Hello, Tyler DeWitt here.
We’re going to go over my Content Storytelling Masterclass speaking deck that I used for my speaking engagement in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Content Storytelling Masterclass By Tyler DeWitt. (That is me, of course.)
Let’s talk about what storytelling is and is not. Storytelling is a useful and relevant experience. That means the story should be relevant to your customer/client, let’s just use word client, as customer/client can be used interchangeably. It should be useful and relevant experience for your client. That means your client needs to picture themselves in your story. It should motivate your team, boss, or clients of what your brand stands for and it should include your clients. It will engage emotions and it will have a challenge solution in the final result. There again, as I mentioned, it should be useful and relevant, and your client should be able to see themselves in your story.
For example, we write up a case study but put it in a story format where we are engaging a lot of emotion. It represents where our client is having a particular problem, how they went about contacting us, and their challenge. Your new client needs to see themselves in that story. They need to be able to relate to that. More they can relate to that, the more emotion you will drive as long as the story is written up right. You really need to be detailed about it, and really share the challenges that they had. Maybe it was a lot of money being lost, the return was not high enough, and even get into their personal life it you can. I mean, not too much but how it wreaked havoc on their business, personal finances, whatever it may be. And then, how you went about resolving that problem. This is just an example. Storytelling can be used in various industries.
Storytelling is not a 15000-word book or article. Each story should be concise as possible, boring and irrelevant to what your client is seeking, a hard sales pitch, numbers only, a story is not about your goals and life unless it is relevant to your client.
Why Is Storytelling So Powerful?
We’ve been telling storytelling since the begin of time around campfires. We all tell stories every single day. This is very true. We’ve been telling stories since cavemen days, more than less. What else did we have to do back then? We told stories. We shared experiences. Maybe we went out and it was a hunting trip. We shared that story with our kids, our wife, our friends, or whoever it might be. Maybe we were presented with a challenge when we were out trying to find a deer for dinner. Maybe there were some obstacles to our story. As you can see, we have been telling stories forever. Our brains are hardwired to hear stories.
As mentioned here in my speaking deck, we relate to others that have the same challenge or problems as long as they have found a solution. The right type of story can alter our mind. And what I mean by that is, if a story is created just right, it will alter our thinking, change our thinking, or make us think in new ways. Maybe somebody was looking to for a product or service, but you knew another service was going to benefit them better or a product would benefit them better. You shared a story on how this product or service helped this individual or even company, and they were able to relate to it. And they had the same problem as somebody else, they are going to move forward. It will alter their thinking. They will then come to realize, “Well, that is what I thought I needed, but not necessarily what I needed.” They will change their perspective. It can have a profound effect on the way you’re thinking.
A good story triggers certain brain chemicals in us, such as our dopamine, cortisol, and oxytocin. Our parents shared story with us growing up, some even shared bedtime stories with us to help us sleep. Most stories we heard when we were young were passed down from our parents parents, and from one generation to the next.
People Don’t Remember Data Alone
As mentioned in this deck, stories that are personal and emotional compelling engage more of the brain, and thus are better remembered, than simply stating a set of facts or numbers. When you tell stories, you want to wrap data into it because people don’t remember data.
Let’s say for example, weight loss. You can say someone lost a certain amount of weight. You can create an image, before and after, and that will be motivating. You can show the product that they used. But what if you were to create a story about this person’s challenges? Maybe it was a lady that had low self-esteem, didn’t feel like going out no more, she quit dating, or whatever it may be. You write this story up about this person, this person shared their story, has a copywriter, rewrite it, give it the extra punch to make sure everything is up to par. Then you include those numbers in that story. People will remember that. But just putting something up, a before and after, she weighted you know what 140 and went down to 110, 100, whatever it may be, that is interesting. But what really is going to get people to take action to buying that product is when they read the story about the lady, especially when that person can see their self in that story.
Humans tend to remember numbers better when a story is included. Write the story in a way that triggers emotions and then combine data within that story. Think as data as pounds, money, numbers, savings, total cost, or anything that is really results related.
Type of Stories You Can Create
You can create personal stories, client stories, partner stories, investor stories, personal BIO.
This can be a story about you, but make sure the person you are telling can relate. This could be your client. The key is to be relevant as possible.
How did your product or service help a client? How did your copywriting service help your client? Build a story around this and include numbers.
