Once upon a time…
I was tasked to write a JV email for a client.
If you don’t know, JV stands for “joint venture”. It’s a sort mutual email admiration society where two complementary but non-competitive businesses essentially pimp each other out to their respective lists. Back to regularly scheduled programming…
The JV partner was a women’s fitness expert.
As I looked at her promo page, I discovered something interesting. She was a former fitness competitor who’d suffered a stroke while still in her thirties. This opened her eyes to how years of extreme diets and hard core working out was destroying her health.
So she went back to school to become a holistic nutritionist.
Now, she uses this knowledge (and her experience) to help women regain control of their bodies…the healthy way. She teaches them a balanced, fun, and wellbeing-enhancing way to lose weight while leaving behind the crash diets and other foolishness.
Now if you were a woman who’d struggled with her weight and ridden the highs and lows that go along with yo-yo dieting, wouldn’t that get your attention? Wouldn’t you want to read more?
That’s a heck of a story.
Yet if I hadn’t scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page, I would’ve missed it.
It was practically a footnote.
The grave marketing mistake I alluded to in my subject? Not leading with stories in your marketing. This could be stories of clients you’ve helped, stories about the business, stories about your industry, or a story about you.
Stories create DESIRE for your product or service.
That’s because they provide vision and context.
As such, they’re valuable marketing assets.
Throughout the 8 years or so that I ran my personal training business, my own story of transformation (and ditching my fat suit) was at the heart of any marketing we did. It was front and center on my website and I’d lead with it in all my public speeches. My “before and after” pics graced our brochures and postcards. And I’d often meet people as much as five or even ten years later who’d tell me, “I never forgot your story.”
If you have a good one too (or even a plain one you can soup up) you’d have to be either a fool or not batting on a full wicket to not to use it at every opportunity. It’s in our DNA to be persuaded by stories. Stories form the core of how we’ve communicated as a species since scratching on the walls of prehistoric caves.
Entire fortunes have been built off the back of one good story.
And if you’ve really been paying attention, you may have noticed I started all this pontificating with…yep, a story.
Have I made my point yet? 🙂
One of the first questions I ask any new client is:
Why did you start the business?
The reason is I’m looking for the client’s “origin story”. I want to know how it is they became the superhero they are today that wears a cape and beats the crap out of bad guys to help their clients…so I can spin it to their profit. And this type of story naturally invites curiosity.
What’s your origin story?
And could you be leveraging it more?
Good one to chew on.
If you’d rather I chew on it for you…and translate such mastication into done-for-you emails and sales pages that entice and sell your best prospects on doing business with you…then you can look forward to a truly exciting conclusion to today’s tale by going here:
a.k.a The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle