Thought Leadership Studio Podcast Episodes:

The Power of a Back Story

Episode Five: A back-story is a hidden structure like a skeleton. George Lucas' use of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey for Star Wars is an example of the archetype level of back story. And there are 2 other levels of back-story building used in Strategic Thought Leadership.


#archetypes, #branding, #contentmarketing, #contentwriting, #inspiration, #josephcampbell, #leadership, #marketing, #myth, #nlp, #persuasion, #storytelling, #strategicthoughtleadership, #thoughtleadership

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Your "back-story" is the "story behind the story" that makes it all work.

Skeleton of the Back-StoryYour message should have an invisible structure on which the content of the story is hung, like how flesh and muscles are hung on a skeleton. Similar to how we don't see the skeleton in a person unless we're using an x-ray machine, it may not be visible to the casual observer, reader, or content consumer. But they feel it.

Without our skeletons, we'd be shapeless masses of skin and muscle sprawled across the floor like blobs of jelly. The constant jokes from our friends about "having no backbone" would quickly get old. Formerly easy tasks - like lifting a leg over an old, gleaming Harley ahead of kick-starting it to life and feeling the vibrations like a paint shaker to the sound of "potato, potato" and smell of burnt oil - would be extremely difficult. We'd slide off the seat, most likely, and maybe even into a gutter if the street is slick. Then the rats would ... ok, enough of that analogy.

So, we need those bones.

It is similar with our thought leadership, packaged as it usually is as a leadership, persuasion, sales or marketing story. It needs the structure of a back-story similarly "holding things together" to have (largely subconscious) impact.

There are three levels of back-story included in the building blocks of Strategic Thought Leadership

  1. Language Structure Level: A new mental model better aligns with your audience's higher values. Put more simply, you are helping an audience embrace a helpful, fresh perspective on the product, service, niche, profession, or industry. Persuasion-engineered talking points undermine old thinking and support the new model. They can also guide a content marketing or PR program where every content piece or press release has a clear purpose that gives it focus and helps it cut through the cacophony of the internet.
  2. Emotional State Path Level: Know the feeling you are guiding them from and the new, better feeling you are guiding them to. NLP offers ways to both accurately describe and access these states. Strongly anchor powerful, positive feelings to your "Thought Leadership Position" to help create motivation for that bright, gleaming positive future you are leading your audience to. To clarify, you help your prospects, followers, viewers, or readers feel great about where you are taking them. If I was going to do something like that with this post, I might ask the reader to imagine the joy of the benefits of doubling the magnetism of their communication, then doubling it again.
  3. Archetypes Level: When you can resonate with archetypes using mythic story patterns and character associations, it awakens the "deep mind" and powerful states of consciousness. This adds to your persuasion. To put it another way, certain storylines repeat themselves over various cultures and times for a reason: they have power to move people. The better you can organize your Thought Leadership Model to match the structure of these timeless tales of challenge and valour, the more impact it will have.
The Marketers Guide to Strategic Thought Leadership describes some of the building blocks of language structure and state path back-story building.

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Written by Chris McNeil, Strategic Thought Leadership NLP Coach and Consultant, Founder of Thaut, host of Thought Leadership Studio podcast, and Creator of the Thaut Process of Strategic Thought Leadership.

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