The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell

Feedspot.com just named the Business of Story the #1 business storytelling podcast for 2022.

Hosted by Park Howell, known as the world’s most industrious storyteller, the Business of Story is ranked among the top 10% of downloaded podcasts internationally.

The goal of the show is to help sales and marketing leaders excel through the stories they tell.  Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to craft and tell compelling stories that sell. #StoryOn!

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Dana Malstaff

#368: How Agile Storytelling is Key to Building an Engaged Community

#368: How Agile Storytelling is Key to Building an Engaged Community

Dang, don’t we all want to build as engaged of a community as possible? If we use proven agile storytelling frameworks, then we can turn our followers from customers to brand ambassadors sharing our story with their worlds.

But we don’t engage like we could because we’re missing out on some simple, proven techniques that truly connect with our audiences.

Dana Malstaff, Founder of Boss Mom and creator of the Nurture to Convert Society, shows us how with her Permission Sandwich template. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Dana is a mother, author, podcaster, content strategist, template architect, blind spot reducer, engagement facilitator, and movement maker.

She helps moms with beautifully unpredictable schedules grow successful and sustainable businesses that don’t take up all their time, and keep working even when they have to step way to be a mom (or any other important role).

You’ll learn…

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Dorian Stone

#367: How to Use Agile Communications to Scale Your Growth

#367: How to Use Agile Communications to Scale Your Growth

There is an accelerating trend for businesses to become more agile (taking a lead from agile software development). And if they make their communications more clear and concise then they will grease the rails of their agile transformation.

But most organizations are bogged down by miscommunication, which is revealed in The State of Business Communication 2022 report by The Harris Poll and Grammarly.

According to their findings, miscommunication is costing American businesses $1.2 trillion annually. I had the co-author of the report, Abbey Lunney of The Harris Poll on episode #362 to discuss where to go from here.

I think of it this way: the term agile relative to business is about speed to market. Agile communication is about speed to meaning. Without meaning, miscommunication is speed to madness.

Today’s guest, Dorian Stone, Head of Organizations Revenue at Grammarly, appends my speed to meaning definition of agile communications making it even stronger (I mean, what else would you expect from Grammarly?).

Dorian Stone oversees all B2B organization revenue and operations for Grammarly Business. Previously, Dorian was VP of Customer Experience Strategy and Marketing at Medallia, and spent over a decade at McKinsey & Company as a partner and co-founder of its Global Customer Experience practice. Before McKinsey, Dorian served in the Peace Corps as a Program Director and Volunteer for Small Business Development in Panama.

Dorian serves on multiple community and professional leadership boards and councils and is a strategic advisor to multiple startups. He holds a master’s in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from UPenn’s The Wharton School.

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Blake Hutchison

#366: How to Use Storytelling to Sell Your Online Business

#366: How to Use Storytelling to Sell Your Online Business

Welcome to the seventh-anniversary show of The Business of Story. I’m delighted that you and I are still here after 366 episodes. Thank you for listening and for all of the amazing guests that have made the Business of Story possible.

Our goal is always to help you excel through the stories you tell!

But what I didn’t realize after all of these years is that I can actually sell my podcast, blog and other online enterprises through the world’s largest online marketplace.

Today, you’ll learn from Blake Hutchison, CEO of Flippa.com, about how they use storytelling to connect buyers and sellers through amazing investor and exit stories their customers have experienced since 2009.

Blake has been involved in growth-stage businesses and in leadership roles for the past 15 years at LuxuryEscapes, Xero and Lonely Planet and accordingly has a unique understanding of SaaS, ecommerce and publishing businesses. He has a unique appreciation and respect for the startups and small business owners using Flippa, as he was the Founder of venture-backed startup GOOD44, an eCommerce marketplace for specialty retailers.

Flippa.com’s global network of buyers and investors–companies and acquisition entrepreneurs–connect, negotiate and transact with over 6,000 business owners on deals valued between $5,000 and $50MM.

Flippa.com’s Making Millionaires YouTube series is a great example of powerful storytelling sharing the highs and lows of building a business and then exiting with the wealth you deserve.

