An interview with Vancouver's own modern day storyteller, Megan Sheldon.
Storytelling brings people together. It is one of the oldest forms of communication and despite having evolved in so many different ways, it is still very much alive today. Marketing and Communications expert, and the imaginative founder of Narrative Communications – Megan Sheldon has the power to give your business or brand a voice, so that it too may have a chance to tell its story.
Megan launched Narrative Communications after realizing that her passion for mythology and storytelling could complement her skills in marketing and communications. With a background in journalism, public relations and advertising, her experience and knowledge sets her apart from other marketing consultants. Aside from having a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Literature, and a Masters in Mythology, she has spent years examining how stories are told and why certain stories resonate with people. Her goal is to reconnect people with something deep inside them, and to form deep, lasting connections along the way.“We are constantly inundated with information – and most of it bounces off of us without making an impression,” she explains.
Storytelling is a wonderful way to express who you are and why you are doing what you do in a way that resonates with people.
Capturing the market through a profound communication tool like brand storytelling, rather than an obtusely commercial gag, creates a more personal relationship with the business or brand. This strategy will generate customer loyalty as it focuses on the stronger, more compelling emotional benefits that will engage the customer long-term.
Gaining her first client, Capilano Suspension Bridge, is an interesting story in itself. Upon returning to Vancouver after living in Ghana, West Africa for six months, Megan needed a job and so began working in the coffee shop at the popular tourist attraction while searching for opportunities. “I told them what I wanted to do with my story writing and they were intrigued – storytelling is a huge part of what they do. They approached me about writing the story for their new attraction Cliff Walk and it was a fantastic experience that led to many more story writing opportunities.” From then on, she has worked with Arts & Culture organizations, as well as non-profits and social enterprises. She refers to her clients as value-based or mission-driven with a social responsibility to the community. “They hold similar values to me – including building community and engaging in authentic ways. Clients of mine like Vancity fit in perfectly with this definition.” Megan works hard at expanding her client base through warm calling, networking groups and word-of-mouth.
And what is her typical day like? “Typical doesn’t really apply to my line of work – which is part of why I love it! Some days I work from home and spend the whole day on the computer, other days I am on a ferry, in a car, or walking to meetings. On my favorite days, I am at the HiVE, a co-working office space that promotes collaboration and community. That is when I feel like I am a part of something bigger, rather than on an island, off on my own.” She has also started giving workshops and presenting to larger groups. While initially she confessed to finding it terrifying, she confidently states that she does see herself teaching a course, working with a larger organization on developing internal storytelling tactics to build leadership within the organization rather than simply focusing on the external brand and marketing tools in the future. “I trust that as long as I keep doing what I love, meaningful work will find Me.” she smiles. Narrative Communications’ growth over a short span of time is testament to that.
Setting up a business takes dedication and quite a lot of hard work. For Megan, the challenge of her business has been balance. “Balancing work with life, balancing lengths of time with too much work, with times where there is not enough work. I feel like I am on a roller coaster, and I have learned to just sit back and enjoy the ride!“ However Megan is doing what she loves every single day – that pretty much makes it all worth it.
Click here for more information.