If you arenâ€™t aware of story branding yet then youâ€™re welcome, in advance. This is your introduction.
Itâ€™s going to change your life and, YES, Iâ€™m going to give you a real world example in this article.
Do you know how those memory experts, who during a live performance, can remember 100 random things in order 1 hour after being exposed to them for the first time?
ANSWER: Â Story branding.
They turn each item to be remembered into an image and then the sequential images create a little movie in their heads which makes it more memorable.
How powerful is that?
What if you could do that in your music marketing?
Itâ€™s like the most awesomely effective Trojan horse that allows you to tap into the consumer brain and hijack it for a certain amount of time.
Every movie, book, sitcom, some songs, some commercials are built around story branding.
What is story branding exactly?
A story, in its most basic form is a three-act play.
Act I: Set up
Act II: Conflict is introduced
Act III: Resolution
Hereâ€™s the deal, we are wired up to remember stories because we cannot help but place ourselves into the story and begin to compare how we would behave in the situation at hand. It doesnâ€™t matter how unrealistic the story is (think summer blockbuster movies) we all, automatically, put ourselves into the story and begin to make comparisons within ourselves and our own lives.
We think consciously and subconsciously, â€œHereâ€™s what I would have done.â€
Even the best scriptwriters who are EXTREMELY AWARE of the structure of the story at hand, cannot help but get emotionally involved; itâ€™s like kryptonite.
Think about that Iâ€™m going to repeat it!
Even the best scriptwriters who are EXTREMELY AWARE of the structure of the story at hand, cannot help but get emotionally involved.
How freakinâ€™ powerful is that? They know whatâ€™s going on but cannot exclude themselves from the result that is desired by the writer. They get pulled in when itâ€™s executed correctly.
This is so powerful that huge corporations are beginning to require executives to serve up the boring quarterly status reports, typically rife with mind-numbing charts and power point slides, in the form of a story.
Everyone remembers, nobody falls asleep.
You may remember when I wrote How to Actually Get Paid Living As An Artist, I took a lot of heat from the community because I â€œdidnâ€™t offer an exact method to actually get paid, instead it was all this â€˜mental mindsetâ€™ mumbo jumboâ€.
A bunch of people didnâ€™t get it and felt I duped them.
Iâ€™m going to connect the dots in a real world way right now by explaining my line of thinking, so follow me on this, ok? Here is why this mental mumbo jumbo is ACTUALLY THE ANSWER.
I am extremely aware of story branding and content marketing from my reading. For weeks I was wondering and thinking about how to incorporate this power into the marketing for my artists.
Execution is certainly required, but with a company like Daredevil Production, LLC, we content market and story brand pretty well. We have a service and information that has the capability to change artistâ€™s lives and careers.
When I share little golden nuggets of that information via my blog articles and my podcast, it is valuable to the artist community because itâ€™s relevant and personal to them.
It helps them.
Therefore, my messages are mostly anticipated and not ignoredÂ like some commercial or ad they choose to ignore 3,500 times a day (real number).
Of course, when I have put that info into a story, which I often do, it sticks better, they receive this important information more efficiently.
Hereâ€™s the rub. With an artist, THEY are the product. So how does one dole out information that is valuable to that artistâ€™s community without sounding obnoxious or narcissistic?
ANSWER: It canâ€™t just be about the music, there has to be more to humanize the brand and make them relatable. After all, the relationship with the artist will come BEFORE the audience hears the music so this is our â€œinâ€.
If they like the artist, theyâ€™ll listen to the music.
This challenge was rattling around in my head for weeks.
I was asking the right questions!!!!
Then my subconscious rewarded me.
The gift came in the form of a conversation with Kevin, who is Bailey Jamesâ€™ father.
Again, because I was asking the right questions and open to all forms of input (all that mental mindset crap if you havenâ€™t figured it out yet), I was able to recognize this information as a game changer.
Instead of chalking that exchange up to a random conversation it became my muse because I was looking for it.