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Julie Hansen

#365: Video Tips for Virtual Sales and Marketing Storytelling

#365: Video Tips for Virtual Sales and Marketing Storytelling

Let’s face it, it’s hard to connect with that person or persons sitting on the other side of the screen on virtual calls.

So how do you own that virtual stage to develop personal relationships, connect with your buyer and influence with confidence to drive sales?

Known as a thought-leader in virtual selling and video communications, Julie Hansen shares eye-opening techniques to adapt to the camera’s constraints and communicate with greater influence, credibility, and engagement. Julie helps business professionals communicate with greater confidence, credibility, and influence in a virtual and hybrid world.

She is the creator of the Selling On Video Master Class and author of three sales books, including the Top Sales Book of 2021, Look Me In The Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners, & Teams which reveals how actors, television reporters, and digital influencers build personal relationships through the screen—and how to apply these same skills to your virtual meetings, video calls or recordings.

On top of her award-winning sales career, Julie worked as a professional actor performing in over 75 plays, commercials, movies and television shows, including HBO’s Sex & The City. (more…)

Robert Wilson

#364: How to Make Your Complex Story Simple and Compelling

#364: How to Make Your Complex Story Simple and Compelling

Albert Einstein reportedly once said, “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.”

The same can be said for communications.

How do you share a complex idea as simply as possible while still communicating the depth of your knowledge or offering? As a business communicator, you no doubt tackle this complex-to-simple challenge every day.

So in this episode, we will explore how academia uses storytelling to engage students studying complex subjects, in this case, geography.

Robert Wilson is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He teaches courses on environmental history, animals and society, and climate history and politics. 

Learn about the popular storytelling course Bob created called Writing Geography, a creative non-fiction writing seminar for MA and Ph.D. students. Not only does his course serve geographers but also attracts students from the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and business.

We explore how to use stories to convey abstract information and how scientists, academics, engineers and other professionals dealing with complex subject matter can use narrative to captivate their audiences and move them to action.

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Jim Kraus

#363: How to Use Storytelling to Create Authentic Buyer Personas

#363: How to Use Storytelling to Create Authentic Buyer Personas

You know that the deeper you understand, empathize with, and appreciate your prospects and what they want and need, the greater success you’ll have converting them into life-long customers.  

But you’re not a mind reader.

So how do you take the guesswork out of truly connecting with your buyers from their point of view?  

You use storytelling methods to truly embrace the stories your prospects are telling themselves about you, your offering, and even your competitors.

Known as a creative, result-oriented market insights professional, Jim Kraus shows you how to use storytelling to truly understand what your prospective customer believes and values and what motivates them to buy your product or service. As President of the Buyer Persona Institute (BPI), Jim is currently focused on enhancing the value its core buyer persona business delivers to clients.

He has three decades of experience managing high-performing market research teams on the supplier and client side including IBM, Prudential, and Guardian Life. In that time, he’s worked on hundreds of studies that directly inform marketing, sales, and product strategy with a particular focus on understanding buyer attitudes and behaviors in markets involving more complex purchase decisions.  (more…)

Abbey Lunney

#362: How to Avoid the Cost of Miscommunication

#362: How to Avoid the Cost of Miscommunication

Earlier this year, The Harris Poll and Grammarly published a startling report that found American Businesses losing $1.2 trillion annually because of miscommunication. And as our hybrid work world grows, effective communication is more important than ever…and more costly than ever if you don’t get it right. 

But you can overcome these communication challenges by knowing where to look for them in your organization and by learning how to become a more confident and compelling storyteller.

A data-driven storyteller, Abbey Lunney, co-author of  The State of Business Communication: 2022 Trends, highlights what miscommunication might be costing you and your business. Abbey is the Managing Director of the Thought Leadership Practice at The Harris Poll, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times.

She builds research-driven insights for clients across industries such as finance, automotive, education, health, and entertainment. Designed to capture emerging tensions and trends from a future-forward lens, her work has been featured at Davos, Cannes, and SXSW, among others.

Tune in as Abbey discusses the findings of two recent studies, The State of Business Communication and The Future Ambition. She shares how these two reports portend the future of business and how clear, confident and compelling communications through storytelling is the way forward.

