The latest trend, the hot topic, the way to sell your product or services is to do it in a way of storytelling. Storytelling certainly isn't new, never heard of phenomenon sweeping across the nation, but it is excellent for capturing and captivating eager readers and followers, developing relationships, expressing personality and ultimately selling whatever it is that you want to sell.
"It was a cold and stormy night. Rain was coming down in sheets, the windshield wipers were working overtime and inside the car the mood was as gloomy as the weather outside. Max and Katie had fallen into silence hours ago. It had been a long drive from Texas to California and it was not over yet.
Katie was staring out of the passenger side window, her body turned away from Max who was driving with full concentration on the slick, black road. Katie's cheek was resting on the palm of her hand and she was thinking about the move and all the baggage they were moving with, ready to start a new life together. Was it going to be as she hoped for? A great new job, a new beautiful house and in a couple of years - children. Their dog, Lucky, suddenly grunted in the back seat, probably dreaming about a juicy bone - at least he was drooling as if! Katie turned back to face the rain, shaking the thoughts away. As she sat in the rain enveloped car, she was determined to have the life that she, they wanted and were planning to have, even if it didn't look so rosy at the moment. First things first, they needed to find a house of their dreams."
Stories sell. There is no question about that. We read books, love to watch engaging movies and yes, even reality TV, the more there is to the story the more captivated we are.
"But, I can't write. I don't know how to tell a story."
You can! There are many ways to skin the cat - gosh I don't like that saying, there are. You don't have to write the next war and peace novel or the next Harlequin romance novel (now if you can - and make it your business related, you might be onto something!). When you started blogging did you say: " I can't blog. I don't even know what it is. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do!" But, you are doing it anyway.
We want to push out information, yes, I'm guilty as well. Educate, teach, inform... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... . People are getting sick and tired of hearing us scream our message from the pedestal. Let's take a look at what is the "Hot Potatoes" storytelling about. A way of getting the same information out with clarity and warm, welcomed response from the audience.
Here are some tips to get your creative juices flowing or we can just call it Awakening of your voice.
1. Start Somewhere.
Easier said than done? No. Just start. Think about what do you like, how do you like to receive this "information". If you like photos, tell it through the photos, if it's video - by all means (that is another hot ticket item right now!), story - with style of your choice: humor, romance (we know sex sells right?), etc.
2. Be always on the lookout for new ways of telling a story
Do you watch TV? read? Facebook? Twitter? The stories are everywhere. Did somebody put out an amazing piece? Imitate those in your niche or business that do an amazing job.
3. Monitor your writing
The more you write the better you become. Watch how you write. You may naturally tend to write in a certain way. Does that work or do you need to adjust you writing? E.g. if you naturally write in an abrasive and very opinionated tone, well, let's just say your group of loyal followers may stay pretty small.
Just recently, writing very short sentences was in. Telling a story needs to create an image, a visual in the reader's head. Short to the point sentences or bullet points, may not elicit an emotional connection.
As an example above I purposely wrote longer scentences, so I could paint the picture, shed light to the background and foreshadow what is about to happen. Max and Katie of course have to go buy a house! That's where you come in!
4. Use Adjectives
Not like in a flyer, with boasting entry, and a free flowing floor plan...
"As Liz, their agent, bent down to reach for the key from the lockbox, Katie marveled the intricate details on the tall, statuesque like mahogany door, that demanded respect. "I am the entrance to your strong foundation, I will protect you and keep you safe and sound." the majestic door was saying to Katie as she gently let her fingers touch the guardian of the house."
Yes, it's a drama, love story about a young couple and they need to buy a house :)
5. Tickle the Funny-bone
Funny is good - take a look this post I just put up, just for this reason, and for my son - Buying a House - Star Wars Style - you could come up with anything.
6. Use a Character
We love to associate and relate to cute and cuddly characters - like Zoey the Cool Cat at Russel Ray's Blog and Jim Frimmer's Blog (yes, the same cute kitty) or Nutsy (yes you are cute!) at Steven Smith's Blog. If creating a character is fitting or you have one handy at your disposal - LOL - I'm talking about your pet, maybe? Let it shine - pets do funny things.
7. Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
You choose. I like both. Mix it up. If it's fictional - say so. This may be a good time to throw in that this Max and Katie love story is purely fictional, with no resemblance to any real life, breathing human beings - or animals. The title is "The House That Love Built"
This post is getting long and I can feel brains turning into overdrive. No worries. I will be writing more about storytelling with examples (and a whole bunch of other stuff). Come back to visit!
One last thing, related to the length of the post.
8. Chop it up.Stay tuned for the next episode, right? If the story presents itself to more than one episode great! You will keep readers tuned in waiting for your next episode. Just remember to give it to them.
At that I will sign off at the mission control of IMZ - yes, meaning at my computer - it just sounds cooler...
Go move that mouse over the Subscribe button on the sidebar to Stay Tuned and Not Miss a Thing! ;)
P.S. You can do it! English is not my native language, Finnish is. If I can come up with something, you can too. Yes you can!
P.S.S. Does it mean every post and article should be a story - of course not. I have never tried to write a market report in a story form :).