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  • Rain Bennett

Ep. 123: Stories That Sell in Three Minutes with Dan Manning

Dan Manning is a 25-yr veteran of the United States Air Force who first sharpened his storytelling skills as a fighter pilot, working at the US headquarters in Qatar, and running the air operations against Isis. Even though the problems he was helping solve were global political conflicts, the approach to solving them was the same as with your brand storytelling... communication.


In this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Dan explains the marketing problems startup founders, coaches, and consultants face, and how to use storytelling to solve them in less than three minutes.


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You know how when you've been a fighter pilot in the Air Force for over a decade, it just starts to get boring and you need a new challenge?


So you learn Russian to start working at the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan which eventually leads you to run the day-to-day air operations against Isis in Qatar?


And through that process, you realize that humans everywhere, no matter what size problems they're faced with, tend to still fall victim to the same issues—like allowing their thinking to become one-sided, losing their creativity, and eventually compromising all their communication skills?


No?


Well, that's weird. I thought that was a totally normal path to the marketing world!


Luckily for you and me, there is someone with that exact unique experience that we can learn from and I had him on my podcast so we can.


Let me tell you: it's eye-opening.


Dan Manning is a 25-yr veteran of the United States Air Force who first sharpened his storytelling skills leading missions against terrorists. Even though the problems he was helping solve were global political conflicts, the approach to solving them was the same as with your brand storytelling... communication.


Dan helps his clients capture attention, deliver their message, create trust, and eventually close deals by writing 3-minute business stories that sell.


Whether you need to sell yourself, your idea, your business, your product, or your services, stories are the way humans communicate.


And Dan is an expert in communication.


Dan is one of the most honest and straightforward storytellers I've ever met.


And selfishly, I love that because his honest feedback about my work and my book has been quite kind, saying things like: "I really wanted to dislike this book 😁, but I couldn't. It's packed with practical knowledge from someone who tells stories."


But what I appreciate most about the work he does is how simply he conveys his messages (often through visual graphics) so that his audience can understand.


So many people talk about storytelling as a high-level strategy.


Dan gets tactical.


My hunch is that's because working in the Air Force, in the capacity that he did, there was no room for being clever or cute. It was all about clarity.


Miscommunication could cost human lives.

"In the fighter pilot community we always say that 'You will never live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. So you have to learn from the mistakes of others. And the way you learn from those mistakes is through STORY.'” - Dan Manning

I was fortunate enough to get some feedback from Dan on my own (new) business as I am making a huge career transition.


You can hear this real-time workshopping right in this episode, which is already chock full of tangible advice you can apply to your storytelling strategy today.


If you want to be able to convey your story to investors, clients, or customers in 3 minutes or less, this is the episode for you!



 

Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • How and why he transitioned from an Air Force fighter pilot to a storytelling expert.

  • Taking the skills of solving poorly-defined problems in the military and using them to train people how to use storytelling.

  • What big things he has planned for 2023 and a subscription-based business model he's working on.

  • Why startup founders struggle with telling their story so much.

  • Why graphic visuals provide so much clarity for your audience and clients.

  • His secret method for uncovering someone's story, hidden deep inside them.

  • What exactly is the "Moment of Change" and why is it important?

  • Why the big storytelling models like "The Hero's Journey" are often BAD for your brand storytelling.

  • Why 3 minutes is a sweet spot for storytelling

  • Using stories to sell yourself before you have a product sell.

  • Why LinkedIn is such an area of opportunity for your business.

  • How Dan shows up and is consistent every single day, without getting burnt out.


As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!


Peace and Love,

Rain

 

Follow Dan on:


Or book a call with him here!



For more storytelling tips and tricks,


Visit my website rainbennett.com, or

Follow me on TikTok @rainbennett_storycoach

Follow me on Twitter @rainbennett

Follow me on Instagram @rainbennett

Follow me on Facebook @rainbennettfilms

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel


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