In this episode, you will learn the fundamentals of storytelling with Samuel P.N. Cook and Paddy Ney. Understand how storytelling works and how it applies to marketing. Learn why it is better to inspire through storytelling, rather than manipulate with marketing 'tricks'. Discover the StoryMatters movement and its fundamental principles.
Guest: Samuel P.N. Cook and Patrick Ney
Date Added: Dec 23, 2017 12:56:46 PM
Length: 45 min
Podcast moments that will matter to you:
Which medium will outlive Facebook and Google?
Why do good tactics and marketing tricks fail?
Sam’s story: from Belfast, England to Louisiana, United States
Sam’s story: School of Life at West Point Military Academy
Sam’s story: Being a PR officer at war
Sam's story: The transition from Army Officer to storytelling marketer
Paddy’s story: Learning how government leaders tell stories that change the way we think
Paddy’s story: Learning how to get storytelling right which has led to 1.5 million Facebook views
Stepping into a new field of work and dealing with identity loss
Why Story Matters and how this will remain constant moving forward
The central idea of the StoryMatters Movement: inspiration is more powerful than manipulation
Key points you will learn in this episode:
Similarities between the battlefield and marketing.
How to become a marketer while busy with another career.
How to influence using inspiration, rather than manipulation.
How storytelling can change your approach to marketing.
Why the most efficient marketers don't have marketing degrees.
Why is it important to have a mentor.
How understanding your avatar needs and fears can help you prosper in your business.
Resources for you:
Patrick Ney's viral video, 1,5 million views
Paddy: [00:00:16] Hello and welcome to the StoryMatters podcast with your host Paddy Ney and Sam Cook. Sam, how are you doing?
Sam: [00:00:22] Doing well Paddy. And, well this is an exciting moment. Our first official podcast with the StoryMatters list. So, welcome. StoryMatters listener. And...
Paddy: [00:00:35] Welcome to the show. So what is this podcast all about, Sam? Why are we here in the morning before work has begun. To talk about StoryMatters, storytelling?
Sam: [00:00:45] Yes. So, a couple of reasons we're doing this show Paddy is... If you listen to this podcast, chances are you might have entered our community through a video on Facebook. Well, I actually prefer personally to listen to podcasts. So, this podcast is a different medium, probably more intimate, one through which to discuss the ideas that we teach at StoryMatters. It's also a chance to discuss the interviews of people, mentors and experts in the field. And I think just start a long-running, never-ending- hopefully, conversation on storytelling. The topic is a bit broad. And, well, we are mainly business owners and marketers listen to this podcast. I think it's very helpful to go outside of our field and our comfort zone to explore different ideas. That's one of the ways that I became a marketer was doing that.
Paddy: [00:01:47] And I'm super excited about this. This is the first time I've ever been a host for a podcast. I've been a guest a few times. And maybe we should put a little health warning on this podcast to say: We are literally the podcastoholics and we understand your pain, but we also understand your love to podcasting as well. So, we're going to try to express that, but another warning is for too super-historian-type people, it will be history, so...
Sam: [00:02:10] Well, in this format much more so even the video content that we put out, you will hear, probably, deepest thoughts and insights on storytelling, because I've listened to four-hour podcasts before. I'm not threatening you with a podcast of that length, but I've listened to a very long podcast before. And the reason I love podcasts is it's so easy to listen to something throughout the day. Break it up. You've got a long run. I like to go for the long slow runs and just listen to podcasts. Sometimes you're doing something you can't get out of housework or whatever you have to do. And it's what I think the most effective, busy, efficient people, the way they learn. I know that I've not had a lot of time to read, which is my favorite form of consuming content, just because of how busy I am, but podcasting has really filled that gap. And you feel like you get to know someone: some of your authors, some of my authors that I love and listen to, mentors who have podcasts. I think it's actually the best way to learn in many respects. So, it's as if you're sitting next to Paddy and I having a beer. That's- that's the kind of feeling we want to have, no strict agenda, but some comments you'd want to hear.
Paddy: [00:03:27] So, Sam, before we talk about what we're going to talk about today, like, what is this podcast not? Is this going to be a place to come and find tactics and tricks and how do the best audience segmentation on Facebook?
Sam: [00:03:40] No, all these things that we do in our funnel are right now as of August 2017 are important, but they're going to change. So rather than stay at the tactical level, I mean who knows what Facebook's going to be in five years, maybe there's a brand new social network. Facebook came out of nowhere and swamped every other technology platform out there.
