Stories can evoke powerful emotions, inspire change and motivate action. For those of you who are just joining us, Be The Drop (BTD) is a weekly podcast that investigates the art of communication, specifically storytelling, in today’s digital world. By interviewing a wide range of people who have built engaged communities, I investigate and share, the secrets to great communication.
BTD is not just an outlet for all kinds of stories, but also a battle cry to be that first drop that creates a waterfall. With courage, focus and commitment, each and every one of us can start something; but together, we can build something.
Today’s episode is an update and “take stock” review, as over the past few weeks, I have had a number of “ah-ha” moments on my journey to uncover the common threads within modern storytelling that drives action.
In today’s episode, I consider what it really means to Be The Drop and reveal our all new 5 step process to help you create a waterfall of your own…
A selfish satisfaction.
My first real “ah-ha” moment is now known within the team here at Narrative Marketing as “The Steve Effect”. This is a bloody-minded ambition combined with a “selfish satisfaction”, which drives Steve to make The Adelaide Show. To quote Steve himself: “It wouldn’t even matter to me if there were no community around our podcast, I would need to do it anyway.”
What Steve is talking about is what it takes to be the first droplet that will forge the waterfall. He clearly identifies that this requires an obsessive desire to step out there and go forward with an idea, regardless of whether it will make you money, whether it offends people, or whether people will like it. In order to bring a community with you, you must have a single-minded focus and direction or else you become difficult to follow.
Steve points out that, “Singers and songwriters don’t do focus groups, they don’t plan their audience… Some of us are so restless inside that we have to get something out. Maybe a crowd gathers. Over time, we get to see who makes up that crowd.”
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It’s right for you.
The “ah-ha” moment got amplified when I interviewed the boys from the RackaRacka. To quote them “If we’re not making cool stuff, there’s no point doing it… It needs to be right for us.”
The RackaRacka interview highlighted that, for them, it’s all about making the content they want to make; they do it because they love it. This again demonstrated how critical it is to start by doing and then afterwards communicating, what’s important to you. Michael + Danny reinforced that it is essential to then stay true to you, regardless of how other people might try to steer your waterfall in a different direction.
Clarity + patience = mastery.
My most recent guest, magician, entrepreneur and speaker Vinh Giang, put this another way. He talked a lot about mastery, something that requires discipline and time.
To master something, you have to have absolute clarity with what you want… “but once you have that clarity,” says Vinh, “nothing stops you. You’re like a bloodhound that has the scent.” As much as mastery is about clarity, it is also about continual improvement; it’s an evolutionary process.
In Japanese, they talk about kaizen, which is the continuous and relentless pursuit of perfection, but knowing that perfection isn’t attainable. And for this, Vinh says, you’ll need patience: “If you focus on being patient, you’ll win the marathon because everyone else is giving up.”
With courage, focus and commitment, every one of us can start something; but together, we can build something.
Be The Drop Manifesto.
What’s clear from the comments of all these guests is that this is about the motivations and desires of that single drop; its identity. A community/waterfall is built when other people self-identify with your identity. This comes back to what Michael from The Wheeler Centre said: Your community is built because people self-identify with who or what you are; they self-identify as caring about your success or failure. We are intensely tribal beings and we self-select what communities support our sense of identity.”
All of this reminds me of the common modern adage: You do you. When you focus on doing your own thing, inevitably there will be others that will want to join you, however niche your market (for example James Deg, the bathblogger – by indulging his own interest, he discovered his community).
So while the Be The Drop podcast celebrates how to build success through bringing community together, my interviews have also identified that in order to motivate community to come with you, you must first be very clear on your own direction.
These insights will re-shape my questions over the next series of interviews and I look forward to how this will evolve the podcast.
To conclude, I want to share the updated BTD Manifesto. This is the communication framework that I am building with my team at Narrative Marketing from the insights and advice that has been shared by my podcast guests.
The BTD Manifesto is a five step process that covers:
- THE DROP: The fire inside → a need to do something, or a decision to master something
- THE COMMUNITY: Bring others together who share an interest in this or you → motivate + inspire > create connection
- ACTION: Your community does something → from simple downloads, likes + comments through to purchase or donate money
- OUTCOME: Change in behaviour, company growth, bigger community, funds raised
- RINSE + REPEAT: Ongoing
In the coming months I will be collating this detail into downloadable free marketing resources to help you not only start your community but then build business growth. So stay tuned for that!
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Thank you again for tuning in and listening to the BTD podcast. I can’t wait for the next installment to bring you more inspiring people talking about their strategies for connecting with and building a positive community. And if you want more behind the scenes stuff and bits not included in the show, head over to our Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.
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