How Strategic Storytelling Leads to Sales with Emma Boshart
October 26, 2023
Strategic storytelling is the key to attracting new leads, converting them into paying customers, and encouraging them to purchase when you make sales in the future, too. You know that. I know that. I hear it all the time in this online marketing world.
Tell a story, they say. Be vulnerable, they say. Show up as yourself, they say.
But what I don’t hear many coaches, consultants, and marketers sharing is how to choose what stories you share in your business so you understand exactly WHY you’re sharing those stories.
And, most importantly, so you feel COMFORTABLE sharing personal, yet strategic, stories in your business.
Well, you’ll learn all that (and more) in today’s episode of Talk Copy to Me. I invited Emma Boshart, fellow copywriter and messaging strategist, to join me on the show to talk about how stories lead to sales. We’ll explore how personal stories can be impactful and when to include them in your business context, but most importantly, how to pair the story you tell to tell to your clients wants, needs, fears, misconceptions, and more.
Here is what Emma and Erin want you to know about strategic storytelling
The importance of storytelling in business and marketing
How to learn what stories to tell for your business
How to do voice of customer research to understand what your audience needs from your messaging
How to find the connections between the research you’ve done and the stories you have to share
Why you can’t copy other people’s storytelling strategies
When and how to adjust your strategic storytelling campaigns
What community storytelling is and why business owners should consider using it
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
Quotes about strategic storytelling from Emma Boshart and Erin Ollila
“If you want to tell strategic stories, you need to first start with research.” – Emma Boshart
“If you’re going to be creating strategic stories, [research is] the be all, end all of where you need to start because you can’t tell a story that’s going to convert if you don’t know what your audience needs to hear.” – Emma Boshart
“You need to know why you’re telling the story you’re telling.” – Erin Ollila
“I think a lot of people think, well, I’m a good writer, so I can do this, and that might work in their benefit when they start. I’ve seen people be able to get good starts, but then after the start, there’s either a big stopping point or a bit of a crisis for them, because it’s like there are so many more things that go into this than just sitting down and writing the words.” – Erin Ollila
The different pre launch emails are going to be hitting different objection points and at different hesitations. So what we would do is structure out what those objections are first, what those topics you want to hit are, and then what stories connect those two together. And I would even go like one layer deeper and decide what emotions tie into those stories and how do they connect with the emotion that your ideal audience is feeling. Because if you can hit the emotion that your ideal client is feeling with that story, it’s going to make a much bigger difference.” – Emma Boshart
“The most important thing about the way you tell stories is that it’s authentically you. It’s honest to you, and people can tell immediately if you’re lying, if it’s not in your voice, if you are exaggerating for any reason.” – Emma Boshart
“When you think about the idea of conversion, I think everyone understands that stories drive interest, right? Whether it’s like a child with a bedtime story or whether it’s like meeting someone at a networking event and you kind of get caught up in someone’s story and you’re like, and what happened next? And what happened next?” – Erin OIlila
“[Storytelling] fills in the gaps between what you’re trying to say and what your audience is hearing because you are trying to get across different messages, whether that be what the benefits are, what the features are what you stand for, what you stand against, what makes you different than your competition, all of those different things that make you stand out against what is increasingly an incredibly saturated market across the board.” – Emma Boshart
“Story really comes into play, not only to build that trust factor, but [they]… really help people relate to you as a person to show what you’ve gone through, how you were able to move through those different struggles in order for people not only to trust you, but to build that credibility.” – Emma Boshart
“Community storytelling is learning to tell your stories through a community lens. And the easiest way to think about that is how can you tell a story where the end benefit is how you’re helping the community at large or you’re affecting a change within your community or systemic change or it doesn’t have to be on that global of a scale.” – Emma Boshart
Figure out now what your capacity is for your Black Friday sale.
Emma says, “So I would just say start with one strategic story. So pick a topic and then go to step two, which is just picking a want, need, pain point, hesitation belief, or false belief, and then connect those two, pick your story, and then just create that one little story into an email and see what happens.”
