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Shark Tank, Narrative, Your Audiences – and Success
I’m a huge fan of TV’s Shark Tank. Not an episode goes by when I don’t learn something about business, investment, marketing or some other tidbit I can use in my work. My favorite “shark” is Barbara Corcoran because I find she bases her investment decisions on smart money-making plus appropriately enthusiastic entrepreneurs who share their stories of passion and work ethic. This season there is a new shark in the tank, Troy Carter, who prior to this was totally unknown to me. Seems he used to be Lady Gaga’s manager, and is known for media production. He’s certainly on my radar now, big time. Barbara – watch out! Troy may be giving you a run for your money into my “favorite” position! Why such a quick pivot? For the simple reason that one of Troy’s interests in an entrepreneur is “narrative.” In the episode I watched, two entrepreneurs were seeking a quarter of a million dollars for selling SOCKS (of all things). All the other sharks wanted to know about data and statistics – how many have you sold, how much does it cost to make them, etc etc. But Troy asked them, “What’s your narrative?” Yes – narrative is important enough even to sell SOCKS! Yet – it’s barely mentioned in other business circles, at least not using that terminology, and not so intentionally. But I believe that for us as patient advocates, narrative is one of our MOST IMPORTANT MARKETING TOOLS. So let’s look at it more closely – what, why, when and how. Your narrative is your story. It’s WHY you want to advocate for people who need you; the REASON you decided advocacy is your choice of careers. It’s what gives you your passion for the work, and drives your mission to help others. Then, it’s combined with WHAT You DO because of it – which results in benefits to your audiences. There is nothing so personal to any human being as their health and their money. Health and money represent longevity, quality of life, and security. As patient advocates we touch on all those…