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Maggie Bergin is a digital marketer and copy writer creating brand-aligned, creative, compelling digital content for her clients.

Show Your Work

Maggie Bergin

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My favorite high school math teacher, before handing out a test, would remind us to "show our work" so he could maybe give us partial credit for what we did understand. Because even if you didn't get the answer right, he wanted to know how you tackled the problem and which pieces of the process you understood. Showing your work indicated what you ‘got’ and (maybe more importantly) where you strayed from the mark.

I rarely see brands doing this: showing their work. Far more often we see the end result, the pretty product photos. But I believe brands' most passionate potential customers are interested in seeing how you came through the process of creation. Why did you create X? What did you consider in its creation? What were you hoping to accomplish? What would success with this product look like to you and why does that mean success to you?

Human beings can learn facts through spreadsheets or bullet points, but they come to understand their world and their relationship to brands through stories. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense; PowerPoint has only been around for a couple decades, but we’ve been sitting around fire pits listening to stories for literally millennium. It’s in our blood to love and listen to people show their work. Stories and lessons learned speak to us on the cellular level.

Storytelling also fosters social understanding and teaches valuable social norms. And that's where the really juicy stuff is in 2019 and beyond. What are your brand's norms and values? What do you give a shit about and why? Because while I hold my truths to be self-evident, I have no idea what yours are. But I'm interested.

Story telling also pays valuable dividends to the storytellers themselves who receive community support and are recognized as a leader. When bits of information are flying, especially from brands, I believe the companies who SHOW THEIR WORK will stand out because even though it's a little harder than posting a pretty picture, it’s truer work, and it will connect your clients to your brand in a way that nothing else can.

Valuable social media content shows HOW you came to a products' end design. It tells WHY you do/make what you do/make. It explains WHAT social norms your company is built on. Show your work. Share stories to connect with your brand's biggest potential fans. #branding #brandbydesign #storiesmatter #socialcontent