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  • Writer's pictureFrancisco Mahfuz

E119. Storytelling to Grow Your Audience with Parker Worth

Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.

Francisco Mahfuz  0:00

Welcome to the Storypowers Podcast, the show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco Mahfuz. My guest today is Parker wars. Parker is a rising star in social media, writing about storytelling and sharing lessons from his journey from janitor to Modi, six figure entrepreneur has gotten him more than 29,000 followers and acts in over four and a half 1000 email subscribers. If that wasn't enough, he managed to earn an impressive $22,000 when he launched his storytelling course. Now, being someone who tells stories online myself, I could be jealous of Parker, but he's also the guy who used to scrape parking lots for loose change in chicken fingers out of garbage cans. He had major gum surgery because he brushed his teeth too hard. And he wasn't asked by a gym manager to put on the order because his left armpit was stinking up the place. So I think I don't need to aim for me, him all that much. Ladies and gentlemen, probably the best storyteller in the world with an actor to Parker worth. Parker, welcome to the show.

Parker Worth  1:10

Thanks for having me on here, Francisco. I think that was one of the best introductions I've ever heard.

Francisco Mahfuz  1:16

on your own. It's what I do. Now, I need to tell you that when I was prepping for this, I heard another podcast you were on. It was beautifully crafted. It built a narrative. It had an aeroplane theme, sound, the facts, and it was edited to within an inch of its life. This will be nothing at all, like that

Parker Worth  1:36

knowledge perfect. I didn't like how choppy it came out. I think it just ruined the transition in the flow of the conversation. Like it was great production. But yeah, I like to just hear the flow of conversations on podcasts that don't get interrupted, right, you get the emotions in between.

Francisco Mahfuz  1:50

I don't know. I mean, I, I am a big fan of stuff like This American Life, which is the standard of kind of podcasts that tell a story. But ideally, effort and the amount of time that goes into editing something to make it sound the way that that podcast that we were talking about. To do that. That takes a very, there's a lot of time, a lot of effort. Not sure there's a point to it. But energy, right, there's this, we're not here to this someone else's podcast. Maybe we'll do that later. But okay, so so there's a whole bunch of there's a whole bunch of stuff that that I want to find out from you. And I'm, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to put this into any sort of narrative arc. I'm not sure I care. But one of the things that when I was listening to the stuff you did that stuff that started getting you getting you to explode on social media, one of the things I was super interested in was when you were talking about research. So you were talking about how you went and did a whole bunch of research on on the problems people had with storytelling. And I believe you talked about you used you is Cora, you use what's the name of the way the other website ask

Parker Worth  3:09

of it's pretty much primarily its Facebook groups, but Reddit or Quora are the good ones. Yep.

Francisco Mahfuz  3:15

Okay, I thought there was one called Ask a person asked a question or something like that?

Parker Worth  3:20

Oh, yeah, I just simply, you know, once you get to the point where you have audiences, the sizes that we do, you can just simply ask like, Hey, what's your problem with storytelling, and it was amazing. You get 30 or 40 different replies from people, and it's just instant market verification.

Francisco Mahfuz  3:36

Okay, so So my, my interest is not so much that you did that. My interest is in what you found, because for reasons that you become we can clear throughout this conversation, but but I'm very interested in find out what people think is their problem with storytelling?

Parker Worth  3:51

Yeah, I mean, there's one set, as, as well as there's the most common ones who just like coming up with ideas. How do I know if it's a good story to tell? Where do I start? What exercises can I do to write better? How do I edit? Right? And how do I format it in a certain way? Are there frameworks to use? And a lot of them are just are just like I said, very common. It's the ideal one. And then how will I know it's a good story? Which ones do I know are good to tell? Right? And so those are the most common ones. And if you can create a product that just solves one problem, like my old mentor, Karen Drew, he would just go through the comments of like the ship 30 for 30 Guys, sticky bush, and he would see the most common ideas or the problems that people would have in the cotton. The comment section was just how do I tell like, how do I get ideas for content? And so Karen's first product was the viral inspiration lab. And he just built it off of finding comments. I had the same reoccurring problems. So ideas just seemed to be the big one for everybody

Francisco Mahfuz  4:50

that resonates with me, because I the the argument I keep having with people over and over and I was having this argument just today on LinkedIn is My believe belief is that most of the storytelling advice that is out there is completely useless to the vast majority of people, not because the advice is not good, although sometimes that's an issue. But the reason it's useless to most people is because the very first step that needs to be there, which is actually knowing what story to tell, is not in place. But once that's that step is in place. Sure, you can apply a lot of the other stuff that you see as advice, but with most people that I work with, when you when you start trying to get stories out of them, if you don't tell them how to find the stories, a lot of them just go blank, they just have absolutely no idea where they're supposed to be what story they're supposed to be sharing. So I identified that advice that puts too much focus on how to add data store your how to make a story better without covering first, how to find the right stories to tell, ends up being. It sounds nice. It seems to play very well on social media. But when you get someone trying to use it in the real world, they get stuck. Yeah,

Parker Worth  6:11

yeah, absolutely. And a lot of it with social media is marketing strategy, right? Like things that take off or like, here's the 10 best books. Here's the 10 best podcast, people like the quick dopamine hits, like they like to know that the cool secret tricks and everything like that, and I'll be honest, transparent, I use that in my content strategy just to diversify my content and just knowing what hits right. And what's necessarily what goes viral is not is usually not valuable, right, my most valid viral story, I wrote an exercise about Adam Sandler, right. And I think it got like two, two and a half million views or something wild like that. But it only got me 200 followers. And that's because I use I borrowed credibility, I wrote a story about a big name. It's great at getting attention, right, but it's not providing value. So I agree with you, man. And like I said, I'm guilty of using some of those tricks. But I just know what works at the right time if I'm trying to channel traffic into a certain way if I'm trying to get more attention. But yeah, I completely agree for a lot of people knowing a future pacing. And the read Harry, are they going to use the red herring and their social media content? Probably not. But it's something that's going to like, stick out and be unique and make them think, like, they walk away from it and be like, Hey, I learned something new today, right?

