The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell
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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You tell stories as a business, sales or marketing leader because you know how they connect and build your influence.
But we all default to bad storytelling habits, like telling instead of showing. Leading with NUMBers instead of drama to place your data into context. Or worse…
Steve is now an international business storytelling consultant. He helps designers, entrepreneurs and academics tell great stories about their work. Steve reckons he has told over 20,000 stories in his career – so can probably help you tell yours.
What if I told you that luck in business is not a fluke but a formula?
And what if you could trigger that aspirational algorithm the moment you step out of bed?
But you’re probably thinking, “Whoa, Park is getting pretty woo woo.”
He knows a thing or two about luck after being mired in a deep, dark hole and reframing his story of success by triggering luck in his life.
Mark is currently the CEO and lead investor of Maxy Media Inc., one of the largest TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and Google Display Network performance marketing agencies in the world. Currently, Maxy Media is the number one advertiser in terms of monthly spend on the TikTok platform in Canada and top ten in North America.
In 2016, Mark successfully sold EVO Payments International Canada, an end-to-end payment solutions provider and merchant acquirer that he founded in 2009. He guided the company from its inception with one employee to over 200 colleagues across Canada.
Prior to founding EVO, Mark was one of the founding members and president of VersaPay Inc, a payments solutions provider, which was taken public in 2010. Before joining VersaPay, Mark was a founding member of Pivotal Payments, which is now a multi-billion-dollar public company. He helped set the foundation and drive the company’s sales and revenues before his triumphant exit from the company in 2006.
Mark has made several other highly successful investments in various industries such as payments, cryptocurrencies, marketing, nutrition, fitness, and sports. Over the past twenty-five years, he has invested in and consulted for dozens of other ventures, which have resulted in highly positive returns.
In his new book, Mark asks readers to look around them. Most people are waiting for something. A lucky break? Random chance? The reason is irrelevant, but the flaw of waiting is still fatal.
Imagine building a successful 17-year-old company doing north of $100 million in annual revenue and then renaming, rebranding, reframing your story.
Nuts, right? What happens to all of that tremendous brand equity you have generated?
Well, that’s exactly what today’s guest successfully orchestrated to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed through thick and through thin.
Clate Mask is co-founder and CEO of Keap, formerly Infusionsoft, which makes small business sales and marketing automation software.
Clate is the New York Times bestselling author of Conquer the Chaos: how to grow a successful small business without going crazy. He started Infusionsoft as a custom software shop headquartered in a strip mall in Mesa, Arizona 2001 with brothers Eric and Scott Martineau. Over the years, and under his leadership the company has evolved to what it is today, a three-time Inc 500 ranked company with nearly 20,000+ die-hard users of its web-based marketing and sales automation.
You know the power of storytelling to create even more agile companies and cultures.
But stories can backfire on you if you don’t use the right story in the proper conversation.
In this episode, you’ll learn where to use what stories and when to grow your influence and camaraderie with your teams.
Jeffrey Fredrick and Douglas Squirrel are co-authors of Agile Conversations: Transform Your Conversations, Transform Your Culture. Jeffrey is an internationally recognized expert in software development and has over 25 years of experience covering both sides of the business/technology divide.
An early adopter of XP and Agile practices, Jeffrey has been a conference speaker in the US, Europe, India, and Japan. Through his work on the pioneering open source project CruiseControl, and through his role as Co-Organiser of the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference (CITCON), he has had a global impact on software development.
He runs the Agile Conversations Meetup, is a CTO Mentor through CTO Craft, and is the co-host of the Troubleshooting Agile podcast.
Douglas Squirrel has been coding for forty years and has led software teams for twenty. He uses the power of conversations to create dramatic productivity gains in technology organizations of all sizes.
Squirrel’s experience includes growing software teams as a CTO in startups from fintech to biotech to music, and everything in between; consulting on product improvement at over 100 organizations in the UK, US, Australia, and Europe; and coaching a wide variety of leaders in improving their conversations, aligning to business goals, and creating productive conflict.