[00:04:10] And Google 20 years ago didn't exist. Facebook, 10 years ago or 15 years ago, it didn't exist, so, storytelling is ancient. It's- it's stood the test of time and I think in one of the things we'll talk about is why it's now more important than ever. But I don't want to get lost in the weeds of storytelling, and, of course, we're going to have some guess on who will talk about what's working right now.
[00:04:29] But we always want to bring it to the higher, higher level, which is all the tips and tricks and tactics and hacks out there in the marketing world are not really that interesting to me. Because I believe none of that really matters until you get one thing right. And that's as a story, once you nail your story, you can get a lot wrong, and if you know your story you are going to speak to people, like. If you tell people, you show them a better future, a better story they can live for their life and then you provide a path through your free products, your paid products to get there. Then, you could change their lives. And they'll forgive a lot of mistakes, they'll forgive, like, setting up your Facebook ad wrong and having a bad copy and bad subtitles and things like that. But what they won't forgive is not showing that you get them, you understand the story they're living and you show them a better story that they can invest in. And that's really the fundamental idea behind marketing and sales is helping people buy a better future.
Paddy: [00:05:29] Ok, let's rewind, maybe, and just talk about who we are, because we're just two handsome sounding voices at this stage, Sam.
Sam: [00:05:34] Face made for radio.
Paddy: [00:05:37] Speak for yourself.
Paddy: [00:05:39] All right. I'll stop asking you. Can you just tell us who you are, how you came to the subject of storytelling, where your passion for it came from and maybe just tell our listeners a little bit more about yourself and you the background?
Sam: [00:05:51] I am reluctant to make this podcast all about our stories because I believe it's better to listen to their stories. But in the podcast medium that is actually acceptable, and actually probably okay, because if people are listening to you for an hour or two- an hour and a half on a per episode on a podcast they really want to get to know you. And this is chats over beers. So, pretending we're at a nice club-or bar with our listeners, depending on where you're from.
Sam: [00:06:21] How did I get into storytelling?
[00:06:23] Well it all goes back to when I was four years old, really. One of five children growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My dad was teaching theology, was actually getting his Ph.D. in theology and then he became a pastor, later in life, a Church of England minister. And my mother was, at that time, a French and Spanish teacher who was raising her children.
[00:06:45] And I found that's being one of five children, there wasn’t a lot of attention. Everything was great until my little brother was born and then all of a sudden the attention went to him and then to my little sister. And I found that, as a small child, my father was particularly proudly British, where he said: “Well I'm going to let my wife deal with the children until they have something intelligent to say.” And he'd sit and read books and we'd run around and fight in the house, and he’d barely look up unless something was really a mess.
[00:07:21] And, my grandfather, Alan Cook, Pop Cook, they called him. He was over visiting us. And it was 1982 during the Falklands War. And I remember he used to switch off his hearing aid because he didn't want to hear all the noise. Four young boys running around at the time and, apparently, I got him to switch on his hearing aid and was giving him running commentary on the Falklands War. And it was actually intelligible or, let's say, even somewhat intelligent. And he was quite surprised. And he called my father over, who had studied history, and said: “Peter you need to watch this one, he's, he's pretty smart.”
[00:08:05] And as a 4-year-old positive reinforcement, attention in a family, where there's, I don't think any family has a perfect situation, but we had busy parents and finite amounts of attention. They were doing their best. But I found that I really connected with my father over history. My father, at that point, took an interest to my interest in history and that just became a positive, very positive feedback loop.
[00:08:35] And at nine years old, my mother, who is American, and my father, who's English, growing up in Belfast Northern Ireland, and the troubles, they realized that perhaps there's a better future for us somewhere else. Moved to the United States. And, well, before I talk about the United States, Belfast I thought it was a wonderful place to grow up, because we saw soldiers in the street all the time and there was kind of exciting, and bombs were going off here and there and... not that that's a great thing, obviously, as a child, you don't understand the consequences of war, potentially, unless it personally affect you and your family. But I thought it was normal.
[00:09:10] And when I moved to the States, one of the earliest inklings was where all the soldiers who are stationed on the streets? The British soldiers that were at checkpoints all over the place. So, moved to the United States and Lake Charles Louisiana, quite a culture shock. And one of the first things I did, was I did a presentation of my class about Great Britain and British history, specifically World War Two and Winston Churchill, and the Battle of Britain.
