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Storytelling for Business

Lesson 9 of 10

Story Structure


Storytelling for Business

Lesson 9 of 10

Story Structure


Lesson Info

Story Structure

I want to just go through a basic story structure and model and teach you guys, all right, well, all these story types are great. It's given me a lot of direction on what to use where and different types of stories I can use. But what if I just want to tell a story for a Facebook ad or what if, this lesson is going to give you just a basic framework that you can use when you just want to generate a story and the basic points you want to be hitting on. So, in case you're wondering where do I start with crafting a story for something like a Facebook ad or an opt-in page or what do I need to know? Or if I'm writing an email marketing newsletter or blogging about something and I just want to share a story. Basic story structure, and this is, you know, kindergarten, every story has the basic three, right, a beginning, middle and an end. So you have a set-up, you have a conflict and you have a resolution. And this is also, like, you can setup punchlines, like this. So you can have, and I cle...

arly don't have a great joke example for you. But this also just like, it's the most core, basic, model. So when we're looking at huge narrative structure we're usually looking at, you know the 12 different segments of the year's journey. And that'll also, every single big, every single affection breaks down into this. So no matter how broad you're going and no matter how macro you're going you're still going to have these little three point stories that comprise a bigger story. Now, all stories are two-in-one. I'm mentioning this because what happens is, you have an external story and you have an internal story. Now, in screen writing world, we call this the A Plot and the B Plot. And really what it is, it's kinda the head versus the heart in a lot of cases. There's the external goal and then there's the internal transformation. So, oh, I wanna achieve this thing but usually somewhere around the midpoint something shifts. Something changes. And what we're doing in marketing is, when we are giving people a belief and we are kind of implicating them with our story of like, well this is the belief and this is how I learned this to be true. We're sharing, we're going after a goal and in going after that goal, we had, we grew. We, our goal changed, we had a different realization, we took a different approach, we learned something new, we found a better way to market our business, we found another way to help our clients, we found a better approach, and often times, when we are telling these stories that share this perspective shift, we are also shifting the perspective of our audience and giving them a new way of looking at whatever it is that they are struggling with. And so throughout the course of storytelling, you are going to have a shift. I bring this up because, you know, I'm not gonna go through the whole 12 point thing (laughing) but even breaking something down into, like, a five step process, which is what I did with these stories today, the middle step is always going to be where that twist happens. It's right around the middle when someone goes from this is my goal and I thought I need to do it this way but I actually figured out that I need to do it this way or I figured out that this was the actual goal. So my basic five point story map is going to cover the, it's like the simplest breakdown of how to create a perspective shifting story without having to worry about all of the other fancy nerdy things that I'm not gonna overwhelm you with. So, the basic five-point story map is we cover three points: the desire, the challenge, the twist, the shift, and the takeaway. So, in the desire section, we are always introducing the character and the goal. So, who are they, you know, who is this person, and again, this is the same process that you would be walking people through, you know, when they first meet you and they first land on your website, who are you? What's their goal? Who are you, who are they, what's their goal? Establishing that. So, for example, when I was telling my story earlier, I told you who I am. I'm an artist. I'm obsessed with stories. I'm a big nerd. And all I ever wanted to do was spend my whole life telling stories and making an impact on audiences. And that's like my jam sandwich, right. That's me, that's my goal. I wanna tell stories all the livelong day. So my challenge, you wanna share the biggest obstacle. And your first attempts at overcoming the obstacle. So I'm like, yep, gotta make movies. Going to Hollywood, love Hollywood. Actually hated Hollywood. Didn't want to play the game the way I was playing the game. Decided to make my own movie. More obstacles. More challenges, right. So there were different things that kinda came up, you know. And again you canh, there's multiple story points because I'm sharing multiple challenges and obstacles. You can share a couple, you can share one. It could just be one thing. It could be, I tried this one thing and it wasn't what I expected it to be. And then we hit the twist. What did they discover was wrong with their first attempts and what did they change? And so for me, that was audience connection. I didn't like writing something, you know, creating a story, sharing it with an audience and feeling so disconnected. Having that interaction and that conversation is just as important to me, you know to contribute to help. I also felt really passionate about helping other creators interact with their audience and use digital marketing and content in a powerful way. So I decided to shift my approach and look to put storytelling into digital marketing. So that was the twist. And so the shift is that I decided to apply storytelling to digital marketing. And did I achieve the result or get what I wanted? Now, the takeaway is, it's whatever lesson, advice or action step that you would recommend. And so, for mine, my takeaway, my lesson from all of that whole story experience, is that, regardless of the size of the screen, whether it's a big movie screen or a small mobile screen, you know, or a computer screen, regardless of the screen size, audiences want compelling, emotionally invested content. They want stories. They want to be behind the scenes of someone else's life whether they're watching a reality show or they're following someone they don't know on social media. They want to know what's going on with people they care about, and so that's my ultimate takeaway.

Class Description

Throughout human history, storytelling has been used to draw people in, evoke their emotions and memories, make them care, and propel them to act. So wouldn’t it make sense to use storytelling to get someone to buy your goods or services?

By harnessing the power of stories, you can capture people’s attention and convince them of the value of your offering. Story is what transforms you from a marketer jockeying for a sale to a genuine person with a meaningful message.

Award-winning writer and consultant Jamie Jensen will show you how to craft a brand story that’s relevant to your business. She’ll walk you through the four main types of stories you can use and explain how each one can yield impressive results.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Figure out when and where to use story in your copy and content.
  • Decide which story to use depending on your needs and goals.
  • Create characters, objectives and obstacles for your story.
  • Change your story to keep it fresh and interesting.
  • Identify with your customer when telling your story.
  • Take on the role of expert or mentor to convince your reader to buy.


Rossella Vacchelli

I love this class. Is is fast and to the point, filled with useful information. Jamie is knowledgeble and easy to follow....please come back for more in depth classes!


Jamie provides a thorough introduction to what "tell a story" actually really means. She breaks down different types of stories plus how and when to tell which. Jamie's energy is positive and encouraging, highly recommend the class for anyone starting a business or thinking about branding yourself

Christopher Joles

Jensen does a great job providing a framework for use in deeper study of storytelling for business. Her material is clear, quite general, moves along, and enough to get the wheels turning for more information and thought.