Tell Me Your Story - And Make It Good - Craft Your Content

Tell Me Your Story – And Make It Good

The young women at {r}evolution apparel did something.

They proved that they have an amazing story.

Watching their computer screens, transfixed, as a sort of movie-magic-that-you-only-read-in-novels scenario unfolded before their very eyes, they saw their start-up venture dreams became a reality.

In less than 5 hours their Kickstarter campaign for the sustainable fashion line they had been working on for over 2 years nearly doubled to $30K, well above the $20K threshold necessary to secure their funding. They accomplished all this barely fifteen days into their thirty-day campaign.

Very kindly they noted that they believed part of the traffic coming to their website and campaign was from an article I had written about them on my blog on Forbes, which had been picked up by Yahoo! News. (I personally think it was being featured as one of the five campaigns to check out in Kickstarter’s weekly newsletter, but that’s just my opinion!)

Regardless, people were convinced, as evidenced by the seven emails I received in my inbox within an hour of their post.

Today I am sitting on twenty-four messages and requests from various creative entrepreneurs.

Now, I am obviously a huge proponent of asking for what you want, otherwise you are already getting a “no”.

Yet, as I read through the cookie-cutter cut-and-pasted I’m-a-big-motherfuckin’-deal releases, I was struck by how little I cared for most of the projects.

Which is unfortunate and sad. These are peoples’ passions and dreams.

I don’t want to be some mean tyrannical hope crusher.

But these messages I was receiving, they did not instill in me a sense of excitement and desire to get involved with their campaigns.

I was not hooked in to their story.

When I applied to the Tropical MBA, aside from thinking it was absolutely positively the most ridiculously stupid thing I had ever done in my life, I also didn’t believe I had a chance in the deepest darkest caverns of hell at getting it. I was working with Dan on a project a month or so later, and I asked him about it. His response was simple:

What set you apart was…that you were genuinely interested in what we were doing. Many applicants applied for purely selfish reasons. Giving a shit counts.

As a contributor at Forbes, I get between 10-20 inquiry requests weekly. I’m at the low end of the spectrum (regular staff writers receive triple or more). For my own sites, I have roughly 50-100 various project announcements, product launches and affiliate offers any given Sunday.

It is easy to throw a press release out at 500 outlets like spaghetti at a wall to see which ones stick.

You might get a backlink or a mention in a few and you might even pique the attention of a writer or journalist somewhere that has a secret passion. Or you might spend a lot of time writing and creating and working, only to scream your story into the void and hear nothing but echoes.

Here are the things that {r}evolution apparel did that, in my mind, set them apart as a creative venture that I was willing to put my brand behind:

  1. They put a face and personality behind their brand
  2. They engaged from the very beginning with their community and supporters
  3. They have a unique concept for a venture that fulfills a necessary and under-served niche in the world
  4. They took the time to understand me, my writing style, and my brand
  5. They convinced me how my blog (about young professionals (especially women) who break through the confines of convention and limitation) would be a perfect fit with their values and mission

I am deeply invested in the {r}evolution apparel (now Seamly.co) story, because they vested me in it.

If you don’t understand what that sentence means, then you are not writing a tale for the ages.

Tell me your story. Absolutely. I love hearing about other people’s passions.

But you better make it a good one.

About the Author Elisa Doucette

Elisa Doucette is a writer and editor who works with professional writers, entrepreneurs, and brands that want to make their own words even better. She is the Founder of Craft Your Content, and oversees Client Strategy and Writing Coaching. Her own writing has been featured in places like Forbes, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Small Business, and The Huffington Post, among others. She also hosts the Writers' Rough Drafts podcast here on CYC. When she isn't writing, editing, or reading words, she can usually be found at a local pub quiz, deep in a sun salutation, or binging TV shows for concept ideas and laughs.

follow me on:
7 comments
Michael Margolis says December 6, 2011

Great post and advice Elisa! We all want to feel like a story is written for us, where there’s room in the story for us to play a role.

    Elisa Doucette says December 6, 2011

    Blown away to have you commenting on my advice on stories Michael, so thanks! What you say is such an important piece of it. Great storytellers engage the audience in such a way that they are drawn in and part of the story. Boring storytellers talk at you in Ben Stein-monotone til you accidentally fall asleep in a lecture hall.

    I’ll take great over boring any day!

Joel says December 7, 2011

Thanks for the shoutout Elisa. Thanks for all the help with everything. I’m really excited to hear all about how YOUR story changes here in the next few months. 😀

    Elisa Doucette says December 7, 2011

    Thanks for involving me in the project Joel. It’s nothing short of an amazing product, I’m honored to have been a part of it!

    My story is DEFINITELY getting some major plot development and setting changes in the next few months. Excited to face the conflict and catapult from it into some Impossible tales. 😉

Shannon says December 7, 2011

Elisa, you never fail to put a smile on my face! I could gush over you for hours : )

As Joel said, I’m looking forward to watching your (new) story unfold in the coming months! Thanks again for everything.

    Elisa Doucette says December 7, 2011

    Haha, I just tell it like it is. You have so many reasons to be grinning lately!

    Thanks – I’m excited to share my story. I hope it is as epic as everyone is envisioning! 😉

Thanks In Advance - Craft Your Content says March 18, 2017

[…] want what you write to have an impact, so you use intensifiers to punch up your words. Nothing wrong with that…or is […]

Comments are closed