[00:09:46] It was quite impressive so I realized as a shy Irish kid that I impressed quite a bit my American classmates, of whom I was a bit afraid or a little bit shy around. And again, positive reinforcement loop. I am a historian and that's why people know and respect me. And it's just, let's say, a story I kind of told myself from early age, which was I liked history and I became good at it. And when you believe something about yourself, you tend to reinforce that and develop that skill and manifest it.
[00:10:13] So fast forward to 18. I'm a trumpet player growing up love of music, love movie soundtracks, love watching movies and listen to the music. But I lost the Louisiana trumpet competition to my best friend, which was an intolerable slight and I decided that, okay, I'm not going to be a professional trumpet player if I can’t even win the Louisiana trumpet competition against my friend, who was obviously not as good as me. And he went on actually to become a fantastic trumpet player.
[00:10:44] And I decided, my brother said to me, after I read all this history, used to go to an American Civil War battlefields with my parents, go to all these places and drag them around literally. Family vacations dragging them around Civil War battlefields and learning history.
[00:11:03] I heard from my brother, who said to me: Sam, have you ever heard of West Point? And West Points is the United States military academy. And I said, yeah, of course, I've read about it. I knew that George Patton, who I remember watching the movie Patton with my father and reading the books about Patton, and he was kind of my idol growing up, probably, because I like to behave a lot like him in some ways. And I said, yes of course, I knew, but I didn't know it existed still. And he said: yes that's what you can actually go there to university. It's where the best young men in the country, actually women too, leaders go to challenge themselves. And I thought, wow, that sounds like a grand adventure. It's even free. The government pays you to go there if you get in. So it's highly competitive, comparable to Harvard or Oxford education in terms of its quality and its rigor. Then you get the physical component the military component.
[00:11:58] I thought, well that sounds great. I needed a way out of Louisiana, which to me was a boring backwater that I didn't want to grow up in. I wanted to see the world. I went to West Point had a great time in some ways, had a very tough time in others. It was quite, let’s say challenging. They'd like to strip down to nothing in the army and especially, as a future officer, really strip you down to nothing. The first year is pretty much not pleasant at all. You're like a second-class citizen. But it was quite interesting and humbling and taught you a lot of discipline and about yourself. So once I got through that, I decided I was going to stay.
[00:12:39] I decided to major in history. West Point very historic Constitution, loves its history, teaches best military history ever. And I ran into some amazing mentors. Chris Kolenda, who will actually be our future podcast guest, and someone that we highly recommend. And I decided to major in history. Even though I was probably better at math and physics and some of the other subjects.
[00:13:07] And it was the best decision I ever made. Because I knew I had a job and I was getting out, as an Army officer, and why not love what you're studying. I took many, many classes on classical history and Christianity in the middle ages and, you name it I took it. Became a European historian. One of the reasons probably I'm living in Europe now is I feel like a kid at Disneyland, where everything is so cool to go see and knowing the history of Europe so well because of that education. It's hard to not live here, actually.
[00:13:38] So, get out of the army. Peace has broken out at the end of the Cold War in 1996 when I entered West Point. It’s peace in our time, the end of history, there's not going to be any more wars. And on September 11th 2001 happens. President Bush decides to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq. 2003 I get a government funded taxpayer all expense trip to the Middle East to Turkey during the invasion of Iraq. Then I don't end up going into Iraq at that point and I come back in 2005. Then I go back in 2007 and 8.
[00:14:14] And through this time I really ran into some amazing mentors in the military. When I was just joining the military I've heard of this guy, H.R. McMaster, who's a major at the time. And he was this legendary armored commander. I was going into the cavalry also. Found out he was commander in Germany, where I happened to be going. I e-mailed him and said: I would like to serve under you.
[00:14:42] And he somehow had connections in the personnel office and was able to direct me from 200,000 troops in Germany into his unit, which was not something that would have happened otherwise. So I got into his unit. He became a mentor. He was a historian. And the reason I talk about him is he's someone that has greatly influenced my thinking because I got to see someone, who is a great historian, who is a storyteller bend history and actually make history. And make history at a very large scale. And what I mean by this is he was my commander and as a lieutenant. And then when I was new I was going to go back to Iraq.
[00:15:31] I followed him over to his unit the 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment and went to Iraq with him. And he put me in a position where I was a staff officer, at the time, and he made me his assistant, his adjutant, where he was traveling around, commanding 5,000 troops in northwest Iraq in Tal Afar.
[00:15:43] And at that point the U.S. was losing the war, had not been successful in pacifying any of the areas. And he became the first commander who's- who implemented a truly successful counterinsurgency strategy and rewrote the narrative, rewrote the idea of what's possible. And watching him up close, it wasn't because he went out and ran around, and was- was kicking in doors and killing people with his bare hands, and things like that.
