January 29, 2019 | Sean Foo
Whether it comes to viewing an advertisement or having a dinner with close friends, we all love good storytelling. In fact, after the conversation is done, we are likely to forget everything else…
Except the stories being told. Why is that?
A powerful story not only draws us in, it connects with us and places us within the narrative itself.
If you are writing copy for your Facebook ad or landing page, you might be focusing your energy on writing the best product description with kick-ass bullet points…
Or maybe you are obsessed with getting the right call to action and placement of the testimonials to amp up your level of persuasion.
While all this is well and good, the glue that holds all these points together is storytelling. Storytelling helps your reader connects the dots and brings meaning to your product.
In fact, according to publication, The Power Of Storytelling from Facebook IQ, online storytelling on social media and advertising helps increase conversions.
Refinery29, a lifestyle destination portal, tested Facebook ads that had a sequenced story narrative to it.
An increase in 56% conversions as well as a jump of 10% in direct online sales.
It is no surprise why businesses are starting to weave in stories that matter to connect with their readers and customers.
So why do people love stories?
The Real Reason Why We Love Stories
When it comes to understanding the psychology of why these stories work, we need to look no further than the movies we all love and remember.
From The Matrix to Star Wars, why are these movies loved by so many and will probably be the best films of all time?
Because they follow the same narrative.
Yes, they all stick to the same storytelling script. But it is not just any old script, but a powerful narrative that connects us to them.
These films follow the Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or hero’s journey.
The journey follows 3 Basic Steps:
1. The hero lives his life normally, going through the motions. He seems fine but is unsatisfied deep down and knows his situation can be improved.
2. Something happens in his life that forces him into a new situation and to find various solutions to solve the problem he is facing before his time runs out.
3. Finally, he discovers the solution. He implements it, wins the day and enjoys the benefits and treasures.
If you notice, the movies above all follow the same story.
In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker lives his life as a simple farmer on a desert planet who yearns to be a fighter pilot.
His family suddenly gets killed by the evil empire and he is thrust into a world of space violence and war.
He struggles for survival and is seeking desperately for answers before the universe is doomed.
Eventually, he learns and embraces the ancient teachings of the Jedi, defeats the evil Emperor, saves the universe and becomes an intergalactic hero.
It is storytelling like this that captures people’s attention and imagination.
Everyone is the hero of their own story and when you can begin to narrative your sales copy in such a fashion, you begin to connect with your reader on a much deeper and emotional level.
So How Does This Tie Into Your Business?
The aim of a story is to show the reader that he was in a dream-like state before acknowledging the problem and discovering the solution…
And now that he has seen behind the curtain, there is no going back. He knows the truth and he must solve it.
While you might be thinking, “Isn’t a comprehensive benefit and features showcase enough to close the deal?”
Well…yes and no.
Benefits and features help only logically convince your reader, but we are here to connect with them emotionally too.
And this is key, especially if you are operating in saturated markets such as coaching, marketing, and technology.
How To Ensure Your Story Connects
Like the hero’s journey above, every great story has to follow to a structure that helps guide your reader from beginning to end.
The story is about a 4 step journey:
1. The trigger point that set him out to begin the journey
2. The challenges he faced during this journey
3. Discovering the solution and taking action
4. Enjoying the incredible rewards
1) The Trigger Point
A story only really begins when a problem or obstacle is encountered by the lead character (your customer).
The key question to ask is What is the trigger point that makes the lead character start to look for a solution?
Appsumo is famous for using stories to sell their products.
A great story is only as good as its opening, and Appsumo nailed it by crafting an impactful trigger point that many entrepreneurs (their target audience) face.
The trigger point: Quitting his job.
People depending on them (wife and kind), first time starting a business (inexperience) and success being his only option (desperation).
When you are looking to create the trigger point for your story, think of the common reasons that would begin the journey.
If you are selling a make money online course, the trigger point could be:
– Being laid off from a job during a recession
– Dropping out of school to make money to support a family
– A new baby on the way and the need to make extra money
You want the trigger point to not only hit your reader emotionally…
They have to connect with it and think, “Hey that sounds like me” or “Hey that could’ve been me.
2) The Challenges Faced
The next section of your character’s journey is the challenges they face on their way to reaching their end goal.
Neville Medhora of Kopywritingkourse (who is the lead character in the story) does this well.
In this story, Neville details his journey of how he discovered copywriting and how it turned his business from a zero to a hero.
This is the part where the lead character in the story (himself) starts to face difficulty trying to figure out the solution by trial and error.
By clearly detailing the process and quantifying the challenges he faced, he starts to connect with the reader.
Your reader should relate to the story and think, “Hey that sounds like me! I have tried something like that before and it didn’t work!”
But what if your audience doesn’t exactly face the same challenges as you do?
It doesn’t matter!
You don’t need your reader to have fallen like the main character in the story (most of your readers also don’t want to fail to that extent either!).
Instead after reading the story, they should be telling themselves, “If I use this solution, I can avoid the pain of the main character and still get the benefits of success!”
3) Discovering The Solution & Taking Action
As the story progresses it should come to the point where the lead character finally discovers the solution and commits to taking action.
In the same example, Neville details how he stumbled upon the solution “copywriting”…
And begins taking action by writing new emails for his business.
It is important to detail how your character discovers the solution and how it is implemented.
You will want to lead your reader into a state of discovery and action-taking, a very important mood to set for conversions & sales.
4) Enjoying The Incredible Rewards
Finally, at the end of the journey, the hero reaches his end goal.
He gets to taste the incredible rewards that not only make the journey worth it but also transforms his entire life for the better.
When spelling out the rewards and end goal achieved, it is always better to make the rewards ultra-specific and tangible.
Bringing It All Together
It is the combination of these 4 steps of the journey that transforms a story into a compelling tale that captivates and inspires your readers.
So how long should it be?
Length is not the issue here. The key is as long as you get your point across.
While Neville’s example above is more of a long-form story, a short quick storytelling can also work magic!
Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets book takes storytelling to the next level.
The whole website is a collection of mini storytelling of how average Joes become business superheroes.
Even while the stories are rather short, they still follow the same 4 journey steps.
Stories help us bring meaning to our products and services. They help us connect better with our readers and are tremendously easier to remember.
Every brand and business have a story that is just waiting to be discovered and shared with the world.
It’s time for yours!