Storytelling Tips from a Guy Named Buffet
Every summer, tens-of-thousands of people clamor to hear a guy named Buffett tell stories.
No, it’s not billionaire investor Warren Buffett. It’s Jimmy Buffett, singer, songwriter and, most importantly, storyteller.
Buffett has parlayed one hit song into a booming business empire that includes music, concerts, books, restaurants, merchandise and websites.
Buffett is a clever marketer who understands the power of words; he uses proven storytelling techniques to create an enduring brand. Here are some storytelling tips found recently in a few blogs and modeled by Mr Margaritaville himself:
Use language of the senses (LOTS)
Buffett brings his brand to life by appealing to people’s senses. He doesn’t just tell you he’s on a Caribbean island, he tells you how the salt-air smells. He describes the hot sun baking his skin, the sweet delight of a margarita tickling his tongue. And then he tells you that buying his blender can take you to the same island, if only for a few hours. Learn more about incorporating LOTS into your storytelling.
Relate to your audience
Buffett’s fans relate to him. Sure, he’s loaded, but the stories he tells resonate with his audience—he’s worked hard all year and just needs a few weeks away, his boss won’t cut him a break, he just wants to cut loose for a while, pretend he’s somewhere warm. Who doesn’t? Learn more about relating to your audience.
Be early, be accessible and be honest
When it comes to storytelling, Buffett has a love for the traditional. He’s a best-selling author and he still refers to his recordings as “albums.” But he’s also wisely leveraged new technologies to build his brand and connect to his audience.
He understands that people want to be part of something, a community. And they want more than just stale public relations jargon. They want to feel like they have an intimate relationship with the people and organizations with which they do business. Read more about connecting with your audience.
Buffett does this well. His website includes behind-the-scenes videos, personal letters to his fans, personal photos and a forum where people can share their excitement over his latest project or complain about his set lists.
Yes, he lets his fans complain about him on his own site. And sometimes he’ll even respond directly, honestly, and with a wink and a nod that lets them know that he appreciates them and listens to them. Then he tells them another story, because that’s what people want. Stories.