Story Type 2: How
The "How" story. I also sometimes call this the "Here's how I accomplished x" or "Let me tell you about the time.." I mentioned those two little "Let me tell you about the time that I.." because you can rinse and repeat a "How" story. You'll have a "Why" story for, you can have a "Why" story for each different product or for service. Everything you create can have a "Why" story. Same for the "How" story. So anytime you accomplish something, you do something different, you can have a different "How" story. We use these in marketing campaigns all the time. It's flexible for you so there isn't one, there's many. So what the "How" story does differently is it will show or teach a process: How you accomplished a certain thing, how did it happen, what did you use to get to the place that you got to. You could have a story that's "How" I created my business and it's different story then "Why" I created my business. Right? So you can use it as a teaching tool. It can be flexible across all con...
tent. And the "How" story is often used for sales. This is why that you'll see headlines with the word "How" all the time. I love "How" stories. I love writing them, they're a sexy headline, they work well. That's why you'll see clickbaiting headlines, like "How I lost 20 pounds eating pizza". (giggles) Who doesn't want to know how that happened? Honestly, I'd really like to know. It's just a great way for you to engage with an audience and show them the overall, you're giving them basically the course of the story in the headline if you're starting it with "How". The "How" story doesn't have to have a "How" headline, it's just so clear when it does. The other think I want to mention about "How" stories is often with marketing, especially with digital marketing, you will see "How" stories that still don't give you all the "how", and that's normal. It's like "How to" and then you're like "I read the whole thing and I still don't know how". (giggles) So you can kind of decide how much "How" you want to include and not include. It really depends on again your strategy with your sales process with your clients, how much educational content you used in your marketing, but just something to keep in mind. What's great about a "How" story is that audiences love process. They want to know how things happen, how things are made, they want the step by step, they love the procedure. This is why procedural TV shows are so popular, like Law and Order and. We want to know like "Well how do they solve the mystery?". I want to know each step in the process. Or when you watch a movie like Ocean's Eleven, "Oh, I want to know everything that they're doing to plan their heist". Right? Every time you can give an audience a step by step or a behind the scenes or a "How" it creates so much interest for them and they want to pay attention to it and they will actually listen with intensity because they don't want to miss a detail. And it generates curiosity, especially when you're making a claim like "Lost 20 pounds eating pizza". I'm curious. You can use "How" stories everywhere. And, It's an opportunity for you to share your unique methodology. If you've developed a unique way of doing something this is your opportunity to share. On a sales page for example, let's say that you have a signature process that you work with clients through, whatever that is. Maybe you do home organization and you have a specific system you put clients through to help them organize their life in a way that suits their schedule and their lifestyle. Right? You can actually list: here's step one in my process, here's step two in my process, and step three. And buyers want to know, they want to know what the processes that you're going to take them through. You have the opportunity to share a little bit more about your methodology when you're telling a "How" story. So here's where you want to use it. You want to use it on a sales page to tease the methodology that you're using. You want to use it on work with me pages as well if there's a specific methodology that you're using. Or how that you work with people through or if you are sharing you're personal how you accomplished something and that's related to your process you can use it that way. Social media posts are a great way to kinda tease out how you're doing something. You can even be behind the scenes in social media like, "I'm working on this project, here's how I'm doing it". I'm actually going to live share things with you to let you into the process. Master classes are a great place to use a "How" story. They're actually a very, very, very great way to even position a master class if you're doing a live master class. "How to, How to lose 20 pounds eating pizza." I have lots of ideas today. (laughs) But you'll see headlines for master classes that start with the word "How" and they will share a story on the master class and you will get tips too but there's often a lot of story telling that happens. Even marketing campaigns, live video, blog posts, interviews, all these places you can use it. The "How" story is right for you if you have loads of lessons that you want to continuously put in your content. If you have a lot to teach and you want to share a lot evaluate and content that teaches different methodologies process it's a great way for you to share that. If you have a signature method or approach that makes you special, so if you actually have a signature process in your business that you want to underline and make sure that people are very aware of the "How" story is a critical way for you to show and convey the value of it. And if you know that your clients love details and process, so if you know that your customers are those type of people that want to be in the details and are really into it and they need a lot of facts in order to invest. So usually when I'm working on sales copy or when we work with clients on sales copy we talk a lot about the different types of buyers. Some buyers need a lot of information. Some buyers want to take fast action. It's always good to be aware of the type of clients that you work with and your customers and whether they're someone who kinda just wants to get started quickly or whether they're someone who needs a lot of information. What's great about making sure you're using the different types of stories in your marketing is that you're hitting all the different buyers so you can test what works for you and make sure you're actually working with the right types of content for your market. In short, everyone can and should use this type of story. So here's the "How". You want to state the goal that you had and the obstacles that got in the way. So what was the customer's goal or what was your goal if it's a personal "How" story? What did they want? This is a similar model to the success story which I'm going to go into detail in later. You'll notice that it is similar because you have "How" stories and you have "Why" stories and the next stories that I types I'm teaching are just more specificity so you know how to use them flexibly and specifically. You want to state the goal that you had and the obstacles that got in the way. Explain what else you tried before. "I tried exercising and eating healthy but it didn't work so now I'm going to eat pizza and lose 20 pounds." What else have you tried? This is important because often times buyers have, you know we want to overcome any barriers to trust. Explaining the truth of what else has been tried and that didn't work helps them see that like, oh, this person also tried all these other things, so did I. Maybe this thing will actually be the thing. What did you discover was wrong about your previous approach? So maybe you tried one way, it didn't work, and then you shifted your approach. You created a methodology. You decided to do something different than what you were doing before. What steps in your new approach, what are the steps in your new approach or method? How is this method better than what you had done previously? How did you change your approach and how did it improve? Then again, you want to have either a clear take away or you want to invite the customer to take action. A clear take away could be, if it's an article you don't necessarily need to be like, "Click here for more information.". But if you are writing direct response copy and you're using a story like this you want to make sure that you are directing the customer to their next move. So the underlying message of the "How" story is that "Our method is unique and effective.". That is the question that you're answering is, "Well, is your method the best method for me?".
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.