Storytelling is a powerful means of communication and it’s also a great tool to attract new customers to your business! You can use stories to gain trust, to persuade and to connect with prospective customers, making them much more willing to take the leap and hire you. In this post I will share some proven ways in which you can use storytelling to get more clients for your business. Let’s use stories to develop a lead machine!
PS: for a very detailed training on how to use storytelling to generate more sales for your business, attend one of our storytelling workshops. Details are available here.
Storytelling Techniques and pitches you can use for your business
#1 – Talking about Previous Projects:
People love stories and case studies are essentially stories. Your potential customers love them because they give specific examples of how your business works. Case studies when written in a laid-back and informal way, resemble a conversation we might have with our friends. Never underestimate the business advantage of making our leads feel like we are friends!
Telling in-depth stories about your previous successes (and losses, if you share what you’ve learned with them!) has many advantages. Your potential customers get the answers to many of their questions; you show them actual proofs that you can help them; and they get to know you better (reducing any initial resistance they might have to hire you). Because hiring someone we know and trust is much easier than hiring a complete stranger…
Additionally you also get some more online traffic, as many of your potential customers go online to find answers to the problems that you’ve solved previously for other people. If the price and other factors are similar, they’ll probably choose you over another expert who doesn’t share his/her business stories. Stories that connect also help consumers choose your product at a premium with additional branding that you create.
There are many ways in which you can share case studies with your audience, for example:
– write a blog post;
– tell the story on video;
– put together a slideshare presentation with the project highlights;
– show photos/screenshots of the first sketches you’ve made with your original ideas regarding the project;
– draw a cartoon or comic strip illustrating how everything happened;
– create a timeline that shows all the stages throughout the project;
– create an infographic;
If you’re going to share your client’s name and many details, just make sure you have their permission. Many won’t mind and might even appreciate the free publicity, but if you’re finding it hard to get their approval, you can always tell the story without giving names and too many specific details.
This was exactly what Polly Alexandre, a consultant, did with her client,. She explained what they did on her sessions, and shared some small details about her client’s life, but not so many that someone could identify her. At the same time, she showed potential customers what her sessions look like, what they can expect, and how she was able to successfully help someone with the same problems as theirs.
#2 – Sharing stories about your business daily life
Besides talking about your previous customers, you can also share how you celebrated an important business milestone, or talk about your business daily life, your workflow, your methods, your approach, and your favourite tools and equipment. People like to know about the quirks of other people, the singularities and small details that make each person unique. You might even hit the lucky strike, and share some detail that resonates with your prospective customers’ interests/personality … becoming aware that they share something with you might be the trigger that makes them want to engage with you.
I’ve found a great example of this in this blog, where Lara Hogan, Engineering Manager at Etsy, talks about how she handles her public speaking gigs. In a very detailed and honest blog post she writes about how she prepares her presentations, how she gathers data, the things she struggles with and how she celebrates after the events. She tells an engaging story, sharing her ups-and-downs, showing she’s not perfect… and you know what? Even after sharing things that she can’t do that well, she still gets invited to do public speaking events!
This is not an exception to the rule, this is what usually happens. Your clients value your honesty tremendously. It also makes them relate to you in some ways: they themselves are not perfect, and they know it… and when you make someone relate and empathize with you they’ll feel closer to you. And closeness helps in sealing deals.
#3 – Interviewing Previous Customers
This strategy is like testimonials-on-steroids. Having a satisfied customer talk highly of your services while giving detailed examples of how you’ve helped them will give your business a great deal of credibility, and that might be enough to make someone buy your services.
When WikiJob, a well-known graduate job site from the UK, implemented a simple, two-line testimonial on their sign-up form, they increased the conversion rate by 34%! And that’s for a simple testimonial, now, imagine if you show your leads a detailed interview with your previous clients or customers and explain to them what you did, step-by-step! I know I would be much more interested in buying services if I had all this available.
Check out this great example of a customer interview, which tells the story of how Design Contest helped a customer reach her goals. She talks a bit about her own business niche, and explains in detail how the company’s platform helped her. This helps potential customers truly understand the product and builds trust.
Don’t be afraid to ask your happy customers to do an interview! Many will be happy to do it, and you’ll both get something out of it. You get an insightful testimonial that will bring you new clients and your interviewee gets organic publicity!
#4 – Creating interesting ads
Nowadays the online competition is fierce so you shouldn’t waste any opportunity to reach new customers. You can easily create interesting ads without spending too much money!
Poo Pourri is one example of how you could make an engaging video ad without going overboard. This video has no special motion effects and you could easily make something similar yourself, with a bit of patience, a handful of props and some nice friends to help with the scenery. 🙂
Your challenge is to find a unique and entertaining way of talking about your business and your products. Think outside the box. Surprise your customers! Make them laugh, smile, feel understood… and you’ll be on your way to making them much more interested in hiring you!
Do you know any other examples of using storytelling to gain new customers? Share them with us! 🙂
Original image: Kaboompics
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