Stories are powerful.
They draw us in, they make us feel, they make us think, and they can change how we view the world.
Stories also make it easier for us to remember things.
The combination of inspiration and stickiness that stories deliver are how they can become the first step to making a change in your life.
Think about it for a minute. Have you ever read or watched or listened to a story and found yourself thinking about it later? Planning how you’ll do things differently because of the way the story impacted you?
I’m sure you have. I know I have. For example, the Pixar movie Inside Out prompted me to reexamine how I react when my kids express sadness or anger. Prior to that movie, my go-to move was to cheer them up. After watching that story, I became a better listener and made more space for kids to feel their negative emotions. And I think that made me a better parent.
That’s the power of good storytelling, right there.
Now when it comes to writing for your business, you’ll rely on true stories more often than not. You can also use “Imagine if…” stories or “Let’s look at an analogy…” stories to weave a little fiction in, as long as it’s clear to your reader what you’re doing.
But generally, in business and marketing, true stories have more power.
Now, the obvious way to use stories in your own business and for your clients is to share the success stories of people who have used the product or service you’re writing about. But there are other stories that can also move your audience.
Founding Stories Are Powerful
As part of your background information gathering process, be sure to ask about how the company was founded and what its mission and values are.
The stories associated with a company’s beginning and its growth can be very telling and offer potential customers a way to feel connected with your client and their products.
Look for small ways to weave elements of founding stories into the copy you’re writing. They won’t always fit, but when they do, they can add more emotional weight to your message.
Don’t Overlook Product Development Stories
Talk to the people behind designing the product or defining the service you’re writing about. You might hear a story about how they kept hearing from customers that they needed help with xyz… and that’s what prompted them to include certain features in the design. Such a story demonstrates care for the customer and that the company listens to what its buyers want.
Or you might hear a story about how they tried 15 different ways to get a product to work the way they wanted it to, which can tell your reader something about your client’s attention to detail and commitment to quality.
Take Note of Your Own Experiences
The things you do and learn can often provide story elements for your copy. Your own experiences can become a deep well of analogies that provide insight and a-ha moments to your readers.
And because they are your stories, you’ll be able to tell them in attention-grabbing detail, maybe even with a little humor.
The first part of using stories more in your work is to become better at recognizing and remembering the stories you encounter every day. Start taking note of them and think about ways you can incorporate them into your writing. You’ll make it easier for readers to connect with what you’re saying when you do.
In Case You Missed It…
We’ve added some great new articles to Digital Copywriter since I wrote you last. Here’s a lineup of some of the new, can’t-miss content on the site.
Where should I publish my work? This is a question I get from writers often. Of course you know you need to write. And publishing your work gives you a chance to build your audience, show off your abilities, and improve your skills. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to publish your work, even if you don’t have a website yet. In her latest Trends & Technology column, Jen Phillips April explores two of the ready-to-go publishing options available to all writers. See where you can get started publishing today!
If you write emails for your clients, you might be wondering if all the buzz around AI applies to you. The answer is Yes! You can use AI tools to help your clients get better results from their email campaigns. Best of all, you’ll elevate yourself into a consulting role when you help them figure out how to use technology to grow their business and offer a better email experience to their subscribers. Michele Peterson shares 10 ways you can use AI to give email marketing a boost.
Your thoughts affect your feelings. And your feelings affect your actions. In her newest Reality Blog, Jennifer Ayling shows how this cascade might affect your efforts to grow your business. Inside, you’ll find food for thought on how changing your mindset can improve how you feel about your business and the results you get from your marketing efforts. Take a minute to give this a read. It’s well worth the time!
Keep an eye out for Zoe Blarowski’s next PPC & Advertising column. She’s going to walk you through how paid search works. Armed with the knowledge she shares, you’ll be able to offer a new, highly valued service to your clients.
And then a couple of weeks from now, my next UX/CX Copywriting column will explore how your formatting choices affect readability and the overall user experience. Just a few small changes can have a big effect on how much your readers enjoy your work. Best of all, these changes are easy to make!
Around the Web
If you’re having trouble converting your prospects into clients, you’re sure to find something useful in this post from Digital Marketer.
This post on MarketingProfs about fixing the “me, me, me” point of view is one after my own heart. You’ll find three useful tips for helping your clients focus on their customers.
Doing a little research on a possible niche? Here are a few options that are growing right now.
That’s all for now!