Now, this is important. A lot of people include BIOs in their website and are like, hey, I worked with Yamaha, RCA, or whoever. I’m just using this as an example. That is all they say. Well, you worked with them, but what type of results did you produce for them? When you can create a story about their challenges and how you jumped into the picture to help them overcome their challenges and increase their marketing operations, ad spend, return on investment by 10X, that’s when you BIO becomes very catchy. That is when it becomes interesting. Just putting a BIO up on your LinkedIn, resume, about me page, whatever it might be, stating that you worked with a company is nice, anybody can work with anybody. I mean, everybody gets the opportunity eventually to work with someone, a well-known company. You need to share the results that you produced for that company. Same thing with investor stories, partner stories, client stories, and personal stories.
For example, maybe you’re a personal trainer and you helped the person you train to lose weight or tone up. Maybe you as a personal trainer helped your client lose 25-pounds in 12-weeks. Well, you can share a story about that. You can even interview that person and say, “Hey, Jane, what problems or challenges were you facing before you met me?” Really go into the depth. Who knows, your client might start to break down and cry and then laughing at the end of the video because you were able to help her lose weight. Now, she feels so much more confident, she’s going out, she is back in dating mode, and doesn’t feel insecure anymore. You can use these. You can use that strategy, use a video. You can write it on your webpage or create content about it.
How to Create Stories That Moves People
Keep your audience in mind, the challenge, the solution, and share the results. As I mentioned, keep your audience in mind. It should be relevant. Then the challenge. Then the solution. And then share those results.
As I mentioned over here on my speaker deck, keep the following in mind:
- Stories should be anywhere form 300 to 1,500 words long, stay relevant.
- If numbers are involved, include numbers into the story as you engage emotions.
- Test different stories by using different copywriters and different storytellers.
- This is really important. Not every copywriter or storyteller write the same. Some are much better. Some use shorter sentences and they keep the paragraphs real punchy. They might use one or two sentences per paragraph. And then, other people might be better at engaging emotions. A storyteller is usually better at engaging emotion.
- You want to find someone that has a variety of skills. You want to find someone with copywriting experience and storytelling experience, so that they can combine those into one and create your final product.
- A catchy title is a must for your story as it will pull them into reading mode.
- This could be how Jane lost 20-pounds in 12-weeks. That is a catchy title.
- How I helped A, B, C company increase their revenues by 300% in under 12-months. That is a catchy title.
Richard Branson says, “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”
I included these quotes because Richard Brandson, Seth Godin, and Steve Jobs, all place high value on stories.
Seth Godin says, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell.” You can’t excel today online unless you have a good story to tell. Hell, I don’t know if you have ever been somewhere and heard someone talking about something, next thing you know, that sounds like me. I’m having the same problem. And then, before you know it, they go buy that product or sign up for something just because of what you told them. You feel like they were your friend, they were helping you versus trying to sell you something. And that’s how salespeople, including digital marketers, can use stories. You can incorporate that into your brand, product, or services.
Steve Jobs said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” That is very true. If you really think about what Steve Jobs said in his quote, and that goes back to the saying that I said earlier how storytelling can alter your mind. Good stories change the way people think. They go from believing one thing into believing something else. Sometimes people get a little mixed in their thoughts. All of us tend to think that we need something but then when we talk to someone else that has a good story, we come to find out that there is a better solution out there. Who knows, maybe both companies had the same solution, but one company was better at telling the story. That altered the person’s decision to buy from the company that told the better story.
Who Can Use Storytelling?
Storytelling can be used in multiple industries. It can be used for attorneys, affiliate marketers, doctors, psychologists, digital marketers, bloggers, fitness centers, yoga instructors, skincare companies, business consultant, realtors, I mean, the list goes on.
Attorneys can use it on certain cases they’ve won. Maybe it’s a lawsuit. Affiliate marketers can use it when they’re trying to sell products. Doctors can use it on how they help someone feel better, maybe they cured a certain condition. Psychologists, maybe they changed somebody’s life around. There again, you got to be careful on what client names you use. Clearly you want to get their permission. Digital marketers, bloggers, fitness centers, yoga instructors, you can see, the list goes on.
You just got to be creative. And find a story that works and scale it. Every brand has a story to tell. Every product has a story to tell. Every person has a story to tell.
Who Can Write the Best Story? You or your company versus a professional storyteller?
I would highly advise that you hire a professional storyteller. Let me tell you why.
When I was a super affiliate, I used to write my own stories. It was called review pages back then. It wasn’t called storytelling. It was a review page, an advertorial, and we’d write up a review in a story format. When I wrote it up, it did not convert that well. I was getting 1% for every 100-visitors. I was breaking even with my money for the first product that I launched as an affiliate marketer, which was a background check service. I was losing time, making back what I was spending basically, and it was very frustrating. I found a good storyteller, who gave me a good price, and I still use the same one today, to rewrite what I wrote. It went from 1% to 3%. For every $50 I spent, I was getting back $150. For every $1,000 I spent, I was getting back $3,000. I had her write it up like five different times, in five different ways. We found one that worked very well. And she was able to get it done for me way faster than I was doing it. I’m not a big writer, I don’t like writing, I don’t enjoy writing. But I love advertising and love seeing things scale. So, you have to know how to delegate to the right people.
