Here’s a very powerful marketing strategy for every small business owner that has ever wanted to “force” his clientele to identify with him.
You realize by now the popularity and effectiveness of including stories in your ads. A great story is one of the most effective means of engaging a reader and helping him to identify or relate to your topic at hand.
Human stories, that is, where the personal emotions of pain, hurt, love, greed, jealousy, sorrow, joy, etc are particularly strong and aroused in the customer.
Gripping stories, exciting stories, mysterious stories, and even heart breaking stories tend to break down barriers, soften customers, and humanize the sometimes sterile world of advertising and marketing your Internet business.
A great, believable story will grab an unsuspecting prospect and lead him toward an action step that you have designed if you have been engaging enough and haven’t lost the prospect to boredom or mediocrity! This assumes that you have crafted a plan that leads the prospect from step to step toward your desired action. That action could be a subscriber sign-up, a freebie download, a product sale, or even a testimonial or endorsement for your business.
Stories shared in advertising need not focus on positive product or service outcomes exclusively!
In fact, some of the very most successful ads include human stories about how a business owner failed at first, but then overcame all the obstacles in his/her path to go on to great success.
Yes, it is understandingly natural to want to hide our failures, to sweep them under the rug never to be exposed to the light of day again.
The tendency of us all is to highlight our strengths and minimize or downplay our weaknesses and failures.
But often we want to be seen as “human,” as a real person, as someone that the reader can imagine himself as being that has ups and downs just like we all do.
Believe it or not, most customers like business people that are honest and not afraid to share their experiences – both the good and the bad.
Customers enjoy seeing a “guru” bear his soul to let you know exactly what he was feeling.
Prospects identify with others that they know have had similar experiences to their own.
They are leery of owners that hide the truth or never make mistakes because they know that everyone fails at some point and to appear as perfect is just not reality.
Don’t be afraid to include your failures in your stories. But of course, you must also include the “key” to turning that failure into a success. It’s not enough to just show what went wrong.
You must also take the time to explain “what you should have done.” Or had you known “X” you could have avoided your pain or failure.
Your message will be seen as having great value if you show a customer how to avoid making the same mistakes you did. Otherwise (without the upside being revealed), your mistake is simply that . . . nothing to learn from . . . just something you did and always regretted.
A word of caution: you can take this approach too far. You can always dwell on your mistakes and play a martyr in your marketing. But that personality is not someone that most consumers want to relate to.
Own up to your mistakes as a way of providing your prospects with someone that they would like to learn from and get to know. Don’t be seen as a whiner, a cry baby, a poor helpless victim (in your own eyes) that the world conspires against!
To your online business success,