I’ve always been enchanted by stories. First by bedtime stories, then by fantastic books followed by cartoons and movies, as they are terrific stories themselves. Very soon, I realized that even a photo, a picture, an advert and a TV commercial are also stories and some of them are pretty good ones.
Do you remember that moving single line story by Ernest Hemingway, written in the form of an ad?
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn”
Very touching. Immensely dramatic. Right for people with good imagination.
And know what? My mind whines: I want some more… And something of the same kind.
It is our brain that craves for information served up with a captivating story. So we eagerly look for a good story in everyday life, on TV, on the Internet. We want to enjoy it and pass it on as we are social animals and it’s our nature.
No one would argue that storytelling is actually story selling. Everything we do can be put into words. And the more masterfully we do it, the more attention we are likely to get. Even your business can make a nice story to tell! Provided you do it right.
Let’s say you’ve already bought a nice small business WordPress theme installed your personal site, told people about the services or goods you provide and just sit there and expect to be crowned with grand success. But there’s so little feedback that a big question arises: why doesn’t it work?
Probably your story is just impersonal, not touching, simply dull?
Well, I’m ready to hear your counter-argument: do you really think descriptions of my furniture store or bathroom fitments might be exciting?
And my answer is: yes!
People do get pretty bored reading the same conventional praises and cloned phrases that have neither appeal nor substance. Following this kind of approach may put your site among thousands of others that fail to connect with target audience.
You don’t have to be a Stephen King or a Dan Brown to hammer out numerous bestsellers, and definitely, no one tells you to build thrilling plots and invent some prodigious characters. In this case, if you don’t have outstanding writing skills, the results may be quite the opposite to the intended one.
Since inventing isn’t the option, appealing to your personal unique experience is.
However, your personal stories have to be adequate and to the point unless you just want to entertain the visitors to your site just for the sake of it.
Using personal stories is a must-have skill for every business owner. So, find your genuine voice, uncover your personality, and invite customers into your life. At least it would be fair as you want to win their attention and get their money.
So, let’s find out in what way personal stories can be tailored to meet your business goals. Make sure you follow these simple tips.
Being truthful is just advantageous.
Telling the truth, even when it’s not pretty and embarrassing, might be a painful but clever move. This way you build trust with your readers. Remember that actually, there are no flawless people. And no one trusts the person who claims they are impeccable. Only the Pope can boast that. Possibly.
Reading true life stories people start seeing you as a full-blooded real person, not some anonymous information-sharer or faceless provider of services. Make friends with your readers. It works as in real life, just remember the skill.
Bring out enthusiasm, joy, fear, and surprise, whatever! All the emotions will keep the readers engaged. Moreover, people like recognizing themselves in what they read and thus feel they are not alone. So give them the chance to find something universal in your individual story. If your readers see that your way to react to a problem is the same as theirs, they will recognize you as one of the tribe.
Otherwise you’ll become boring. People are used to reading tweets and short posts on Facebook. They can be forgiven and understood – they are just short of time and the internet space is so big to explore! So, don’t dwell on a situation for too long. Don’t retell what you were doing during the day. Instead reflect on what made you behave like that. Write about important discoveries and surprises of the day. But it’s important not to be wordy and too full-length. Remember the baby shoes story? Be like Hemingway!
Passing over in silence is the key. Hemingway knew about it. Let the reader’s imagination work. Actually they like it. This trick is actually quite simple. Use the beginning and the end of the story. This unexpected move will grab attention because there is drama behind which we conceal. The other way for creating dramatic effect is to start with the outcome at once that is to invert the plot. Don’t forget that every drama is based on a conflict, for example between the inside and outside, expectations and reality, individual and social etc.
Go over your life again and again to find what it has in common with what you do. You might find out that simple everyday routine gives you plenty of examples how to behave or not behave, what to do and not to do, or what lesson to draw. Your story can be attached to your business as a metaphor, comparison, or other way of re-thinking. Be creative and concentrate on value of each situation for your business.
Don’t be too serious about yourself, take your life easy. Use irony, humor and sarcasm. Your readers will appreciate that. Be optimistic, because there are too many pessimists in life and literature and there should be some distraction and source of inspiration. Let yourself be that source. Otherwise they will easily swap you for other bloggers.
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