Amanda Baker | Marketing made simple: The 5 stories your brand needs to tell
Welcome to a new episode of the OpenFrame podcast! Today, we break down the most simple and efficient way to market your brand: telling your story. Our guest is Amanda Baker, founder & creator of the 5 stories methodology — a framework that helps you build narratives of all kinds.
There's a lot of debate within the photography industry about the need to craft the right story around us as creatives. Despite all the information and good practices, many of us still miss the core purpose of a narrative, which is, as Amanda reminds us — to help us connect. With brands and with other people.
Amanda used to lead several marketing agencies, so she's familiar with what's behind the curtain and which mechanisms work and don't. People often use jazzy words that lack meaning, bragging about bold statements that either mislead or make things way more complicated than they are in reality.
When used correctly and frankly, storytelling can be a powerful instrument that allows us to share our narrative with the world and get in touch with those who resonate with who we are or what we stand for. As Amanda beautifully says, "We have a role to play as creators. We are responsible for being real and sharing our stories as they are, not only for ourselves but for each other."
Ultimately, if only one thing sets us apart as photographers and human beings, then that's our raw, honest story. Two narratives can't be the same because they result from a particular chain of events and experiences. That's the beauty!
There are various paths for crafting impactful narratives. Amanda talks about the "5 stories" methodology while also pointing out the do's and dont's. Tune in!
Here are the highlights from this incredibly rich conversation:
- Stories help us see each other as we truly are. Whether in business or life, we need to hear them to understand each other better and learn how to tell them.
- We need to learn out loud. We should be honest about our struggles and dilemmas and let people know how we genuinely experience some events. Doing so fosters an environment where creativity can thrive, and everyone feels like they belong.
- The culture of hustling is not a one-size-fits-all. We are different, we have various paces to get things done, so we better learn how to keep our rhythm, not the one imposed by the industry, society, etc. You can reach your goal slowly, too.
- Your audience size is not that relevant. Your products are not less valuable just because fewer people see them. If only one person benefits from your offer, that's already enough.
- The beginning is the best part of every story. It's like when you first fall in love: that phase will go, so enjoy it! When businesses are small and more personal, it makes everything more vibrant.
The "5 stories" methodology by Amanda Baker, in a nutshell:
- The empathy story. Who is your audience? How are your people feeling? Why are they feeling that way? Where do they need to get to?
- The purpose story. Why are you here? Why are you in your clients' lives? How are you helping them move forward or accomplish a specific goal?
- The origin story. Where did it all begin, and how did you get here? What are the learnings of your journey? Inviting people on your journey creates a sense of community.
- The product story. What is the client's point of view? How is this product making their life better or easier? How would their life look without having it?
- The vision story. Where are you headed? What future do you see? How are you impacting the world with what you do? What does a good legacy look like?
We are stories. Once we start seeing the world through this perspective, we notice that the above 5 narratives show up in almost every conversation, commercial and non-commercial. Mastering each variation makes room for growth and better connections with the people around you — family, friends, clients, and the professional community.
We hope this episode with Amanda Baker gives you the courage to start sharing your story and use it as a legitimate tactic to attract the right clients. By learning how to fine-tune it and make it truly yours, you will notice things start to fall into the right place.
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