness helps your consumer do something. There’s a way to do both without just getting sucked into what everyone is churning out.
Jay: It’s okay if storytelling isn’t intuitive to you or your team. Not everybody is a natural born storyteller, or has a flair for the dramatic, or the moving, or the inquisitive and curious. But storytelling, I believe, is a teachable skill. Like learning any new skill, books and articles written by people who are already doing it well are great assets. But it’s really about reps to get good at this. Practice. Want to write? Write. Want to podcast? Podcast. Want to be on video? Shoot video.
Whatever the craft, practice through the day job or side projects. If you can’t, snowballs into success. However, it only happens with practice.
In the end, we have to ask ourselves do we want to build another commodity company? What makes our brand an exception?
Thank you to Jordan for his wisdom, and for you, for listening to this episode. This is our second to last story of Exceptions. I know, it’s kind of crazy, right? But, there are two things you can do if you like this show. First, check out Seeking Wisdom, which is Drift’s flagship podcast. David [Cancel 00:32:42], one of the show’s co-hosts, and also the CEO of Drift, was actually the person responsible for this show existing. He asked me, “What show could I create for Drift?” And I pitched them Exceptions.
So, if you think David’s got a good nose for story and ideas, and you haven’t listened to his podcast yet, search Seeking Wisdom in your podcast feed. While you’re searching, why not listen to Unthinkable? That’s my show about questioning conventional thinking at work. It’s a very story-style narrative, highly produced type of project, so it’s a big different from Exceptions, and well every business show, but that’s the goal. I hope you check it out. It’s called Unthinkable.
We’re back in two more weeks with the series finale of Exceptions. I can’t wait. I’m a little nervous. I’m a little sad. I’m a little gassy for some reason, I don’t know why, quite frankly. But mostly, I’m just looking forward to finishing strong with you.
All right, thanks as always for listening. Talk to you in a couple of weeks. See ya.