[00:16:20] And he was certainly capable of that and was it was a very fierce fighter, and actually would have preferred to have just gone out in his tank and shoot all day, because that was what he did and in the Gulf War and he was good at that. But what he understood was, war is actually an argument and it's a story and it's a battle of stories. If you think about storytelling I'll go on this little bit later, I'll talk about storytelling.
[00:16:39] But he convinced the Iraqi population, he convinced the soldiers that a new story was possible, which was the insurgents, Al Qaeda and what has now become the Islamic State of Iraq could be defeated. And there was a way to do it and he got people to believe in that. And most of what made him so successful was that he sat around telling people a story about history and a better future.
[00:17:03] And since that time in the army, then when I got into marketing, I was just fascinated by the power of being able to imagine a better future, tell that, describe it to people and get them to go along with you. And it was- it was really a transformational moment to witness history up close. And if you google H.R. McMaster now, you're going to find out that he's working for President Trump as his national security adviser, so there's a lot of articles on him. But if you go back into the archives and the Iraq war, one of the reasons he was chosen for that position and thank goodness he's up there as a responsible adult, they call him.
[00:17:42] You know he's a very deep thinker historian who's written a Ph.D. book on Vietnam, but it's also done quite a bit as a, you know, there's been a lot of articles about him and what he did in Iraq and Tal Afar, specifically.
[00:17:59] And I actually, funny story on that I got to. I became his de facto PR officer, so I actually got to see how the real story of Tal Afar unfolded and the story that the media- that I- helped craft. You know, inviting reporters like Michael Ware from Time magazine, Lara Logan from CBS and a bunch of other reporters.
[00:18:22] I actually helped them tell that story and the narrative that went out in the media was extremely powerful. And that was really kind of my job, was observing him and then helping us tell the story, not just to the Iraqis and to our own soldiers- because that was very important, but to the American media, which reinforced the narrative of success, which became this kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
[00:18:46] So, it was a really fascinating time my life and that set me up for becoming, in a weird way, that set me up for becoming a marketer. Because I was a historian, I was a military officer, which has nothing to do with marketing, but I became fascinated by and hooked on the idea that even war can be, the course of a war in the course of history, can be changed by telling a better story. A great story. And arguing that story and getting people to believe into it, buy into it, fight for it.
[00:19:16] I'll never forget that, as long as I live I'll never forget that experience. And the things, the great moments, the horrible moments, the moments you could never ever imagine unless you read a book and able to put yourselves in the shoes. And you know living history and observing it and then going back the second time as a commander and doing a lot more on the ground myself, imitating exactly what I saw General McMaster do and experience in doing it myself in terms of working as a commander on the ground in Iraq.
[00:19:47] And what was- was truly transformative again. I did what he did, which is I guess I sat around and talked a lot to a lot of people and talked our way out of a lot of fighting that I believed was unnecessary. And I was very proud of the fact that talking and listening to people and telling a better story was able to, you know, save lives and not make so many people fight and die for nothing. And that was how I viewed myself in war. I actually told my soldiers: I'm a politician with 140 soldiers with tanks and I'm going to go out and be a politician and tell better stories and try and move people along because there's no reason to necessarily fight, when you can get people to do it.
[00:20:30] And I actually wrote a letter, which is the best e-mail I've ever written while I was in Iraq, that convinced a lot of people to turn themselves in or start fighting with us because they realized they could work with us. And, you know, had to tell my soldiers we don't need to fight all the time. Even though I trained you to kill, that's not necessarily the objective in war, if you can tell a better story and people believe it. Why fight for it?
[00:20:58] So that was a long story about how the heck I got interested in marketing. When I left Iraq I went to New York University, I studied history. Dr. Yani Ketsanas, who I want to have on this podcast also, an amazing mentor, shattered my mind. When I thought about history, he's the guy who taught me that all stories are just fact-based fiction, which means none of them are really true. The question is are they useful? And then, at that point, I went and taught history. And teaching history was amazing because, you know, right now one of the things I view myself as this agency or this publishing company, James Cook Media, is teaching storytelling and how to do it at a high level in terms of crafting that story. Communicating it through film, but then also to master the technical bits, so that you get your story out there. And that's why I love doing our high-end coaching group that we do for, you know, business owners that want to scale their business or marketing agency owners. And then helping new business owners with our Story Matters Academy, which is- which is a teaching platform and a technology platform to enable them to get their business off the ground.
