You might think that your website or your blog posts are places for merely sharing factual information. You’re trying to encourage a sale or a booking, after all. But have you considered that sharing some stories in your copy might result in a better business? If you think no one wants to hear stories about you and your life, you would be surprised. Stories are a way to help people connect. People buy from people, remember! So, here’s how a great story is the easiest way to memorable copy. And here’s why you should also be incorporating them into your business words.
Natural Born Storytellers
Everywhere you look around you, there are stories present. The obvious ones that spring to mind are the movies, TV shows and books you watch and read. But, at a deeper level, think about all the advertisements you come across on any given day too. Think about those Christmas ads you see competing for a top soft spot every year! It was Amazon’s effort that got me this last Christmas!
Seriously, just watched it again and I STILL tear up.
Now, look even more in-depth. Think about all the times you come into contact with someone. A friend, a relative, a person in the street asking for directions, or chatting to the person at the checkout when you buy your weekly groceries. Those are all possible times you might share stories. We can’t help it. It’s ingrained into our psyche.
The quote above is from one of my favourite reads last year – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. If you haven’t read this book, you should. In it, you’ll learn that it’s storytelling that defines who we are as human beings. It’s our ability to tell stories, to create myths and concepts, that keeps our world spinning. Isn’t that a fascinating thought?
So Why Use Stories In Your Copy?
What’s one of your favourite books you’ve read? Think about it for a moment. I bet you can remember the characters, what the story is about and how it ends. Now, do the same with a website you’ve jumped on recently – something that’s selling a product or service you need right now. If it was a website that DIDN’T use storytelling to sell you the benefits and features of its product, how much about it do you even remember?
But if a website spins a story about their business, their brand and the products they’re selling; if they create a world that places you in it, you can bet your butt that you’re going to remember what they were selling.
Because that’s how stories work. It’s about sharing a slice of someone else’s life in such a way as to make you think ‘Oh, this could be me.’ And that’s when they’ve got you. Don’t believe me? Grab some more tissues and have a look at this one:
The thing is, a fact tucked inside a story is likely to be remembered 22 times as much as one that isn’t. That’s the beauty of the human brain. And that, right there, is reason enough to tell some stories. Am I right?
Ok, How Do I Do This?
Let me speak plainly. Don’t throw too much effort into this. The beauty of relaying stories is that it shouldn’t feel hard or forced. The second it does, the less natural it sounds. And when that happens, the story doesn’t work anymore. So, relaaaax… and settle in. This is going to be fun!
#1: Have A Point
There’s no point sharing a story if you haven’t got a reason for it. That makes you sound like annoying Aunt Susie who spends hours telling you a story while you’re jiggling on the spot waiting to go to the bathroom, only to find there wasn’t a point and you almost peed your pants for no reason. True story.
Think about the benefits and features of the goods or service you provide and a story that might highlight them. Doing that means a potential customer or client will be able to place themselves in the story. They can picture themselves experiencing the benefit you’re telling them about.
#2: Make Them The Hero
Yes, you might be telling a story about yourself. But you don’t want to make it ALL about you. You’re using a story to illustrate a point, remember. So, try to tell it in a way that allows them to place themselves in your shoes.
Look at my ‘Aunt Susie’ story in my previous point. I told a story there that plenty of you recognise, having experienced something similar yourself. Did I make it all about me? Nope! But I allowed you to step into that position and picture yourself there. See what I did? 😉
#3: Don’t Be Clever
Don’t try to get smart with your language or attempt to use poetic prose to make you sound like someone you’re not. Tell the story in simple language exactly the way you would if you were sitting across the table from a friend. Use the words and ideas that feel most natural. And if you can’t remember what you said out loud, record yourself and then listen back to it, so you get all the information!
#4: Choose Your Medium
You guys, stories don’t just have to be written down! The two videos in this post should make that clear. If writing isn’t your strong point, look at how you can share your stories in other ways. You could share videos, photographs, presentations or a podcast. Share your stories in ways that feel right to you and that your audience is likely to enjoy.
Just because a story might feel tired and worn to you – maybe it’s one you’ve told friends and family a thousand times – people who haven’t heard it before are going to love it, I promise!
Now, go forth and tell your stories lovely. I can’t wait to hear or read them!
If you’d like some help telling your stories, we should talk! You can get in touch by filling out my form, and I’ll get you booked in for a consult.