What makes you read a blog post, an article or email? What holds you attention on a webinar or video?
Thought-provoking stats? A clever twist of a joke or a phrase? An attention-grabbing headline?
All of those things can stimulate your interest, but they won’t keep your eyes on the page. For that, you need a story.
As a coach, a service provider, a professional, or blogger, your job is to craft a storyline that draws your reader, listener, or viewer in and keeps your target market interested. Do it right, and they’ll share your content with their friends and contemporaries, significantly expanding your reach. Do it poorly, and they might read your post, your email, or even watch your video. In fact, they might even buy from you. But they probably won’t remember you, because you won’t have made a strong personal connection with them.
Often, when I work with a coach, they’ll tell me quite a bit about their personal life. Sometimes the stories they tell are incredibly interesting…to me. They, on the other hand think of their story as no big deal, usually overlooking the magic, the wonder, the a-ha moment in their own life. This is where personalized attention is imperative for a client to get their greatest results. Suffering from shyness or from being to close to the situation, the coach doesn’t realize they are speaking their language of their ideal client, and therefore, through storytelling, can develop a personal connection with those dream clients. If they, in this case you, are only in a group coaching format, you may miss your story by downplaying it in your mind.
Share Your Personal Stories
One of the best ways to build a relationship and grow your audience is to share your personal stories. Tell your readers how you got started, what lessons you learned along the way, and how your life and business were improved because of them.
Personal anecdotes don’t even have to be business related to have an impact. Did you notice a fantastic marketing strategy while standing in line at the supermarket reading the magazine headlines? (Side note: Want to learn how to write great headlines? Read the magazine covers in the grocery checkout line.) Share the story. Did you learn how to treat customers better by dealing with your cell phone company? Tell your story.
By making the connection between a memorable event and your coaching business, your readers and prospective client will remember you long after they click away from your site, close your email, or leave your presentation.
Write and Share Case Studies
Another powerful storytelling practice is case studies. Tell your readers exactly what your coaching client successes were. For me, as an example, I share how my chiropractor doubled his income in 4 months using a single, unusual joint venture, or how another client took my advice and grew their real estate coaching business from $0 to $105,000/month in seven months. Okay, so I can expand on both of those stories when presenting, but the idea I’m trying to get across to you is: How can you use case studies like these to entice your readers, listeners, or viewers to pay attention to you?
These beefed up testimonials (because that’s all a case study really is) will keep your readers interested in learning more from you.
Connect Unrelated Stories in New, Attention-grabbing Ways
Want to really make an impression? Make unusual connections in your story. Share the struggles that Darth Vader dealt with when he states: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Now relate that back to how you help business owners build teams by explaining that your client needs to surround themselves with people who are supportive and believe in them, otherwise they will want to choke them!
Sticking with a Star Wars theme here, I’ve used the following from Yoda to close a $40,000 coaching client. No kidding. I like having fun and actually said the following to them when they said they’d have to think about my offer. I said; “Do you remember in Star Wars when Yoda was training Luke and said– “Do or do not… there is no try.”?
They laughed and liked it so much that after they agreed to my terms, they had me create an ad campaign to the medical professionals they sold to using this same line from Yoda – “Do or do not… there is no try.” Which I interpreted to them as commit to your success or continue to hope for something to happen.
By making a connection between completely unrelated topics, you can quickly establish a relation building story for a blog post, a webinar, or even just an email that will get readers thinking, and that they’ll remember for a long time to come.
Dodge the Difficult Segue
One big word of caution though. Don’t throw in a story just because you think you need a “hook.” If you can’t easily transition from the story to the purpose of your presentation, post, video, or email, then you know you’re tossing in a story for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. If you find yourself saying something like “Ok, that’s enough personal stuff, now let’s get back to business,” you’re trying too hard.
Your stories should naturally flow into business if you want to make a big impression. When you get this right, you’ll suddenly find your prospects saying “yes” to your offers much easier and your profits climbing.