I was telling Kevin about my ex-girlfriendâ€™s (we were dating at the time of this conversation) youngest daughter, Meryn, who is 9-years-old.
Her room always looks like a bomb went off in it. Typical for that age right? Mom fusses at her to clean her room, Meryn has other plans so she pushes everything on the floor and all visible surfaced under the bed.
Well the day came when Meryn wanted a friend to come over and it was time to deep clean her room which meant under the bed. Mom and I understood that Meryn was overwhelmed and we offered to help her.
You canâ€™t imagine the things that we pulled out from under the bed. Bones, dead bodies, sandwiches, brand new outfits/shoes that have never been worn, plates, forks, glasses, OMG (some of those items are false and sarcastic and some are real. I leave it to you to decide).
Kevin and I were in stitches as I was telling this story and he retorted, â€œOh thatâ€™s nothing, Bailey has that beat!â€
He went on to explain that Baileyâ€™s room was always spotless. When Bailey was required to clean her room BEFORE a friend could come over, she would take everything off the floor and all visible surfaces, put these items in a garbage bag or laundry hamper and put it in a closet down the hall that the family hardly uses.
The friend comes over NOW and the parents arenâ€™t any wiser until a couple weeks later when mom starts to miss outfits.
I thought to myself, â€œThis is GENIUSâ€.
Ding! Then the light switch went off. If you remember, when we started this Bailey James project, I wanted Baileyâ€™s fans to feel like she spoke for them; the 9-14 year olds.
Taylor grew up.
Her lyrics went from â€œYou wear high heels, I wear sneakers, youâ€™re Cheer Captain and Iâ€™m on the bleachersâ€ to â€œI have a long list of ex-lovers, hereâ€™s a blank space, you can write your name.â€
Whoâ€™s speaking for the kids now?
All these thoughts came together with story branding in this epiphany.
Baileyâ€™s Teen Survival Tips.
What If we created a series of say, 30 videos, where Bailey shares her stories on how to deal with common pre-teen and teenage issues? Some issues could be serious, some could be fluffy, but they would all be relevant and personal to Baileyâ€™s audience.
Baileyâ€™s audience all have had similar experiences and itâ€™s nice to hear from a peer that youâ€™re going to be ok, right?
Which would make these videos anticipated (instead of obnoxious and ignored).
- How to clean your room and get that friend over, right now!
- How to deal with catty girls.
- How to deal with a mean teacher.
- How to deal with peer pressure.
- When your crush doesnâ€™t like you back.
- Boys fashion guide.
- How to deal with mean boys.
- The right way to eat a cupcake.
- Some embarrassing moments for Bailey.
Are you picking up what Iâ€™m putting down?
These videos would be quick between 30 seconds and 3 minutes so theyâ€™re easy to consume.
This would be an AMAZING way to create a relationship between the audience and the artist.
She serves these little teenage value bombs up in the form of real stories. In most of these videos, there is a set-up (act I), conflict (act II), and a resolution (act III).
We are about to release this video series this week. Iâ€™m going to play with the intervals at which we release the videos but the meat is on the bone.
We have a story, we have relatable information, we have vulnerability with the artist (which makes her â€œone of themâ€), itâ€™s served up in a video format which is far more engaging and sharable than any other format, it feels like the artist is talking directly to the consumer, and it can be multi purposed across all social media platforms to drive traffic to her YouTube Channel.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, guess whatâ€™s playing in the background of every video during each story?
Yep. Her current single. (drops mic)
FYI, we spent about $30 on the logo via Fiverr.com and about $100 getting the bumpers created with our video house.
FYI, you can story brand everywhere.
Hereâ€™s a â€œrightâ€ question to ask yourself. How can you create a story in a Tweet? Could the image be the set up? Could an image be the set up and the conflict leaving 140 characters to proffer a resolution?Â I digress.
If you want to dig into story branding more, I recommend this free podcast The Business of Story.
…and this one, Building A Story Brand with Donald Miller
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