Have you ever wondered what makes some entrepreneurs so magnetic that people are automatically driven to them and are ready to hand them cash, with closed eyes?
And why the heck can't you be a rock-star like them, even when you are way more talented, and, probably, more qualified?
If you answered "Yes!" to the above questions, then congratulations!
Because you, my friend, are not alone.
Most of us, when we start an online business, find it immensely difficult to attract customers who not only pay us what we're worth, but also, become our raving fans for a lifetime and never get tired of singing our praises.
And as a result, we lose our self-esteem, get engaged in negative self-talk and start envying others who are crushing it in their businesses.
But don't worry! It's completely normal.
And there's an amazing cure for this disease, which I'll share with you in a bit. But first, let's talk a bit about the root cause of this problem, shall we?
The thing is, when we first start our online business, most of us get caught up in always tooting our own horn and talking about how great we are.
We assume that the only way to be successful is to market the hell out of our greatness and let people know how accomplished we are in our fields.
And what happens as a result?
No customers. No sales.
And the world, as usual, is spinning perfectly well on its axis.
Here's the bitter truth...
Nobody gives a damn about your degrees, certifications and awards. Nobody cares if your mom thinks you're a genius (I'm sorry. But, that's the truth.), or if your degree says that you're a qualified expert in your field.
You see, being qualified and knowing your stuff is good. Great, in fact.
But, there is so much more that goes into being the go-to expert in your field.
And the most important part of that "so much more" is knowing who you're talking to (your ideal customers). Understanding their frustrations and being crystal clear about their biggest fears and desires. And then, communicating with them in a way that tells them that you understand their struggles and are there to help them.
Only then will they love you unconditionally and be willing to hand you their money, blindly.
Okay, cool. But how on earth do I talk in a way that tells my ideal customers that I understand them and persuades them to hand me their wallets, without any questions?
I'm glad you asked.
Well... this, again, is a very detailed topic. So much detailed that people have written hundreds, if not thousands, of books on this very subject. And entrepreneurs like you pay people like me thousands of bucks to teach them this skill, or alternatively, craft out their marketing messages for them.
But, guess what?
You have a secret weapon with you that's stronger than all the persuasion skills written in all those books.
Know what that is?
Yep. The art of narrating incidents and anecdotes through words, sounds and images.
This very skill has been the prime medium of human communications since ancient times. And this ability to move people with your words is the greatest persuasion asset one can ever possess.
In fact, all of us already have it in us. It's just that some of us are more adept at it than others. And that's okay. Because, this is a skill that can be honed, and I'll tell you how.
But first, let's take a quick look at why stories have the power to make such a profound impact on our minds and why they're the foundation of persuasion.
According to studies on human brain, facts and figures activate only the part of our brain that processes language. And as a result, we find it intimidating to digest all the information we're bombarded with.
Stories, on the other hand, activate multiple parts of our brain at the same time, and we're able to actually feel what's being told to us. This puts us in a state of empathy and makes the buying decision a no-brainer.
No wonder we were more inclined towards listening to stories, as kids, than reading our text books.
Okay, enough about the importance of storytelling and the psychology behind it. Let's, now, take a look at a few tips on how you can use various storytelling tactics in your marketing copy to spellbind your ideal customers and win their hearts (and wallets).
Use stories to inspire your customers into action: Stories are, inarguably, the best way to make someone take the action you want them to take. That's because (powerful) stories put your customers in a state of emotional comma, making it almost impossible for them to think rationally.
And that's the exact result you can achieve by telling inspiring stories of yourself, or your past customers.
For example, if you're selling an online business course to stay-at-home moms, you can tell them the tale of how you, as a stay-at-home mom, beat the odds, started an online business from scratch and stunned the naysayers with your success.
Open your message with a hook: A hook is something that immediately grabs your ideal customers' attention and compels them to read or listen further. And the best way to do this is to open your copy by immediately talking about their story. You could hook them by identifying their greatest frustrations or evoking their fantasies.
Ask questions like, "Have you ever wondered....?", "Do you ever wish....?", "Do you remember the last time you...?" etc.
Or activate their imaginations with phrase like, "Picture this...", "Imagine this day with me..." etc.
Such questions and phrases are called story activators, and they immediately put your audience in a trance, making it impossible for them to ignore your message.
Paint emotive word pictures: We're all well aware of the famous maxim "show, don't tell". It's equally true in case of your marketing messages. Copy that paints a vivid, emotional picture of the situation has the power to move mountains (or your audience, at least).
Use picture words to create sensory images that make your audience feel what it is like to stare at their negative bank balance with zero amount of dollars coming in and bills hanging over their head.
Bring your characters to life by speaking directly in the first person: Kevin Hogan, in his book, Covert Persuasion, suggests that when you're telling a story that involves other people, make sure you have that person come alive by speaking as him, in the first person, rather than about him, in the third person.
So, for example, instead of saying, "She decided to never give up", say "She said, 'I'll keep struggling until last drop of my blood dries out'".
Most people don't use this powerful technique, and using it in your copy can give you an edge over your competitors.
Use a mix of both, facts and stories: There's no doubt that buying decision is driven by emotions. But we do need logic to justify that purchase. And facts are what induce that logical element into your stories.
Use concrete facts and figures to justify your story and make your offer even more persuasive.
Reveal the real YOU: As entrepreneurs, we're often fearful of talking about our mistakes. We assume that by letting people in on our failures, we're making ourselves vulnerable, and giving them a chance to harm us in some way.
That's far from reality.
Yes, some people will try to take advantage of your failures and use them against you. But, that's a part of being an entrepreneur.
By letting your audience know about your flaws, you're presenting yourself as a human being who is as prone to mistakes as they are. You're establishing an emotional bond with them and making it even easier for them to believe you.
No one, in this entrepreneurial world, has succeeded without making mistakes. And those who accept their mistakes graciously are the ones loved by their people.
These were some of the storytelling techniques you can start using today to persuade more of your prospects and turn them into your paying customers who can't help but sing your praises to others.
Which of these storytelling tactics are you going to use in your marketing? What are some of the techniques you use to persuade your audience? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!