1. Stories are ideal for building Know, Like & Trust.
Almost all my clients come to me via a referral. But before they contact me to talk about my services, they’ve probably already visited my website, either from a link a current client shared with them or finding me on Facebook or LinkedIn.
The About page of most websites, and indeed the sites of businesses where the owner is the service (e.g. coaches, teachers, trainers, virtual assistants, online business managers), is one of the most visited pages on a site, after the home page.
It’s therefore vital that my About page is shining my best qualities and communicating the message I want to share about me and my work.
On my About page, I have a story about how I ended up doing my work. Rather than a CV, my story communicates what I’m interested in, what I’ve studied and what motivates me. In addition, I link to some of my blog posts from my About page so people can read more if they want.
These blog posts aren’t what most people would expect from a virtual assistant/web developer/researcher/writer. Instead, they’re personal stories of my adventures in life.
I don’t just write about the services I provide or how I created my business. I write about how the craziest interview I ever had made me realise I can’t compromise my personality. I share a story about how chasing poachers in Uganda showed me how our lives could change instantly. Or a story about how a squirrel showed me what my talents are. Or a story about a lesson my mum taught me on the impermanence of things when I was nine years old – a lesson that would prepare me for many experiences of loss.
These personal stories are ideal pieces of marketing. By the time I talk with someone after a referral, they have had a chance to check me out. People can get to know important things about me. They will realise after reading my blog posts whether they like me and my approach to work.
I’ve even had a couple of people say that they already feel they trust me before we’ve even had a chance to talk. And that’s all from the experience I share on my blog.
2. Stories are interesting and memorable
My stories aren’t just communicating information about me, my values and how I work; they’re also an opportunity to share content, much like any other blog. People searching online are still looking for answers to solve their problems. It’s still, therefore, important to share content that helps people. Questions like…
- How to re-find our direction when we’re feeling lost in our business
- How to create and maintain new healthy habits
- How to stop people from bringing us down when we’re trying to succeed
I write about all these things in my blog, but each begins with a story. The story makes the content more personal. It makes it more memorable. It puts the content (i.e. creating new habits, dealing with clients) into a unique, intimate and engaging context. I can use clear examples and tie them to experiences I’ve had.
When we read stories about other people’s experiences, they often trigger memories of similar incidents. This helps to make what I’m sharing more memorable and engaging.
A story about “5 ways to get more clients” is unlikely to trigger a memory in the reader. I’m sure there would be some practical and helpful advice in such a post, but readers will not remember much once they leave the page.
But beginning a blog post about getting new clients with a story about going for a walk early in the morning to watch wild boar can trigger images of forests, getting up early, and perhaps even a time when you saw a wild boar yourself. That’s the power of a story.
If you’re interested in learning more about story-telling for business, check out Rob Drummond at StoryCopywriters.com. Rob’s clear writing processes and the ongoing support has helped me write copy that’s more entertaining and educational. It’s full of dastardly villains, electrifying details and explosive conclusions. And importantly, my stories have helped build relationships with my readers and clients and consequently generated more work. If you’d like to talk more about the tremendous advantages that story-telling can bring to many businesses, please contact me.