Emma Boshart is a messaging strategist and copywriting pro helping irreverent voices steal the spotlight. Since 2015, she’s been turning six and seven figure brands into mind-melting powerhouses, with messaging & strategy that builds relationships and sells. Today, she’s on a mission to help brands use storytelling to move people to action, and create positive community change.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
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Here’s the transcript for episode 096 on strategic storytelling with guest expert Emma Boshart
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
storytelling, client hesitations, storytelling marketing, storytelling and sales,, audience research, launches, copywriting, email marketing, false beliefs,
Erin Ollila, Emma Boshart
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello friends welcome back to the top coffee to me podcast today. We are lucky to have Mr. Beau shard here with us today to talk about all things strategic storytelling. But before we do that, one thing you might not know about Emma is that she actually did an episode of mystery diagnosis and a TV series for the 2012 Olympics, where she had the opportunity to work with the women’s rowing team, men’s basketball, and Canadian hurdler hurdler. That’s my you know, Massachusetts accent for you. Perdita Felicien, did I say that right? Who did? So is this when you’re when you were doing this? Was that when you were working as the freelance makeup artist as well?
Yeah, so I worked on Mac. And then while I was working at Mac, I also had a freelance makeup business on the side. Yeah. And I did an episode of mystery diagnosis, which was really odd. And
Erin Ollila 01:22
no, that’s totally cool. Yeah, he gets full street cred for me for them.
Yeah. Which was really neat. And then it’s, it’s annoying because that one episode is really hard to find even online. And then yeah, I got to do it was called Super body. So it was like in between on the 2012 Olympics, they did this thing where they would like go inside the athlete’s bodies, and then show like the mechanics of like, how their muscles worked. And everything was so cool. But then I got to do Yeah, that makeup for those three different, like athletic things during the Olympics, which was really cool. And then actually was really weird, because for the women’s rowing team, that was in Ontario. And then when I moved out west to Vancouver to go back to school, one of the women from that rowing team was actually in my class. So wow,
Erin Ollila 02:09
that’s super, That’s so random. So how did we get from doing makeup for Olympians to the television shows to crafting stories and writing copy?
Well, so I had to make a decision. After a while I got to sort of like a certain point in my makeup career. And it was either go to school for makeup and learn how to do monster makeup and all like the gore and scars and all of those things. So that would be going to like a $20,000 one year program in Toronto, or do something else. And so I actually decided to go to school 3000 miles away, I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast and took a fashion marketing program. And I thought at that point that I wanted to be a fashion buyer. But during that program, I realized all those jobs were actually back on the East Coast. And my husband ended up getting job and film and we really loved living on the West Coast. And I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do when I graduated because there wasn’t a lot of jobs for me here. And I ended up actually working at the school as a receptionist. And there was some opportunities to do writing while I was doing reception, so creating like biographies for some of the makeup students and some of the costuming students there. I dabbled in some background costuming for film, but those 18 hour days were just too much for me. So I actually have always liked working for myself, you know, it’s a whole different thing, you do that as well. So I ended up leaving to kind of pursue what I thought would be like a virtual assistant, but sort of since day one, I wanted to write her rolling stone that was kind of the dream moment, you know, 90s kid and that was a big deal. And why fell into website design and copywriting through kind of the VA space and just really ended up specializing in it. It grew from there. And that’s that. And here you are today, right? Yeah.
Erin Ollila 04:14
I like that. It’s kind of like every change was like a slight growth or, like sidestep of itself, if that makes sense. You know, so it’s not like you just you know, okay, I’m doing Olympians makeup to like, Okay, I’m going to like do this completely random thing I’ve never done before. So it’s kind of like your trajectory. While it might not have seemed like, you know, straight like straight. It’s kind of been angled and straight. Right.
