Start with the Audience

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, 

Have you ever seen the acronym WIIFM? It stands for Whats In It For Me. It is the most important part of telling a story. You must understand who the audience is so you can craft a story that will appeal to their desires.

What’s In It For Me, are without a doubt, the most important five letters in your business writing, your Web site, maybe even in your business success. Always tell people what’s in it for them when they do business with you.

If you try to reach everyone you will likely appeal to no-one.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 32000, ƒ/9, 1/100
Think of you talking one-on-one with someone in your audience. You need to have them in mind before you even pick your story that you are going to work on.
For there to be a story we have these basic four things:
  1. Subject 
  2. They WANT something
  3. They overcome obstacles
  4. To get it
The audience wants something to. They want to make a good story part of their story. This is often where the audience in a call to action is able to be the helper for the subject to attain their wants.
When I am teaching Missions Multimedia Storytelling Workshop the hardest part of the learning for the student, by the way which is their obstacle, has less to do about learning to use the gear. The real struggle is understanding the storyline.
They must toss out so much because it isn’t engaging the audience. 
I get the deer in the headlights look over and over from students when they are showing me their work and I ask why should I care?
They are crafting a story that they are interested in and not one for the audience.
In the hero’s journey storytelling model discovered by Joseph Campbell and modified by Chris Vogler there is a meeting of the mentor usually in Act 1. The mentor can be the role of the audience when it comes to the call to action for helping the subject attain their goal.
The keys to a good storyteller is understanding that the Audience, Subject and even you as a storyteller all have a storyline. The key to the successful story is when the Audience, Subject and even you as a storyteller all are able to get what they want.
If your story seems to be stuck check and see which of the storylines [Audience, Subject, Storyteller] is having problems.
One of the key things to evaluate is to constantly be asking how does this help us achieve our WANTS/GOAL. If it doesn’t look at cutting it out.