This last post of the series is a collection of times when you could use a story and a general idea of what kind of story could be used in that scenario.
The idea is to give you plenty of examples and … well, ideas on how you can start to incorporate storytelling into what you’re already doing with your business.
This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Please read my disclosure policy here.
To make it as easy as possible, the examples are broken down into different areas of your business.
Here you will find examples for your website and blog, for your opt-in pages, your emails, short reports, sales pages, info products, and finally podcasts, webinars, and seminars.
While this is by no means an extensive list, there should be plenty of ideas and suggestions here for you to give storytelling a try.
And who knows, this list might just spark some ideas for other areas and situations where you can put storytelling to good use.
Your Website and Your Blog
There are various places and pages on your website and blog that lend themselves to storytelling.
This is one of the most visited pages on your site and will benefit from a good story more than any other page.
Check your stats if you don’t believe me. It typically is often the most neglected page.
Take a look at what you have right now.
- Does the page represent what you and your online business stand for?
- Are you sharing why you are passionate about this topic and what makes you an expert in your field?
Tell the story of how you got started with this, how you’ve learned about the topic, and what you are doing to help out others “just like you”.
In other words, tell your story and give your readers a glimpse into who you are and what you are doing with the site.
Another great place to get personal and share some stories is on your blog.
For example, share what you are doing as you are creating a new product.
Share your inspiration for it or why you think there is a need for it. Maybe it all started with an email conversation you had with a fellow reader.
Share those stories along with the progress you’re making to build anticipation and interest in the product your creating.
Your blog is also a great place to share what’s going on in your personal life. Your readers love getting to know you a little better.
If you can, turn the stories you share into lessons for them or even better bring it back to a product or some other content on your site.
For example, you could share the story of how you made a deal with your son that you would match any funds he makes and saves with his part-time job so he can buy a car.
Transition that into how important it is to max out on employer matching 401K funds.
Find your most successful customers and ask them if you can share their story on your website or blog. You don’t have to use their full names if they have privacy concerns but if you can, get their picture.
Share a little background and then go into the story of how they took what you are teaching and applied it.
Share their results and the impact it has made on their life.
Those are powerful stories that will help the rest of your audience decide if what you have to offer is for them.
It proves that your teachings or products and services are working.
That builds a lot of trust and makes it easier for your prospects to become paying clients and customers.
Here the story is told by the customers themselves, whereas the case studies are stories you are sharing.
As before it helps to build credibility if you can get the picture of the person writing the testimonial.
But how do you get those testimonials in the first place? Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have a customer approach you about writing one, or they’ll just go ahead and send it in. That only happens rarely.
Usually, you have to be a little more proactive about it. There are two different ways to do this:
- As you receive emails, comments, and social media posts where customers are raving about your product or service, ask if you can use it as a testimonial on your site.
- Ask your current customers for testimonials. If you already have a good relationship with a few of them, approach them individually, and ask them for one. Or send out an email on occasion to your entire customer list asking them about testimonials. It can be helpful to share examples of other testimonials so they get an idea of what writing one of their own would involve.
Other Website Content
Think about the regular content you write for your site. These could be articles or more traditional blog posts.
Instead of sharing bullet point after bullet point or dry examples, rework your content into the form of a story and see what kind of reaction you get from your readers.
Chances are you’ll see more engagement and more sharing across the board whenever you deploy your storytelling techniques.
Optin Pages To Grow Your List
The main goal of these pages is to convince a visitor to hand over his or her email address and sign up for your newsletter, e-course, or random update.
People have gotten a lot more careful about entering their email anywhere online, so it takes a little more convincing to get the opt-in and that’s where storytelling can help.
If you don’t already have dedicated opt-in pages set up, take the time to do so now.
Think of them as little sales pages where you tell a little story that ties into the opt-in offer and what they can expect once they sign up.
Wrap it up with a call to action asking them to sign up below.
As with the about page, it can be helpful to get a little personal.
Share what’s gotten you into this niche, or what caused you to create this particular opt-in or list.
Let’s go back to the personal finance example. Maybe your opt-in focuses on 10 simple ways to save at the grocery store.
Your story could be about how you started tracking where your money went and that the biggest place for quick and easy savings was groceries.
Share how tracking what you were spending on food and tweaking it to take advantage of coupons, saving on buying in season etc. made it possible to go from going further into debt each month to slowly but surely paying off those credit cards.
Wrap it up by letting them know you’ve compiled what you’ve learned into a short report and it’s theirs when they sign up below.
How can you take your story and what you’re offering in your opt-in and craft a story around it?
If I had to pick one place where telling stories would be most effective, it would be in the emails I send to my lists each week.
The main reason to use stories in your email marketing is to keep it interesting and entertaining.
If you’ve been noticing that your open rates are starting to drop, give storytelling a try and see if you can’t improve them.
Why is this important? Because getting your subscribers to open their emails is the single most important thing.
If you can’t get them to open and read your messages, it doesn’t really matter what else you do (and how well you do it).
Yes, part of the open rate will be influenced by your subject line, but the overall tone, interest and value of your email messages is just as, if not even more important.
You want to entertain your readers as well as informing them.
You want them to look forward to your next email. And the best way to do that is to start incorporating stories in your emails.
