The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell

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The Business of Story podcast, hosted by Park Howell, is among the best storytelling podcasts and named among 40 Best Small Business Podcasts in 2017 and has more than 300,000 downloads.

Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to make your story marketing stand out. 

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  • “Wonderful storytelling resource.”
  • “An excellent resource for business communicators.”
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Kymberlee Weil

#202: How to Tell Short Stories When the Stakes are High

#202: How to Tell Short Stories When the Stakes are High

As a business professional, you want your ideas to be heard. Rise above the noise as you communicate your message quickly and effectively when you apply the five primal elements of story in shorter forms. (more…)

Drew McLellan

#201: Why Your Brand Story is Essential for Survival

#201: Why Your Brand Story is Essential for Survival

Every brand has a story and it is often the only differentiating factor from any other similar product or service. But many companies try to be all things to all people thinking if they focus on a niche they’ll lose out on potential business. Ironically, the exact opposite is true. When you are the best at something you attract more business than you can handle. That’s why it’s critical to clarify your brand story and highlight what you do different and therefore better than your competition.

Our guest, Drew McLellan is president of the Agency Management Institute, an association serving more than 250 small to mid-sized agencies. Here he helps agency owners increase their adjusted gross income and attract better clients and employees through the brand stories they tell about themselves. Using his experience, he shares best practices for running your advertising, public relations, web, digital or design agency starting with understanding your origin story and why you do what you do.

Your brand story is your most powerful tool to attract the right clients and dictate the direction of your future. This is because it paints the picture of who you are, why you exist, and what your values are. And by utilizing that knowledge you can ensure your brand is not only successful but sustainable. Because a great brand story will attract clients that align with what you stand for and repel those that don’t.

The easiest money we can make is when the client and agency are in great alignment and how you get to great alignment is you both have shared values and you connect to one anothers’ stories. ~Drew McLellan

Now you are able to expend energy only on clients that appreciate the work you do, and often they become your greatest advocates.

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • Why turning away business is not always a bad thing but is sometimes rather essential for survival
  • Why so many ad agencies taut being full-service when they should really be experts in a niche
  • Why ironically many agencies are afraid to go big and bold with their own brand story, even while they are preaching the same for their customers
  • Why an agency owner must evolve from being a firefighter into the fire chief for the survival of their firm
  • Why rapid growth can be dangerous for an agency if you don’t truly know your brand story
  • Tips to strategically and sustainably grow your organization

Resources & Links

Ken Kerry

#200: How to Use Storytelling in Your Direct Response Advertising

#200: How to Use Storytelling in Your Direct Response Advertising

To sell any product or service you have to grab the attention of the consumer and show how it provides them value. But we live in a world where attention spans are fragmented and developing a meaningful connection can be difficult. That’s why it’s critical to truly listen to the stories your consumers tell you so you’ll understand how to connect with them. (more…)

Dr. Randy Olson

#199: How to Use the ABT to Focus Your Brand Stories

#199: How to Use the ABT to Focus Your Brand Stories

Most executives communicate and care but bore. Therefore, this episode is all about using the ABT narrative framework to make your audiences and customers sit up, listen and care. (more…)

Adam Goodman

#198: How to Inspire People With Your Purpose-Driven Brand Story

#198: How to Inspire People With Your Purpose-Driven Brand Story

We live in a time of mass consumerism and that has resulted in a plethora of brands all vying to get more sales. But with a vast sea of competition in just about every industry, it is easy for an organization to miss the mark. Therefore, finding a way to differentiate yourself by focusing on what your brand makes happen in peoples’ lives has become a proven success formula for purpose-driven brands.

Vantage West Own It: Goodmans from BRINK on Vimeo.

Our guest on this week’s show has become an expert on how to differentiate your brand to not only survive, but to thrive. Adam Goodman is the third-generation President & CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures, a leading Phoenix-based office furniture company that values community service. Adam realized that through a shared higher purpose, his employees and customers found deeper meaning in Goodmans than just selling furniture.

What became evident to Adam was that a purpose-driven brand story empowers employees because it gives them a common goal to rally around. It encourages them to contribute their best and most meaningful work.

Adam also wants to inspire his competition and compel them to have a higher purpose, so Goodmans generates and gives their purpose-driven “ideas playbook” to other businesses so they, too, can do good for their communities. Why share their secrets to success?

The idea is to elevate the entire furniture industry, so that we can all rise together. ~ Adam Goodman

The Goodmans Vision:

At Goodmans, we will change our community.

We will create a city of world class employers who attract top talent from across the country. We will encourage energetic entrepreneurs to take risks in search of the newest new thing. We will teach executives to harness the power of design to transform their companies into vibrant enterprises of engaged workers. We will leverage design to inspire better learning outcomes for students. We will build healthcare environments that promote healing. We will create value for stockholders, taxpayers, students and patients by decreasing expenses in our corporations, government agencies, schools and hospitals.

