A few months ago, I didn’t feel right. I was running my business and doing my thing and it didn’t feel like my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I was insanely grateful that I’d been able to build a successful, profitable business in a year but, deep down, where I was didn’t feel enough for me. That’s the real, honest truth.

From the outside looking in, you would have seen me running events, winning clients, creating content and building my personal brand. You would have seen a lot of shiny things, but you wouldn’t have seen the real me.

What Dolly Parton, a poet and a former Finance Director taught me about storytelling.

Credit: Janelle Hiroshige — found via Unsplash

I’ve been helping brands articulate their stories for years and in the back of my head, I’ve sat with the question: why do stories work? I finally think I’ve figured it out, with a little help from Dolly Parton, poet Gregory Orr and Finance Director-turned-coach Mark Seabright.

Stories contain the chaos of our emotions

I had a mind-blowing conversation with my business mentor, Mark Seabright. Once a Finance Director, he’s now a coach for founders like me. When I asked him why stories work, he shared something so clear that made everything in my head connect and light up like the northern lights. …

Every great story takes a village. Joining ours for Purpose is John Lim, co-founder of District 34.

John is on a mission to help more people own their own home. He won’t accept ‘Generation Rent’ and the government’s indifference. Instead, he’s built a platform that matches first-time buyers with land and then works with development partners to get homes built at fairer prices.

Put simply, John is a brilliant example of how big data can pair with a big purpose to create a profitable and meaningful business.

Our chat went like this. 👇

So, John. Imagine you’re in a room with an investor who’s arguing that profit is way more important than brand purpose. What’s your counter argument?

I walk away. You’re not going to change the way certain people think. …

A practical brand-building guide for implementing your Purpose Story.

Purpose. As founders and marketers, we all know we need it. But actually implementing it and talking about it? That’s where things get a little trickier…

As a storytelling partner for businesses, “how do you balance purpose with profit?” is one of the top questions we get asked. That, and how to share your brand purpose with sincerity.

You see, in 2021, brand purpose itself needs to have a REAL purpose. For too long now, purpose has been shoehorned into so many businesses for the sake of seeming like they care.

Every great story takes a village. Joining ours for Empathy is Jane Evans, founder of Uninvisibility.

Jane is THE embodiment of radical empathy. She created the first ad ever to show a divorced couple. And the first ad to show men doing housework effectively. She also created Australia’s first craft beer. We could go on (and on, and on… she’s that good).

These days, she’s the force behind Uninvisibility — a movement and network that exists to communicate and represent the world’s most powerful consumer group: women over 45. And the really cool thing about Jane is that she’s lived a brilliant life underpinned by empathy, way before it was a buzzword.

AND she’s just released…

A practical brand-building guide for implementing your Empathy Story.

You want to build a brand that people will care about. Like, really care about.

You don’t just want to sell to your audience, you want them to buy into you. You want to connect.

We get it. As brand storytellers, we’ve become experts at harnessing empathy to form real, emotional bonds with an audience and inspire them to take positive action.

Over the years, we’ve learned that there’s nothing (NOTHING!) more effective than telling stories that move people. In fact, messages delivered as stories are 22x more memorable than facts. 22x!

Have you ever been so moved by something…

A short story about a conversation with a friend that invited me to reflect back on my career and why I felt like a failure.

I was speaking to a good friend a little while back, reflecting on the past year in lockdown. She shared her frustration and sadness around her career and mentioned feeling like a failure because she made the decision to walk away from a job that didn’t feel right for her anymore.

She asked me how I’ve overcome this feeling in the past. And that got me thinking.

I’ve shared my friend’s feelings not so long ago. When I made the decision to make a move like hers. It’s hard. It’s heavy and a bit lonely too. Because suddenly, it hits…

Credit: Darius Bashar — found via Unsplash

What’s in a good content idea?

Often, it’s the alchemy of context, timing and care.

Let’s face it: our social feeds are flooded with noise. Our brains are tired. Are you tired? I’m tired. So much noise, so little time.

As marketers and brand builders, it’s our job to come up with content that respects people’s time and helps them in their everyday lives. Ideas are our greatest currency and understanding our customers is the fuel that moves us forward.

To keep things fresh, here are five exercises that help with coming up with better content ideas. Try them. See…

It’s time to rethink how your brand communicates – the 5 Stories can help.

Credit: Unsplash

I’ve always been fascinated with building brands. When I started my first business, a clothes swapping app, I loved making it real. Creating an identity for it, a look, a feeling, a language, a personality, a heartbeat

One thing I really struggled with, though, was the story and messaging around my business. I found it so hard to get clear and consistent with it. When I looked for support and structure around building my brand, absolutely nothing helped.

Everything I came across felt long-winded and complicated. I mean, what steps do you take to make people care about your business…

Credit: Toa Heftiba — found via Unsplash

I know. Another 2021 trends blog post. Eyeroll.

Except this one is worth your time. Promise. Because this time, I’ve distilled it down to the essentials. The things you can’t afford not to know.

I’ve spent the past 11 years building brands and honestly? I’m excited about 2021. There’s major change in the air and opportunity aplenty if you have the right strategy.

Ready? Let’s do this.

Give your purpose a personality

For the last few years, startup marketing has been focused on purpose and starting with why.

And then came Covid. And then an explosion of Covid ads, where banks suddenly ‘cared’ and travel…

Amanda Baker

Founder and creator of 5 Stories, a methodology I use to help companies tell better brand stories. I write about storytelling, branding and entrepreneurship 🙃

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