I Studied The Best Creators. Here's What I Learned About Storytelling

I Studied The Best Creators. Here's What I Learned About Storytelling

March 25, 2023

Note: This week’s newsletter is part 2 of last week’s newsletter. So please check that out if you haven’t already.

There was a talk by Simon Sinek, called How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Do you know it? Probably not.

Let me try again.

There was a talk by Simon Sinek where he drew circles on a board, wrote the word “Why” in the middle, and used Apple as an example.

Do you know it? Now, some of you would start nodding your head.

It’s actually the 3rd most watched TED Talk on YouTube.

Let me try one last time.

Look at this picture. Do you know it?

Simon Sinek speaking at a TED talk
A screenshot from TED.com

Most of you might now go, “Ohhhhhhh. Yes, I do know it.”

Well, let me introduce you to Storytelling.

How To Start With Storytelling

Storytelling has been the biggest buzzword in the content creation world.

It’s important for marketing…


Standing out…

Brand building…

We get it.

The real question is, “How?”

And I am going to attempt to answer it today.

But not with the types of answers you would get from a simple Google search.

Just like you, I knew storytelling is powerful.

I just had no idea how to apply it.

Today, I not only do it for my clients.

I also teach storytelling in my workshops.

There are 2 parts to this:

  1. The anatomy of storytelling (I learned from the greatest films)
  2. The use of visuals to tell a story

The Anatomy of Storytelling

There are 3 distinct gears in the engine of any great story.

3 gears of the storytelling engine
  • A character a.k.a. the star of the show
  • A transformation - the before and after
  • A journey - including a timeline of actions and results (there is sometimes a villian, too)

Stories work so well because of resonance.

The best stories are those that we can relate to on an emotional level.

We are the star of our own life.

We all have somewhere we want to be or something we want to achieve.

And our day-to-day lives is our journey.

That’s why our favourite books and films are unlikely the same because we relate differently to different stories.

Testing Out My Hypotheses

To test if my logic stands true, I analyzed top creators with massive social engagements.

Think thousands to hundreds of thousands. Millions of impressions.

And the results are really interesting.

Checking For Anatomy

Here are some of them:

A screenshot of Zach Pogrob's tweet
A tweet by Zach Pogrob
  • A character - Writer
  • A transformation - Low book sales to #1 book + #7 book on Amazon + screenshots
  • A journey - Spent 14 years writing a book. Barely any sales for 10 years. His daughter made one TikTok video and gets 36M views + screenshot. (now 51M)
A screenshot of JK Molina's tweet
A tweet by JK Molina
  • A character - Grandmother
  • A transformation - Realizing her childhood dream of visiting Venice  + a photo
  • A journey - JK keeping his promise to make money and take her to Venice
A screenshot of Alex Hormozi's tweet
A tweet by Alex Hormozi
  • A character - ChatGPT
  • A transformation - AI’s ability to learn on its own very quickly, (potentially) replacing today’s valuable skills.
  • A journey - GPT 4 is trained on so much more data than GPT 3 (+ a visual representation), demos are underway, and was able to write a 60,000 word book from a prompt

You might have noticed that these 3 posts also have 1 other thing in common...

Checking For Visual Storytelling


They either support the journey or prove the transformation.

But even without the structure of the story anatomy, content with strong visuals work extremely well, too.

If you use it to tell the story.

A tweet by LB
A tweet by Dakota Robertson
A Linkedin post by Chris Do
A tweet by Sahil Bloom

Seems like other than platitudes, these great creators tell awesome stories.

And it seems like we need to post content on a more personal level to (well) grow our personal brand.

These posts that you see here are amongst their top performing content, too.

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RE: Fight Club

So, I told you there were 2 parts.

Truth be told, there is a third.

In last week’s newsletter, I mentioned a quote from the movie Fight Club:

“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer. Maybe self-destruction is the answer.”

