In a Courtroom
In a courtroom (and I say this with full acknowledgement that I’m no Mitch Jackson) you build a story. What makes it harder than other kinds of storytelling is that you don’t get to verbalize the entire story in a single shot.
Sure you get one shot when you open your case, and again another when you summarize. But the real story is created by the series of witnesses you bring to the stand.
A lot of voices. A lot of testimony. But you’re still trying to tell a single story. Just one. Know what I mean?
That’s no easy task. You’re like an orchestra conductor that needs to get just the right notes (not too many, not too loud) from every different instrument.
Too much of one or another becomes distracting and the story gets lost.
In a Church
I don’t know when the last time was that you were in a church, but take my word for it – your “service” or “program” consists of many different folks, each doing their own part.
One person welcomes folks and/or does announcements. Another leads a band to play several songs. Another delivers a message (sermon). And then you have another coordinating a collection of offering, maybe a few more songs and a closing that sends people on their way.
It’s not a courtroom. But the challenge to create a single story, a single narrative, from many different folks, is equally tough.
Too much from one or another and it can become distracting and the story gets lost.
We’re not Pastors or Prosecutors
I’m guessing you’ve not spent a lot of time coordinating a message in a courtroom or a church. It’s ok, not a lot of people have. But the challenge they face is one we face on our websites, which is why I bring them up.
We don’t think about it that way – but that’s only because we don’t have that experience. And even though it’s likely that we’ve all had some experience with either a church or a courtroom (or watched one on TV), it’s never dawned on us that all the parts were trying to tell us one single story.
And that the lessons learned there would be useful to us.
On your WordPress blog
Every one of us with a blog likely has been told that we need all sorts of things on our site.
- Testimonials for social proof.
- Sign ups to join our mailing list.
- Social media buttons for people to follow.
- Facebook boxes so people can join our tribe.
- Lists of popular posts so people know what to read.
So we end up with sidebars and widget areas all over. Filled with stuff. The stuff we’re all told we need. So we add all these components, reading from some list of 12 mistakes you shouldn’t make on your blog, or the top 18 plugins your blog needs.
And every single one of them is a voice that’s supposed to be telling part of a story. Part of your story. A cohesive, strategic message that you want to convey to your audience.
Too much, from all of them, and it can become distracting and the story gets lost.
So let me ask you a few questions. On your own site, have you been managing the story? Are you the conductor of your own blog? Or are you letting Facebook boxes distract? Are your testimonials serving you, or should they be on a different page?
I’m not saying any of these things are wrong. Or bad. But it’s a fine balance how much you let them “speak” on your site can have a consequence.
Too much and they can distract, and your story will get lost.