Now, if you are a professional writer, a really good writer, go for it. But keep an open mind.
Hire An Agency or Keep It In House?
Agencies do have benefits. When you work with an agency, you will get a specialist versus Jack of All Trades. When you keep it in house, you are lacking the help that you need. Whereas an agency will have several different digital marketers that specialize in different things. They have their article writers, copywriters, content writers, and they may have video producers. When you hire a digital agency, they approach you from an unbiased view.
You have more resources, scalability, less stress due to hiring, industry insights, more divsersity, flexibility on budgets, less cost upfront, and best of all, you get consulting.
How To Hire A Great Storyteller?
A persuasive storyteller is familiar with the following, metaphors and analogies. You want to hire someone that is very familiar with metaphors and analogies. That is a form of persuasive writing. When you find somebody that can write using analogies and metaphors, you will find out that your content converts a lot better.
- Time is money.
- She’s going through a rollercoaster of emotions.
- Cash flow.
- Her eyes were diamonds.
- Finding a good man is like finding a needle in a haystack.
- Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.
- He saw the problem as a speed bump, not roadblock.
My story on our website, my BIO, which has landed me a lot of good contracts. Before I hired that girl, the thing that I put in the job posting is that I want someone that is highly familiar or has experience in using metaphors and analogies. The girl that I hired had a mixed of experience in poetry, copywriting, and storytelling. Come to find out, she scored in the top 3% in the state of Indiana on her writing skills. I can’t remember exactly the class or whatever. She was really good. She has actually helped us with other copy too and stories.
Quote from Brian Clark at Copyblogger.com
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Copyblogger.com. Brian has been around for years. I was subscribed to his blog, I think in the first year that he launched it, in 2008 or maybe before that. But I remember when he only had like 1,000-subscribers. This guy has went viral. He has blown up since then.
He mentions, “The right analogy, at the right time, told the right way, may be exactly what they need to do business with you.” And this guy knows. He has been writing for years. He was actually an attorney before he started Copyblogger.com. He might still be doing legal work, I don’t know. He’s been around for years. You should really check this blog out and pay attention to what and how he writes.
If I am right, I think right now he makes all his money from books that he has wrote, sells through his site, and he offers training classes/courses, I think. But I do know that he’s cashing out. He’s making pretty good money.
Storytelling Is A Growth Hacking Tool
As mentioned in here, we took one industry from $3,500 to $275,000 a month within 16-months all through storytelling. This was in the supplement industry. We created a story of somebody that used our product, they loved it so much, the diet product, because they did not get all the jitters and the side effects that other diet products were producing back then. And we had an all-natural product. We offered a trial offer. We were so confident that people would like the product that we offered a free trial. It blew up. The whole thing behind it was the story. It basically started with SEO.
Then after we started making money through the SEO, we scaled it into email marketing. And what we did, we shared that same story through email. We started sending out co-reg emails (back then). Nowadays that is considered more of a grey area of business. Co-reg in the early days was fine. Today, it is not really thought of too highly. Times have changed of course. Co-reg was basically where someone would sign up and they would checkmark if they were interested in receiving third party offers, maybe for weight loss offers, and our offer would come through the email.
Then we used media buying. We started buying media buying ads, which are like display ads on new sites, sharing the story.
We did a lot of remarketing and affiliate networks. Affiliate networks, we had a story that worked. We had a person that used the product. By then, we had several stories to share. Our story was only like 750-words long. It was like 500 to 750-words long and talked about the person that lost weight. She was searching online looking for a product that would help her lose weight. She tried multiple products out there. A lot of them gave her the jitters, some gave her diarrhea, and she just wasn’t happy. We had an all-natural product that gave her energy, boosted her energy, and helped her get through her workout. She loved it.
We are going to pause right there because that is the end of the Storytelling Masterclass. The promotion was bonus content that I had for the DigiMarCon I spoke for. I will post that live on our blog.
A Top Performing Marketing Executive, Consultant, and Speaker.
Tyler’s success at helping clients scale has resulted in numerous speaking engagements. Tyler has spoken for numerous tradeshows including DigiMarCon which is one of the world’s largest digital marketing conferences.
Read Tyler’s BIO