Want To Become A Thought Leader? Use Stories That Inspire, Educate, Entertain, and Entice
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He was shot.
The eldest brother of the kids across the street shot him square in the back.
He was throwing batting practice to me in our front yard in Northeast Philadelphia.
Fortunately, it was only a BB gun.
That day sticks with me — all these years later.
First, I shudder to think what could have happened had my father not blocked the shot.
I mean I was not far away from him at home plate — from where he threw.
But, I remember this day even more for different reasons than you may think.
Let me explain.
My parents had us go over to the neighbor’s house while the boy’s parents ushered him over to our house for an apology.
My two younger brothers and I watched from the window. My father, being who he is, absolved the young man.
Being a kid, you never realize everything that’s going on around you. You’re just in your own little kid bubble doing little kid things.
I recall asking my father years later why he let him off the hook.
He said, “It was the day my mother died.”
And I got it. My father put his feelings aside to be my father that day.
What’s more was that even after the emotional pain of losing a parent and the physical pain of being shot with that BB gun, my father didn’t have it in him to cause more pain for these other parents by calling the cops on that kid.
My dad is as loyal and as steady as anyone you will ever meet.
He’s the rock of the family and is always quick with a joke.
His love of baseball seeped into me and I took it to the nth degree. You will never find a more dependable, good-hearted guy.
That’s my dad.
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Use Stories That Inspire, Educate, Entertain, and Entice (IE3)
I’d like introduce you to a portion of my new framework.
I call it the IE3 Method. And here’s how I break it down:
INSPIRE: Stories that are motivational or transformational.
EDUCATE: Stories that teach and share information.
ENTERTAIN: Stories that use drama or humor — and are easy to digest.
ENTICE: Stories that act as testimonials and calls to action to close the sale.
I want you to use these story types when you’re crafting your stories.
Your stories start out raw. It’s fine to put them out there — and test them.
But, it’s better to refine — and fit them into one of these categories.
Well, the IE3 allows you to better connect with your people.
Do you work with older folks wanting to lose weight? Craft your stories to inspire their weight loss journey.
Do you work with parents having their first child? Understand how to educate young parents.
Do you want to hit on a pain point for solopreneurs? Use entertaining stories — maybe even coupled with memes — to get attention.
Do you work in home decor? Use client testimonials — and before and after shots — that entices them to answer your call to action.
If I was working with fathers who wanted to understand what stepping up looks like — I’d use this story.
While it may extreme, it gets attention.
And it shows how fathers put themselves first.
Kent Evans of Manhood Journey — who appeared on my podcast Dad Devotionals — shared a book with me by Chip Ingram called Portrait of a Father.
On page 18, Chip tells dads to “Be the kind of person you want [your kids] to become.”
No matter who we’re talking about — fathers or mothers being role models or fitness trainers being examples for their clients — you need to be the example.
Be the thought leader.
So, today, take the time to nail down the story that hooks them.
And build your captive audience.