[00:22:05] So, when I decided to leave the Army I knew that I wanted to go in a business and do something else. Marketing.. I started some side businesses in tourism while I was in graduate school, then I was a teacher at West Point and then people. I realized when I was doing my tour business that I really only love marketing. And then I got people who started to ask me to, you know, started to give me money or offer me money to do their website and their storytelling for them. And I just really got into it. And it was my pathway out of the Army, I was starting a marketing agency after I finished teaching history at West Point, which was a truly transformative experience to keep cadets who were really, really tired awake in class was quite challenging.
[00:23:00] And to make them fall in love with history, Russian history. That was really powerfully challenging and a great experience. So, just learning the power of being a mentor, at that point, helping transform people one at a time as a teacher and then got out and started my agency and that business journey I'll probably talk about in some other episodes but that's how I got into marketing and it's a weird path.
Paddy: [00:23:25] It is a weird path, let's face it. But I'm left with one compelling thought, one thought that sticks out to me which is why haven't I won the Louisiana state National Trumpet Competition, so I share your pain on that subject as well.
Sam: [00:23:39] Yeah you're- you're also frustrated. Well, Paddy let me turn the question around to you because you are going to be the co-host of this show, you know, helping draw forth for me my best ideas and question me on the ones that need questioning on. But you, know just, a quick intro, I chose Paddy, because he had studied some of our classes from campus Warsaw by Google, which is the initiative here by Google innovation in Eastern Europe for teaching Marketing, me and a colleague. And Paddy showed up a very eager great student. And I realized by mentoring him that he would be a great addition to our agency. He's a great storyteller in his own right. Paddy why don't you tell us how you got to the point where you're getting a million plus Facebook video views a month on your channel, organic traffic and what the heck brought you to that point here in Poland.
Paddy: [00:24:34] It's not dancing naked on Facebook live, so don't worry.
Sam: [00:24:37] Please keep your clothes on.
Paddy: [00:24:40] I actually had like, in his podcast, I see my role as being the guy who's going to ask the dumb questions that are really annoying when I'm listening to podcasts and thinking yeah, yeah, I understand, but try to explain it for a stupid person. So I'm going to be your stupid person for you and try and ask questions which help you understand what this means for you as a business owner. And if I don't get that right, you can always write to us.
[00:25:00] So, my story doesn't involve bombs so much and it doesn't involve moving from Belfast to Louisiana or anything like that, but nonetheless, actually, like, Sam and I have got some bizarre similarities.
[00:25:15] I grew up in Ipswich in East Anglia, which is called the derriere of Great Britain, because it's sort of a round shape to the east of the country. And I'm the middle of three boys, like you I had to fight quite a bit for attention. But actually, as a child, I spent hours reading. You know, my brothers would be playing and fighting and I'd just lie in bed all day and read book after book. And when I had the time, I was reading 5-10 books simultaneously, so I'd pick up know 20-30 pages then go straight back to a different one. And, you know, book reading was my thing. Everybody knew that Paddy read books better than anybody else. And speed reading is I actually think probably my only genuine technical skill that I really do have.
[00:26:09] I read Lord of the Rings in something like 13 hours. It's, you know, I was reading 300 pages an hour, it's like type speed. And that became my specialization. And a little bit like you, that was positive reinforcement, but I ended up being most interested in stories that I think bring out the best and the worst in us, which are war stories. You know, unfortunately, it's the case that the war really is the ultimate test of so many of our qualities and shows us off in ways that normal life doesn't.
[00:26:30] And I became fascinated in particular by the Second World War. So I've got literally hundreds of books on World War II.
[00:26:37] And I went to study politics because I thought it was an interesting combination of society and English and History, and culture in so many ways, at the University of Nottingham. And then I went and worked in London like most people, British people, do. I worked there for six years. And I ended up by chance working for a series of government ministers. So in this bizarre way, I had access to these people who had a big impact on people's lives. During the financial crisis, I worked for a brilliant lady who called Treaty Vadira.
[00:27:10] She had been an Asian female banker in the 1990s, not a nice place to be in London. To be female or Asian, frankly, very very difficult. And she was an incredibly intellectual person, this ferociously brilliant person and ferocious, frankly. And she was the advisor to John Major, who was prime minister in the 90s and then to Tony Blair. Then specialized as an adviser to Gordon Brown, who was Prime Minister at that time when I worked for her. And she was one of the principal architects of the UK government's response to the financial crisis and I was there during that process.