Here’s a quick rundown of what it means:

Self-improvement refers to constantly strive for things such as monetary success.

Or any other societal expectations, such as fame, power, or even being a parent in a blissful marriage.

This stems from the belief that society is overly focused on materialism and consumerism.

We are then hardwired to believe that certain societal expectations is the way to happiness, by default.

Therefore, self-destruction refers to seeking what brings true fulfillment and happiness.

Then constantly strive for them.

Fight Club (1999)

In the content creation game, many do just one thing: Tell people how to get the biggest results with the least effort.

It’s a race to the bottom, to see who can come up with the best self-improvement “hacks”.

People think they are helping people with self-improvement, when we should be talking about self-destruction.

If this is you, please do not feel bad.

I do this, too.

And really, who can blame us when the top creators do exactly this?

Authoritative Storytelling

A tweet by Alex Hormozi
A Linkedin post by Sahil Bloom
A tweet by Justin Welsh
A tweet by Dan Koe

People of certain authority tend to create content, telling others what they should do.

What they should aim for.

But don’t get me wrong, I think they are using their power for good. (most of them)

They are telling others how to achieve what they have.

Whether it’s a thriving community, millions of dollars, or a meaningful life.

The real problem arises when it’s non-authoritative people sharing these self-improvement advice.

With no experience…

No proof…

No results…

Just surface-level tips, lists, and advice.

Here are some examples:

As you might have noticed, they all have clickbait-y titles and make a big promise.

With extremely underwhelming content and weak aruguments.

No proof behind their claims.

These types of content make up majority of social media, and do more harm than good.

Fellow creator, Joshua Geelen said it best:

A tweet by Joshua Geelen

If every creator had to take responsibility for the viewer, would they have posted?

After months of studying content online, I’ve learned to develop a filter when I’m on social media.

“How did you come to this conclusion?”

If I’m not convinced, I don’t consume.

I highly recommend you to do the same.

How To Create Content with Storytelling

But I don’t have millions of dollars or 100K followers. Does this mean I shouldn’t post?

Of course not. Post away.

It’s the only way to build an audience and reach life-long freedom as a creator.

The catch is this - don’t post like the big accounts do.

Instead, build in public.

Here are some of my favourite creators who lead by example:

Joshua Geelen

Eve Arnold

Jay Yang

The main difference between these 3 amazing creators and the big players from earlier is authority.

They understand that they have little authority because they are still in the process of building their personal brand.

Instead of just using hooks for clickbait, they started with proof.

And honestly, I find them incredibly inspiring and would love to work with them someday.

Our Storytelling Journey

If you made $500, someone who wants to make an extra $1 to $500 would want to know how you did it.

If you figured out a way to save 13 hours a week, someone who wants to do the same would want to know the tools you used.

You are always ahead of somebody else. Help them.

As you figure out more ways and achieve bigger results, you'll be able to help more people and solve bigger problems.


I created a Content Creation 101 guide.

It took me months and a few hundred dollars worth of content creation courses…

Everything I know condensed into one Notion file.

I gift it to those in my Like Attract Like programme. (They all said it’s a HUGE time-saver)

Today, I would like to give it to my newsletter subscribers for FREE, just as a thank-you for subscribing.

If you’d like, DM me the word STORIES + your email address on Instagram.

That’s it. 🙂

(P.S. It’s a pretty heavy guide. It covers everything from planning to creation. There are also bonuses that differentiates accounts that have tons of followers but make $0 from accounts that make 6-figures.)

Have a great weekend.

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
  1. If you want 1:1 help taking your business to 6 figures, find out more about the Like-Attract-Likes programme. Join the business owners who have figured out the systems and foundation to grow their business.
  2. If you want help with strategy, branding, and funnel building, find out more about the Done-For-You services. We'll get these out of the way so you can focus on sales and delivery.
  3. If you want coaching or consultation, drop me an email. Hourly rates and packages are available to serve your every need.
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