(815) 503-0286 matt@matthewlbrennan.com

Even In The Death Of Newspapers

Telling a good story is as important as ever.

As a journalist, the most memorable stories I’ve worked on have a common thread. They’re stories like covering a holocaust survivor’s lecture at a university, watching a dying man receive his last wish, and observing an autistic child go through a daily rigor that makes a 40-hour work week look like a cakewalk.

These are stories about people overcoming obstacles. 

People don’t want to be sold to. They don’t have time for commercials. What they want is a good story. If the story hits home, then maybe they’ll complete your call to action. Here are a few questions to keep in mind as you write your marketing materials:

  • What obstacles have you overcome?
  • How are you similar to us?
  • What problems does your product solve?
  • How did you come to start your business?

People close their eyes and invision a good story playing in their head. You can’t say the same thing about a spreadsheet full of data.

Stories are inviting. 

They welcome people in, and encourage them to continue reading your work, which is the only way you’re going to have readers complete your call to action.

As you sit down to write your marketing materials keep your readers in mind. I know it’s tempting to load your blog posts and website pages up with so many keywords that Google just HAS to be able to find your post. The thing is, when you do that…

You’re boring the crap out of your audience. 

You’re being transparent. Your intentions are completely obvious. You’re trying to garner the attention of the masses. On it’s own, that’s not a bad thing. But what happens when you tap their shoulder and they turn around and listen?

Now what?

You better have something to say. 

Tell us how you overcame something. Tell us how your product turns your customer into the hero of their own story. That’s right.

They have a problem, and your product helped them fix it. 

That’s right. I want something. I have to overcome great obstacles to get it. That’s a universal human experience. It plays well on page one of the New York Times and it plays well on your website as well.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.