Show cover of Strategic Storytelling

Strategic Storytelling

Strategic Storytelling blends together the magic of storytelling with practical strategies for marketing a small business, with a focus on copywriting, branding, and planning. Cathy Goodwin, an online strategist and published author, shows entrepreneurs new ways to use storytelling and copywriting to attract their perfect clients.


073 The Surprising Way To 10X The Impact Of Your Content
"I've heard this all before." "You sound just like everybody else in your field." "I can't remember...what did you say again?" Content creation takes work. Nobody wants to hear those responses after putting in effort to create what should have been a remarkable blog post, web page, podcast or landing page. In this episode we talk about specific ways to achieve originality in your message. In particular, we'll talk about the importance of creating a framework as a container for your message. Once you've established a framework your messaging becomes infinitely easier. When I established my 5 story archetype framework, I was able to create content more easily. I was also able to help clients with branding questions.  Resouces:  Podcast on voice  - Episode 37 Listen on Apple Listen on Spotify Listen anywhere - search for Episode 37 Course on credibility      
08:49 09/07/2022
072 Entrepreneurs: Get Past Your Comfort Zone With Storytelling
You want to grow a business ... but what happens when you keep telling yourself stories keep you from moving forward? Stories that seem so real and vivid you never think to question them? The truth is, comfort zones are just too ... comfortable.  Mike Krupit is an entrepreneur who's consulted with many companies over the years. Mike now supports business owners and entrepreneurs who are serious about developing profitable businesses. Mike talks about how we can get out of our way when we recognize these stories that hold us back.  He points out that we're encouraged to be open and authentic...but we need the right kind of authenticity. Balancing openness with professionalism holds the key.  Sources on the call: Herminia Ibarra - The Authenticity Paradox (HBR article Mike uses with his clients)  Herminia Ibarra - Working Identity  - book on Amazon Mike can be found at    
30:24 08/24/2022
071 Building A Community By Telling Stories With Alex Hillman of Indy Hall
Many organizations are still struggling to rebuild community after the pandemic forced everyone apart. Alex Hillman is the founder of Indy Hall, one of the first coworking spaces in Philadelphia. He had to answer the question, "How do you keep a space-based community together when the space goes away?"  In this episode, Alex shares stories that show why Indy Hall coworking is far more than a piece of real estate.  He shows how the community helps members find their way, grow and change.  Around 28:40, he shares some advice on choosing the best stories to tell - not necessarily stories of your most impressive success.  Alex is an entertaining and sought-after speaker. Enjoy your time with this episode! Reach Alex at or his email, and share what resonated with you. 
32:14 08/08/2022
070 The 5-Step Story Behind A Successful Small Business Blog
Thinking of starting or growing a blog? This episode breaks down the steps - which are not what most marketers will tell you. You'll save a lot of time (and enjoy a more successful blog) when you stop and ask just a few extra questions. To discover your marketing archetype (which helps you create a blog consistent with your marketing style), download this free report -  
18:08 07/31/2022
069 Small Business Branding: Your Brand Is Not Your Beach Towel
Branding consultants and courses often try to learn from big-name consumer products , such as beer and cola drinks.   Small service-based businesses run into trouble when they try to copy the big guys - like a petite female competing with big, muscular power lifters in a weight training class. Big brands wear their brands like beach towels. Small business branding starts when you take off the towel. This episode uses a fun summer metaphor to highlight the difference between large and small business branding...and why your whole approach to branding has to be different. Learn more in my book, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time. I have a free guide to branding for small business, which you can download here. Visit my website,, for more resources - free and for sale.  Don't forget to rate and review this podcast episode! 
06:15 07/21/2022
068 A Story A Day To Grow Your Business - With Ellen Finkelstein
Ellen Finkelstein uses email marketing to grow her list. She sends out emails every day - 7 days per week - and each email begins with a story from her own everyday life.  Ellen is what I'd call a role model archetype. That means her promise is, "I'm just like you. If I can do it, you can do it." She uses stories to build profitable relationships with her very large,  responsive list.  In this episode you'll discover Ellen's system for... ...choosing which stories to include in her emails ...finding stories when nothing seems to appear ...deciding what to leave out of her email stories. We also talked about how her Role Model archetype influences her marketing.  You can learn more about Ellen at her website, 
