Why Telling Stories Can Make You Famous and Wealthy

I don’t know about you but I love a good story. That story unfolded in graphic and colorful pictures when I was three as Mom or Dad read the Cat in The Hat.

At ten I remember making out I was asleep when it  was time to turn out the lights but as soon as the coast was clear the bedside lamp was surreptiously placed under the bed covers and I disappeared into a world of pirates, turquoise crystal clear seas, Caribbean adventures and sunken treasure until the eyes sagged or the book fell from my fingers as sleep beckoned.

Why Telling Stories Can Make You Famous and WealthyNow I am all grownup (or so I like to think on a good day) my passion for a compelling story is still undiminished and a new undiscovered movie embellished with surround sound, sub woofers, a glass of wine and good company is still enticing and welcome. (By the way a good novel while on the beach or under the covers is still an attractive proposition)

The art of the story teller is what makes the some of the world’s top bloggers famous and found and enables them to influence their readers online and offline. Oprah Winfrey is famous and wealthy for bringing people’s stories to the small screen

So to kickoff the last in the series of being influential in a digital world here are the last 10 thought leaders top tips from the Influencer Project and we will start with Brian Clark’s take on how to be digitally influential from Copyblogger fame (who by the way has currently displaced Chris Brogan on the AdAge Power 150 Marketing Blog rankings at the number one position)

1. Be a media and publishing company – Brian Clark Of Copyblogger

This media company should do 3 things

  • Learn to be a story teller …narrative – it what makes us human
  • Understand the pyschology of people as it powers your narrative
  • Content has to be quality- production quality matters if you are going to get the attention you want

Action: Go to some of the blogs that specialize in teaching you skills in writing stories

2. Share ideas liberally and be accountable Scott Belsky of Behance and author of “Making Ideas Happen”

Action: Place your ideas, videos and image on Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare and Flickr and ask your friends and community to keep you honest through feedback ..to hold you to account

3. Focus on a specific micro nicheDan Schawbel founder of Millennial Branding and bestselling author of Me 2.0.

The number one thing you can do for your personal branding using social media right now, is to choose a much smaller niche to focus on, so you can stand out in your market, and become

known for that. So instead of becoming the personal finance expert, you can be the personal finance expert for Gen Y, or for college graduates. A micro niche globally can be worth millions!!

Action: Think of a micro niche within your area of passion and start writing and producing content for that niche

4. Build a community of readers – Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project the book and the blog at Happiness-Project.com.

The way to do that is to engage readers in a conversation.

Action: Introduce topics in your that are thought provoking and interesting and on which people have a lot to say

5. Hang Out With Other Successful People (Entrepreneurs) – Alexandra Levit found at AlexandraLevit.com.

Be systematic in your approach to getting to know the individuals who have already been on the entrepreneurial path that you are currently on.

Action: Target between five and ten individuals who you admire, whose work you’ve followed, and gradually start getting to know them—commenting on their tweets, commenting on their blog posts, asking them if they could spare fifteen to twenty minutes to do an informational interview with you to tell you more about their path

6. Create A Tribe of Rabid Advocates – Steve Woodruff at SteveWoodruff.com.

His main secret for building influence online is to find and help individuals get launched on platforms like Twitter or in blogging. By coming alongside them and becoming an advocate they will be your fan for life. One of the of the keys for digital influence is not having the biggest number of connections; it’s really having the most rabid advocates

Action: Identify gifted up and comers that are just getting into social media, but clearly have the right stuff, have good experience, have drive and have a message. Take their material and expose it to a broader audience and connecting them to key people, you end up creating for yourself an advocate for life.

7. Become a Thought Leader Through Media – David Siteman Garland founder of The Rise to the Top

Action: Start a media arm for your company by creating a special show, Podcast or an Online Magazine

8. Be Patient and Persistent – Amber Naslund the Director of Community at Radian6 also at his blog BrassTackThinking.com.

Online influence is a slow burn, and it’s not something that you can really manufacture. It’s something that’s really organically grown by having quality one-on-one conversations with people over time. And that can happen in a number of mediums.

Action: Get up every day and blog and Twitter with a purpose and use your other networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn to connect, engage and network. Persist and don’t give up

9. Discover and Develop Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – Julien Smith co-author of best-selling book, Trust Agents, and blogger at InOverYourHead.net.

Probably the key to building your influence online is to take advantage of your existing benefits which you already have, that other people don’t.

Action: Take some time today or in the next few days to find some quiet time to sit down and write down the different things that you are passionate about and make you different

10. Distill what it is that you feel you bring to the table in terms of value and expertise Brian Solis Author of the new book, “Engage: How to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success on the New Web”

Then identify the influential individuals that already in place, at varying levels, from the A list to the C list, and figure out how it is that you can connect with them, and how you can connect your insights to them directly.

Action: Build a repository for that insight eg a blog or website and “be” a thought leader and gather a community around your thought leadership


  • http://www.toddweisscfa.com @toddweisscfa

    Hi Jeff:

    Great post and very helpful. I think one of the most important aspects is the USP. So many business owners fail to articulate their selling proposition and target their market. Having a clear USP that is easy to understand can help you and potential referral and other marketing sources target your message. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, TW

  • http://www.theorganicview.com June Stoyer

    People love hearing stories, especially true ones! All the more reason why I love interviewing my guests on The Organic View Radio Show! I used to love hearing about the stories behind the reason why people did the things they do. Excellent post!

  • http://oooooozoooooone.com Fatin

    A special post today! I like reading, writing . I got new hobby, i like to leave comments on the best articles that keeps something special in my memory!
    I agree with Todd, the USP is so important in marketing our sources.

  • http://www.thisinpsires.me Francis A.

    I think too many leaders are snoozing in “becoming a leader through Media”. Be the expert in your field! Start your group! Take the initiative! There was a great debate going on in whether to be the “expert” in your field. It was surprising how many people thought it was wrong…why?? Own your product, your niche, your field and teach the rest of us!!

  • http://Selloutyoursoul.com James

    such a good post….what is a good book on storytelling? I’m trying to learn more for marketing pr and also to help me develop my blog selloutyoursoul.com which tells the story of my postgraduate experience

  • http://Gmail.com Angel castro

    Some one should make a show like jersey shore but instead of only Italians different nationaliys and with 13 and 14 year olds and I want To be in it

  • Helentchao

    Great article, Jeff. I saved it so I can savor it more later…

  • Karen Dietz

    Great post Jeff!  As someone who helps entrepreneurs become compelling storytellers your words are music to my ears.  I would also add that your USP can easily be discovered through finding and crafting your core stories (how you got started story, people & results story, vision story, and the why you persist in your business story).  If anyone needs tools to help them, go to my website http://www.juststoryit.com.

    • Carra Riley

      Karen.. thanks for posting this on Google+  Great new resource.. the color of the graphic caught my eye and the content kept my interest.  Thanks Jeff, nice to connect through Karen.

  • http://twitter.com/unwrittenbook malika bourne

    Thanks, Jeff, I needed that. I feel good about my anecdotal education , now.