Fact: Stories are 22 time MORE EFFECTIVE than any other type of marketing message.
Have you ever wondered why some entrepreneurs seem to have raving fans who fall over themselves to buy anything they offer…even at eye-watering prices?
While others struggle to make a single sale on bargain basement offers?
The answer lies in their stories.
Ever since the earliest days of advertising, marketing executives have used the power of storytelling to sell everything from fast cars to laundry detergent.
That’s because they understand the enormous benefit of using story-driven copy versus any other type of marketing message.
1) Stories are sticky
Back before I realised the power of storytelling, I remember being baffled by my mother in law’s suggestion about how best to potty train my eldest daughter.
She arrived at my house with a sack full of children’s stories all about how to use the potty.
Here’s what she said when she saw my confusion:
“Trust me, this works”
She was right. For the next month, I read those stories over and over until my daughter understood what she was meant to do when she needed a wee.
Not only did those stories help teach my daughter how to avoid pooping on the floor, they were also a much more enjoyable way for ME to explain the process to her.
Why? Because facts don’t stick.
Stories do. Ask any parent to read a step by step potty training list to their toddler, and not only will the parent die of boredom, but their child will also wander off in search of some walls to deface.
It’s the same with your marketing. When you share information in the form of straight facts or a direct promotion, the information is much less entertaining and far less memorable.
That’s because stories have been shown to switch on areas of the brain that stay dormant when you’re listening to facts and figures. When you listen to information presented in a story, not only do you hear the message, but you’re immersed in the details, and you experience them alongside your storyteller.
Our brains even release chemicals like cortisol, dopamine and oxytocin when we listen to stories. According to Lani Peterson, writing in the Harvard Business Review,
“Cortisol assists with our formulating memories. Dopamine, which helps regulate our emotional responses, keeps us engaged. When it comes to creating deeper connections with others, oxytocin is associated with empathy, an important element in building, deepening or maintaining good relationships.”
Just imagine the difference between a passive listener and a listener whose body has just received a rush of chemicals while you’re sharing your journey with them.
It’s not hard to understand why stories motivate prospects to buy while straight facts and direct promotions are so boring that buyers tend to tune out.
2) Stories make you stand out
Often, when I speak to business owners, they tell me they’re afraid to create educational content because they have nothing to say that hasn’t been said before.
And that’s why you need to tell your stories…
We all experience feelings of imposter syndrome at some point in our business. There are days when I feel unqualified to give advice when there are experts out there with decades of experience.
But when you teach in the form of a personal story, it doesn’t matter how many times your prospects have heard the lesson before. They’ve NEVER seen it through your lens or heard the lesson explained through your story.
Not only that…
The online world is bursting at the seams with free content and promotional messages. Luckily for you, most business owners don’t understand the power of storytelling to share their message. Which is where you have an awesome opportunity to stand out against all the generic noise that’s flying around internetland.
People LOVE to read stories, but when they’re in their inbox they don’t see enough. So make sure you stand out from the crowd by telling compelling stories to educate and sell.
2) Stories help you sell without sounding salesy
Think of all those dreadful sales messages that start off something like this:
“Are you fed up of being overweight? Would you like to shed those pesky excess pounds?” etc. etc. etc.
You know it’s an ad as soon as you open up your email.
So what do you do?
You tune out. You delete the email or you mark it as spam.
You’re not alone. No one likes to be sold to. And those types of messages are so blatant that when you see one you run a mile. Which means the chance of anyone actually paying attention to your sales message is slim to none.
Now, writing sales copy is a bit like a game of cat and mouse – as soon as your client gets a whiff of your big sell, they’re off. So what you need is an emotional hook, that connects with their pain points and evokes feelings so strong that they’re begging you to pitch them your solution.
Direct response copywriters love to tell stories because stories make brilliant hooks. They hide the sell until the buyer’s bought in emotionally and won’t be scared off by a pitch.
Generating OBSESSED buyers (not one-off transactions) is all about creating deep, emotional connections and sharing ideas in a way that sticks. Stories have been proven to be the most effective way to do just that.
Stories trigger brain activity that’s impossible to achieve when you churn out lists of facts and figures. They flood your client’s body with hormones that help to build emotional attachment and rapport. Your stories are a brilliant way to show your client what makes you unique, even within a narrow niche, and can be used as the perfect non-salesy sales hook when you’re writing your copy.
So, next time you sit down to write an email to your list, why not try incorporating a story into your message?
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