That’s 400 years ago.
A lot has changed since then in some ways but in others, it remains near enough the same.
In ONE AD, people were sharing the story of how some guy with a beard turned 5 fish and a loaf of bread into 5,000 meals.
By 1616, people were raving about Shakespeare and his ability to tell stories that brought in crowds from all over Britain.
The most successful entrepreneurs and business people use his methods of storytelling to fill their bank accounts.
Stories are what SELL.
They work because processing a story is MUCH easier than processing a bunch of information.
We’ve also been conditioned to buy into stories from a young age.
They’re entertaining. They resonate with us.
And if we’re interested… We’ll read all the way to the end.
One FOOLPROOF way to increase the amount of business you’re doing is to simply get people more engaged with what you’re saying.
If you tell an interesting enough story, they’ll hang around to hear your pitch and if you’ve got an irresistible offer that’s going to result in a helluva lot more sales for you.
And the COOL thing is every story, every gripping TV drama and every movie that had you hooked from the first minute falls into one of seven “archetypes” (that’s a fancy word for plot points) so you can easily use one of these to craft a stronger marketing message today.
I’ll start with…
OVERCOMING THE MONSTER
We’ve all seen movies where the hero has to destroy the monster to restore balance to the world.
Now… It’s unlikely that the BIG problem your customers/client face revolves around tackling a T-rex that’s on a rampage but they probably have to overcome a monster of their own.
Maybe they’re struggling to build a successful business, maybe they’re buried in debt, maybe they’re sick of smoking cigarettes.
There’s monsters that stand in between all of us and where we want to be.
When you tell the story of “I was there too and this is how I beat the monster” you’ll be able to build a lot of trust in your sales message because you’ve been there too.
You’ll be able to speak their language.
Combine this story with an exciting unique mechanism that gives them renewed confidence that they can destroy the monster along with other proven selling techniques like scarcity/urgency and you could easily be looking at doing triple the business you’re doing now.
RAGS TO RICHES
How many times do you see this?
“I was 35 years old, sleeping in my Moms basement because my girlfriend had left me and I only had $1.12 to my name. Then I discovered how to make sales and now I’m so successful Bill Gates occasionally phones me to borrow some money”
This is the foundation a lot of great marketers built their foundation on because STRUGGLE is so damn relatable.
Plus, in the case of “rags to riches” stories it gives the market renewed faith because they can see someone who’s clearly more of a deadbeat than they are making it work.
It’s powerful stuff and it doesn’t have to be limited to business/finance kind of offers either.
By definition, these stories are about a seemingly insignificant individual, dismissed by everyone, that steps into the limelight and is revealed to be someone quite exceptional.
That can work for any niche.
A multi-billion dollar franchise was created around a few weird looking dwarfs going on a quest to find a ring so when done well, you can really hook people in with this.
The thing that separates “The Quest” story from “Overcoming The Monster” is the many, many challenges that need to be overcome on the way to the final destination.
Every entrepreneurs journey is a quest as an example.
This kind of story works BEST with products/services that have already overcome a lot of the challenges that would have stood in the way to get to the point they’re at now.
They’re probably clients/customers that are looking to go from good to great (as opposed to below par to good) and that changes your marketing approach.
VOYAGE AND RETURN
Toy Story is a great example of “Voyage & Return”. Woody, Buzz, Mr Potato Head and a few others head out and find themselves needing to get back before Andy moves house without them.
They’ve been on a voyage, returned and everything is the same.
Except it’s not. Nothing is the same because they’ve been on this voyage.
They’re still Buzz, Woody, Mr Potato Head. They’re still with Andy. Day to day life is the same.
But of course they’re different. They’ve been on this journey and they’ve changed.
A lot of people can relate to that.
A lot of us have travelled and found new things about ourselves. A lot of us have skills/strengths/weaknesses from experiences we’ve been through we didn’t have a year ago.
This kind of story telling can be particularly effective in niches where people have strong beliefs and principles around how they should live their life.
It doesn’t work for every niche but in those that it does, this kind of story can give you a huge edge over the competition because you don’t see it very often.
Comedy is probably not going to be at the core of your marketing story but there is a place for it — You don’t have to be LOL funny either.
Comedies usually center around a character that’s self destructive, the type that can’t get out of their own way and creates situations where conflict/resolution is needed all the time.
There’s also the “so bad it’s funny” element.
“Back then, I didn’t buy from Walmart because I was a frugal shopper, I bought because I was a broke shopper…”
“I thought I was going to get this girl’s phone number… Then she asked me if my brother was single…”
“My personal trainer fired me as a $100/hour client after two weeks because I’d actually put on 5 lbs since we started working together!”
None of these are laugh out loud funny but when used as little, relatable comments in sales copy they’re winners as you can show you don’t take yourself too seriously and you have charisma.
People love buying into people so while I wouldn’t recommend trying to joke your way into a sale – you can DEFINITELY use your sense of humor to be a more charismatic force in your niche.
Most movies have to have happy endings to do well at the box office but there are few with miserable endings that stick with me.
In real life, the vast majority of the time your marketing is going to be geared towards getting people the happy ending they want however there are people that deal with tragedies too.
In situations where your customer/clients are going through REAL tragedy like grief, divorce, depression story telling with EMPATHY is what’s going to keep you in business.
Empathy is crucial to any story but here, it’s even more important.
Now… Rebirth is described as one of the archetypes however for marketing purposes I think every story needs a rebirth.
If you overcome the monster, you have to change. If you want to go from rags to riches, you have to change. If you want to successfully reach the final destination on your quest… Yep… You have to change.
So “Rebirth” is something I combine with one of the other archetypes/plot points because all of my businesses are based around solving problems and for that to happen I need them to take action.
I always think of it like a patient ignoring a health concern…
They’ve been waking up for MONTHS with a sore knee… It’s damaging their quality of life… They’re not sleeping well… They’re in PAIN…
And that’s not going to stop until they see the doctor.
In your niche – YOU ARE THE DOCTOR.
There’s nothing you can do if they continue to stay the same.
BUT if they’re open to change, a new beginning, a rebirth…
You’re the one they need to make that happen.
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