Episode 149:

In our industry, storytelling is one of those words that is so overused, it can lose its meaning pretty quickly.

Great stories stick with us. My guest, the co-author of The Storytelling Edge, Joe Lazauskas, understands that good storytelling gives you an edge. In a world where content can be all-but-meaningless pablum, it can also tell a story that moves a customer and makes a connection with them.

As a writer and storyteller myself, I always soak up any time I can spend with someone who’s as passionate about this subject as I am. Joe gets into the brain science of why stories are so powerful – they are a way to understand each other and ourselves better. He takes that knowledge and helps brands tell better stories.

For agencies and our clients, stories are how we build trusted connections with customers. In an era where there is pressure to churn out content, Joe helps us take a step back and understand why story is so important, and the key ingredients and tactics for telling good stories.

Joe Lazauskas is an owner and the director of content strategy at Contently. If you’re not familiar with Contently, it is a content strategy practice. It offers a dashboard, but they also help big-brand clients create stories and content for those brands.

Joe was also one of the founding editors of the New York Egotist. After that, he became a tech and marketing journalist for FastCompany, Digit Day, and Forbes, among others. He joined Contently in the early days of their formation and in the beginning, he served as editor in chief.



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How the brain engages with story, and how you and your clients can benefit
  • The four elements of good storytelling
  • Why content without a story is missing something
  • Key tactics for good storytelling, and how to apply them in your agency
  • How to help clients have less fear about sharing the gap between what is and what could be in their business
  • Discovering what the customer is interested in, and telling compelling stories around that
  • Educating clients about the power of content that tells a story. It’s not checking off the “wrote a blog post” or “sent out some tweets” box
  • The companies doing storytelling content well, and how you can scale it
  • Implementing editorial boards and newsrooms to get strategic about using content to tell stories

The Golden Nuggets:

“One thing I’d recommend for any agency is to have storytelling workshops for your clients.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “The brain science tells us that when we hear a good story, our brain lights up at five times its resting capacity.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “Building relationships with people should be the ultimate goal of putting content out there.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “Your salespeople, your accounts people, HR – these are like reporters for you. Tap into those resources. It’s creative firepower for telling your stories.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “We become really grounded in a story when we can relate to the narrator or the protagonist in some way.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “The vast majority of content that is done well is really storytelling.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “Our brain is attuned to pay more attention when there’s something new or novel. It’s a Venn diagram between relatability and novelty where something is familiar, but with a new or novel twist – that’s how people get locked in.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet “Bringing staff together regularly in some systematic way is a great way to gather stories. And people are glad to be there, because it’s fun.” – @JoeLazauskas Click To Tweet


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