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The library of essays of Proakatemia

What and why about storytelling: A book reflective essay

Kirjoittanut: Seungyeon Shin - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
Seth Godin
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Seth Godin said that he believes marketing is the greatest way for people to create change. We have heard and learned about marketing here and there. His book ‘Marketers Are All Liars’ captured my attention with its assertion about the importance of storytelling and helped me learn new perspectives on how marketing works. We are constantly bombarded with new information, new advertising, and new things, and the book teaches us how to make things remarkable in such a world. In other words, how to differentiate yourself and your marketing through storytelling. This book was published in 2005, which is about 20 years ago, but there are quite some important points that remain true over time.


I recently applied for an internship at a company called Supercell. It wasn’t easy to build a CV, cover letter, and film a video to introduce myself. I felt that the process was about how to tell what I have done and who am I in an interesting way, in other words, telling my stories to the employer. I heard that more than 250 people applied for the job, and in the end, I think the person who told their story better got the job. “Your CV needs to be filled with experience of creating remarkable products and stories, not how well you fit the job,” the book says. But storytelling isn’t just for job hunting, it can be a useful skill for anyone who wants to make a difference, as mentioned above.


Godin introduces the Taleman curve. “Producing things” is no longer difficult. What’s important now is the last part of the curve, which is storytelling. Telling your own stories and putting them into practice is what matters. Two factors make the difference between success and failure: The first is creating stories that people will talk about. The second is to tell stories about your product (Godin 2007, 56-57).

Figure 1. Taleman curve


So, what makes a good story? A good story must be genuine, not because it is based on truth but because it is consistent and authentic. Also, it has to promise things such as fun, money, safety, and shortcuts. However, most importantly, it shouldn’t teach something new to people, instead, it should make them feel smart and relieved by the stories that they already believed, and it is called a Frame” (Godin 2007, 28-32). This reminded me of an experience I had in Proakatemia where I tried to get the community to ditch cow’s milk and challenge people to change their minds about consuming cow’s milk. In my opinion, it was a good attempt, but a failure. What I was missing was: a good story that reinforced the beliefs or values that people had already built up.


The frame is explained as a factor of a story that reinforces the beliefs or values they already have, and smart marketers don’t try to change the frame of people to validate your claims. Instead, they find specific people and build the frame of your stories around theirs. That’s the way to win (Godin 2007, 61-62). Now that I read this, it makes sense and is obvious. Looking back on the changes in cow’s milk, it was more about me trying to change people’s old habits and prejudices, trying to validate why plant-based milks are better. But I should admit it wasn’t a smart strategy, but still learned a lesson from it.


Going back to storytelling, I started thinking about the YouTube channels that I not only subscribe to but also keep going back to and consuming their content. What makes them different? If I take the example of Doobydobap, who gained popularity on YouTube with short food content and now has about 3.7 million subscribers, she tells her stories with the content in her own style. She’s not a professional chef, but she has her style of storytelling with cooking content. She shares different topics that are common interests of a young generation from what her college life was like in the US to relationships. I believe that makes her content more appealing because her storytelling is open and authentic.


Ultimately, this book has encouraged me to tell my stories and share them with people. It can be in any form, video or writing. Then I stumbled upon an interesting way to share your work and make money at the same time: Online writing. When we think about writing, we hardly think that it can make a lot of money. Ali Abdaal, a YouTuber who talks about productivity, explains what it is not about online writing to understand what it is better.


Online Writing isn’t about spending years writing about your book ideas and waiting for a traditional publisher to come along and give you the green light to become a professional writer. It’s not about writing a blog that you hope a few people will visit and read. Writing online is about publishing where the audience is already there, for example on different social media channels such as Linked In or Twitter. You don’t have to be a professional writer or produce perfect writing; anyone can become an online writer. Another reason to start Online writing is that it allows us to build a personal brand and an audience on the internet at the same time that we are on an online writing journey (Abdaal, 2023). Now that I think about it, isn’t that already “what we are all doing” here in Proakatemia? Writing and publishing essays on the internet.


The first step that Abdaal recommends is to generate lots of ideas, publish consistently, and see what happens. Anything that has been on our minds, what we have been interested in, what we have learned, etc. Then the second step is to get feedback from the audience. Feedback from the online world is so immediate that it can be overwhelming, but that’s what makes online writing much more effective than traditional writing. Finally, analyze the data: evaluate your writing, which is valuable and which isn’t, based on comment metrics and quantitative and qualitative performance (Abdaal, 2023).


So finally, it’s time to put what I learn into practice. Going through my journal, read what I have thought and learned throughout the journey, and share. Think about what others can relate to and use the power of storytelling. I can only become better by doing.





Abdaal, A. 2023. How to Make $10,000/Month Writing. Published on 13.10.2023. Onlinehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIFSSmCkFEw

Godin, S. 2007. All marketers are liars. Korean translation copyright on Jane books. Penguin( USA) Inc.

Soonie from Entre.

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