The Power of Storytelling
With John Ehrhard
Did you know that brand storytelling can boost conversions by up to 30%?
We’ve all experienced the emotional impact of a great story–whether through books, movies, or TV. Now our latest podcast guest is showing us how to harness that power for our businesses.
John Ehrhard is the CEO and Founder of Orson, the first platform created to enhance human connection by sharing one’s authentic self through automated video storytelling. He is a seasoned producer in the unscripted television industry, with over two decades of experience working with almost every major network.
Through his extensive career, John has mastered the art and science of unscripted storytelling, documenting over 50,000 hours of real people’s lives. His expertise lies in the ability to understand audiences and craft real stories to convert strangers into devoted viewers and fans.
Storytelling at Scale
John’s journey into storytelling started with his own family. During the pandemic, he started manually capturing the life stories and memories of older family members. Putting his TV background to use, he then moved on to documentaries, creating personalized videos for Mother’s Day and other holidays.
When his family started to share the videos with friends, John started getting requests from others who wanted to capture their own family memories. Creating individual videos was extremely time-consuming, so he started looking into how he could automate the process.
Part of what makes storytelling so powerful is the element of connection–the relationship between the storyteller and their audience. John was at a loss for how he could deliver that experience at scale. That is…until AI came on the scene.
After two years of hard work, John and his team cracked the code. They created an AI director that’s able to conduct interviews, read facial cues, and ask follow-up questions. They named the software Orson after legendary director Orson Wells.
Assembling the A Team
John had a wealth of experience in the TV business, but the world of tech and AI was completely new to him. Now he was faced with the challenge of turning what he’d always thought of as an art into a science.
As a first-time founder, John knew he needed the right team behind him. After raising capital for Orson, he leveraged investor relationships to put together a board of tech giants–people who knew the industry and had the right skill set to take Orson to the next level.
John says finding people who shared his passion for storytelling and “made his life difficult in a good way” has been a key ingredient for Orson’s success. Not only did the board of investors bring new ideas to the table, but they also brought top talent, tapping into their networks to build an incredible team.
Enjoy this episode with Orson founder John Ehrhard…
“Stories are how we connect fundamentally…learning about people’s stories is how we inspire people, how we have empathy for people, and how we relate.”
“The nature of the product we’re building touched investors on a personal level.”
“At the end of the day, helping people connect and capturing stories…it’s really powerful.”
“The thing I always found fascinating was that people never stop evolving– our viewpoints, what scares us, what inspires us. But when you’re in a relationship, you stop asking those fundamental questions.”
“Any technology for good always has ways people can twist it. You just need to be careful and put precautions in place to prevent that.”
“I think there’s an art form to people who know how to share themselves in a way that doesn’t feel like bragging or grandiose.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Orson website: http://www.heyorson.com
Love Story wedding videos: https://www.thelovestoryshop.com/
Connect with John Ehrhard on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-ehrhard-9b191917b/
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