The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

Kevin Rogers is a guy that gets Story. As a stand-up comic turned copywriter, he has worked with some of the most successful marketers in the world and now focuses his efforts on connecting business owners with copywriters through his company Copy Chief.

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kevin on his Podcast The Truth About Marketing where we exchanged notes about our separate Hollywood journeys, as well as going deep on some story writing and storytelling tactics. We start sharing about my time as a story editor in Hollywood with Disney and Oliver Stone.

While this may sound like a dream job with endless perks, keep in mind the biggest moment up until that time was when they gave me an LL Bean tote bag to carry around the 20 scripts I had to read every week before defending the most production-worthy stories to Oliver Stone’s team.

My biggest takeaway during that time is that the best stories aren’t always the ones that are most technically accurate regarding the grammar and pros, but the stories with the best ideas that lay underneath.

Before my time defending scripts to Oliver Stone, I thought the best movies were identified by how big the explosions were and how dramatic the actual story was. But in actuality, the more specific the story is, the more universal it becomes. When it comes to story, many people are afraid to be specific because they want to relate to as many people as possible. But in effect, this dilutes the story and makes it impactful to no one. As the saying goes, you can’t be everything to everybody.

In that vein, the power of Story comes from the specificity of the story, and that’s where the universality comes from as well.  We cover the topic of specificity and more on this episode. As well as…

  • The ONE thing likely missing from your tale that’s killing your connection with your ideal customer.
  • The single biggest question you absolutely must answer before you even think about writing your story… and it’s got nothing to do with your “hook” or “writing chops.”
  • The “something’s gotta happen” tactic to catapulting your story from “dull n’ dreary” to rolicking tale your audience never forgets —even if you’ve never told a story before.
  • Why I bolted from the Hollywood life despite working with big time players… and the ONE thing I wish I did different. (If you’re feeling “out of place” at your current gig… you’ll want to hear this.)
  • The “locksmith” trick to getting your client so invested in your work they’ll even fight for you when someone wants to change it… even if you barely know your client right now.

Listen to Episode 131: Marc Gutman - Better Storytelling..

https://copychief.com/ep-131-marc-gutman/

Just like the Hollywood story editor with 20 scripts to read through weekly, your story has many filters to get through before grabbing the attention of your customer.  The market is fragmented and it is harder than ever to resonate with a reader across the numerous mediums, platforms, and devices now at our fingertips.

I would love to learn more about your Story and help you make it amazing as well as accomplish the goals that you have in mind.  There is no bad story, but learning to tell it with authenticity and in a way that captivates your audience is where the magic happens.

Let’s set up a time to chat!

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

Your Business…The Hero?

Your Business…The Hero?

I just had the chance to get interviewed on the Digital Agency Show Podcast by my good friend Brent Weaver and talk about two of my favorite things – adventure & storytelling.

 

My philosophy has always been to get in the middle of where you want to be and then figure it out.  Through persistence and hustle delivering films on the Disney lot, I eventually found my way to my dream job, working for Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone.

As a story editor, I experienced a crash course on story and I learned an important lesson on authenticity.  A big lesson was learned during the success of the movie American Pie (written by a classmate of mine) and I couldn’t understand how a “cheesy movie” had become the darling of Hollywood when I was striving to write what I thought was powerful and meaningful work.  But what I realized was, the storyteller was writing about what he knew, his life experiences and this created a clear path to success. **So, the movie isn’t “cheesy”, it’s authentic and universal. Much cooler than my so called “important topics”.

If you remember, Oliver Stone became famous for his amazing movie, Platoon. Platoon is based on his own personal experience serving the military in Vietnam.

Translating this to business we are in an incredible time.  People, your customers and prospects can easily find the ideal partner for whatever problem they may have. “Ideal” immediately implies you can do the job, but going deeper than that it means we can find people to work with that are like us. That have the same values. That have a story that supports our needs. No longer do we just have to work with the company that has the biggest ad budget or best name recognition. We are in the age of niche and specialization. We are in the age of personalization.  Our customers and prospects crave this connection. They expect it.  To meet their expectations, we need to have a true and authentic story.  Universally, we all want to work with real people who can be bigger than themselves and together we can create a story that is bigger than the sum of the parts.

I love to serve entrepreneurs who are stuck by showing them the power of story to transform their business. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the art of storytelling and how it affects your business you’ll want to check out this episode.  I give some practical tips on how to get started or improve your story, brand, and your business.

Here’s what we cover in this episode.

  • What it means to “write what you know” and why it’s so important to be specific when describing your life experience.
  • Thoughts on how to create an ongoing relationship with people to get them coming back again and again.
  • Where a story should show up in your business and how you can leverage the power of storytelling in your marketing and sales.
  • The form (not formula) that you can use to put your story together.
  • Tips on connecting with the right audience.
  • Why journaling from your customer’s point of view can be an enlightening exercise.
  • The importance of developing a “move to action” as the first step toward creating your story.

I’d love to learn your story and help you get new clients by telling it.  

Let’s set up a time to chat!

 

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

How to CRUSH Your Kickstarter Campaign

Okay, here it is!

