What is strategy?
Strategy is the plan to achieve your goals.
The plan is a blueprint.
It’s a menu.
It’s a map.
By extension, the blueprint is not the hammer.
The menu is not the cookbook.
The map is not the land.
Here’s a simple trick to determine if your strategy is coherent. If you cannot tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, you do not have a strategy.
Think about the plans listed above. They’re stories.
A blueprint for a new building is a story of stories, of what the building will look like and how people will use it.
A menu is a story of a logical progression through a curated collection of tastes and experiences.
A map is a story of how you’ll traverse the land.
Suppose you want to make your Facebook page successful. If you just list out all of the tactics you’ll throw at it, that doesn’t make for a particularly good story. It’ll read like a list of things you want to buy at the grocery store, which isn’t a great story or any kind of story at all.
On the other hand, suppose you told a story of seeking to get to a promised goal. Maybe the goal was audience reach, or engagement, or conversion to a click. You told of who the audience was, what they liked, and what content you’d replicate in order to appeal to them, doing detecting work like Sherlock Holmes. You’d post your content, identify what worked best, refine it, and pay to promote it. In the end, you’d measure your results and begin the story anew.
That sort of plan has a clear, logical progression. You could probably, with a quick re-read, recite it yourself as a very short story.
Ask yourself any time you’re questioning your strategy: can I tell a story from this?
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