Francisco Mahfuz  7:28

Yes, I think for the people who don't know what the hell we're talking about, future pacing is when you you say enough in your story so that the reader can picture themselves being in that position in the future? It's a very common thing when we're doing like, before and after type of stories or content. And the red herring is, is when you put the the idea or the problem is this thing, where actually it's not. And then you have to go in a completely different direction. I don't have any problem with you doing Adam Sandler posts. To me, there's there's very different things. One thing is you're doing a sort of breakdown of what made Tim Ferriss such a great entrepreneur type of thing. And that's one type of content. I think it's, it's interesting, right? Are there many lessons you can learn from that? Some, I guess some people like that stuff, some people might get something from that content. My issue is more. Because I follow a lot of people that are into the storytelling world. And the two problems that I come across more often are either they don't ever tell stories, right, which is not a problem you have. So it's like, Well, do you do you ever tell a story because if you don't ever tell a story, I've no idea if you've learned the same lessons you're trying to teach people? And then yeah, there's a bit of a disconnect there in the other one is that it's all stuff that is advanced, or it's not really up like, why do we care? What made Harry Potter such a great book? If you're not writing fiction, right? Like, isn't there a much simpler way to give the same message about like, the characters need to need to change in any way in some way, and they didn't need to have feelings, right? They don't need to talk about JK Rowling to talk about that. So that's the that's the bone. I usually pick with a lot of the people talking about storytelling, but I don't have that both to take with you. Or if it's I'm

Parker Worth  9:16

glad to hear that. And yeah, like you said, it's about getting the reps in and putting the stories out there. And I think what both you and I and a lot of other people are seeing is as as you're such an expert, for instance, go is that essentially, like storytelling just applies to all facets of life. And I think that a lot of creators and content creators out there No, it's a cheap trick. Like it's something that that takes off, right? Like your side of your storytelling and your crypto or whatever. I think it's just something that people do for a one off trick for attention just because you can really apply it to everything. I mean, whether it's like here's how to use storytelling to raise funding for investing in your company, right? Here's how to use storytelling to like build teamwork inside your inside your company. And so I think It's like a little niche that people don't try to tap into to, to diversify or whatever. But I share the same thing. So

Francisco Mahfuz  10:06

the thing that you market a lot, the thing that in a way is your claim to fame. And what I tend to call your power, when I'm thinking about things in terms of origin stories is how, first of all, how quickly you grew your your followers on social media, by tip by using storytelling, and then how that following led to a very, very successful launch, which started into a very successful business with a few different strands. So from the people you've been teaching, and from your own experience, what did you find that what were the storytelling specific techniques that you found? That seemed to be most responsible for that? Because there's a lot of other stuff that is not storytelling related as such. But when it comes to the storytelling part, what did you find for you and and the people in your community and the people that were your clients that found out about this? Like, if you could only do two or three things that are to do storytelling? These were the things you absolutely must do they have the biggest bang for your buck? Yeah,

Parker Worth  11:08

yeah, absolutely. That's a great question. And so what I would have to say, and what I teach my students is, if you're starting out, it depends on what your goal is. But if you're starting out online, it's to borrow credibility. Right. And Ryan Holliday, Robert Greene, some of my favourite authors, all of them do this, where they write a story about someone else. And then they tie that story into their own story and provide a lesson, right. And so basically, if you start writing about your favourite companies, your favourite entrepreneurs like podcasts, whoever you obsess over, like for me, it was Tim Ferriss, whatever their ideas are, if you write about these other people, these famous companies, what happens is, as people see this post, say you're writing about, I don't know, you're, you're a banker, and you write a story about Merrill Lynch or something like that. People that are familiar with Merrill Lynch, will see this post and associate you with that authority, right? And so the number one thing I say is like, Okay, you're starting out, you need to get attention, borrow stories from other people, right? borrow it from Adam Sandler, or whatever. And that's gonna get you a lot of attention. Now, that's not going to build your credibility. The biggest thing that wins every time it's a transformation story. It's your personal story, right? And an exercise that I love to do and teach people as the I was, I am exercise. And you just have two columns, right? In the left column, I was this bad things. And you just list all these bad things. You were right. So I was a janitor, I was a high school dropout. I just list all the bad things. And then I list on the right side I am and you list all the good things. So basically, I was I am a six figure entrepreneur, and I was a janitor. And what everyone wants to know, is what's in between. And so essentially, when you're writing, you can be like, I was a janitor. Now I'm a six figure entrepreneur, there's a juxtaposition there. And that that kind of ties into another trick with Hook writing that I'll segue into. But basically, if you can have this narrative where you are a bad thing, and now you're a good thing, and then you can just tell lessons, tips, tricks, books that helped you get there, people are going to see this repeating narrative, and they're going to know not only your face, your profile, but your story. And I've had so many people reach out that have said, Hey, I'm a janitor. Hey, I made these mistakes that you've made. It really resonates with me. And that's what that's what people love. That's what builds trust, right? And to segue off of that juxtaposition of opposing forces polarising views humans see things in contrast, right? It's we see it as like this or that. Black and white, good or bad. And so when you use this, I don't know how it works in the brain, but it works. Some of the best content, the best transformation stories have this my friend Adi, who's a brilliant writer, He's way better than I am. He had a story that went viral. I think he got like 50,000 likes on Twitter. And it was like, I'm 32. I was depressed and anxious. My escape was in the PlayStation. I was eating my way to diabetes. And then it's like, that was the best thing that ever happened to me, right? And so he's heightening the stakes there. I was a bad thing. It was even worse, I was going to have diabetes. It was the best thing that happened to me. People see this, these this contrast and this opposing force, right. And they're like, Well, what happened in between, and then it just sells itself it sells to click towards net. And so mastering that, like I said, my metric here and drew did it really well. He was like, I went to the doctor's, and my spine was was 46 degrees out of line. They took a look, I had a tumour at the base of my school, I had to have surgery. It was the greatest thing that happened to me. And you read that and bad thing. It got worse, stakes are heightened. It was the best thing that ever happened to you what what what happened in between there and then so that's a very powerful trick that I like to hammer in is just having these opposing forces, right, like stop making this big mistake, folks. cuz I'm this little thing instead. And by doing that, and having that, I don't know, I wish I knew the psychology behind it, because I think it's fascinating. But it seems to work really well.

