Niche marketing success boils down to two fundamentals — traffic and conversion.
You need to get targeted visitors to your website, through sound search engine optimization and other techniques.
And you need to be able to convert those visitors to customers through strong sales copy that gives people compelling reasons to buy.
One of the most powerful weapons in your copywriting arsenal is STORY…
You should be telling stories that share your personal experience with the products you are promoting… stories that demonstrate how existing customers benefited from what you are offering prospective ones… stories that help your prospects to get to know you and trust you… even imaginary tales that help them to visualize what their lives will be like after buying what you’re selling or promoting.
There’s no better way to make a human connection and communicate the features, advantages and benefits of doing business with you than by telling a good story.
Why do you suppose that is?
- Stories avoid confusion by expressing things in simple terms that people are already familiar with.
By taking concepts that are new and perhaps difficult to understand and relating them in story form, your prospect will gain a much better understanding of the benefits of your product.
- Stories increase consumption of your sales message because they create curiosity.
In a straight product presentation you cut straight to the chase. You explain who the product is for… what it is and does… when, where and why it’s used… and how your prospect will benefit.
When you tell a story however, you turn this formula upside down. You seduce… slowly lifting the veil on all of the delicious pleasures your product makes possible, and the pains it relieves.
You tease the prospect along. Questions are raised, conflict revealed and slowly resolved, and your prospects stays hooked to see where you are leading him.
- Stories bypass skepticism and neutralize sales resistance.
The natural condition of your potential buyer is “guard up”, mind closed — afraid of having to think something new… of being taken advantage of… of looking foolish in front of others for making a bad purchase. They’re fighting you all the way.
But when you sell with story there is little to resist against. You are not telling people what to think. You are simply showing them what happened in a similar situation to their own, and leaving it up to them to draw their own conclusions.
- Stories allow your prospect to experience ownership of your product or service in the present moment.
There’s an old saying, “the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain”. It’s true. If you paint vivid mental imagery in people’s minds about the physical, emotional and spiritual satisfactions they will enjoy as a result of owning your product or service, NOT buying can be made to feel like a terrible loss.
- Stories allow you to make a personal connection with your potential buyers when they arrive at your website.
People buy from people. People they know, like, and trust. And to feel we know someone is to know their story, particularly if it demonstrates how they overcame a problem we too are desperate to solve.
When you tell your story skillfully, your prospect projects into your shoes. He wants you to win, because when you win he can see himself winning too.
- Stories are inherently believable.
You’ve heard the expression, “seeing is believing” right? Well when you tell a good story, you take the claims you’re making for your product out of the abstract and into the concrete. A subject acts on an object in the story.
If Dick (subject) picks up an apple (object) and throws (action) it at Jane (indirect object), you’re imagination becomes active. You can see that scene in your mind’s eye.
And did you know that there is a part of the human brain that literally cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience? It’s why horror movies are frightening and people cry when they watch Little House on The Prairie.
This visually active part of our brains is where decisions to spend money are made.
- Stories are emotionally evocative.
They awaken your prospect’s inner child. And which aspect of personality would you rather sell to: The mature, pickle-up-butt side, full of cynicism and rationality — or the impulsive, carefree child inside… courageous, trusting, and innocent?
All human action is the product of emotion. We decide we want to buy something first, then we go looking for reasons why it’s a good idea. Man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one.
- Stories increase the number of times you can touch your market.
The more times you make contact with your prospects, offering sound reasons to buy your product or service, the more likely they are to do it. But if you send too many sales pitches to people, you will come across as pushy, annoying and desperate, pushing them away from you instead of pulling them towards you.
Not so with stories. They’re soft, cuddly and non-threatening, allowing you to sneak up on people and ask for the order more often.
- Stories give you license to say things to your prospects that are close to the bone, highly personal, perhaps even offensive if communicated full frontal, but which allow you to trigger powerful ego-driven emotions that are incredibly motivating to people.
You can imply your potential customer is a loser if he or she turns their back on your offer… that he or she will be a god or goddess to the opposite sex if they do buy… and other such powerfully motivating identifications… all under the radar… and with total impunity as a seller — very powerful.
- Stories allow you to charge more, because they are capable of communicating ego-based consequences and gratifications (loser, god or goddess, etc., for example) convincingly.
You can position your product or service as a means to a more admirable identity for your prospect, and as a visual symbol of that identity, for all to see.
How else do you explain people paying $15,000 for a Rolex watch? Does that watch tell time 150 times better than a regular watch available at Wal-Mart for $100?
- And last but certainly not least, stories differentiate you from the competition.
When you build a truly great story that resonates with the kind of customers you’re trying to attract to your business, you stand out like a sore thumb. Your message is entirely different to everybody else in your market.
Buying into the story — seeing oneself as the hero in that story — forms a powerful buying motive for your prospects that can fuel your success for years to come.
Now that I’ve sold you on the usefulness of stories in making your sales copy more persuasive, let me leave you with a little warning. Stories are explosive, like gelignite — exceedingly powerful in skilled hands.
But they can also blow up in your face, reducing your conversion instead of increasing it. You need a solid grounding in the fundamentals of persuasion to be able to use them to profitable effect.
So as a special favor to Adam, I’m gifting NPC members a free month in my Persuasion Mastery Club, to help give you that grounding. Details below.
Until next time, Good Selling!
About the Author
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant, direct response copywriter and publisher of the highly acclaimed marketing periodical, Persuasion Mastery Club. Get a full month of Persuasion Mastery Club (a $78 value), FREE! No credit card required. Just sign up here.