The Art Of Visual Storytelling

The secret to influence and persuasion is storytelling. It has the power to inspire, delight, touch, challenge, and motivate.

As humans, we are experience-seeking, storytelling machines. They’re all around us. The series we watch, news articles we read, and conversations we have—we expect them to form the bases of our relationships.

On average, gossip and personal stories make up 65% of our conversations.

When you meet with a friend, usually the first thing you ask is “What are you doing? What’s new? What have you been up to?”

But what does telling stories have to do with creating content? Everything.

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Brands that tell their stories with visual content harness the power of consistency.

Visual content is not just about best formats and tactics for direct response ads. It’s also about telling your brand story so well that it sticks with your audience.

Most well-known brands have mastered the skill for telling stories by harnessing the power of visual language. 

Burberry is an excellent example of how they used visuals to tell the story of their brand.

Each element was perfectly put together with the overarching identity and voice of the brand.

A story worth telling

It’s not enough to only sell a product. You have to make people feel something. Move them to action. 

Your brand needs to tell a story that sparks inspiration or fuels emotions. What do your stories tell? 

When we share stories with our customers, we share our value and offer an experience. It helps to solidify an emotional connection that makes you untouchable by your competition.

So how can your brand be more than a product? How you influence someone’s life?

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The Storytelling Framework

Brand stories are a brilliant way for you to build a unique connection with your audience. I’ve created an exercise to help you develop your storytelling. 

Grab a notebook, a pen and start answering these questions. Don’t think too much about what your writing about. You’ll find, the more you write; the more ideas will come to mind. 

Who are you?

What are your personal values, and how do these translate to your brand?

How did your company come to exist? What is your purpose? If you have a team, what kind of people work alongside you?

People often establish deep relationships with brands whose values they identify with.

What do you do? 

What is your product or service? How do you stand out from your competition? What makes you unique?

When people see the role your brand plays in someone’s life, it is easier for them to imagine how you can also influence their life.

Who do you do it for?

Who is your ideal client or target market? In what way does your product solve a problem or pain point? How do your customers feel when they work with you or receive your product? Remember, you can use reviews and testimonials as powerful storytelling content. 

Customers need a solution to their pain point. If you solve their problem and see value in what you sell, they will buy.

Why do you do what you do?

How does your product or service impact you? What is your larger goal? What made you want to offer the products and services it does? What are the benefits to your customer?

People tend to establish deep relationships with brands whose values they identify with.

How do you do what you do? 

How do you create your product or service? How is it delivered? Show your day to day processes so your audience can understand and appreciate the time and care that goes into the production process.

Where are you headed?

What do you want to do next? How has your product or service evolved? How will it evolve in the future? Has your brand values or ethos changed? If so, how has this impacted your customers?

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What’s Your Brand Story?

Once you have your answers, go back through and see if there are any stories that you could weave into your content.

A good story will transform your audience in some way. It takes your audience on a journey to make them feel something new.

It’s about how we relate to our customers and to what we are creating.

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A picture is worth a thousand words.

Photographs have the ability to:

  • Grab Attention: By including a press release, article in a magazine, or blog post, it will grab the reader’s attention much effectively than a block of text. This may encourage more people reading the article that accompanies the image.

  • Tell a story: We have all seen that one image that makes us pause and think. Perhaps it also spoke to your imagination and made you experience the story.

  • Quickly convey a message: People often skim through articles without taking it all in. A photograph is a great way to convey your message quickly to an audience without them reading through a lot of text.

  • Be shared. Images can be easily shared, which means your story will be seen by a larger audience and may boost your following.
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Photography communicates so much about us as business owners. It’s amazing to share a representation of yourself, your light, your personal brand in a way that totally delights you and connects with your ideal clients.

Finding clarity in yourself, your business and how you’re moving forward helps you to receive the most from your personal branding shoot, and helps to plan a session that’s truly in alignment with your brand.

Before a photoshoot, I ask similar questions to find out more about my client and their business. This helps me to plan locations, outfits and props.

Everything is mapped out beforehand, so there is a purpose for each photo and how this will convey your brand message.