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Bob Hoffman

#361: Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman on Brand Storytelling

#361: Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman on Brand Storytelling

Ask 100 marketing consultants how to build a successful advertising and they will give you one thousand ways to do it. But today’s guest suggests that branding success comes down to one thing: fame. He’ll even give you three ways to achieve the fame for your brand you seek. 

Bob Hoffman is a best-selling author, speaker and advisor and one of the most sought-after international speakers on advertising and marketing.

Bob has made a second career calling B.S. on the ad industry’s rush to digital mediocrity. As a grizzled veteran of the advertising front lines, Bob Hoffman has written five books about advertising, each of which has been an Amazon #1 seller. He has graced the stages in 24 countries sharing his own lovably caustic insights on the advertising world. Hell, in 2021 he braved COVID to speak to members of the British and European Parliaments.

Before leaving the advertising business, Bob was the chief executive of two independent ad agencies and the US operation of an international agency.

Business Insider named Bob’s blog, The Ad Contrarian, one of the world’s most influential marketing and advertising blogs. His commentary has appeared in the BBC World Service, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Financial Times, New Zealand Public Broadcasting, Fox News, Forbes, Canadian Public Broadcasting, and many other news outlets throughout the world.

One of his books, BadMen: How Advertising Went From A Minor Annoyance To A Major Menace exposed many of the dangerous privacy abuse practices that have gone on to make international headlines. It was selected “Best of Marketing 2017”. (more…)

Jason Falls

#360: How to Use Storytelling in Your Influencer Marketing

#360: How to Use Storytelling in Your Influencer Marketing

So many brands are counting on influencer marketing for business success. But how do you determine whether a creator is a good fit for building awareness about your brand and will tell your story the way you intended to tell it in the first place?

It’s not about the influencers, but the influence. It’s focusing your efforts on collaborating with people who are persuasive to your audience.

He’s called a thought leader and an expert but has also been called bad names by trolls. Jason Falls, is a leading digital strategy for Cornett, a full-service advertising agency based in Lexington, Ky., named the Southeast’s Small Agency of the Year by Ad Age in 2021. 

There, Jason leads digital strategy and hosts two marketing podcasts, Digging Deeper and Winfluence. His work has touched a number of major brands and has been recognized with several national and many regional awards including a 2020 Shorty Award for his influencer marketing work. 

His third book, Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, was published in February 2021 from Entrepreneur Press. He is also the executive producer of the Marketing Podcast Network.

Listen as Jason shares how to use storytelling to ignite your influencer marketing success, why you need to shift your thinking from “influencer” marketing to “influence” marketing, how to leverage influential people to help tell your story and the two major shifts he sees coming in influence marketing. (more…)

Richard Newman

#359: How Body Language and Voice Skills Make Your Stories Sing

#359: How Body Language and Voice Skills Make Your Stories Sing

It doesn’t matter how seasoned a presenter you are whether you’re presenting on a large stage, delivering a speech in a boardroom, or preparing for a critical sales pitch in a virtual chat room  – presentations require an incredible amount of skill. But it means absolutely nothing if you lack the congruency in your delivery. You need to stop discounting your non-verbal cues to motivate your audience to take action.

Communication expert, Richard Newman demonstrates how to use body language and voice skills to create greater impact with your business and leadership storytelling in his best-selling book, You Were Born to Speak. Richard is the founder of Body Talk, a global leader in evidence-based courses on the psychology of communication helping business leaders around the world with their communication skills on the biggest stages. He even had one client win over $1 Billion in new business in one year, using his own techniques. 

Richard had to learn all this from scratch because he is not only highly introverted but was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. He was painfully shy as a child, at age 18, he started his mission to discover the core communication principles. He went to live in the foothills of the Himalayas with Tibetan monks, who spoke no English. They had to communicate non-verbally to understand each other. He then worked as a professional actor, studying how to walk, move and speak to increase his impact on an audience. He became a keynote speaker, coach, author and speechwriter, winning the coveted Cicero Grand Prize for Best Speechwriter of the Year. (more…)