How do we Use Story in Business?
So how do we use story in business? Because I know that's what you guys are here to learn. You're like, "Okay great but I'm not writing a screenplay, "I'm not writing a book, a fiction, I wanna know how to "tell stories for business so that I can actually "attract clients," so that's what were gonna talk about now. I love this quote from Gary Halbert. If you don't know who he is he's like pretty much the father of direct response copyrighting. And direct response, what's really special about it, is that it's having someone take an action immediately. So when you read something on a webpage and you're, you know, for website copy, or if you're using an app and there's, you know, you can click a button and there's an action you can take. It has this interactive nature to it. And that's like what's special about it. It's not just this like, it's not a distant situation, it is actually a one on one conversation where you can create interaction with someone on automatic. And so, what he says...
is that the most often missing ingredient in a sales message is a sales message that does not tell an interesting story. And so that's why I wanna make sure that all of your marketing campaigns always have interesting stories that help. (laughs) In business we are telling stories with one goal in mind. Develop and advance the relationship between you and your customer. So, when someone finds you, so this is just something for you to think about when you're thinking about what to write, where, and where you're putting things. Does this belong on social media? Does this belong in a newsletter from email marketing? Does this belong on my website? Where do I put these things? And we're gonna cover some of that in the different stories that I talk about today. You wanna always be thinking about where your relationship is beginning and what that customer already knows about you. Where are they finding you? What are they learning about you when they land on your social media account and they start engaging with your social media? How does that relationship develop? And so storytelling exists to help you develop and advance that relationship. So every story you tell is gonna be moving that relationship forward. Your customer is facing obstacles. So your customer is living their own story right now. They want something, they wanna change something in their life, there's something that isn't working for them, there's something that's bugging them that's a reason that they wanna potentially commit to a product or service or offer or buy something. There's a way they wanna feel and there's an obstacle to that. And you can help them. You are solving a problem with your business. So being really clear on how you can help them overcome that obstacle is key. The story you tell around how you can help them is what positions you as a critical factor in your customer achieving what they want. So when we are telling stories in business, we are often telling them to position our space, literally our space, in your customer's story. So your customer wants something, there's things getting in their way, you're here to help them. Regardless of the medium. And so, what I'm gonna go over today, as I teach the different stories, are basic story structure. So it's gonna be flexible, you're not gonna get a template that you would literally copy and paste and use the exact words for a social media post or for your copy but you're going to get the foundational framework for how to structure and tell the story that you wanna be telling no matter where you're putting it. And so regardless of whether you're putting this in email copy or whether you're putting it in an article or even if you're writing a book, all stories attempt to do one thing. They answer or explore a big, looming question. So, it's a question in the mind of your market, that they're wondering about. It might be a belief that you have that's an answer to a question and you're proving that belief true. Storytelling is the vehicle that will answer or explore and so sometimes when we have like an hypothesis about something, we can just be exploring. We don't have to necessarily say, "It's the be all, end all," right? So the message of my story is that I believe that audiences and what I've learned is that audiences for all content, like on big screens and small, want to be emotionally invested in the content that they're exposing themselves to. That that is a critical factor, that they need to care. The nature of your question determines the tone that you'll be using. So, this just to touch on writing voice, 'cause I know that comes up a lot, sometimes we tell stories that seem like really serious subject matter. And so you get to actually choose the tone of voice you wanna use based on the nature of the question that you're answering. And how the story ends is what determines the message. So if you're proving something right, the ending determines the message. Now the best example that I can give for this is let's say you're watching a romantic comedy, right? And these two people meet each other and they don't know if they like each other but then they get to know each other and then they really like each other and then they kiss and then things get really, really serious but then they have a fight and break up. But then at the end they end up together and love conquers all. And they're so happy and everything's amazing. So, the message of a romantic comedy is always love conquers all. But if they didn't end up together, and the ending just changed a little, and they were like, "Alright, this is cool "but maybe we're just not for each other," the message would change. It might become more complex, it might be more of an artsy Indie movie, right? But you end up with a more complex message that really states what the writer wants to say and what the leader wants to be conveying. So if they didn't end up together, the message might be love is great but not every relationship works out all the time and sometimes you need more