The other week, I received a request from Karen Padilla, a Guatemalan marketer pursuing a master’s degree in Global Brand Management at Griffith College Dublin. That’s right, in Ireland. A long way from home.
Karen asked to interview me for her graduate thesis, “Storytelling to enhance non-profit stakeholder-based brand equity”. We talked on ZOOM for over an hour and I was so impressed with her questions, I asked if I could share the recording on the Business of Story podcast.
Yup, I sprung a guest host appearance on her and she happily agreed.
My hope is that my insights about profit and nonprofit storytelling to help inform her thesis will also be of benefit to you.
One of the many areas we covered was about how the majority of organizations miss the mark on Storytelling. They talk about what they specialize in and how they do it. But they miss the real juice of sharing stories about what they make happen in people’s lives.
One of the best examples I shared with Karen is the American Cancer Society’s amazing campaign about being the Official Sponsor of Birthdays. They found a creative way to tell the story of what they make happen – more birthdays – is one of the nonprofit storytelling campaigns I admire the most.
Karen Padilla has become interested in how marketing principles and tools, especially storytelling and branding, can be applied to the nonprofit sector. In her free time, she likes reading, running and exploring restaurants and parks in Ireland, the country that has given her a warm welcome.
Gosh, we’d all love hyper-growth for our business. We dutifully fertilize, water and nurture our brand like cultivating a prized rose.
But what if you’re not getting the blossoming sales you seek because you’re spending way too much time focused on the wrong growing techniques?
What if the real answer is to thrive like an unattended weed?
Wouldn’t you kill for a Jack and the Beanstock-like secret to growth?
It starts by seeding your growth with storytelling.
Today, you’ll hear how with Stu Heinecke, a Wall Street Journal cartoonist and best-selling author including his new book, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed: A Complete Strategy for Unstoppable Growth.
Stu is the twice-nominated hall of fame marketer, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center author in residence, and was named the father of contact marketing by the American Marketing Association.
“I was driving down the freeway when I saw a dandelion growing out of a crack in the concrete. I was struck by how resilient and adaptable weeds are, and how they always have an unfair advantage. This got me thinking about how we could apply the same principles to business. How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed lays out a complete model for exclusive business growth based on the strategies, attributes and tools weeds use to grow, expand, dominate and defend their territory. ”
Let’s face it, you think the world of your business, your industry and the product or service you provide.
But people tell themselves a lot of anti-stories about you and your work. Your job is to reframe their point of view, and provide them with a true, optimistic outlook about what you can do for them.
One of the industries that have historically had to overcome a lot of stigma is mental health. Yet, given all we’ve been through with the pandemic, living in the most divided country we’ve seen in a century, the seclusion we find ourselves in working from home, the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous future before us, we have a lot going on between our ears, and much of it is not very healthy for our being.
Our negativity bias tunes us to horror stories that gain even more strength if you watch 20 minutes of news. But what if you reframed those stories you’re telling yourself, and even help your colleagues, customers, and the communities you serve to see you and your offering in a whole new positive light?
Today’s guests, Eric Osland, Managing Partner of evolvedMD, and Sentari Minor, Head of Strategy, will show you how they’ve had to reframe the stigma around mental health for their growing startup leveraging brand storytelling they call “Mission Moments.”
Eric shares how he started evolvedMD from a personal experience he had with his chronically ill father that illuminated the depths of mental illness and how few services were available.
A Mission Moment with Pierre, a Behavioral Health Manager at evolvedMD
Video testimonials have become the overwhelming favorite medium for brand marketers to tell their stories. And if you can easily enable your customers to share their testimonials about your product or service, then the goodwill created for your brand becomes exponential.
But it’s hard to capture and produce video testimonials because it’s time-consuming and expensive.
Until now. I’ve been beta testing the new AI-driven video testimonial platform called StoryPrompt.com (this is not a paid endorsement) and love it.
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).
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.