[00:27:48] And working for these brilliant, extraordinary people I also came to understand, in a different way to Sam, the importance of narrative and storytelling and the stories we tell ourselves. And the way that leaders tell stories that make us think differently. You know, that help us to see the world in a different way and how important that is.
[00:28:12] Now I was kind of chewed up by that experience and in the end I kind of left London, because I’d had enough of it looking back now. And my girlfriend at the time was Polish so I decided to move to Warsaw. And like you Sam, I've kind of got this passion for this country, because it's this incredible story, we're going to talk about this in future podcast episodes I know.
[00:28:41] You know, this country that has survived all sorts of horrible experiences and has fought and struggled together and individually, that's incredible story of success, ultimately, is a very inspiring story about people who overcame oppression, dictatorships, Holocausts, communist mismanagement, and they built this incredible success story with so much potential in front of it.
[00:28:56] And then throughout my entire life I've been writing, I was singing in a band for 12 years. But don't worry, I won't inflict you on that.
Sam: [00:29:04] I sang in the West Point glee clubs so we have- we have two amateur struggling karaoke musicians.
Paddy: [00:29:12] I know you are listening and thinking please do it in the episode. So if we get enough requests we'll do a little.
Sam: [00:29:17] Actually, I think no one wants to hear us sing, but I think you just planted that seed. Don't request Paddy singing.
Paddy: [00:29:24] Please request us singing, I want to do this, so.
[00:29:26] I sang, I wrote poetry at one point. I won't inflict my poetry on you either.
Sam: [00:29:32] No, please don't.
Paddy: [00:29:33] And for the last six years I've been blogging, writing in English and in Polish about my life in Poland. And as Sam was saying at the start, I've been on this bizarre journey where over the last two years I've been doing a lot more film work and recording a load of films in which I express my life here in Poland and try to connect with the Polish people.
[00:30:00] But also to explain Poland to other people, to foreigners as well. And that's really accelerating at the moment. So, I'm getting, as Sam said, you know, over a million views a month on Facebook right now. My last video which I recorded with my iPhone and a good quality mic and nothing else got 1.5 million views in about a week and a half.
Sam: [00:30:17] We'll link to that in the show notes. So you'll get a few more views.
Paddy: [00:30:21] And the next one I do, like, I'm pretty confident that's going to get a million as well. And I'm in that rhythm now with the storytelling and in less than three minutes what I'm trying to do is change people's perspectives in the country they live in.
[00:30:38] So these are not these not films where I strip naked, they are films where I ask difficult questions about the society we are. And one of the amazing things that you can do is if you get storytelling right, You can ask very searching, very challenging questions. And, you know, like, who are we, where are we going, what kind of nation do we want to be? Somehow, I've become this unofficial ambassador to Poland as some people call me. I like to think of myself more like the court jester.
Sam: [00:31:00] If you do get the real ambassadorship, I want a guest room in the British embassy, because, anyway, that would be a fantastic place to have garden parties.
Paddy: [00:31:14] My dear boy, we don't like Americans on our soil. Well, yeah, that will probably never happen, because I'm trying to do something a bit different from what's ever been done before. And, you know the reaction is incredible. I've come from 600 Facebook likes 18 months ago to 45,000 right now.
Sam: [00:31:32] With no paid traffic.
Paddy: [00:31:34] Zero paid traffic.
Sam: [00:31:34] He has not spent a dime or a zloty in Poland here on unpaid traffic.
Sam: [00:31:40] And that's because on three occasions I've just produced a piece of content that has hit the sweet spot. That really has got to the psyche of my viewers and readers and I've got a challenge now which is doing it from Polish to English. But I'm going off course a little bit. We're going to talk about that in more details.
Sam: [00:31:56] I think if you put British subtitles on that video- English subtitles, I think you could just upload that to the same file you'll get a lot more views.
Paddy: [00:32:03] Here's the thing. The stories I tell in Polish are not understandable by English speakers because every single word counts and every single one has history to it. And language is so important, we're going to come back to this. And this has been like an extraordinary journey in my life, in the last 18 months in particular. And I've got some real plans about writing books about Poland, recording more films about Poland and showcasing Poland in a way it has never been done before. And it also feels like quite a heavy responsibility now, in my life, because I've kind of got this mantle of people that do this.
Sam: [00:32:38] People look to you for..
Paddy: [00:32:40] And to be honest I hesitated to record during the last two weeks because I'm scared that the next thing's not going to be good enough. And that's like a very new stage for me as a storyteller so. Well, we'll come back to this, but this for me is where I'm at right now.
