A few weeks ago, I was so honored to be asked to talk with Nathan Ellering about sharing customer success stories and content planning. Nathan is the Head of Marketing Demand Generation at CoSchedule, an app I use for editorial content planning and social media scheduling.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of talking with more than 100 Iron Yard alumni and telling their stories on The Iron Yard blog. They’ve told me about their families, their struggles, their dreams and their weakest moments. And they have trusted me to share their stories, knowing that if someone else out there is experiencing something similar, they are not alone.
As a marketer and communicator, I see these stories as gold. To me, there is nothing more unifying than a story featuring universal human truths.
(by the way, the quote above didn’t include my lead-in sentence. I said that theorists way smarter than me have explained that humans are essentially storytelling animals. Click here to read more about Walter Fisher and the narrative paradigm.)
This is how I explained it to Nathan:
To me, the cool thing about the stories that I get to help tell is this: I get to talk to people who have made a huge decision. It’s a life-changing decision for many of them. People share with me these really honest reasons why they were not happy with their lives or with their careers and why they made a big leap of faith to take 12 weeks and completely immerse themselves in an educational experience. It’s just really powerful.
We now have thousands of graduates and every single one of them that I’ve talked to has a really unique story. There are people who are 10, or 15, or 20 years into their careers and they, for one reason or another, have just decided to refuse that they are unhappy in their work. They decided to do something about it. People who haven’t been able to finish college for example or people who just really decided they’ve hit a limit on their career go after something that they love rather than selling for something that they tolerate is just really inspiring.
I think about it in this way, I’m not a programmer and that is not my background. If all I did all day was share content about programming, frankly that is only going to be interesting to a really limited audience. It wouldn’t be interesting to me because that’s not what I do everyday. But I think sharing people’s stories, that’s where the fun is. That’s where the real, honest truth is.
Thank you to Nathan and to CoSchedule for talking to me about the value of sharing customer success stories, and thank you to the hundreds of Iron Yard alumni who have trusted us with their stories.
To infinity and beyond.