Francisco Mahfuz  15:09

So I think there's a few, there's a few different things that feed into that. So the first one that comes to mind is, well, I think I've heard you say this as well, right? Is this idea that our brains, our brains are wired to pay more attention to change, particularly because any change in our environment might signify danger. So I think that's, that's a part of it. I think the other part of it might have to do with the things we tend to value most and the things that we pay attention to most. So I forget what the exact order is. But I know the top the top of the list is like, it's death and physical harm, sex, danger to children. And then you have things like status. And there was probably a fifth one that I can't quite remember what it is. Tribe, maybe. So. So my, my suspicion is that one, these things serve as a bit of a warning about something that might be a danger to me. So there's one thing and there's also the just juxtaposition is unexpected. And that it's like, well, hold on. I have no clue what's going on here. Because if you say I was eating badly for years, that screwed up my house, and now I got diabetes is like, Okay, I don't I don't need to keep reading, right? There's just nothing for me. What am I learning here? There's nothing for me to learn. But if you say and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. Dennis is like, Well, okay, fine. I'll read I'll click see more goddamnit. So, I believe invite the remind me something to do with that. Yeah, I

Parker Worth  16:53

agree. Like you said, breaking expectations is so powerful. And I did it. And that Bo newsletter, which which? I'm glad you brought up, I'm honoured that you that you read my newsletter, man, you're you're a fantastic writer. So that means a lot. And yeah, that's what I did. I, I ended up talking about this story, how I thought that everyone else in the gym had Bo and for short, I forgot to put deodorant on one armpit. And so the gym manager gives me deodorant. And then I kind of segue into the lesson of, hey, sometimes when you're online, you stake and you don't know it. Sometimes you just need someone's guidance. And people thought, because I had been doing a launch for my community, that I was going to pitch the community, right. And I was like, I'm not going to pitch you to community. I'm just here to say thank you. And you guys have been my gym manager throughout this journey. And so many people replied, like, wow, I was expecting you to sell to me, I wasn't expecting you to tell me I was the gym manager. Right. And so to go back on your point, yeah, breaking expectations is just another trait that's so powerful, leading him up to something and then just throwing that curveball, it really gets attention. Yeah, for

Francisco Mahfuz  17:57

people who who might have missed what exactly that story was about it was that you smelled someone stinking up at the gym, you smelled yourself anyways, and you but in the gym manager called you over it, it turned out that you had smelled your right armpit but not your left word. So I had forgotten that the other than that, when I read that, and as as it tends to be the case with stories, your brain goes somewhere that is familiar to you. And in my case, it wasn't something I did but but this is this constant mystery to to myself and Patricia, my wife, we have here in Spain, which is very often you go to the gym to like high end gyms in there are like at least a few people's thinking of the place in which you pay like 100 euros amongst to come to this gym. Like how can you think you cannot be a stinking slob? It's like I don't get this. And we like we haven't cracked this mystery. But we have a suspicion that because gyms here in Spain, I don't know if everywhere. But here in Spain, they have locker rooms. And we've seen like once or twice people that arrive, get into the locker room and then get their gym clothes out of the locker room. And we're like, hold on, didn't you wear them last time? Like what did the steam sweaty when you wore them like a day or two ago and now you left them off for two days and now you're wearing them again? This would explain a lot. But we don't know if that's what the real reason is. But I don't think everybody's just forgetting to put the other end in one armpit.

Parker Worth  19:34

Yeah, I think I was in a rush that day. But yeah, the powerful thing about that is one of the biggest mistakes I used to make was I used to write about the craziest stories I had. One of the first emails I wrote was about I went in height Malfoy ago in Guatemala, and it ended up exploding when we were near the mountain and running down the mountain and the replies were like, Yeah, this is a good story. But I've never been on a volcano right like it's not relatable. And one of the biggest Mistakes was like, Yeah, I've got these crazy stories I need to lean into it. But really, it's just the relatable stuff that people love. And that's what gets you all the engagement in the replies like, so that's what I aim for. I just basically journal every morning and every day and night. And at night, I just reflect on the whole day like what happened? What little interesting things can I take a lesson out of and share and people love those relatable things every day? Because they, like you said they empathise with it.

