So, you’ve heard you need to sell using story. It sounds simple enough until it’s time to put pen to paper and you’re faced with that blank white space, waiting for your story to appear. Whether you’re new to using story to sell or have been doing it for years, everyone has writer’s block at some point.
I have some key themes you can use to springboard story ideas from, but first, let’s step back a little bit. You need to understand why using story to sell is important, how to infuse it into your marketing, and what makes it effective (cause, news flash, not just any old story will do).
Marketing as a whole is a tactic
You can find that right in the old Marketing 101 textbook. And storytelling is part of marketing. It always has been. You can twist it around, but let’s call a spade a spade.
Now, just because it’s a tactic doesn’t mean it has to be sleazy. The sleazy folks out there manipulating facts and deliverables so you’ll buy their thing have been around since the first two humans traded something. There are plenty of ways to use the storytelling tactic authentically.
A strategy should include a story
I don’t know any good strategist out there who would suggest you can develop a marketing strategy without knowing what your business story is. If they do, they are NOT a strategist. I don’t know what they are. Maybe new to the industry and that is okay. We all have to start somewhere. Many folks will be transparent about what their capabilities are. Others, well, not so much.
Create your strategy around a brand and a goal. You may try and DIY it. Hey, marketing is all about trial and error. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be smart about it, pick up on what works well, and quickly drop what doesn’t.
A niche is not a demographic
Sure, demographics can be one element of your niche, but a niche is a gap in the market. It’s that thing you provide to a specific group of people and their demographic may have nothing to do with it.
What’s important to know is the psychographic make-up of your audience: The thoughts, beliefs, mindsets, and sets of behaviour. Yes, we need to know demographics, it helps. But it isn’t the ONLY element.
For a story to sell, you need to know exactly who you are talking to. The way you position yourself is how your business will become attractive to the potential buyer.
This is your Unique Selling Proposition.
Your unique positioning statement. Your unique value proposition. The sentence that summarizes your Unique Selling Proposition, not a bunch of paragraphs or a long-winded introduction, is what tells your target market what you do and why they should care. Period.
Simon Sinek has a very simple formula: Your contribution + your impact.
Let’s summarize a niche in a few quick points
- Your niche defines who you serve
- Your niche defines how you serve them
- Your niche defines why that matters
If you own a gift shop, your marketing should talk to more than 40-year-old single females who have a corporate job and spend their money travelling every year.
People who shop in gift shops are of all ages, genders, backgrounds and cultures. They all want to buy something. It may be a token of their trip, a gift for someone back home, or they may need something they forgot to pack, like an umbrella or sweatshirt.
Six Themes for Storytelling to Sell
So now you’re ready to start creating some stories to share with your audience and have them fit into a strategy.
Here are six themes for stories that share your brand, your stance, your credibility, and your offer.
#1 Engagement / Fun
A story to get your audience to react, share, relate, engage. Make it fun.
Stories that help share your offers. Not in a pitchy sort of way. But through story you can share what you’ve got that your clients can get excited about.
Stories that strengthen who you are and share what you stand for. This includes your industry knowledge and your spin and opinions.
#4 Know, Like and Trust
Stories that help your audience like you because they can relate to it, get to know you, and trust what you say and do,
#5 Holidays and Celebrations
It’s always great to acknowledge the well known holidays. We also have IWD, Cinco de Mayo and others if you choose to celebrate them.
Stories on the impact on your business, how you are managing, and different ways in which you are serving your clients. Stories to help your audience understand how to manage their business while going through a crisis.
Now, how exactly do you write them? Well, I do have to save some of the fun, right?
This is one of the things I cover in our 1:1’s when you enter my Smart Selling Method program and create Your Solution Story.
I take you through the steps so you can create Your Solution Story to share with the world and attract the attention of your ideal client.
Want to attract the right client? Book your conversation with me by clicking here to choose a time. You’ll be so happy you did.