[00:32:53] But ultimately it comes back to me being a little boy lying in bed all day reading books constantly and just being fascinated by the stories of interesting people.
Sam: [00:33:02] Yeah. And that's the, you know, Paddy and I both come at this from remarkably similar backgrounds of growing up, reading history, you know, I also learned speed reading from my father for a lot of books in my life. And that's kind of my thing is reading and consuming podcasts and synthesizing and everything, and coming up with new and better ideas.
[00:33:30] But, you know, I came to Poland for many of the same reasons. I was traveling after I left the Army, a lot of things kind of converged in my life right before I settled in Poland. My Army career ended, although I wanted it to end, I'm the one who resigned my commission and wanted to get out.
[00:33:51] It still wasn't a great experience getting out, you go through a little bit of withdrawal, identity loss, when you are no longer an army officer, which is the most, probably, respected profession in the US. Although, the other countries may be surprised by that. In the US they tend to venerate or maybe even over idolise military because of our warlike culture and a little bit of survivor's guilt of people who don't go to all these wars, that we let our government just frivolously send us to. That was a real identity hit. And then at the same time, my little brother passed away. James Cook Media is actually named after my brother who passed away.
[00:34:45] He was a composer. And I've always loved music and grew up loving music, and he was a composer, and one of the things he was worried about was never getting paid for doing what he loved. And the cool part about James Cook Media is, I believe that the musical story, and if you've listened to our videos, really matters I have a sound editor and composer who works for us, who writes the music for all of our videos and our clients videos that we do.
[00:35:03] So, that's a really cool thing for me to communicate through the audio, musical channels. Probably another reason why I'm doing this podcast and love that medium.
[00:35:18] So, that's both of our histories and stories so that you know going forward on this podcast you know little bit more about the personality and the thoughts that are shaping these ideas, as you watch the videos and consume our content and learn our education that we put out in storytelling.
[00:35:37] What, Paddy, our histories went way longer than we expected, so.. they did a little bit, I know, Sam, that you wanted to talk about 5000 years of storytelling, which I don't think you can do it in 10 minutes. Actually, wasn't the agenda we had for today's podcast. But that presents an interesting opportunity for us too.
[00:35:58] Well, what should we do now, Paddy?
Paddy: [00:35:59] Yes, so, that is the question. So, what are we going to do over the course of these podcasts? Like why should the listener who's listening right now take the next steps?
Sam: [00:36:08] Yes, so, the StoryMatters podcast is a running conversation on the history and the future of storytelling. And bottom line, really what we want to do is help you understand the art of storytelling, the ancient timeless art of storytelling, and how to apply it now in the digital age.
[00:36:34] Because we live and we cling to stories. And I'm going to go into this in depth in the next episode. We're going to talk about the history and future of storytelling. And we live and die by stories, and people fight for stories. Entire civilizations have risen and fallen on the quality of their stories. I think when you understand the broader context of story and how it matters in history and how it's affected your life in ways you don't even know, it will be easier for you to contextualise and understand your role as a business owner or marketer or whatever role you have. If you're not a marketer or not a business owner, but you want to influence people in your professional life, stories matter.
[00:37:26] You know a wonderful book that I would highly recommend all of you listen to is Daniel Pink's book To Sell is Human, which is really about why story matters or why selling is so important and we view sales as a dirty term, you might view marketing as something that is beneath you as a business owner, something you don't need your hands dirty with.
[00:37:43] But ultimately, life is about influence. And you're going to influence your wife to marry you and or you're not, or your husband to marry you or you’re not. You're going to influence him to stay with you or you're not, you're going to influence your children to grow up in a certain way that you believe is in the best interest for them or you're not. You're going to influence those that you've entrusted to lead in your organization, or you're not.
[00:38:05] You're going to influence your customers, if you own a business, to invest in a better future or you're not. And you have a choice. And if you do not believe in the power of storytelling other people do.
[00:38:20] And some people don't necessarily have the greatest of intentions. So we want to go through what may- as a marketer what I think became effective was I wasn't a classically trained marketer.
[00:38:36] I didn't go to school for this, I didn't study this, I was never taught this formally and I came at it from a fresh perspective and a broader perspective. And, you know, I brought in documentary filmmaking into marketing because I didn't like the way everyone else was doing marketing. [8.9] I brought in e-mail copywriting from my great mentor Andre Chaperon because I didn't like the way everyone else was doing e-mail copywriting. And I brought in all these things from outside marketing to make marketing better for me and feel better for the way we do it. Because one of the central ideas of this movement, StoryMatters, is to show inspiration is far more powerful than manipulation.
