Here’s How To Write a Story that Sells:
If you want to reach your audience in a memorable way, and use your content to distinguish your business in a crowded field, it’s time to learn how to write a story that sells.
Statistics and numbers are a great way to support an argument. But a story will allow your message to resonate long after your reader closes his browser window. A good story evokes emotion. It elicits response. It can even spark change in the reader.
Here are a few types of blog posts that will allow you the chance to work in a strong narrative your readers will remember:
- Educating your clients on a current industry news story and how it can impact them as potential consumers.
- How your business started, and where it is today.
- Writing a customer success story, or case study.
Incorporating these types of stories into your blog can help you sell more, but not every post is going to fit one of these categories. Here’s a secret for you, however. Incorporating some proven writing techniques can give your blog a more narrative feel, and help you write a story that sells, and stand out in a crowd.
How to Write a Story That Sells – Writing Techniques to Give You a Narrative Feel
These techniques can bolster any narrative story, or simply draw your readers into what you are trying to say. They can be used to improve your writing, whether it is a narrative story or a list.
Show, Don’t Tell
Let’s say you’re a personal trainer, looking to tell the story of a client at the beginning of his weight loss journey. That story could start one of two ways:
John woke up every morning at 5:30 for the last three years. With a toddler in the house, the last thing he wanted to do is set that alarm clock earlier, on a night of sleep guaranteed to be interrupted.
Tired and frustrated, with little time to exercise, John continued to eat, remained stressed out, and packed on a few pounds. That is until he made a commitment for change.
John was tired, stressed and liked to eat.
We learn a heck of a lot more about John in option 1. He becomes a more memorable character that many of us can sympathize with. If the story continues to talk about John’s weight loss (as it likely would), he becomes a success story we would all like to emulate.
Write How You Talk
Your mother already knows that you are smart. She’s already proud. Your customers don’t really care how smart you are. So you can stop trying to convey it at every turn. A blog post shouldn’t read like an academic dissertation. It shouldn’t be chock-full of acronyms and high level industry words and concepts – and if it is, they should be defined.
Keep your ideal customer in mind. They probably don’t know what you know about your industry. But if you want them to buy, you’ll have to talk with them in a language they would understand.
Picture yourself out for coffee with a customer or client. Now write in a way that will be helpful to that person you’re caffeinating with. Ditch the geek-speak and talk with the person who’s right there and interested. Your readers are real people, and they’ll appreciate it.
Continue picturing yourself at coffee with your ideal reader/customer. When you talk do you draw out every word that could other wise be used in a contraction? Probably not. You likely wouldn’t be concerned what side of the plate your fork and knife go on, if you were out for lunch instead of coffee, either.
Ignoring contractions can make you sound stuffy. In an effort to write something professional, you begin writing in a way that is disconnected an un-relatable. Apostrophe’s aren’t the devil, so don’t be afraid to use them.
Stick to the Point
You might have the best anecdote, or a point that completely makes sense. But ask yourself what the central point of your blog post was. Does what you are writing support your main argument? If not, delete. It might be the best thing you’ve ever written. It doesn’t matter.
If it doesn’t support the main argument of your blog post, it doesn’t belong. If it’s really that good, open up another page in Word and leave it there. What you have belongs in another blog post.
Tell an Anecdote Here and There
Your writing should not feel stale and scripted, however. If there is an anecdote that bolsters your point, tell it. In fact, anecdotes are a great way to show, and not tell. They give your writing a much more personable flair.
Read Your Post Out Loud
This is a great editing technique, and you can catch mistakes you may have otherwise let slipped. But this accomplishes something else as well. It forces you to concentrate on the tone. It forces you to pay attention to how others may read it.
You might realize you have used the same word three times in two sentences. You might realize people need to take multiple breaths while reading one sentence. There are a number of things that become noticeable when you read your work out loud before publishing.
Your readers are looking for information, but they are also looking for someone they can relate to. It’s important to understand that formal and professional do not equate – so be yourself. There are plenty of resources out there for those interested in establishing their voice, and learning how to write a story that sells.
If a potential customer finds the next guy more likeable than you, your window of opportunity might be gone. When your readers can relate to you, it builds credibility in your business.
So go on, give your writing a little more narrative flair. Don’t be afraid to talk about your interests a little bit, and relate them back to your business. A personal touch, and a friendlier form of blogging helps immensely in how to write a story that sells.
Want to continue the conversation? Tell me about a story that’s sold for you, or drop me a line.