21:33 07/10/2022
067 Is it time to stop telling business stories?
Storytelling has been a big business buzzword for a long time. Small business owners frequently are encouraged, "Learn to tell stories!" or even, "You can't market without storytelling in the 21st century!" Of course there's a backlash. We're hearing criticism of storytelling. It's fake. Companies use stories to come across as warm and fuzzy when they're cold as ice. People are tired of hearing stories.  There's some truth to those criticisms...and we can learn from them. But...stop telling stories? That's another...story. This episode explains. Download your free guide to the 3 Common Storytelling Mistakes (and the 1 Fix You Can Apply).  Episode #22 explains what I mean by "concept story." For a deeper explanation of concept stories, hero's journey and other stories, look up my book: Grow Your Business One Story At A Time.  Don't forget to subscribe and leave a rating as well as a review. Drop by my website and say hello - 
11:29 06/30/2022
066 How To Leverage Your Working Style To Become More Productive
You plan your next offer -a program or product. Some business owners get an idea and dive right in. I’m in this category. We execute fast…and wish we’d taken more time to plan.   Others like to nail every detail. They want to be crystal clear on the step-by-step systems. They lose time by overthinking.  I call these categories the "jumpers" and the "clingers." They tell different stories. They operate differently. And they can be extremely successful. The challenge is step beyond your comfort zone to try a different style...or to leverage your current style for maximum productivity.  That's what we talk about in this episode: using your work style to be more productive on your own terms.  I'm Cathy Goodwin and my website is  
12:38 06/18/2022
065 How to respond when they say "It's too expensive"
Small businesses get the "too expensive!" objection all the time. In this episode we dive into the client stories that might drive these objections.  Sometimes the clients don't "get" your value - but sometimes your offer conflicts with their story. I share some recommendations to help you deal with these objections more productively and profitably. Learn more about getting inside the client's mind with this free guide - I also work with clients through the Strategic Intensive.  
16:54 06/13/2022
064 Why these 2 story templates bring in more sales
Certain story templates are more effective when it comes to attracting more clients and generating more sales. Is it because they create more intense conflict?  The surprising answer is, "No." In his book, Story Paradox, Author Jonathan Gottschall reveals a stunning fact: the higher the level of poetic justice on a TV show, the higher it performs in the ratings.  In this episode of Strategic Storytelling, you'll discover the real reason these stories work...and you'll be able to apply these insights to your own business.    Jonathan Gottschall's book, The Story Paradox explores the darker side of storytelling. My ebook, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time, explains how to use storytelling purposefully for business growth.  Visit my website for more resources.   … 
12:53 06/05/2022
063 When you need to show you can do the job, tell the 2 stories. job, tell these 2 stories.
When you're a small service-based business, you are the brand ... and you deliver the value to your clients. Prospective clients come to you with the question, "Can you really do the job?" This question breaks down into 2 questions: Why are you qualified? And How committed are you? Are you a dilettante, trying things out? Or will you be there for me when I need you? In this episode, you'll discover how these questions arise. You'll hear two kinds of stories to answer these questions. Based on my online video course, Content for Credibility.   
13:54 05/31/2022
062 Credibility for Business Leadership: Interview with Mitchell Levy
Without credibility, you can't have a successful business. That's the lesson from Mitchell Levy, a Global Credibility Expert.  In this episode, Mitchell explains why credibility is important. He identifies some surprising indicators of credibility, such as being coachable, being a servant leader and showing up.  We also talked about using stories to reinforce credibility (and how the wrong story can kill your credibility fast).  We came up with some memorable examples!  This episode will give you a new perspective on how to use credibility as an essential source of business growth.  Mitchell can be reached at  My course on credibility:
34:18 05/19/2022
061 3 Stories That Send Clients Away (and what to do instead)
As a new business owner, I was advised to share stories that would build the know, like, and trust factor.   I soon discovered 3 types of stories that had the opposite effect. They created distance, confused my audience, and left them saying, "That's bizarre." You'll discover why these types of stories don't work (and what to do instead).  Mentioned: Relocation book on Amazon Free report on understanding clients Free report on story archetypes  
14:53 05/11/2022
060 Why that story got a laugh but not a sale (and surprisingly easy fix)
A lot of business owners have been told, "Stories entertain and captivate your audience."   If you buy that, you're not getting the full power of storytelling. Stories can support for your strategy and simplify your marketing. That's the big difference between personal and business stories. Personal stories might get an appreciative laugh, but business stories can do so much more. Anyway, your business audience might not be amused by your personal stories. I've referenced the topic indirectly. This episode clearly shows the difference between personal and business stories - and how strategizing your story helps you go beyond entertainment to reach your business goals.  Discover 17 ways storytelling can help grow your business with this free guide:
14:54 05/06/2022
059 Rebranding: A 3-step strategy for small businesses
We hear a lot about rebranding. Bt what happens when you take your business in a new direction? Or direct your energy toward a new target market?  This episode introduces 3 steps you need to rebrand profitably with a new story.  Find your story archetype here
11:31 05/01/2022
058 For a simpler path to course creation, begin with a story
Online course creation has become a major industry. If you're a business owner, your course gives you new opportunities to grow your business, find clients and gain credibility.  Designing a course can be challenging. How do you know what to include? How do you figure out how to sequence the modules?  Explore a new way to design your course by starting with a story. You'll appeal to more students and have fun with the process.  My course on course creation is Use the code COURSE50 for a 50% discount as a thankyou for listening. Free guide: 17 surprising ways to grow your business with storytelling 
14:39 04/24/2022
057 3 Tips To Win Clients As A Master Storyteller
Creating your story is just the first part storytelling. You also need a way to tell your story.  As a business storyteller, your goal is to get listeners and readers involved in your story. They will see themselves in your story. They will want to jump in and join the story. Or realize "this isn't my story" and go elsewhere, saving you both some time. Learn more about storytelling when you download 17 Surprising Ways to Grow Your Business With Stories - free when you click here: Enjoy the podcast - and don't forget to leave a rating and a review, preferably on the Apple website. 
