Pin Down Your Pivots

Great marketing is about connecting with your customers in a way that makes them think of you first and like you the most when they need what you sell.

One of the fastest ways to achieve this desired result is story telling.

Here are some of the tools you can use to build marketing stories:

  • Theater of the mind
  • Origin stories
  • Random Entry
  • Frosting
  • Frank
  • Frosted Frank
  • Brandable Chunks
  • Character Diamond
  • Crazy Ivan
  • Duality
  • Divergence
  • Convergence
  • Third Gravitating Body
  • Felt Need
  • Frameline Magnetism
  • Magical Thinking
  • Seussing
  • Reality Hooks

So, which tools or techniques should you use?

I don’t know.

What kind of story are you telling?

There are a million ways to tell and construct a good story. Like building a house, you’ll know which tools to use once you have a blueprint for what you’re building.

Well then, how do you draw the blueprint of your story?

Start with the pivot points.

Pivot points are where the story’s direction changes. They’re like the corners of a house. Every wall runs straight until it hits a corner. What are the corners of your story?

Here are some examples of pivot points in a fictional tale of woe.

“I was doing fantastic and raking in the money. Then one customer defaulted on their payment (Pivot 1). I didn’t realize that it set off a chain reaction…yadda yadda yadda…eventually I had to file for bankruptcy (Pivot 2), and I lost everything…listing of woes, sorrows, and hardships. After a while I sat down to see if I could figure out where everything went wrong and I discovered something important (Pivot 3). So, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and rebuilt. Now I’m doing better than ever.”

While the above story is painfully predictable, do you see how all the fiddly bits of the story revolve around the pivot points?

So, before you start worrying about how to use theater of the mind, third gravitating bodies, or frameline magnetism, take some time to pin down your pivot points.

They’re the most interesting parts of your story and they’ll create the framework on which everything else hangs.

– Zac Smith, VC