We will build a community that takes care of its sick, supports its weak, inspires its artists, protects its resources and promotes faith for its citizenry.

At Goodmans, we will change our community.

And we will do it by establishing ourselves as an example with style, humor, compassion, integrity and respect.

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • How Goodmans has created its own version of Herman Miller’s “Living Office”
  • How Adelante Healthcare has increased its ROI using purpose-driven storytelling
  • How Goodwill of Central Arizona has increased its ROI using purpose-driven storytelling
  • The importance of repetition to keeping your purpose-brand story alive
  • How Goodmans is celebrating its 65th anniversary in an unusual way

Resources & Links

Tania Katan

#197: How to Turn the Mundane Into Novelty with Your Storytelling

#197: How to Turn the Mundane Into Novelty with Your Storytelling

Most of us have a job or boss to report to throughout each week, and more often than not this feels like more of a chore than an opportunity. But what if we all had the power within us to create opportunity in place of mundane?  Fortunately, the power of creative storytelling can take any situation out of a state of menial to meaningful. (more…)

Roger Nierenberg

#196: Leadership Stories You Can Learn From a Symphonic Orchestra

#196: Leadership Stories You Can Learn From a Symphonic Orchestra

You want to achieve operational excellence with your organization and that starts by understanding how to optimize your internal storytelling to get everyone buying into the same story. But most traditional team-building exercises seem to be antiquated and ineffective. So where might you look to build your leadership storytelling abilities? The key may be somewhere unexpected: symphony orchestra. (more…)

Mike Huber

#195: How to Get Your Story Found Online

#195: How to Get Your Story Found Online

You and I are bombarded with information. As a defense mechanism, our brains are brilliant at filtering out the nonsense.

But our important content often gets lost in the messaging maelstrom, too.

So it’s important to approach your brand storytelling by understanding and appreciating your customer’s journey first. Place them at the center of your story and then follow and search engine optimization strategy to make sure ou get found and heard.

Mike Huber is Senior Director of Business Strategy and Education for Vertical Measures, a Phoenix-based company that has a strong reputation for digital marketing strategy, content marketing, paid and organic search, lead nurturing, and conversion rate optimization.

Brand storytelling, SEO and storytelling in businessMike and colleagues have written a book about a fictional character, Sophia, to illustrate how providing the wrong content at any phase of the customer journey can create dire results. The Customer Journey: How an Owned Audience Can Transform Your Business, is a terrific example of business storytelling given the tale they tell of Sophia to make what can by dry educational points on SEO come to life.

The customer journey can vary wildly, but most steps can be simplified into these four: awareness, consideration, decision, and advocacy. It is extremely important to know where your customer falls on this 4-step journey because that will help determine what sort of brand storytelling is relevant to this individual customer at a particular point. And missing this, as so many companies do, can leave your content drifting lifeless out in cybersapce.

You’ve got to have content in every stage of their journey otherwise they are going to fall out of your journey and into someone else’s. –Mike Huber

But how do you get to know where your customer is on their journey? According to Mike, his breakthrough was consultative selling — actually listening to and asking questions of your clients and/or customers.

It’s amazing what you can find when you start asking questions. –Mike Huber

And, what happens when that content is thoughtfully tailored and individualized? Once you have asked the right questions and listened to the needs and goals of your customers, it is much easier to tailor their customer journey experience. Now, instead of selling and interrupting people on your website, you’re guiding them through the customer journey by informing them and helping them understand your product or service. This care and consideration creates a bond between the customer and brand and ultimately these customers become your greatest marketing asset. 

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • Journalistic headlines versus search-focused headlines
  • The evolution of the ways in which consumers can purchase items and goods, for example, you no longer have to go to a car dealership to purchase a vehicle
  • How marketing used to work is the sales department was focused on awareness, consideration, decision and advocacy, and marketing was kind of involved in that awareness phase, nowadays, marketing is involved in everything except sales
  • What it means to have and the importance of an “owned audience”

Resources & Links

Neal Smoller Business of Story podcast

Neal Smoller

#194: How to Create a Healthy Brand Story

#194: How to Create a Healthy Brand Story 

Big pharma has taken over television advertising with its brand storytelling for every conceivable medication while the natural supplement industry counters with organic health advice and products. But there is an immense amount of misinformation on both sides of the drug store aisle. This week’s show introduces you to a man and a brand that is out to combat what he calls the “horsesh!t quackery” in the drug and natural supplement businesses that consumers have to navigate.

Brand storytelling, drug industry, natural supplements, sales and marketing.

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Dr. George Basile

#193: How to Harness the Energy of Story to Drive Your Brand

#193: How to Harness the Energy of Story to Drive Your Brand

Society today faces unprecedented climate challenges. Yet many people either do not believe this is a real threat, or they don’t want to do anything about it. Much of the resistance to facing these challenges comes from fear and beliefs that are a result of outdated stories. Therefore, if we begin to update our narratives surrounding climate change, the result may have a tremendous positive impact on the future of businesses, societies, and our planet.

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