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The Golden Screw

At Digital Storyteller, we believe storytelling is absolutely essential to the success of your business. But of course, you already knew that (we mean, the word ‘storyteller’ is in our name for goodness sake…)

But anyway, storytelling is key. Today, we’d like to share a story from our rockstar client, John Milikowsky, Founder of Milikowsky Tax Law.

It’s the origin story of his business, the inspiration for his logo (check it out here!), and how his skill set makes him a fantastic tax lawyer. Let’s dive in.

—————

“I’d like to set the scene… Come back in time with me, if you will.


It’s 1987 and I’m 10 years old. I’m sitting in a windowless supply room in the back of my
parents’ lighting store on a stool and in front of me is an oil barrel filled with screws. Machine
screws, wood screws, drywall screws, Phillips screws, and… you get the idea… a lot of screws.
And my task, set out for me by my father is to sort these screws into containers.


So many questions fly through my mind… why am I in the back storeroom when my sister gets
to be out on the floor of the store, actually TALKING to people, doing something useful and fun?


Who is the Machiavellian monster who has indiscriminately put screws from every facet of
construction just WILLY NILLY in an oil barrel?! Why does this oil barrel live in the storeroom of
my parents’ lighting store…


Sort
Sort
Sort


In that entire summer, I never made more than an inch’s worth of progress in sorting those
screws.


But sometime in the middle of that summer, I realized I had a choice to make… I was at a
crossroads. I could be furious, resentful… victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in
front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting…


It’s possible that hindsight has put that perspective on my young experience…


But certainly, as I navigated my first few years of audits with my Tax Law clients, as they handed
me THEIR metaphorical oil-barrels filled with numbers… profit and loss statements for 3, 4 5
years, receipts faded with time and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of
business, I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that
patience for sifting through the most minute details.


I discovered that my passion was for the detective work it took to uncover the one piece of
information that made all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place. I realized it
was like finding a needle in a haystack, a diamond in ice… a golden screw… And that through
that kind of attention to detail, I could help people in their moments of crisis, at their crossroads.
Through diligence, expertise, and attention to detail, I can help save people’s businesses,
their families, and often, their sense of humor.”

Brand Voice

Author Robert McKee once said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” And he was right!

At Digital Storyteller, we begin all of our partnerships with a strong foundation—your very own ‘brand storytelling session’ (BSTS). After all, we’re an outsourced digital marketing agency, which means we will be creating content as if we were you. This BSTS is crucial in order to be able to do what we do best (…marketing!).

If a ‘brand storytelling session’ sounds a bit like another language, we’re sorry! We’ll explain. Better yet, Amanda Rogers, Owner and Chief Creative Officer at Digital Storyteller can give you the lowdown and answer all of your juicy questions, like why is your brand storytelling session important? And what the heck is it anyway!?

Let’s get into it.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling has become kind of a buzzword. People use it to mean all kinds of things. They use it to mean:

  • Branding that means something to you
  • Storytelling for individuals

What Do You Do During a Brand Storytelling Session?

In our Brand Storytelling Sessions, we do things a bit differently. We block out two hours on our calendar to zoom with you and get to know your brand at its core.

We know it sounds intense, but don’t worry. Our favorite description that a client gave us at the end of a Brand Storytelling Session was, “I was expecting a root canal and I got a massage.” Yay for free massages! 

For Digital Storyteller, the Brand Storytelling Session grew naturally out of questions we had to ask clients over and over again and the research we did to better craft clients’ websites, content, and content marketing strategies.

A brand storytelling session focuses primarily on finding out what your ‘brand voice’ is. In other words, what your brand archetype is. 

Brand Archetypes

What’s a brand archetype? We’re glad you asked. Brand archetypes are as old as Greek tragedy (sadly, we can’t take credit for making them up…) The 12 brand archetypes that we use at Digital Storyteller are:

  • The Innocent
  • Everyman
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Lover
  • Caregiver
  • Jester
  • Sage

Don’t worry, we cover what all of these archetypes mean during your Brand Storytelling Session!

What Happens After Your Brand Storytelling Session?

We’re all for transparency. After your two-hour block, we have a comprehensive overview of:

  • How you talk about what you do
  • How you feel about your company name
  • What your brand archetype is

From there, we can start to build the kind of marketing strategy that is unique to your company.

The Timeline

A week after a Brand Storytelling Session, you will receive a well-designed deliverable.

A few days after that, we get on the phone and set a kickoff call, if you decide we’re the right fit for you!

After our one-hour kickoff call, we set weekly one-hour meetings for the first month of our partnership, followed by bi-weekly meetings following. 

Why Is a Brand Storytelling Session Important?

As we say at Digital Storyteller, marketing without a brand voice is like a margarita without tequila… Useless!

Defining your brand voice through a Brand Storytelling Session shortens your sales cycle because having a clear brand voice makes people feel like they already know you when they walk into a room with you.

It helps build trust, and it makes prospects feel at ease as they’ve heard your brand voice consistently across your website, content, and social posts.

When you pick a brand voice and choose a brand archetype, it’s about the way in which you speak, not what you’re talking about. 

Conducting a Brand Storytelling Session helps us to truly understand a client’s brand voice, their brand archetype, and helps us to be able to write in their voice.

Amanda, Founder and Creative Director at Digital Storyteller, put it best. “I can talk about something that’s highly consequential in a number of different brand voices. The way you speak about what you do is what sets you apart from your competitors… A Brand Storytelling Session is the uncovering of the way in which you tell your own unique story.”

If you couldn’t tell by Amanda’s spiel, a BSTS isn’t anything to be afraid of. Don’t believe us? Check out what one of our clients, Todd Regan, said about his BSTS. (P.S. He wasn’t excited!)

“Looking at the [brand storytelling session] appointment on my calendar, I thought this is going be so painful – it was the opposite, so insightful, valuable, and fun.” —Todd Regan Chief Operating Officer at Payroll Hub

A brand storytelling session is crucial for all of you out there who struggle to explain to your drunk aunt what business you’re in every Thanksgiving. If you’re not clear on what you do, how can your prospects and clients be?

Plus, we can’t—or any outsourced marketing agency, for that matter—accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, your audience, and your goals. Our brand storytelling sessions answer all of these questions.

We’re so confident in our ability to surprise and delight you that your initial BSTS session and deliverable are free.

Interested in learning more about the importance of brand storytelling? Check out this article.

Brand Storytelling

Who can resist a good story? Character development and relationships, drama, adventure, and suspense all contribute to a reader’s desire to have a vested interest in a story. In fact, it’s a scientific reality that stories light up the human brain in a unique way that draws us in and mirrors the neurological activity of the storyteller. We are not just sociologically wired for story, it’s neurological as well.

Brand voice is what makes them unique and different from other brands and companies in the market, what’s yours?

holiday drinks

When talking about what business you’re in, remove all the layers and the jargon that describes what you do, and talk about the basics.

marketing without brand voice

marketing without a brand voice can seriously hurt your business!