How I Showed Entrepreneurs to Write Brilliant Content

Today I am feeling happy and relieved. That’s how you want to feel after you’ve done a presentation. The presentation I gave was for Network Ireland Waterford, an organisation for women in business. They were running a Let’s Talk Digital event; I talked about creating brilliant content and Linda O’Connell from Digi Nomad demystified SEO. 

It was delightful to get back into the content training game after the summer. I gave people a whistle-stop tour of the storytelling module on my content training course, showing people how to use the storytelling techniques of bestselling authors to create brilliant content.

Why Bother Writing Content

Before I launched into the techniques, I talked about why brilliant content is worth writing in the first place. It comes down to this. If you invest time in telling an interesting story, it will stick in people’s minds when they’re reading it.

They’ll remember you and ultimately they’re more likely to buy from you. It also saves you time because once you’ve written your story, you don’t need to keep creating content from scratch every time. And it does actually get results you can measure.

This infographic from SEMrush demonstrates the importance that companies put on content and the results they see it giving them. It shows information with percentages in coloured bubbles. For example, it says 84% of companies have a content strategies but only 11% of companies regard it as excellent.

First Storytelling Technique: Character

Then I launched into the three storytelling techniques. The first one is character. I believe that by treating customers as characters in your story, you can get under their skin, understand them better and create content that speaks to them. Authors create character sketches, or profiles of their characters, to get to know their characters.

You can a character sketch for your customers, to figure out what they buy and how they buy it. Above all, you can identify a problem they have that needs solving – and demonstrate how you can solve it.

Second Storytelling Technique: Plot

The second storytelling technique, plot, will help you tell the story of how you solve your customers’ problems. In the presentation, I talked about the three-act structure, the classic plot structure of beginning, middle and end: First, you set the scene, then you get to the heart of the action and finally you reveal the solution.

In the case of your customers, you would first lay out the problems and then talk about the actions you took to solve it. Finally, you reveal the solution you arrived at, and what outcome you achieved for your customers, both practical and emotional.

Third Storytelling Technique: The Senses and Language

The third storytelling technique centres more on the words you use when you’re telling the story. It’s called Language and The Senses, and it helps you to describe your services more vividly. You draw on all of your senses to create memorable product descriptions. You can have fun writing product descriptions comparing your product to a food, a song or a smell, and this helps customers to feel as if they’re holding your product in their hands.

Language is also important in setting the tone for your content; in other words, what kind of atmosphere do you want to create. I talked about how to choose words to describe your business and your customers, to create either a chatty, friendly tone, or a more professional, polished tone. I also showed them how to avoid the pitfalls of corporate, clichéd language.

Finally, I gave a quick plug for my content training course, and if you want to find out more about how you can learn to tell your own brilliant business story, drop me an email on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie for more info.

How To Create Content That Grips Your Customers

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.




 This is a graph with a purple line in the shape of a triangle that points to a sharp peak. On the left, there’s the word ‘beginning,’ to show the start of a story. Above the peak of the triangle you see the word ‘middle,’ and then on the right hand side, you see the word ‘resolution.’

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 derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie.

How Storytelling Can Help You Understand Your Customers

How well do you know your customers? You may have some idea – you know the demographic you’re looking to reach or where they life. But do you really know them on an intimate? In this week’s blog, I’m going to show you how authors develop their characters, and how you can be inspired by their techniques to create content that really speaks to those customers.

Authors know everything about their characters. They don’t include all those details in their stories, but they know about every aspects of their characters’ lives. That’s what helps them create a character that’s realistic and believable as a human being. They create a character sketch of their characters. It’s like a profile, a life story of a character created using various headings.

For you as a business owner, a character sketch is a great way to get to know your customers. You’d create a character sketch based on a particular customer who represents your target market. They could be a real person or someone you’d make up. The idea is that you can visualise this customer every time you write content and you can write your content for them. This allows you to create content with a friendly, intimate tone, helping your customers to feel like you’re a wise friend who understands your problems and can help them improve their lives.

So, how do you create a character sketch?

Basic Character Details

Let’s start with the basics. Give them a name and age. You can just choose a random name, but giving your customer a name makes it easier for you to imagine them as a person. Knowing their age is very useful. It helps you imagine them as a person. You can call them by that name when you’re writing your content and that’ll help you imagine you’re addressing what you say to them.

Here’s Maurice Murgatroyd, the star of my content creation course. I ask participants to practise their character creation skills on him. The results are interesting.




This is a charcoal type sketch of an old, grumpy looking mad with a pointy beard and a long face. He’s bald with spots on his head.

Another good way of visualising your customer is to find a profile picture of a person that represents your customer. You can download a stock picture from the internet and stick that photo up on a wall so you can see the customer in your mind when you’re writing your content. Or you can add a picture to the written details on your customer profile.

Life Details

This section of the character sketch is about a customer’s life circumstances. These are the circumstances that help shape their purchasing behaviour. Knowing their educational background and job will give you an idea of the income they have available to spend. Their family circumstances will determine what products and services they’ll buy. People with children will want to buy family-friendly products, while single people may want to buy high-end products to treat themselves with. Even a customer’s hobbies will shape their buying habits, as they’ll need to buy products that help them take part in their hobby.

Buying Habits

There are a few ingredients that will differentiate your character sketch from an author’s one. Where authors will identify their character’s secret power, or secret from their past, you’re identifying their purchasing power, or the ways they decide to purchase. One of the ways that people decide on their purchases is through the media. Increasingly, this means social media. If you know what media your target audience consumes, you can follow them onto those media platforms and communicate with them there. If you know where they shop, you know what types of shops they favour and what they buy when they’re in those shops. You can then appeal to customers whose consumer habits match the types of offerings you have.

Solving Their Problems

Your customers are coming to you because they have a problem they hope you can solve. This needn’t be a big problem. It could just be something they’re missing, a need that isn’t being met. The most important part of your character sketch is the section about the problem your customer would like solved. If you know what that problem is, you can create content that shows them how you solve that problem. They’ll then trust you to solve that problem, and they’ll buy from you.

How Character Sketches Help You Reach Your Customers

So, what’s the benefit of doing this character sketch? The isn’t a tangible result as such, but there is a result just the same. The character sketch helps you keep focused on your customers’ needs when you’re creating your content. When customers are reading your content, you want them to feel that they’re sitting across the table, having a coffee with you, and you understand where they’re coming from. And with that content, you can show them that they can trust you to help them improve their lives.

If you like the idea of character-driven content and you’d like me to help you create some, please give me (Derbhile) a call on 0876959799.

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