I just kind of followed my creativity. I obviously wanted to stay employed while I was learning all these different things. So I did visual merchandising and I work in some fashion stores, all those different things, but when I wanted to sort of branch out onto my own, I’m actually kind of glad that I found the virtual assistant part of it because I ended up learning, you know, graphic design, I learned website design I learned copywriting, I learned all of those different things, social media marketing, I learned so many different aspects of the business. That’s really helped me to this point, because now I do everything in my own business, which I mean, at times is just very overwhelming. But I’ve always built my own websites, I’ve done all my social media marketing, I’ve done all my own graphic design. I learned copywriting from the bottom up. So I really put in my time. And I think that that’s been really beneficial for me, because I haven’t really skipped any of the steps, which
Erin Ollila 05:29
Yeah, no, great. And I think, I think it’s just, it’s so smart to say that because I think a lot of people think, Well, I’m a good writer, so I can do this. And that might work in their benefit when they start, like I’ve seen people be able to get like good starts, but then it’s after the start. There’s either like, you know, like a big stopping point or a bit of a crisis for them. Because it’s like, there are so many more things that go into this than just like sitting down and writing the words. So one thing that drives me crazy about like this general online marketing world market, like business world is that I hear so often from so business coaches, marketing coaches, everyone in the world that their clients, the people who follow them really need to learn how to just tell stories. And I hear this so often. And I’m always like, well, then how are you going to teach them how to do so because just telling someone like, let’s tell stories does absolutely nothing to help them figure out how to be strategic with their stories? So this is both an easy question, and maybe the hardest question that we’ll have for you today. But how how does someone go about learning what stories that they need to tell in their business?
So I think that’s probably the most annoying thing that I find in the online marketing space as well, is that people have just, for years now just been saying, tell your story. And then they just walk away and just leave it at that. That’s all well, and good. If you have a story of like, you know, I met Eddie Vetter the other day, and people are like, Oh, super cool. And then you know, awesome. But again, only a small handful of people want to hear that. And that’s the story that you tell them, then you walk away. But that’s not going to make you any money, that might give you like an attaboy, and then people, you know, move on. But that’s not going to stop the scroll. So if you want to tell strategic stories, you need to first start with research. And so you want to research your audience, whether that is through surveying your audience, or going to social media, and checking out what the people in your ideal audience are talking about. Or you want to do data mining, so you know, going to Amazon or going into your competitors, all of the regular things that you would do with data mining, the process would start with you doing whatever you would do for your regular research. So that’s finding out the wants and needs of your ideal client. The pain points, the hesitations, the benefits, false beliefs, and the solutions. And you’re going to take all of that information and put that into a spreadsheet. So if people aren’t familiar with the research process, it can be a pretty hefty process. And so you really need to be aware of who your ideal client is. But if you’re going to be creating strategic stories, that’s the be all end all of where you need to start, because you can’t tell a story that’s going to convert, if you don’t know what your audience needs to hear. So the research process is the first point. And then once you have all of those things down, you can start to think about what stories you need to tell this is kind of how I start. So if you have an email that you want to send, you don’t want to start with a story, what you’re going to want to do is head over to that research document. And you can choose from one of those things. So again, your wants your need, the pain point hesitation, the benefit to false belief or the solution, you’re going to pick one of those things. And then you’re going to think of a story that connects to that. So once you’ve nailed down those two things, you hunt down the story that connects those two with the purpose. What I mean by that is like you’re going to establish an emotional connection. You want to build credibility, show off your expertise, create community, or it’s, you know, something that’s going to have to do with sales, an example of those things. So I have a client that is she has an online book club. And so the topic for her audience would be membership enrollment. So that’s the email so she’s sending it out for membership enrollment. One of the hesitations for her market is recurring payments, that’s a big hesitation they are always afraid that if they get into her membership that they’re gonna get stuck in the recurring payments. And so the story that we came up with is that is a Gen X thing or you know, if you grew up with Columbia House, it was the sign up for Are 10 CDs for one penny, but you could never get out of that they were sending you CDs for the rest of it. Yes, I
Erin Ollila 10:06
still remember this. Yeah.
So the story that we came up with is that, you know, back in the 90s, you sign up for Columbia House, it was 10 CDs for a penny, we understand that you have some post traumatic stress from that, but we have set this membership up like Spotify, get in, get out. Easy, breezy. And so we’ve connected that back to their target hesitation. And so it’s a meaningful story. And it’s going to, you know, take away that hesitation. So does that kind of make sense, or, yeah, that
Erin Ollila 10:36
makes perfect sense. And I honestly think if everyone’s been listening for the last like six minutes, you just kind of master class within like six minutes amount of time.
Emily Aborn 10:47
As Aaron likes to say, Hey, friends, I’m interrupting to say, raise your hand or nod your head if you’re obsessed with Aaron’s talk copy to me podcast. I am too. I love listening and learning to all of her wisdom and ideas on copywriting and SEO. And if you love this podcast, I want to invite you to listen in and fall in love with my podcast too. I’m Emily, a born host of the content with character podcast, where I share from my heart tears on topics around marketing, visibility, collaboration and the content you need to grow your business in a way that’s true to the human you are and distinctly you. So when you’re done with this episode, be sure to check out content with character anywhere that you’d like to listen to your podcasts. Back to you, Erin.
