There's an old Copywriting proverb that goes:
Storytelling, no matter how powerful we think it to be, is only an effective marketing strategy —when done right, and by right, we mean when it engages and sparks an emotional response that makes the prospect take action.
Still rings true today
And I'd like to use this medium to point out something important about using stories to sell:
While it's true there's many reasons most stories don't work in marketing — Like:
- The stories are boring
- The stories lack emotional punch
- No intrigue.
- No common grounds established with the reader (reader can't see herself in the hero of the story)
- No seamless transitioning
- And so on...
The biggest reason for storytelling blunders is the absence of powerful hook at the beginning of your story
You can't get people eager and excited to read your story when you don't have an intriguing opener
A dramatic, intriguing or suspense-filled sentence that casts a spell on your reader — and makes them want to see where the story is going....
Now, the question is:
"How do I find the right hook for my story?"
Simply look at the story you're going to use
And find the action points (where's the drama?)
Or suspense points (what's the stuff that makes people curious?)
Or gossip value points (give people something to gossip about)
Then start with the most powerful one
And by most powerful, I mean the one that instantly hooks your reader the moment they read that first line
- If I didn't know this woman any better, I'd say she was sleeping around with the executives at Providus bank....
- Trevor was already packing his bags to leave the beachhouse when he got that call from Paris
- The moment I scratched the seal on page 19 of that stolen document, I knew I was a dead man...
What we're doing is teasing our readers to make them want to read on....
They're called hooks
Simple sentences that spark curiosity
And every story has at least one powerful hook that can be used as it's opening line... or in it's first chapter
If you read the first chapter of most great novels
You'll notice they make you want to read the next chapter
And the next chapter makes you want to read the next chapter
And so on...
Each Chapter starts and ends with a powerful hook that makes you want to know more...
That's how you tell stories
Always keep your reader on the edge of her seat
Keep her salivating for more
And in the end
Be sure to close with a powerful moral or lesson that triggers an emotional response from her
Why do you think — after watching certain movies — some people feel compelled to do something they wouldn't otherwise do if they hadn't watched that movie till the end?
It's the power of storytelling done right
P.S: One of the 12 things I teach in my Copywriting class is the complete art of telling powerful stories that engage and convert
What you've just read is only a tip of the iceberg
The other 11 things I teach are just as valuable too
If you're not in the class yet
And you'd like to join us or see if you're a good fit