It was a Saturday morning, I was just sitting on my couch when my phone pinged to let me know an email had arrived. I put down my coffee and looked at the notification. It was my friend Jonathan, and the subject had one word. “Help.”
“I’ve been posting online for a month now and I’m not getting any traction at all. I don’t have a bunch of money to put into ad words, and people tell me that I’ve helped them in the past. Why can’t I get any traction online? It seems like everyone is shouting and nobody is listening,” he asked.
He was right, I struggled with how blunt I was going to be, I saw the problem – the reason nobody was reading Jonathan’s posts was that they were boring, unoriginal, and had no unique point of view.
“You’re right, Jonathan, Twitter often feels like a big, vast echo chamber. The idea is to present a unique point of view in a way nobody else is doing it. You’ve got some awesome insights, but you’re fighting against the big guys, they’re louder, there’s more of them, and they aren’t afraid to post constantly. You seem afraid to actually take a position, so you’re showing two sides to the story when we both know one of them is right and the other is wrong. Let’s meet for a beer (my treat) and we’ll put together a plan.”
What Jonathan needed was to tell a story, he didn’t need to “share his unique value proposition.” We sat down for an hour, and I explained to him how storytelling works.