than love to make it work, right? Insert your own message here. But, always be thinking about how your story ends and how that connects to really what you're trying to say. So in business, your stories are engineered to answer questions like how can you help your customer overcome their obstacle and achieve their vision? Why are you the right brand for them? Why are you the one? Is success really possible for them? So a customer might have doubts that they can achieve a certain amount of success or that a product might make them feel a certain way, right? Your job as a story teller is to prove that it is possible for them to feel a certain way, to achieve a certain goal, to have a certain level of success. And these are the types of questions that come up and you can find these questions just by having conversations with clients and answering their questions. They can be asking you questions on social media. You can build stories that answer their questions and voila, instant content map. And so I just wanna define success because we're gonna be talking about success stories and I know I just mentioned it. For the purposes of marketing and for this training, what my definition of success is, it's achieving the desired goal or something else awesome. So goals can change in the middle of a story, often they do right at the midpoint, right in the center. "Oh, I wanted this but then this changed "and I learned something else about myself," and new goal. (laughs) New goal because I've deepened my understanding of the topic, I've deepened my understanding of why I want that. And so now I've pivoted in what I want. So that to me is success. So it doesn't have to always look like, "Oh, they got exactly what they wanted." It doesn't have to and you can still convey that for your brand and business. Now, when you're able to convey that you are going to demonstrate the significance of your offerings. So people are going to understand the full value and why it's important. Like if you can demonstrate what a customer has achieved with you, if you can demonstrate your experience to them, they're gonna understand the importance and the value of your offerings. You're gonna be able to create that emotional connection with your audience because they're gonna care about you and they're gonna be able to project themselves onto you and/or onto other customers that are happy with the work that you do with them. And you'll be able to also back up your message. So whatever it is that is the belief that you stand for in your business, and a lot of the business owners that I've worked with really do have a socially conscious, mission-based message that they care deeply about. They wanna make the world a better place, they wanna do good with their business, they wanna improve the lives of their clients and so being able to back up that belief with a powerful story, again, helps us create these brand advocates and you're gonna develop that relationship that you need in order to sell. Now, I know we talked about change. Every sale is an opportunity for change for your customer. When a customer says yes to a sale, what they are saying yes to is, "I'm committed to doing something differently." It might be a piece of jewelry that they buy for themselves, it might be a yoga class that they sign up for, it might be a course that they decide that they wanna partake in and advance themselves and learn something new about a topic. They're saying yes to changing themselves on some level. And so the challenge with sales is often how to get someone to say yes to change, more than it is to say yes to the investment. And so showing the benefit of change and how powerful that is, is so important. And the well told story will demonstrate that possibility for positive change to your market. So how do businesses typically use story? You have your brand story, which is often what's gonna live on your about page. You might tweak that if you were gonna do a speaking event or something and you wanted to be telling a story live. The way that you'd tell the story would change a little bit but the basic components of your brand story would be the same. So you would have a brand story, you would have a sales story. So if you're writing a sales page for something of having a sales conversation or pitching something or doing a webinar, you're gonna have a sales story that aligns totally with the offer that you're creating. Also teaching content. So when you're teaching, story is a great teaching tool when you use examples or experiences or other things so that's another place. Email marketing campaigns, master classes, I mean, you can see this list, it's endless. All the different places that you can use story in your business. But yeah, I mean, books, even if you're writing like a nonfiction book, you can use a series of stories to prove the different points of every chapter, all of that stuff, it's awesome.
Throughout human history, storytelling has been used to draw people in, evoke their emotions and memories, make them care, and propel them to act. So wouldn’t it make sense to use storytelling to get someone to buy your goods or services?
By harnessing the power of stories, you can capture people’s attention and convince them of the value of your offering. Story is what transforms you from a marketer jockeying for a sale to a genuine person with a meaningful message.
Award-winning writer and consultant Jamie Jensen will show you how to craft a brand story that’s relevant to your business. She’ll walk you through the four main types of stories you can use and explain how each one can yield impressive results.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Figure out when and where to use story in your copy and content.
- Decide which story to use depending on your needs and goals.
- Create characters, objectives and obstacles for your story.
- Change your story to keep it fresh and interesting.
- Identify with your customer when telling your story.
- Take on the role of expert or mentor to convince your reader to buy.