Here are the “How do I crush my Kickstarter campaign?” goods!

I am truly excited to share this content with anyone who is thinking about funding a project on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any other crowdfunding effort.  I am not joking that I get at least 1-2 calls a week from aspiring entrepreneurs asking “I’m thinking about launching my dream on Kickstarter. How do I make my Kickstarter campaign a success?”

inboard skate kickstarter campaignThese are some of my favorite calls and also some that bum me out. They’re my favs because I love the unbridled enthusiasm, optimism, and hope of each of these new entrepreneurs. They are ready to take that step, to launch a business, to put their money where their mouth is.  And this gets me jazzed up.  Jazz-hands up!  Then there are the entrepreneurs who I talk to that are woefully unprepared. Unprepared with their idea, unprepared to do the work.  And some just don’t know what they are getting into.

Well all that’s about to change. I come from an abundance mindset and believe that we all benefit in sharing. I’m here to share what I know – free of charge.  I often use the term “gold nugget” when describing a valuable takeaway. What I’m about to share is a treasure chest of gold or maybe even a whole Kickstarter campaign gold mine!

inboard skate, kickstarterRecently I had the opportunity to do a long form video interview with my amazing friend and client, Ryan Evans. Ryan is the CEO of Inboard Sports and one of those bright lights that makes everyone around him better.  We worked together on his Kickstarter campaign for their flagship, electric skateboard.  We eclipsed our goal of $100,000 in less than 48 hours and ended the campaign with nearly $500,000 in backer raised funds.  Inboard has gone on to raise several million in funding and is a couple of months away from shipping their highly anticipated boards — as backer #1 I can’t wait!

I can’t think of a better case study than Inboard to talk about how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Please let us know what you think and add to our conversation in the comments below.  If you have an awesome Kickstarter tip or insight please share it with us!

Interested in WILDSTORY launching your product in a successful Kickstart campaign?

Contact WILDSTORY

Boulder B-cycle and WILDSTORY are like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Boulder B-cycle and WILDSTORY are like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

One of the things we are most proud of at WILDSTORY is that we truly choose our clients.  We only work with those clients who align with our values.  It also helps if they have a story we think we can tell in a way that gets everyone at the table excited.

One of our newest clients fits exactly into this category.

We are so excited to be working with Boulder B-Cycle we are using their awesome ride sharing bikes to tell our own story.  Boulder B-cycle Bikes adorned with WILDSTORY messaging have hit the streets of Boulder!  If you see the WILDSTORY x Boulder B-cycle bike rolling around town, snap a picture and tag it with: #WILDBoulderBcycle on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

Boulder B-cycle x WILDSTORY Media: The two WILDSTORY branded bikes rolling around Boulder, thanks to Boulder B-cycle

Boulder B-cycle x WILDSTORY Media: The two WILDSTORY bikes rolling around Boulder, thanks to Boulder B-cycle

We’ve included a recent Boulder B-cycle press release and fact sheet below.  Now get riding.  Get sharing.  Get ride-sharing!


 

Boulder B-cycle logoMedia Contact:

Sam Alviani    

sam@wildstory.com

 

Boulder B-cycle Fosters Alternative Transport with City-wide Bike Sharing: 

The Nonprofit Organization provides an Eco-Friendly, Cost-Efficient Option With its Network of Convenient Stations

Boulder, CO — In 2011, Boulder B-cycle launched a nonprofit program that allowed easy, low-impact transit for seasoned bikers, commuters, and visitors alike: in contrast to a standard bike rental, bike sharing allowed a community to share a fixed number of bikes through short station-to-station bike trips and provided an all around shakeup of traditional commute options.

How it works:

  1. Purchase entry pass
  2. Choose a bike from any B-station.
  3. Keep every trip under 30 minutes! Overtime fees apply to all trips over one half hour.
  4. Return your bike at any B-station. Repeat by checking out another bike!

Once a rider purchases an entry pass, they can take as many 30 minute trips as they want for the duration of that pass at no additional cost. Additional fees apply to all trips over 30 minutes, encouraging riders to check bikes that aren’t actively being used back into stations. The mobile app’s interactive, real-time map shows riders what stations might be close or most convenient plus updates riders on bike availability.

“Boulder B-cycle is part of the Boulder landscape and the Boulder experience” said James Waddell, Boulder B-cycle Executive Director. “When you think of Boulder you think of the scenery, bikes and of healthy, environmentally conscious people. Every time someone rides one of our bikes that’s gasoline saved, carbon emissions spared and calories burned”.

In addition to offering seamless transit, Boulder B-cycle has crafted a handful of city-specific “tours” that give riders another way to experience Boulder culture. The brewery tour, for example, provides a map with best routes and nearby station details for eight local breweries.

B-cycle LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trek bikes based out of Waterloo, Wisconsin, where they design and manufacture the bikes and stations found in all B-cycle cities. On the software end, they design the front end software with which users interact, the back end database that all B-cycle systems use, the B-cycle website platform and the official B-cycle mobile app.