12:45 04/19/2022
056 How To Design A Story That Reaches Your Ideal Clients
Most stories will attract attention. Small business owners need to go beyond attracting attention to create stories that attract and persuade.  How do you attract your ideal clients? Create a story with elements they can relate to. A story that helps them see themselves in the story.   How do you do this? It's a pretty simple tweak, actually... but you have to decide consciously to structure your story this way.  This episode shows you how. To better enter the conversation in your client's mind, download my free guide -  If you like this podcast, don't forget to leave a review and subscribe!  From Cathy Goodwin - 
10:07 04/05/2022
055 How To Stand Out In A Crowded Space
They're not paying attention to your content? No surprise: there's a lot of noise in the background.  This episode (based on my new course - ) introduces the 2 factors that influence credibility...illustrated with a story. When classical violinist Joshua Bell agreed to a journalism-inspired gig ... not on a concert hall, but on a subway station in Washington DC. Why was he ignored in the subway? This story holds clues to getting your message heard on the crowded Internet. You might also like my free report - Understanding Your Client's Motivation to Buy -  
13:35 04/01/2022
054 3 Techniques To Become A Better Storyteller
Business storytelling works like a muscle. When you need a story, you have to be ready. Just as you do workouts and exercises to be ready to play tennis or basketball, you need to exercise your storytelling muscles so you'll be ready when you need a story.  You don't always need a story - but when you need one, you need to have the skills to choose and tell that story.  Just as your gym workouts prepare you for basketball, these exercises prepare you for the storytelling event that makes a difference.  Free download: 17 surprising ways to use storytelling for business -
10:34 03/29/2022
053 Impostor Syndrome or Impostor? Your story knows!
When you’re new to your business or career field, you might be asking yourself, “Am I really qualified to do this?” Your friend, mentor or coach assures you, “Of course! You know more than you realize.”  They might even say, "You have impostor syndrome!:  Are they right Do you suffer from impostor syndrome? Or are you being encouraged to be an impostor? How. can you tell? Look to the truth of your story. Frankly, most of us have been impostors at one time or another. When you’re just getting started, it’s easy to tell yourself, “I’ll fake it till I make it.” You may not even realize you're doing it. On the other hand, a lot of qualified business people have trouble claiming their true and powerful stories.  What are the signs of an impostor? Some of them may surprise you!  Does this episode resonate? Let me know in the comments or send me a message. Mentioned in this podcast:  Episode  45: Your connect the dots story  Episode 37: Why story has more impact than voice    5 story archetypes –  The long game  - 
12:08 03/21/2022
052 When Nobody Understands What You Do, Tell These 2 Stories
Your company offers a product that can solve a big problem, but nobody understands the concept.  In marketing terms, you're introducing an idea that's "new to the world." They've never seen anything like it before. How do you communicate what you offer? How do you make it believable?  This podcast shows you how 2 types of stories can overcome this challenge and make a totally new concept seem believable and even essential.  Learn more about getting inside your client's mind with my free report-  I mention my book on relocation, available on Amazon here. 