Francisco Mahfuz  20:28

Yeah, I, I 100% agree with you. The one thing I would say I will say is that I don't think the problem with that story is necessarily that most people haven't hiked mount for ego, or a mountain of that kind. I think the the issue with that story, the way most people tell that story is, is the same issue with almost any story. What happened is irrelevant. What really matters is how it made you feel. And ultimately how, what what, in what ways they change you right? What did what did you didn't make you realise about yourself about the world or whatever. So I have heard what a storyteller that I often quote, which I love is, might be the best storyteller. I know, a guy called Matthew Dex. And he said that he will he worked with someone that had climbed Everest. What he did was like he said, nobody cares about your climbing Everest, because they were trying to make this into a war, a business keynote, right? And he said, Okay, well, how can we make this relatable, so he started talking to the person. And it turned out that the relationship of the person with the people going up the mountain with her was super interesting. It sounded very much like the relationship a lot of people have with the with the co workers rise, there was the annoying person, there was the president was always full of energy, there was a person that was super negative. And then, like, essentially, it sounded like a workplace story that just happened to happen on Everest around climbing Mount Everest. So I think that some people tell very relatable stories, and screw them up because they, you know, they don't talk about their feelings. And that's more even more of an issue when it's unknown, relatable story, right, this outrageous thing you did and whatever. So yeah, no, I get that. One thing about the way the way you write and the way you found that, that your storytelling was successful on social media, the I was I am. Is that what you call MicroSTAR? A micro story?

Parker Worth  22:29

No. So I read this fascinating book, I think it's called the story persuasion code in it's by David Garfinkel, who's like a top copywriter, and I'm really leaning into like, story copy. I love stories that sell I love copywriting, I think it's very powerful. And that's been my main focus of study. And he basically has this idea that challenges the status quo. And I don't know if he's doing this to get attention. But he says, The Hero's Journey is dead. Here's how to use micro stories and tick tock on tweets and all this stuff. And he really simplified it to four sentences, right? The first sentence is the person the place and a time period, right? Like seven years ago, I was I was lost in the woods. And then basically, then you have the conflict, right? And then I saw a bear. And then there's the resolution and the solution. And it's like, the bear ran away, because I shook a can of coins. And then what's the lesson is like, always bring a can of coins with you just in case you run across any critters, right? Not the best story I came up with off the top of my head. But using that kind of segment to basically just have this this micro story, right. And so when I read that, I found that I can write tweets, I like Twitter for the instant verification of the market there. That's what Mark Manson does, to verify his ideas. His ideas are just short tweets, the ones that do well, he knows he can expand on them, right. And so what I started doing was these micro stories every day, 10 years ago, I was a janitor, five years ago, I was an electrician, now I'm a full time Creator. The solution reality is negotiable. That one did well. So I know I can expand on that idea, that micro story into a longer story. And it's already been verified by the market. So now I know that if it's a long forum for LinkedIn, if I extend on it to medium if I turn it into an email or a blog post, I know that this idea that story is verified, without having to waste a bunch of energy writing something that's 600 words and hoping it does well not. And so that's a strategy that I teach and that I found is oh, I can just write these micro stories. At the end of the week. I see what does well and then I can just expand on

Francisco Mahfuz  24:40

them. Yeah, I find that interesting. The first part of of his framework, and I agree that I'm not gonna say the hero's journey is that because Pixar movies are still out there doing a roaring trade, and so are many adventure movies. But I I've always found the hero's journey to be Perhaps the worst possible way to try and teach anyone about storytelling because it's just so complex. And if all you're going to do is say, Do you have a story? Like, did you ever leave a place where you're comfortable with and go somewhere? That was awkward? You didn't know anything about it? Oh, yes, there was this time when I moved to Europe. Okay. And was there anyone that was like a mentor or anything that like if you picking elements of it to find stories, I think that's an interesting thing. But for anyone to try and get something that actually happened to them and go, Oh, no, let me look at the hero's journey and match this thing. It's a nightmare. It's like the most common descent into the innermost cave, meet the goddess, what are some stories about Mita goddess if you live in Brazil, but it's not, this is not the way to do it. And the whole time in place and person I, I just the other day, I posted something on LinkedIn. And I said, I got I went on AI and I got the I got the soap from Fight Club. And I asked the guy to change Fight Club to story club. And then the Post said, ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to Story club, the first rule about story club, and then I came up with like, eight rules. And one of them was I don't remember how exactly I wrote it. But it was to do with their arrow app. There's a rule about there's only two guys to fight. And I said something like, there's only three ways to start a story. It's time place in action. That's it, right? I'm somewhere which 10 years ago, I'm displace all, you can mix them, but to combine them all. It's a week ago, my phone rings, and I answer, right, like you can do action instead of place. But that's it. And if you do that, it sounds like a story. People want to pay attention. If you start in almost any other way. You're probably just doing background. And that's never really interesting. So I completely agree with him about the hero's journey being dead. But as perhaps I understand what he's doing. You just sound controversial. But it's I believe, I agree with the sentiment, for sure. Yeah,

Parker Worth  27:00

yeah, I love the idea of the story club. That's genius. That's really creative. That's pretty cool.

