Just before sitting down to write this, I had to do a search to see if you could still get jack-in-the-box toys. You can. You can get them in even more variations than the standard clown that was the norm when I was growing up. The ageless thrill of the jack-in-the-box is a mixture of predictability and surprise. You know as you turn the handle what’s going to happen. Yet when the lid flips up and the toy pops out, it’s always a surprise. This is what happens in storytelling, and I call it impact and insight.
The Impact of Storytelling
I was working on a patient story for a healthcare client recently. The recounting of this person’s experience is going to impact people in different ways. Those considering this specific doctor and hospital for their surgery are going to be influenced by her positive experience. Someone considering joint replacement surgery might be encouraged to move forward. Another might have their fears about post-op and recovery quelled as their surgery date approaches. These are all predictable impacts of storytelling and they line up with our objectives for using stories to meet our marketing and business goals: to influence attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
Insights from Storytelling
If the impact of storytelling is what happens when you send your story out in the world, insights are how the stories impact the teller of the story. This is that jack-in-the-box moment when the lid pops up. You learn something about your organization that you can use for improvement or you get validation that something you’re already doing is of value to your client. Their stories remind you of what is important to them. Insight always happens. You just don’t know what it’s going to be.
Start Building a Library of Client Stories
Client or patient stories aren’t the only way that you can use storytelling in your business and marketing, but it’s a good place to start. Contact me to talk about how I can help you get impact and insight from storytelling that will help you grow your business.