14:06 03/13/2022
051 How To Use Vulnerability In Your Business Story
Yes - you should include vulnerability in your business story. But not YOUR vulnerability: it's about your clients.  The experts don't tell you to bare all. They associate vulnerability with being brave. They tell you to be very choosy about your audience.  You do need to know enough about shame and vulnerability to enter the conversation in your client's mind. Clients can feel vulnerable when they call you - no matter what you offer.  Understand their fear by digging through their baggage.  Learn more at And forget everything you've heard about "being vulnerable" in business. 
17:18 03/08/2022
050 Tell a story to create an "aha" moment
When you get an "aha moment" (almost what used to be called a "Eureka moment") you see the world a new way. Maybe you ask a new question. Maybe you see a way to reconcile conflicting viewpoints. Above all, you get a surprise. This episode shows 3 ways a story can create an aha moment. When you create this kind of moment, you find your readers or listeners often are more willing to listen to you with an open mind...or discover an important lesson on their own. Learn more about the role of storytelling in marketing from this free report - 
12:48 03/03/2022
049 Forget about being "catchy" (do this instead)
Small businesses can be urged to come up with a catchy headline, slogan or product name. But what does a "catchy" slogan do for us?? For a big brand of cola or sportswear, a catchy tag line may stand out. Small businesses don't have time. Clients make decisions by clicking a mouse. They don't see our ads on television and magazines. We have to go for "persuasive," even "profitable" content.  Instead of being catchy, focus on entering the conversation in your client's mind. I explain more in my free report - Don't forget to leave a rating and a review - help the podcast continue to grow! 
11:16 02/27/2022
048 The Danger of Branding Yourself With A Single Story
You share "your story" -- especially a personal story--and you get backlash. Often that story will be the *one* story your audience will hear about you. You're judged (fairly or not) by that one story.  Inspired by the Ted Talk, Danger of a Single Story, this episode shows why you need to realize that any story can become your branding story. You'll be identified by the story, which can become distorted.  Your audience reviews your story through the lens of their backstory. I have a free report on finding your client's backstory -  Some unusual examples here! Tell me what you think.  Please leave a rating and review - preferably on Apple - and share widely.     
09:49 02/22/2022
047 The Missing Piece In The Hero's Journey Story
In your business story, you're the guide and your client is the hero. In traditional stories, the guide just appeared to save the hero's life, money, or dream. Cinderella's godmother showed up spontaneously; Luke Skywalker finds one Yoda. There's a hidden step to your own business hero story. In this episode, you'll learn about the 7 steps in Donald Miller's Storybrand framework, based on my interpretation of his deservedly popular book. We apply the steps to a fairy tale hero - Cinderella - and a contemporary business client. We'll have some fun imagining Cinderella's godmother promoting herself for the role as she competes against other godmothers.  The godmother (and you) need to understand the client's backstory. You can download a free guide to help you enter the conversation in the client's mind: http://cathygoodwincom/baggage Enjoy the episode!   
13:47 02/14/2022
046 Unpacking the Structure of a Persuasive Story
Storytellling for business doesn't work like storytelling for movies and novels. You start with different ingredients and you assemble them strategically. Persuasive stories don't follow the "beginning, middle, and end" structure. They don't follow the "and then one day" style of improv either. They're designed to show how you help clients. They don't leave you feeling good. They leave you feeling, "I want what they're having." I mentioned a couple of free guides: Enter the conversation in your client's mind: Discover your story archetype: If you like this episode, please don't forget to leave a rating and a review. We're still in the early stages and I'd love to connect with you.   
12:35 02/05/2022
045 The story you need to gain credibility in a new field
Entrepreneurs rarely find their businesses by walking a straight line. They move from lawyer to professional organizer, from corporate exec to life coach, or from police officer to financial planner.  As they pivot, prospects ask skeptically, "Are you really qualified to do this?” They won’t connect the dots for you. That’s why you need a story that shows exactly how you got from there to here. This episode walks you through 4 parts of a successful connect-the-dots story…a story that won’t just satisfy curiosity, but helps you position yourself as an expert…and relate more effectively to prospective clients. References to archetypes are explained in this free guide. Learn how to speak directly to your target market with this course and tips for personal branding with stories   
12:14 01/28/2022
044 Middle Bear Branding: Between Cookie Cutter and Far Out Extreme
Small service businesses walk a fine line in branding. They don't want to blend in with everyone else (like "little boxes" of the famous song). But sometimes it's tempting to go to the other extreme: an original name to describe your service.  The middle bear approach - not too hot or too cold - begins by telling a story that resonates with your client's story. We're all hard-wired to categorize. Your challenge is to help the client find a way to understand what you do, yet differentiate from the competition.  That's what we cover in this episode.  The free ebook mentioned is 
19:55 01/22/2022