Francisco Mahfuz  27:05

I think because I'm launching in another week or so I'm launching my newsletter, and I'm very inclined to call it story club, I actually had another AI image, which first I thought I'm gonna get the Brad Pitt image, like with the blood and the cigarette and put my face on him that I couldn't make that work. Then I actually changed the image of him and like with a guy's in the basement, and I had all of them be like he's reading a book, and all of them are holding books. And I actually posted that on LinkedIn. But I completely forgot that the algorithm doesn't like people without shirts on. So I posted it, it did not seem for like 25 minutes. I was like, Oh, you idiot people without a shirt on. So I did I use the soap for that I have done as well. And then they just went, yeah. But anyway, I'll come back to the hero's journey, because because I want to ask you something about that. But what I wanted to ask you was some of the techniques you were mentioning, particularly the I Am I was I mean that that just screams Twitter writing to me. Like that's what a lot of people have learned to associate with, with popular Twitter or ex content. So my my question to you there are I know you couldn't write a proper story on LinkedIn unless you did it through a thread. But did you? Have you found that that type of writing that we know works well on on Twitter, does that work as well on LinkedIn? Or do you find yourself having to adjust the content to do that?

Parker Worth  28:31

Yeah, that's a great question. Primarily, I've transitioned to everything. It depends. Because the thread format, it's a little different, right? You've just got blocks of 280 characters, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And there's really no transition, right? It's like a hook. You tell them what you tell them how you tell them why, and then you have like a punchy sentence. And like you said, I have some ghost writing clients. And it's like, they're like, oh, I want to take my Twitter content, put it on Facebook, as long form. And so like, when you have those clunky tweets, just back to back to back, there's no good transition. It's not smooth. It's hard to read when it's not like a thread. And so yeah, you have to alter it to transition well, right. And so like, 10 ways to do this, or like, you know, here's the story of what happened, and you can't have these 280 character blocks. And so like, basically by asking questions, and leaning into another hook, I'd have to alternate the transition. But besides that, I don't have to change much because a lot of like the hooks like I know, in LinkedIn, I think you see the first line or the first two lines. And with a lot of hook writing, it's like you poke at the problem and then you agitate more right and so you'll see a lot of good one liners on LinkedIn is like most people struggle with this. The biggest mistake I see people making is this right and so people get that fear of missing out. But to roll back to your question besides like transitions and having like a more smooth flow down to page so it's not as chunky they do work. They do work really well.

Francisco Mahfuz  29:59

Am I ever I'm guessing this completely wrong that when I see a post, like the one of yours that I commented on last week, where arguably there was content enough for four different posts in there? Was that a long thread that got turned into a LinkedIn post?

Parker Worth  30:14

Do you know which one it was specifically? I'm sorry, I forgot. Yes, it was,

Francisco Mahfuz  30:19

yes, it was the one where you were talking about lots of different ways to get better at storytelling. And I think you quote, like, five or six different outsource or books with like, lots of detail why that word in particular was worth exploring. And I went like you just showing off, there's four different posts in here. What is your long thing with all of them? So that's, I thought, I read it. And I thought, I wonder if this was like a much longer thread that got turned into a post? Yeah, that's

Parker Worth  30:52

exactly what it was. It was just a thread to the posts. I'm at the point now, Francisco where like, I have enough proven content as businesses picking up it's like, how can I make my content works for me. And so it's not so much writing as much new stuff. But it's like putting the proven content into different places, like instead, I'm going to transition to a blog into medium, or I have these long form pieces and everything that I know work. And then I can just pretty much copy and paste and reformat them into these other platforms, and then just keep funnelling traffic to my newsletter.

Francisco Mahfuz  31:25

I think I either read or heard you say something along the lines of you have 200 proven pieces of content. And that might be most, if not all of the content that you need. Yeah,

Parker Worth  31:36

yeah. Yeah, that's That's correct. I think I have a little more than 200 now and essentially, like Kieran jury has told me and I know even Sahil Bloom says, Sahil Bloom says, He raised us the same content every three months, and just changes the hooks and everything like that. And I had gotten to a point of, I'm actually writing for a gentleman that is worth a lot of money. And it's funny, like hearing his podcasts and studying him and learning everything he did to scale his business to eight figures. And I learned this really interesting technique that I keep thinking about when I apply this to content strategy is he calls it FireEye. Like you find yourself repeating yourself, record yourself and replace yourself. And so that's what was happening was I was really getting caught up and creating new content every day, when really, if you have a winner, you can post it every three to six months. I mean, obviously don't beat the dead horse, there is a limit. But with the sea of information on social media, I've never had anyone comment. I've had one person say, Hey, I saw you post this five months ago, right? And he's actually a member of my community. It's a great guy. But it gets to the point where, okay, how can I automate this and replace myself and move on to the to the next tier, right? That's just where I'm at now. And it seems to be working well.

Francisco Mahfuz  32:51

So what is what is your definition of proven? Because you've there's there's some reason why you decided this content works. And I'll keep using it over and over? What is the what are the metrics that you're using to decide that this is proven?