[00:39:24] And the reason we hate marketing is because it feels manipulative. And we've all done it. I mean, we've-we've all fallen prey to some of the things that are taught out there.
[00:39:35] But ultimately, when you try to think about your ideal client and who they are, and really get inside their head, and then understand their deepest fears, their greatest hopes and aspirations for their life. And then you provide a path for them to chase that better future to get away from the pain that they're in right now.
[00:39:58] And you inspire them too. Because even if they see it, people are not going to be inspired to join in without a credible path forward. Because it's easier to stay in pain than to strike out, put yourself out there and risk failure and, you know, everyone around you loves to see you in pain, because it makes them feel better about their own life.
[00:40:18] Anyway, so that's the- the ideas that we're going to be going over in this podcast and the structure of it is going to be the first block, or let's say that content block, that we're going to do is Paddy and I discussing the core tenants of story and why it matters. So the next episode is going to be the history and future of storytelling.
[00:40:36] The episodes after that are going to be on the three core lessons that we teach on story and why it matters, which is first of all who is your hero. It's not about you when you write your story. It's about the audience, the people that you're trying to impact and lead and bring to a better future to as a business owner. We'll go deep into that and expand on some of the things that we teach in our video of course on that.
[00:40:59] The next lesson after that is going to be writing the hero's journey, storytelling and this art of story time. And how do you transpose that map onto a marketing framework? Not just for marketing, but really for how do you take the art of storytelling and use it for influence, but specifically for marketing but it can be applied anywhere.
[00:41:18] And then the episode after that we're going to talk about digital storytelling. So, how do you map a great story for the person that you want to influence and tell their story digitally. Because the great challenge of the digital age is everyone now has a story to tell. I mean, Paddy, you're self-publishing on an iPhone and, you know, we're sitting here on a podcast microphone on a laptop with absolutely no professional qualifications to be broadcasting as you would have needed 20 years ago. And that's the brilliant thing about the digital age. But it's also the challenge because everyone is doing this. Everyone can do this. Everyone can put out a podcast, everyone can put out a YouTube video, Facebook live video and they need no technology and almost no preparation to do it. Which means the noise is greater than ever. And if you don't think about storytelling methodically and how to be a better storyteller in the digital age, and use the tactics and the tools and the different things that are available to you, you can tell the best story in the world and no one's ever going to hear it.
Paddy: [00:42:27] So, yeah, Sam, I think you maybe missed off the episode where we sing.
Sam: [00:42:32] Exactly. God, I hope not.
Paddy: [00:42:35] Here's the thing, guys, like, if it isn't obvious by now that we're going to go deep, really deep in the story then it definitely will be in the next episode. I am so excited about it. I've- I've heard Sam talk about history and future storytelling before and it is very, very interesting, his knowledge of storytelling and that episode for me is really exciting that's the next episode. So, if you're with us and this sounds exciting to me, then you know what to do today. Click the subscribe button, do leave us a review on iTunes and most importantly, share this with other people who you think are going to be inspired by the power of storytelling.
Sam: [00:43:13] And finally thank you Paddy for being, as you say, the useful idiot to answer great questions, sorry, to ask great questions that may seem obvious to me, because I'm lost in this world of storytelling and digital marketing, but if I can explain it to you, I think I can explain it to anyone, because it must be just like the great, dumb, loyal dog. I'm joking. Paddy is actually brilliant in his own life, but he's really good at playing the role of the 'Ask the Expert' type role even though he has phenomenal expertise in his own right. Thank you for playing that role. And thank you for being a member of the StoryMatters community, if you made it this far on the podcast, I think you can stand listening to a lot more deep conversations.
[00:44:04] And if you didn't enjoy the podcast, well, probably best to not continue. Because we're going to go really deep and tell lots of interesting stories and different insights that you wouldn't hear anywhere else, because I think this is, like, the most powerful medium to go deep into this idea of storytelling and get lost a little bit in the power of story with us. And thank you again for joining us. Do leave a review on iTunes if you enjoyed this, do share this with your friends, do comment on what you would like to hear in the future on the podcast. We're going to do this in series like I said, just outline the first one and after that have phenomenal guests lined up for the podcast and I really look forward to going on this journey with you to help you understand and become a better storyteller.
Paddy: [00:45:04] Thanks very much, Sam.
Sam: [00:45:05] Thank you. Paddy.
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