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…

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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…

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Can I add some of my own copywriting hacks to the list?

This question is from Malcolm, who took my 21 Copywriting Hacks course.

He asks, “I’ve taken your course and am using the final checklist you provided. My question is: Can I add some hacks of my own to the list? Things I have found work well for me?”

Absolutely you can.

First – for anyone who isn’t familiar with this course – the 21 Copywriting Hacks course was created to help you improve your own sales copy… at that point just before you submit it to your client.

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Can I use your 21 Copywriting Hacks to improve EXISTING pages?

This question is from Denis, who took my 21 Copywriting Hacks course.

He asks, “I love your 21 Copywriting Hacks. Super-helpful. My question is… could I use these as a ‘system’ to improve on a company’s EXISTING sales pages?”

Great question. And yes.

First – for anyone who isn’t familiar with this course – the 21 Copywriting Hacks course was created to help you improve your own sales copy… at that point just before you submit it to your client.

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Can I use these 21 Copywriting Hacks BEFORE I start writing?

This question is from Elizabeth, who took my 21 Copywriting Hacks course.

She asks, “I understand your reasons for applying a checklist of copy hacks to your copy before sending it to the client. But why not just apply the hacks right at the beginning, when you first write the copy?”

And the good question keep on coming…

First – for anyone who isn’t familiar with this course – the 21 Copywriting Hacks course was created to help you improve your own sales copy… at that point just before you submit it to your client.

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Can a good business story be fictional?

(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 Julia, who took my course on Selling With Stories.

She asks, “You say a business story has to be true. But can’t a good fictional story be used to teach a valuable business lesson?”

Ouch… Julia, you’re right. You got me.

As you say, I have said that a business story should be true. And I say that to discourage people from making up stories that are obviously false and manipulative.

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