Parker Worth  33:06

Yeah, absolutely. So one, is it a unique idea? Like in the beginning, when I first started a couple years ago, there were templates that were really basic, and they were structured in a way that works. So I don't use any of that old stuff. But like a is it a unique idea? Like one I have a post on Twitter, that's like when you're commenting say, say the person's name when they reply, there's a psychology behind it, when people hear their name enough, that they start to like you and recognise you. So that's a unique idea. Number two is if it has over 100 likes, the engagement features on accident super wacky, like, you know, now they had the bookmark feature, repost don't have as much reach as they used to. And now they're going to erase the visibility of all those stats so that you just see the impressions. And so that's all changed the basically, it's like if 100 People click the Live button on it, I know there's, you know, 100 people out of how many ever many actually saw that piece of content? I know, it's a good idea in whether it's a tweet, I can extend on it, like I said before, but basically, that's the metric I have. It's like 100 likes, good. Let's reuse it in three to six

Francisco Mahfuz  34:13

months, would you reuse content in the newsletter as well. So I don't I don't,

Parker Worth  34:18

I'm actually on a mission to write 365 story emails this year. I just love doing it. And like I said, it's basically just off of observations that I had the day before. Like, I really just want to be able to sit there. Write a great story that's relatable and fun. And that's been my challenge for the new year. I know I won't hit 365 Because I've taken a day or two off, but just having that on repeat, and maybe after the year studying what works, and then re altering them for launches. Like if there's certain lessons in there. I'd have a hand raise your email like hey, if you guys are interested in email storytelling course, just click on this link and then they're tagged and then I can have some some of that content reuse and having channel that toward the launch and kind of all I made it. But right now my challenge for myself is just to write a great new story every day with new lessons. It's just something that gives me energy is something that I enjoy. And it's something that after I walk away from the cafe in the morning after consuming lots of caffeine, I'm like, You know what, no matter what happens today, I wrote a story. And that's been my threshold for success, like the little thing I can do every day. That'll turn into something big. Yeah, there's

Francisco Mahfuz  35:22

a practice I got from the aforementioned Matthew Dix that I've mentioned in the podcast a million times, is he calls it homework for life. I mean, he's a school teacher. So I guess that makes sense. It's, it's, it's similar to what you talked about. But he made it slightly more formalised. So it's asking yourself, at the end of the day, usually, if you had to tell a story about something that happened today, something you saw something you heard something you thought about, what would that story be? So you're not writing, you're not necessarily not writing a story, but you're writing at least something that could be a story or part of a story. And I've been I've been doing that I lost track now. But I think I've been doing that for close to 3000 days. And a lot of the stuff that goes on my LinkedIn are stories, that stuff that generally happened the day before two days, two days before. Yeah, it's a great practice. And I think that I think it's difficult to tell people to do that. And I do tell them that it's like, if you don't do it every day, it's hard to get into the habit of it. Like if you did it once a week, or it's difficult to go on a Sunday, go what happened this week that your memory just doesn't work that well. But if you do it every single day, like we are doing, then green or not say gonna seat you're never gonna run out of ideas, or stories to tell. But but it's damn hard. It's much, much harder to do, especially if you're not doing it every day. Like if you're not telling a story every day, you're really not going to run out. You're getting one every week or two a week or whatever. You're not putting out any times. Yeah,

Parker Worth  36:53

yeah, absolutely. I'm sure you have like a swipe file or whatever. I have a notion file of just ideas that whether it's from reading, like I said, like authors borrow credibility all the time. There's always something if you read like Leonardo da Vinci's biography, there's always some lesson by cent one today about the Ethiopian herder that discovered coffee, right? And it's like, oh, that's an interesting story that I could borrow. And I also have these little pocket notebooks that I carry around. I'm super disorganised. And there's a tonne of ideas in there that just never make it to the notion file. But yeah, just like reflecting every day and putting that stuff in there. And it builds up, there's, you know, there's plenty of story events and great observations that turn into great stories that happen every day is all of us. Yeah, for sure. I

Francisco Mahfuz  37:37

it was much, much different long before I got into storytelling as much. I watched the like a workshop or something. And that guy said, Take a notebook or open a notes file on your phone or whatever. And just write down anything that sounds remotely interesting. And I've been doing that for a long time. And I mean, there's nothing sophisticated about it's like literally a note on my phone. Or to be honest, more like 750 notes on my phone. But yeah, I heard a guy I like a lot who's been on the podcast before Connor Neil. Minh talks a lot about leadership. And he says that you're not, you're never going to be as in smart, or witty or intelligent or creative. Today, in comparison to, to how you were today, and yesterday, and the day before and the day before. So if you if you just accumulate this stuff, then the chances of you getting something interesting, creative, unique, out of your thoughts, and ideas grow substantially. If you're not writing things down, they just go away. You're not gonna remember a good idea from three weeks ago, unless you wrote it down and put it to practice. So one of the things I asked you about the metrics was because a lot of conversation that happens a lot on LinkedIn, particularly, which is the main social media that I use, is people not say trashing, but what I call the vanity metrics, but just trying to emphasise that likes, and even comments are not necessarily a metric. That means that it's not the most necessarily the most important metric for a lot of people because you can get a lot of likes and not get anything out of that. So I was wondering if, if one of the metrics you were using to consider an idea proven was I posted a story it didn't actually do that? Well, when it comes to engagement, but I had five people reach out for a conversation. I got some DMs I got you know, that sort of that sort of stuff. That's what I was wondering. Yeah,

Parker Worth  39:43

yeah. And you're absolutely right. The biggest thing is profile visits, right? That's why conversed followers and stories get a lot more profile visits and that they do like to be honest, I'm like, the most unorganised person you'll ever meet. And I'm just like, look at it. I don't want to hit up the sidebar and see the profile reviews and I shouldn't be doing that. Luckily my girlfriend, she's, she's in the software and automation and all that kind of stuff. And we're gonna work on having a database, basically to collect and see all these metrics from whether it's email, whether it's from the community, all in one dashboard, where I can observe it and make better decisions. But yeah, to be honest with you, it is probably not the best metric to look at. And I should probably apply more thought into it. Yeah, but profile visits is really what you're looking for. And like you said, client stories, I have a client story that I use, and that one doesn't get a lot of engagement, that one doesn't get me a lot of followers. But that one gets me DMS, from people that want to pay me. So just depends on the application what your goal is, right? So I try to differentiate that way.

