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…

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Do I write the page’s headline first or last?

(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.)

Great question from Lynn who is taking my course, How to Write Better Headlines.

The answer to whether I write the headline first or last is… yes.

I do both.

Let me explain. And this is the case whether I’m writing a page of content or a sales page. Same process.

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Use simple anecdotes as a tool to sell your clients on the power of stories.

(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 is about collecting small stories or anecdotes, and then using them as a way to sell your clients or colleagues on the power of stories in marketing.

So… imagine you are trying to pitch a group of marketers on your idea for an upcoming campaign.

You want to use the company’s origin story. But first you have to persuade the marketing group this is a good idea.

Once again… stories to the rescue.

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Traditional versus conversational copywriting. One guy thinks traditional wins.

(What follows is the outline I wrote for myself in advance of recording the video. This is just an outline. Not a regular post or article.)

A while back I was sent a bit of a challenge by a reader who didn’t agree with much of what I have been writing about the thrust of my course, Conversational Copywriting.

Fair enough.

Here’s what he wrote… slightly edited for brevity…

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Start new conversations by inviting your visitors to ask questions.

(What follows is the outline I wrote for myself in advance of recording the video. This is just an outline. Not a regular post or article.)

This isn’t one of my Q&A videos.

Nobody asked me this question.

So I’ll ask it myself.

“What do I think is the most powerful way to get conversational with a website’s audience?”

In my course, Conversational Copywriting, I talk about a few different ways to get your clients started.

But if I had to choose one, and only one way… it would be this…

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Conversational copywriting is about removing the layer of mistrust between a company and its customers.

adversarial car sales man in coversation

When you walk into a car dealership and a sales person walks towards you, you can feel a change take place in your body.

There’s some kind of chemical adjustment happening in your brain. You feel a sudden tension in your muscles. Not relaxed at all.

You feel ready to fight. Or at least, to negotiate.

This is a little weird. It’s not like you’re walking down a dark alley at night, twitching at every sound, preparing to fight or run for your life.

But the symptoms are the same, even if not quite as elevated.

How come?

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