You’ve felt the burn of your heart pounding in your chest, racing to marathon-level speeds as you wonder if you’re going to be able to show up with the right words to convince the right client to buy the right package so you can build the right business.
You’ve gone through all the story-finding bootcamps, learned all the formulas, and memorized every framework you can handle.
- I help ________ do ___________ so that _____________
- Awareness. Interest. Desire. Action.
- Problem. Agitation. Solution.
The list feels infinite, and for good reason: Ask Google to show you a story-finding formula, and its shortlist stops at 569 million.
Let that sink in: If we want to find and share our brand story, the gods of all-things-Internet-wisdom have given us millions upon millions of chances to get it right.
And yet. . . for most of us, figuring out how to show up with the right brand story still feels like we’re playing a game of hopscotch (in the dark, completely blindfolded).
Here’s why: All the formulas and frameworks and speed-past-go story exercises have turned story – our most ancient tool of relationship and connection – into a transaction-first affair.
Instead, we’re taught that if we want to build our business empire, then any message we create has to follow the proven principles outlined in any sales copy how-to guide.
In fact, whether we’re writing a sales page, web copy, social posts, case studies, or stage presentations, sales copy teaches us that words exist for one reason: PERSUADE our audience to open their wallets and invest in whatever it is we’re selling.
Address your audiences’ pain points!
Emphasize the features and the benefits!
Let them know what’s in it for them!
Prove your ROI!
These messages are custom-designed for transaction, and it’s this transaction-first mentality that’s causing us to miss the mark when it comes to finding and sharing our brand stories – because stories aren’t about transactions. They’re about relationships and connections.
Anecdotally, we know that story helps us build connections. It widens perspectives, builds philosophical and ideological bridges, and creates new worlds.
Scientifically (thanks to the research of neuroscience geniuses like Paul Zak), we also know WHY this happens: Story literally changes our brains, activating neurons and chemicals that allow us to do all the things the best humans do (ie., be generous, charitable, and compassionate, to name a few).
As business owners, all of us share one common thread: We’re real humans trying to connect with other real humans.
It’s a need that reminds me of a crazed philosopher named Diogenes who walked the streets of 4th century BC Athens, carrying a lamp in the broad daylight.
When people stopped to ask what he was doing, he said, “I’m looking for a human,” and when they reminded him that he was standing in the midst of an entire community of humans, he replied, “I’m looking for a REAL human.”
For Diogenes, showing up as human wasn’t about ordering your world according to mass formulas. Instead, it was about knowing exactly who you were when everything else was stripped away.
Because sales copy forces us to zero in on the metrics of ROI and persuasion, our brand stories become diluted by formula and transaction and we skip past the part of our brand message that is supposed to reflect who we really are as human beings. As a result, it’s as though we are all a bunch of Diogenes look-alikes wandering around with a lamp in our hands as we look for the true source of business growth.
Story copy is that true source, and it’s the one thing that allows us to create unbreakable bonds of trust and community with our audience. When we flood our brand message with story copy and elevate the human-centric aspects of our brand, something magical begins to take place: all the most-talked-about aspects of business begin to materialize – ROI, profit, and growth.
How can you transform your brand message with story copy?
Using my Brand Story Wheel, I use 9 story-finding tools to help my clients find and share their brand story. Here are two insights from the Brand Story Wheel that you can introduce to your brand story right now:
1. Listen first.
Because great storytelling lies at the intersection of listening and observing, start by asking your audience these five basic questions, and then, unleash your inner journalist to follow up with more questions.
The insights you’ll gain from these five questions are considered messaging gold by some of the world’s best story and copywriting experts.
They will unlock the language your audience uses in their everyday conversations, and when you use this same language in your story copy, you create a magic space for your audience to pursue the transformation that only you can deliver.
2. Look for the story you cannot see.
Sales copy encourages us to front load our brand stories with everything we can easily see about our audience: What they like, what they don’t like, what they look like, where they hang out – all the fun, easy-to-measure, traditional marketing persona demographics.
But story copy pushes us beyond what’s visible – because it knows that it’s here in the realm of the unseen where the true staying power of any story lies.
I call this type of story your iceberg story. (I show you how to find that story here.)
It’s a story that plunges beneath the surface of what you do in order to define who you are.
And (coincidentally) it is the only story that can help you show up with the right words to convince the right client to buy the right package so you can build the right business.
When you’re ready to unlock all 9 resources of The Brand Story Wheel and transform your brand message with story copy, schedule a Power Hour today.