Francisco Mahfuz  40:45

One simple, fairly simple way that I've learned to, to do a very complicated thing. And a very easy way is instead of necessarily looking at profile views and other stuff that obviously has lots of merit, but it simply when people reach out to you, is to ask them that was there any particular story that that like? Made you actually reach out? Right, and that doesn't mean that that's the one story or the one post that that did it because you they might have read 50 of your posts. And this was just the one that tipped them over the edge. So I think it's only going to tell you what might make people move along in the funnel, so to speak. But But I think I find that to be an easy enough way to get and when whenever someone connects with me, I always ask them, Do you mind me asking what made you reach out and they will go, Oh, I saw you commenting on this person's post. I liked your headline, I saw this post about whatever. So I listed, it's very easy way to get that data in a way that is not very data savvy, which I am not either. So So what I wanted to ask as well was you talk about profile visits. And I this is a bone I speak with a lot of people that call themselves storytellers who don't tell stories. And I one of the things I say is, isn't if you're if you don't tell stories, and you have your about section, which you can write as much as you want, but you don't even have a story. They're like, what are you doing now? We've established your credit that I'm not giving you crap about that. But why do you have like the only three lines in your about section in a bit of code, which are not even have realised you have some major HTML codes there to make a line break in the middle of your three lines? Oh, my About

Parker Worth  42:31

section on LinkedIn? Yeah, I don't know. I was when I went over to join it. I was a little bit overwhelmed by just the new platform. And I think I just haven't dove into it as much. It's something I needed to look at. Thanks for pointing that out. I have no idea. I think he's just short and sweet. So I can get going.

Francisco Mahfuz  42:47

He's like one line. And then there is like, I don't even know what that symbol is called like bracket, br bracket, br bracket and then

Parker Worth  42:56

who knows? Yeah, it's interesting. Yeah, it's something I need, I need to work out a ticket, further dive into. So there's a lot more you can do with your profile on LinkedIn than on x. So I guess I'm a rookie sell something else,

Francisco Mahfuz  43:10

I have a couple of more technical things. And then I think we'll, we'll be on our way to the end of this. The first one is when you write your newsletter, now you don't, I don't think you do this on LinkedIn. Or when you write your newsletter, you I guess it's part of the code of the newsletter. My name gets used a lot in the middle of the stories. But the stories are told in a way that I think a lot of people call a conversational style, where in a sense, you like dipping in and out of the story itself with questions and all that stuff. And I don't think you use that particular approach when you're on LinkedIn. Right? Obviously, you want to use the person's name, but there's no reason you couldn't be asking questions halfway through the story. Is that the approach you always use? Or do you find that on the newsletter that works really well, but you don't tell stories that way in different contexts? Did you ever think about that much?

Parker Worth  44:10

Yeah. Yeah. So the newsletter, I do that to conversational speaking, because copywriting is a it's a conversation between two people, and you're controlling the conversation, right? And so like, I want to talk and tell the story to the reader. And at any point where I feel like they might lose interest, I asked them a question. And obviously, the psychology like I said, I'm using the first name. That's why I put that there. You see the person, here's their name, and they keep paying attention. So what I'm using is like a story, a series of books and then transitioning with questions. And then also breaking expectations, right? You think it would be this right? While you're wrong? Like oh, what and then it keeps the keeps on going. So it's just like, copywriting tricks that they use in the email story to just keep them engaged. Keep them reading and getting going like that slippery slope that jokes triggerman talks about on social media it's a little more structured on my long form, I will use that like conversational speaking from time to time, but otherwise, it just depends on the posts. If it's a story, if it's a how to if it's a resource thing, then I use different things, right? Like, if it's 10 books that I read helped me go from janitor to entrepreneur, I'll just say, Hey, this is the name of the book. Here's what you'll learn. And that's it. But yeah, if it's a story, hook, writing in on social media is different than hook writing on email. Because there's a limited variation of what people can see, right, they had to click See more, so I really got to get them to click fast. Were on email, it's like, they can just scroll down, right? So it just it's different on the application. But I put a lot more effort into email writing, just because I can be more of myself, I can say bad words, I can say ridiculous stories, and just have more fun with it.

Francisco Mahfuz  45:52

Okay, there's a few things to pick up on that. First of all, you can absolutely tell ridiculous stories on LinkedIn, I have absolutely push the envelope on that one. I have, I have some terrible things in there. So I don't think there's necessarily an issue with the I mean, it might just not be how you want to come across the platform. And I do know that the algorithm doesn't like swear words and stuff like that. But you can absolutely tell ridiculous stories. I think at some point in the past, I told my version of the cheating chicken fingers out of the out of the garbage can, which I think is a very different context. But mine was mostly that it was just, I was I had slept for three hours after drinking and we're falling asleep on a bus in London and waking up three hours away in a dark garage. And then I came back home I had barely any sleep, woke up had to wait I got up for work was I was working at a hotel. It was put on this ridiculous uniform. So I'm there getting dressed and shaving by crying because I hate my life at that moment. And then I go to the to the, to the train station, and I'm waiting for the train. And when I like I looked, it was like four minutes to go. And then I looked down. And there was like a greasy kebab, like package with some chips on top. And then I like look at the clock. And there's two, three minutes and a half, and I look at the chips again. And I think, well, they're on top of the paper. Yes, that's okay. Then I go and eat the disgusting chips. That self driving car left on the floor of a train station has no problem telling horrendous stories on on LinkedIn. Maybe I'm just a purist. But I never got into the whole conversational storytelling approach. I tend to find that if when I start a story, I want to stay in the story. I don't want to remind people that I'm someone telling a story. But I guess it's just a style thing. I know some people that love the conversational thing and make it work for them. I never quite got into it in sometimes I get those letters from people. And I think the they did a check that is laughter before it went out. In the name thing got screwed in there. You just get like bracket name bracket. And he just ruins it completely. There's no way to read a story with with bracket name bracket three times in it and not be taken completely out of what the person is trying to tell you. So I think that that's what perhaps put me off slightly trying that by itself. Yours hasn't been screwed up.

