3 Things you have to get right when selling with stories.

Selling with a good story

Recently I’ve been seeing a surge in the number of companies jumping on the “story” bandwagon.

A few days ago I was traveling back from the UK. At the airport I saw three references to story. One on a poster, one in a duty-free flier that was thrust into my hand just after I got through security, and the one you see in the photo above, on the pages of an in-flight magazine.

All mention story, but not one of them actually told a story.

It’s as if the writers believed that just using the word “story” would make some kind of difference.

It doesn’t.

If you want to tap into the true power of storytelling in your marketing, you have to actually tell and share a real story.

And to give your story power, it has to get three things right…

Read the full post…

What is your thinking process when writing headlines?

This question is from Charlotte, who took my course on How to Write Better Headlines.

She asks, “What is your thinking process as you brainstorm, formulate, play with, and analyze your headline creations?”

After writing headlines for 35 years, it’s quite the challenge to deconstruct the process I go through.

But here’s a broad outline of what I do…

A practical note… I work with a pen and pad of paper first. Don’t ask me why, but I do. Just for the headline.

OK… the process and sequence…

Read the full post…

Am I too late for Conversational Copywriting?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

This question is from Bernard, who took my course on Conversational Copywriting.

He asks, “I’m guessing conversational copywriting is really popular with copywriters now. Am I too late to take this approach? Is the market already saturated?”

Well… I wish Bernard had a legitimate worry here. But I don’t think he does.

I don’t imagine the market will become saturated with talented conversational copywriters any time soon.

For now, most copywriters still follow the traditional, hard-sell approach.

How come?

Read the full post…

How can we truly engage with our audience?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

This question came from Tom, who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

“Nick, in the course you talk about engaging with your audience. At best, I imagine that means interacting with prospects and customers one on one. If you’re selling high-end products or services, I can see that making sense. But our company is in the low-cost, high-volume SAAS business. There’s no way we can justify engaging one on one. So how can we engage at all?”

I like this question, because I think it can apply to a lot of different business types.

Read the full post…

If you can hold a conversation, you can sell.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

I got an email from Daniel, who has taken my course on Conversational Copywriting.

He asks:

“Nick, I took your course on conversational copywriting, but still don’t feel comfortable “selling”. I’d love to make a living as a copywriter, but fear I’m one of those people who will never feel comfortable in the role of a salesman.”

Well… if you feel that way after completing the course, I can’t help thinking I have failed you there.

Because the thing about conversational copywriting is that it enables you to sell without taking on the mantle of being a salesman or sales person.

And Daniel, I have a challenge for you.

Read the full post…

When marketing stories are false and manipulative.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Martin emailed me and said.

“Nick, I have been reading your work for years and have a lot of respect for what you do. But stories? Almost every marketing story I read feels totally fake and manipulative. What gives?”

Fair enough. (I’m guessing he hasn’t taken my course on Selling with Stories.)

In part, I agree. Although I think Martin overstates things when he talks about EVERY marketing story being fake or manipulative. But I do get his point.

The two kinds of false stories that irritate me the most are…

Read the full post…