There are a few different ways you can do this effectively.
Share What Is Going On
The first and simplest way is to open your email with a little info on what’s going on in your life.
Share what you did over the weekend, that your daughter turned seven yesterday, or that you went out and watched the latest Marvel movie last night. Then move into whatever your message is about.
Your readers will open your emails partly from curiosity about what’s going on in your life.
Your mission then is to grab their attention and keep it long enough to get them to click on the link in your email, presell them to your latest affiliate offer, or get them interested in your upcoming product launch.
Create Relatable Stories
The second way to do this is to come up with stories that are related to whatever it is you are talking about.
If you’re getting ready to promote an affiliate offer for a product that makes something quicker and easier, you could share a story of how you used to do things before you found this great tool and then share how it has improved your life.
While this is a great strategy, it can be hard to always come up with stories that closely tie into and enhance whatever the purpose of your emails is.
Do it when you can, but don’t be afraid to share something unrelated but personal when you can’t.
Storytelling in email will work best when you do it consistently.
Commit to giving it a try for at least a month or two and see how your readers respond to this new, more conversational, and personal style.
Short Reports and Info Products
Storytelling is also a great technique to use as you’re writing short reports or creating info products.
Let’s go over a few different places where stories would make sense.
The first place you want to tell a story is right at the beginning.
The introduction is the perfect place not only to share what the report, eBook, course, or whatever your info product maybe is about but also what prompted you to create it in the first place.
Give a little back story and grab their attention from page one.
Throughout your product, use stories to illustrate points and make sure your customers and students remember the most important points you want to get across.
We talked in another post, that one of the big benefits of storytelling is that it makes things easier to remember.
Use that to your advantage in your info products and courses.
About the Author
Another great place to put your storytelling skills to good use is in the “About the Author” section.
Think of it as the info product version of the about page of your website. It’s a small section that tells the reader a little more about who you are and why they should listen to you.
The sales pages for your products are another great place to use storytelling.
Since stories grab our attention and make us read more, they are perfect for the beginning of your sales pages.
While you can get away with stories that are only loosely related to what you’re moving into next in blog posts and emails, for your sales pages, you want to pick something that is closely related to the product you’re selling and fits well into the rest of your copywriting.
Here you want to think of storytelling as a copywriting technique.
A good starting point may be to think about why you created the product you are selling.
- Was it something you needed yourself?
- What problem is the product solving and how did it affect you or your loved ones?
Let’s go back to our earlier example of the student loan and financial aid expert.
The sales page for your info product on how to pay for college when you don’t have a dime could start with a story of how you were bound and determined to go to college even though your parents weren’t able to help financially.
Share how you made it work and then offer to help them do the same … with your guide to College on A Shoestring Budget.
Use Case Studies
Another great way to use stories in your sales pages is to include case studies and testimonials.
They are a good way to add credibility and social proof.
A case study could be a great way to transition from your story to the actual offer.
Start the sales page with a little story about how you faced this problem and the solution you came up with.
Share a strong case study to show that this can work for others too, then move into the offer for your product.
These work well sprinkled throughout the sales page, but also toward the end, after you’ve made the offer.
They are there to convince the prospects who are still on the fence about buying and need just a little more convincing to push that buy button.
Podcasts, Webinars and Seminars
So far most of our storytelling examples have focused on places where we use writing.
While that makes the most sense for most parts of our online businesses, there are also cases where we talk … and that’s where storytelling gets to shine in its traditional form.
Storytelling is a great tool anytime you speak to promote your online business.
Maybe you’re invited as a guest on a podcast, or maybe you have one of your own.
Then there are webinars and in-person seminars and workshops.
As we’ve established throughout these posts, storytelling is a great tool to use when you want people to remember what you’re talking about.
This is where storytelling really shines when you’re talking on a podcast, a webinar, or teaching a class.
Make sure your stories are short, to the point, and serve a purpose.
As with most other cases we talked about, it helps to start with the end in mind. What point do you want to make? Once you made that decision, work on the story around it.
The biggest difference in using storytelling in oral form vs. written form is that you can’t edit and tweak as you go.
Craft your story and then practice, practice, practice until you can deliver it in your sleep. The more you speak and use storytelling in your talks the easier this will get.
I hope you’ve found these storytelling examples helpful.
Think of this list of examples as a starting point for your own journey of storytelling in business. Definitely give the different ideas we’ve discussed a try, but don’t feel that you’re limited to just those areas.
Use storytelling wherever it makes sense to you and what you do.
If you’re not a natural born storyteller, don’t worry.
It is a skill that’s easily learned and while it may feel awkward at first, with a little practice it will quickly become second nature.
It’s an easy and fun way to share content, relay information, close the sale, and most importantly make a difference in the lives of your readers and customers.
This post is part of a three-part series:
- First, we learned more about what it means to use Storytelling In Business. In part, what makes a good story and how we can apply those lessons to our online business, and how to tell stories with a purpose.
- The last post was all about the Power of Storytelling. We went into detail on how to use storytelling to grow your brand, how to use it as a sales technique, and how to include it in your copywriting.
Interested in more ways to balance your life and your business? Get a reminder with my HappyBot for my free Facebook Live trainings every Friday! happinessmatters.com/fblive