Parker Worth  48:21

I've definitely done that before. Yeah, yeah. And it sucks. Because like, I'll realise it. And then ConvertKit charges you a lot more money to go back and edit your content. And by the time you edit it, it's already been sent to half your list. And yeah, I've made all of those mistakes. I'm not the most tech savvy guy at all. So I've definitely done that before. It's a rookie mistake. And now Now I have to send a preview email to my personal email, read it and then have like the other window up and look at it and alter everything. So yeah, definitely, definitely Red Handed there.

Francisco Mahfuz  48:58

And the final thing I wanted to ask you about is I don't know if I had heard about this. I haven't heard this name before. I know exactly. I think I know exactly what your what you mean by that and what you what it represents. But this idea of the disturb of the heroes, two journeys. So can you just explain to people what that what the heck that is? Yeah,

Parker Worth  49:20

and yeah, I was lucky enough. I booked a phone call with Michael Hogg and was talking to him about it. And he was saying that's what most people get wrong. It's a coin he termed and basically the heroes two journeys, right. There's the inner journey and the outer journey. And if you can relate those into your story, it becomes a lot more powerful, a lot more empathetic and reveals a lot more emotion. And so how it works is what internal struggle is creating struggles on the outside for example, if you're an alcoholic, how is how is consuming alcohol to conquer your inner demons whether it be anxiety or depression or something affecting your journey on the outside and It works also from external circumstances, right? So it's like, okay, you're on this journey, you've gotten divorced, how is that external event affecting your journey on the inside, right? And so when you start to think about it that way, the internal and the outer struggle in the journey, the two journeys there, you can really intertwine. Like I said, emotions and everything like that. And it's very powerful, right? I got hit in the head with a rock that made me feel feel bad. And because I felt bad, I ended up becoming angry at other people, which made me lose my job. I mean, terrible example, like I said, off the cuff, but you can see how that that external event effects internal, and then it affects your journey throughout. So it's a really good way to approach your writing.

Francisco Mahfuz  50:45

I think we've, we've established in this conversation that you are a very good storyteller, but improv might not quite be unique.

Parker Worth  50:55

So get to work on that, right.

Francisco Mahfuz  50:57

Yeah, I know. I love the accelerated internal thing. There was a another, another storyteller. I like who I had on the show called Marshawn dewar. And she described something very similar to that in, in something she uses to teach her clients, which is essentially, what did it look like? How did you feel? Like if you says, if you can just keep asking yourself that over and over when you're when you're writing a story, then you'll be telling us what is happening, what things look like, but also, how do you feel about it, because if you don't tell us that, it's almost impossible, it's almost impossible. It's not impossible to tell a story you there's there's ways to write an additional either, it was a great copywriter. It wasn't the last episode that I put out before I took a break. And he talks about realism that you know, stuff like what Hemingway used to do. So you can do a lot just with what is actually happening without going into the character's feelings and thoughts. But sometimes, the story changes completely if you don't do that. I remember a different conversation I had a while back in the example that that we used was, imagine that you are watching a sports event, right? Or maybe watching you watching like a streaming meet. And it's children. And there was one kid that is falling behind. And the father is like shouting at him like being a complete asshole about like, now you need to swim faster. Come on. Like, by all appearances, this guy's a terrible, terrible father. All right. But now if we go into if we go into his feelings, we might find out the reason he's being hard on his kids in when it comes to swimming, might have something to do with maybe some trauma of his own childhood may be something that made him feel very inadequate. Maybe he's lost someone he cared about in the water. So there's, there's a lot of things you can do that will change completely what the external stuff looks like. But if you haven't gone inside, then you you just don't know. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Well said all right. So on that note, I we started about your newsletter, we talked about stuff I think people will people have realised that they can find you on on LinkedIn and on X or Twitter. I hate calling it x. So we should make an effort of not not making that work. He needs to go back to calling Twitter because he's just stupid. But I'll put on the on the show description the links to find your own LinkedIn and on x. But is there anywhere else that you would like people to find you? Yeah,

Parker Worth  53:28

absolutely. Just my first and last name Parker There, you can opt in to my newsletter. And you'll get a free course when you sign up by Yeah, that's where my best writing happens is in my newsletter, so you'd appreciate that if people signed up. Thanks. Thanks so much for having me, Francisco. That was a lot of fun. Now,

Francisco Mahfuz  53:44

this was fun too, man. Um, thank you for thank you for coming over. And once this call is over, we might try and find out since you're since we earlier before we started recording, we discovered that your girlfriend is from the same city I am. We will now try and find out if I actually know her if I shouldn't be telling you things about her or if i Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time

I hope you enjoyed the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find the show. Then scroll down a little and when you see the stars tap, I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find us. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website

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