Since launching in 2011, there have been 169,561 trips taken and 49,748 passes sold through Boulder B-cycle. Now, more than 25 other cities around the world run B-cycle-branded systems, however, Boulder B-cycle is operated as an independent nonprofit and a separate entity. Similarly, they are not a program of the City of Boulder, although Boulder B-cycle does operate under a master agreement with the city which determines certain standards of operation and performance measures. Boulder B-cycle also receives a portion of their operational funding from city programs and departments, including Go Boulder and Boulder Parking Services.

B-cycle provides an environmentally-friendly bike share program with access to reliable, state-of-the-art bikes and a simple user interface—changing the way we commute and interact with our cities. For more information about the program and the team behind it, email Boulder B-cycle at info@boulderbcycle.org or call 303-532-4412.

About Boulder B-cycle

Boulder B-cycle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a transportation method that is green, cost-efficient and fun through the implementation of a bike-sharing program in Boulder. The system serves locals and visitors alike with a network of 38 stations and 260 bikes.


FACT SHEET

Name: Boulder B-cycle

Date Launched: 2011

Team: James Waddell (Executive Director)

Kevin Crouse (Operations Manager)

Kevin Bell (Marketing and Communications Manager)

Erica Congelli (Customer Service)

Four Part-Time Fleet Technicians

Website: https://boulder.bcycle.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoulderBcycle

Instagram: http://instagram.com/boulderbcycle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boulder_bcycle

Services Offered:

Ride, return, repeat: Boulder B-cycle offers point-to-point bike sharing that encourages  short, less than thirty-minute trips for riders, with bikes that aren’t in use returned to stations distributed throughout Boulder. In contrast to a standard bike rental, bike sharing allows a large number of people to share a fixed number of bikes through short station-to-station bike trips and provides an all around shakeup of traditional commute options.

Equipment:

The B-cycle bicycle was designed by Trek specifically for bike sharing. It is fun to ride, easy to adjust, and comfortably fits riders from 5’ to 6’ 2”+. The B-cycle features an optional onboard self-charging GPS computer that runs off the power generation of the front hub and uses RFID technology for tracking and anti-theft purposes. The bicycle is designed at Trek Bicycle Headquarters in Waterloo, WI.

Stations: 38 stations throughout Boulder, CO

Bikes: 260 bikes throughout Boulder, CO

Ridership: Since launching in 2011, there have been 169,561 trips taken and 49,748 passes sold through Boulder B-cycle. Detailed annual reports available here.

Mobile App: B-cycle Now; a free app for real-time bike and station information

Hi-res Photos: A full selection available here

 

 

The WILDSTORY Digital Public Relations Process

Our clients are friends, partners, dreamers, crazy, passionate, entrepreneurs and visionaries.

They all have a WILDSTORY and we’re honored to share them. Here is a brief look at our digital public relations process when working with new clients.

The WILDSTORY Digital Public Relations Process:

  1. Meet the client.
  2. Get to know one another.
  3. Tell us more! We want to hear your story and find out how we can help.
  4. We put together our vision on how to make your story WILD!
  5. We present our ideas of what makes your brand cool.
  6. You review, then tell us, “Go for it!”, or, “No, try again”.
  7. We finalize a digital public relations plan and agree on a scope of work.
  8. We jump in to experience your brand!
  9. We set out to show the world what you see.
  10. We deliver great work.
  11. We perform regular check ins and tweaks to the program.
  12. Final step…High Fives and Good Vibes!

Tips & Tools

To learn more about some tips and tools we use throughout our digital public relations process, be sure to check out our blog post on 10 Public Relations Tools That Make Our Lives Easier.

Lastly, please feel free to contact us directly.  You can always send us a message via our contact form or email me directly at: mgutman at wildstory dot com

Tips for a Successful Kickstarter Launch with Inboard Sports

Tips for a Successful Kickstarter Launch with Inboard Sports

Recently I was visiting a client and friend, Ryan Evans CEO of Inboard Sports.

We were hanging out grabbing coffee and breakfast to fuel up for the day and scanning our emails. We both chuckled simultaneously as we had a similar email in each of our inboxes. A mutual friend had referred one of their friends to us.  We’re using “friend” awkwardly here to protect the innocent.

Turns out this friend had launched a Kickstarter campaign two days prior and was freaking out!

Now this isn’t uncommon and my first advice to anyone is to chill out and wait for your Kickstarter campaign to breathe and tell you what is and isn’t working.

Intrigued, Ryan and I instantly dove into looking at this particular Kickstarter campaign on our mobile devices.

“Ohhhhhh”

“Ouch”

“Oh, no you didn’t”

“Uh Oh”

These were all natural reactions that escaped as we reviewed the Kickstarter campaign.  We both called the friend in question and gave him our honest feedback, but in doing so, we also had the idea to film our ideas on a successful Kickstarter campaign.

In between intense strategy sessions and lunch, we turned on the camera:

This is an off the cuff, on the street conversation with Marc Gutman, founder of WILDSTORY Media, and Ryan Evans, Co-Founder of Inboard Sports. Hear some of the tips that resulted in a Kickstarter campaign that achieved 421% of the electric skateboard company’s goal.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.
Lastly, please feel free to contact us directly.  You can always send us a message via our contact form or email me directly at: mgutman at wildstory dot com