I’m sure you’ve been told a million times that content is king, that it boosts your visibility, that it helps you stand out. The trouble is, the Internet is saturated with content, and this creates a headache for entrepreneurs like you who are looking to spread the word about their business with brilliant marketing content. How are you to stand out if everyone else is writing content too?
The good news is, there is a way you can stand out if you’re willing to be a little bit creative. Marketing gurus talk about telling the story of your business. So, who better to turn to for inspiration but master storytellers – bestselling authors. I’m going to share with you some storytelling techniques that bestselling authors use. These storytelling techniques are simple to use and they’ve worked since the beginning of time. We’ll start with…
All authors base their stories on a central character, what they do and how they feel. And they know these characters inside out. In a business context, you can treat your customer as a character, and get to know them the way authors do – with a character sketch, which is a profile of a character. You take a typical customer from your demographic group, and do a character profile of them, exploring their interests, what media they consume and what problems they’d need solve.
You can also do a character sketch for yourself. Take the time to explore why you do what you do, what you want to achieve for your customers and how you achieve that goal. You can then use that knowledge, of yourself and your customers, to create content that appeals to them, that shows you understand them and can make their lives better with your products and services.
Next up, we have…
For a story to be a story, something has to happen. That central event in a story is a plot. An author will create a plot that’s full of tension, leaving you wondering what’s happening next. But as a business owner, you’re more about resolving conflict than creating it. So, you create a problem-solving plot. And you do this using a plot structure that has existed since stories began and still works brilliant. That is the three-act structure, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
For the beginning, you lay out the problem; you set the scene. You ask the customer if they have an issue that needs to be solved. For example, I might ask: are you struggling to figure out what to say? Then you move to the middle of the story and talk about the process you use to solve the customer’s problem, the system you put in place. You finish up the story by explaining how you ultimately solved the problem for your customer and how you made your customer feel. Following this plotline when describing your products will build trust among your customers that you understand them and can resolve any difficulties they have.
Finally, we come to …
Setting and the Senses
These techniques are linked to each other and both aim to bring readers into the world of a story. They also help authors create vivid descriptions. Setting is about the time and place where a story happens, and with the senses, you describe what you experience using all five of your senses, not just sight. How you will use this technique will depend on what type of business you own.
If you have a physical product or a beautiful venue, you’re in luck. You can describe your place of business or the wonderful products you create. Talk about the aromatic scents released by your products, the delicious rich tastes, the views on offer, and even the harmonious sounds you may hear when you visit a venue or use certain products. But if you have a service, you can still draw on the senses to describe what you offer. You can think of an object that symbolises your business and use it as a metaphor for what you offer. For example, a coach may use a candle as a symbol and talk about guiding people from darkness into light.
I’ll be blogging lots more about these techniques and how to apply them to your marketing content. And I can also teach you how to use these techniques with my new content training course. You can find out more about it here. Or give me a call on 0876959799.