Have you ever stayed up all night to finish a book you couldn’t put down, to find out how a film ended, or to binge watch a Netflix series right to the end? Imagine if you could create content that had that effect on customers. The good news is, it is possible to create content that rivets your customers. You can be inspired by the storytelling techniques that help bestselling authors create their gripping plots.
There is a plot structure that has been around since the beginning of time. It’s called the Three-Act Structure and it’s quite simple – it has a beginning, middle and end. It’s been used to great effect by the likes of JK Rowling, Stephen King, and the creators of all the fairytales you read as a child. And you can adapt it for your business.
Stories That Solve Problems
As a business owner, you can use a particular version of the Three-Act Structure called the Problem-Solving Plot. It’s based on the idea that all stories involve a problem, a tension or a challenge that needs to be resolved. The character, in this case your customer, is presented with a dilemma or a difficulty. As the story unfolds, the character tries to solve the dilemma and meets challenges along the way. In the end, they resolve the dilemma, for better or worse.
We explore the problem-solving plot and other bestselling storytelling techniques in the WriteWords content creation course. Here’s the link to the course if you’d like to find out more about it.
In your version of the Problem-Solving Plot, you’ll first lay out the problem or challenge your customer might face. You can do it by asking a question, as I did at the start of this post. If you ask the right question, you’ll be showing your customer that you understand what their problem is, and they’ll read on to find out how you can solve that problem. You can also set the scene with a little case study, describing a common problem that a typical customer of yours might face.
Building Up the Story
The middle of the story is mostly taken up with how you solve the problem. In a film or book, this is the point where the tension would be at its height, and you’re dying to know what happens next. But for your business story, you don’t want too much tension. You want to associate your business with an easing of tension, with answers to problems.
So, what you do is take people step by step through the process of how to solve the problem, reassuring people that if they follow these steps, their issue will be resolved. You may mention some challenges you face, and share how you overcome those challenges, to demonstrate your skill.
Finally, you tell your readers how the story ended. And for your business, that’ll be a happy ending. You show them what action you take to solve this problem, what ingredient helped you arrive at the solution you find. And you share the benefits for the customer of the solution you found. This would mean the practical benefits and the way you make people feel. In my case, the practical benefit is the great content people can now create as a result of doing my content creation course, and the satisfaction and enjoyment they feel when they tell their own story.
Alternative Three-Act Plots
If your products are created purely to delight people, such as people who create jewellery, food or works of art, you can use the three-act structure to tell the story of how you create that gorgeous product: where the ideas come from, what method you use to create the product and how you achieve the final result. You can also make your story about you: what inspired you to start your business, the steps you took to achieve your dream, the challenges you overcame, and where you are now – a successful entrepreneur.
If you’d like to learn how to tell riveting stories about your products, give me a call on 087 6959799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.