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Storytelling Through Images
  • Michelle Harris

Storytelling Through Images

Sharing your story may seem scary or even difficult when you look at it as a whole. Breaking your story into bite size pieces makes it easier to determine what you want to share and what you need to share.



Sharing your message through the use of stories creates connections and makes you relatable. By adding images you not only aid in making your message stronger you increase the likelihood of catching the eye of your audience.


“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships, that taken together, account for customer's decision to choose one product or service over another." Seth Godin

Images are such an incredibly powerful way to share your story or message. What you share is just as important as how you share it, because it needs to not only tell your story, but resonate with your audience. Determining what you need or want to share through images can be a difficult task. My goal is to help walk you through deciding what you want to share and how to capture it so that it resonates with your audience.


There are a couple of ways you can break down your story. The first is by themes and the second is by breaking your story down into three parts; the struggle, the search, and the solution.


Story Themes


This is my favorite way to share stories! I also think it is the easiest way to pick out what is the most important to share. The way I like to explain what a theme or your story is by what underlying message or big idea do you need to convey. Think about it this way. When you read a book, or watch a play or movie there is an underlying theme about a critical belief the author/writer is trying to convey. Do you remember the children's story of "The Little Engine That Could"? I bet you do. The theme of the story is difficult problems can be solved when everyone works together. Now, let's think about how we can relate themes to you. #brandedimages #storytellingimages


What do you do or offer?

This most certainly should be a huge part of what you share. After all, people need to know what you do in order to know if they need your service or product. If you offer products you need to show what the products are; if you can, show them being used and enjoyed by people that are your ideal client. You want potential clients to be able to picture themselves using your products. If you are service based think of ways to show the services you offer. An example would be a fitness instructor working with a client. Keep in mind you want your images to be as authentic as possible. Think about who your ideal client would be... who are you trying to attract. For example: if you ideal client is the working mom that struggles to find time for themselves, but really wants to workout and you offer a solution for them that is what you want to show. In other words, if you want busy moms to use your service show a working mom using it and not young college girl or a retired grandmother. That later two might benefit from your service, but showing them is an image would not grab the attention of a busy mom of three.


What do you need your audience to know about you or your brand?

This is the part when you want to share about yourself and help potential clients get to know you. Share what you stand for and what your core values are. It is really important to know just how much you want to share with your pubic audience and what your boundaries are. What I mean is just how personal do you want to be. Let's think about two very different types of businesses. The first is a family owned brick and mortar store that needs to share about what they sell and show what their core values are. While the other is a mental health blogger for women that needs to share her personal story behind the blog and why she feels so strongly about women's mental health. These are two vastly different businesses with very different needs and messages.


The brick and mortar store may want to share about the history of the family owned business, but nothing deeply personal. They have a bigger need to share how much the community means to them and how involved in the community they are.


While the mental health blogger needs for her audience to know she has struggled with mental health or a family member has struggled and what that struggle is and how it affected her life. She will want her audience to know she is real and why she is so passionate.



What benefits do you need to share?

Now you need to show what the ultimate benefit of working with you would be. You want to share what makes you different from everyone else that does what you do. What makes you unique and special and better to work with. For the examples I used above, the brick and mortar store may focus on the unique brands they carry and customer service. The mental health blogger would want to let their readers know they aren't alone in their struggles and how they can get help and stay strong.





Story Parts


"Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories." Roger C. Schank

The second method is to break down your story into 3 parts. This method may prove easier for some depending on the message you are wanting to share. I feel this method may be well suited for the mental health blogger mentioned above. If you are trying to share a message rather than a service or product this method may make more sense. The three parts are pretty straight forward; what was/is your struggle, what was your search like and what solution did you find.


The Struggle

This is the why of what you do. What lead you to the path you are on? Let's go back to the mental health blogger. Her struggle with mental health is a very powerful message to want to share and would certainly have a strong journey story searching for how to cope and become the strong person they are now. Life struggles are very real and everyone has experienced them on some level and there will be someone else with the same struggle that will be able to relate to you. What if you are a person that offers a product or service? What struggle do you have to share? My questions is what lead you to do what you do? What problem were you trying to solve?


The Search

Once you have identified what struggle or problem you are trying to solve you need to share the search. What path did you take while looking for a solution to your problem? For the mental health blogger how did she find the help needed to grow stronger again. If you sell a product or service, what lead to selling that particular product or service? Let's say you are the mom of 3 and only have 30 minutes on a good day to workout. You looked online for videos and found nothing you could relate to or that would work for what you needed. Or you visited exercise groups only to find out the times didn't work for your unpredictable schedule.


The Solution

This is the part when you share what you offer. You have already shared what the problem is and search you went on to find the solution you now offer. For the mental health blogger she will want to share the solution to how she became stronger and is now able to share and help others. The busy mom of 3 may want to share her new video workout series she has created and how they will benefit others just like her.




Start Sharing



Sharing your story may seem scary or difficult when you look at it as a whole, but when you break it down into bite size pieces it becomes much easier to do. As you are deciding on what message you are wanting share and how personal you want to make your story keep in mind who you are trying to reach. You want to know who you are talking to and what will want to make them stop and read, buy or call. Remember the best message may not reach the right audience if you aren't creating your content for them.

        Winston-Salem, North Carolina                 336-408-0804       

 

Michelle@daltonharrisphotography.com

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