Erin Ollila 11:35
Now, if people are planning on, you know, I know not everyone likes this. But I personally like to plan ahead for lots of things like I could I could content ideate for like, like years at a time probably. So when if I’m sitting down, I’m trying to choose some topics and people do like to plan ahead. Is it helpful to maybe have like an idea of reoccurring things you might want to talk about,
I 100% like to create story vaults for my clients. So we could have it, it depends what you need them for. So there’s a few different options for launches, you’re going to have the different pre launch emails, we’re going to be hitting different objection points and at different hesitations. So what we would do is structure out what those objections are, first, what those topics you want to hit are, and then what stories connect those two together. And I would even go like one layer deeper and decide, you know, what emotions tie into those stories? And how did they connect with the emotion that your ideal audience is feeling? Because if you can hit the emotion, that your ideal client is feeling with that story, you’re really, it’s going to make a much bigger difference. And so I have so many documents that I have my clients go through, that really just lays it out super simple, like, you know, what was the emotion that you were feeling? You know, where were you? What did you see? What did you feel, and we can just, you know, bang out a story that way for the topic, and you know, the objection or the pain point. And you can do that so far ahead for your launches, and for your pre launches, and then just have this story bank that doesn’t even necessarily have to connect to anything. But you can just have different prompts. And just, you know, every time you think of a story, just lay it out in there. So you can just pull from those because there’s nothing worse than just sitting in front of a document and thinking like I have nothing to say I have no stories to tell. I mean, I’ve been going through that for the last year just feeling like so creatively dead.
Erin Ollila 13:39
I saw your post about that on social and I thought it was such a good post. We’re speaking you’re talking about like back in the beginning of like, you know, your VA training helped you because now you can do everything in your business. When I saw that. I’m like, wow, she’s got great graphics. Even though she’s talking about being blocked, it’s still a great story about being blocked. So Right. Yeah, the gold stars to you there.
Thank you. Yeah, but I’m like I, I tend to give my clients I think it’s like probably 30 Different story prompts. Going back to you know, the first time this happened, or, you know, the worst time this happened. And it can just any, you can literally connect any story to make it strategic as long as you’re connecting the right topic with something you’ve researched. And really what you’re looking for are those gaps. So what you want to do is connect between what your audience is hearing and what your brand is saying. There’s always something missing there. And so those are really the most important things.
Erin Ollila 14:41
Yeah, I think everything you’re saying is like, like I said before, this is a masterclass in itself. Because, you know, most of what I hear from my clients or just you know, friends and colleagues is like, I can’t like I don’t know what to write, like, I’m just so stuck and they’re always just starting from a blank page. Again, because they hear things like well if you’re doing email marketing, you’re ROI is this person and you just you know, people connect through stories. And while all of that is true, if you that you need to know why you’re telling the story or telling, you know, like I have I come from the creative writing world, my master’s degree was in literature. So if I wanted to tell a story about a love romance, let’s just say, I have to understand why I’m sharing the details about these people. Like I could talk about, like, you know, let’s say Joe is the main character in my love romance. If I start talking about Joe’s love of like, what his favorite flavor of ice cream and like what he does on Sunday nights, what shows you watch, like, they have to be relevant to the story that I’m telling. And that all translates exactly back into the business world. One example that I share sometimes with clients who struggle to understand this that I think makes a lot of sense is let’s just use an extreme example. Because a lot of people go right to the extreme when it comes to story, I very often hear like, well, I don’t have stories like nothing really big has happened to me, because they expect that they need this like whirlwind story to prove themselves. So let’s talk about addiction for a second, if you had a problem with addiction, and you then became someone who helps people set up like CRMs, like honey, book, dubsado, and stuff, you don’t need to tell your addiction story. Within your business story. It is just because it was either traumatic or life changing. It doesn’t relate to your business. However, I have another client who literally this is the reason I can tell the story did have addiction problems, he ended up being he was a millionaire, lost all his money, became homeless, and then really kind of clawed his way out of it to become a millionaire. Again, selling houses. And the reason why this story is so important to it is the loss of all of his money originally led him to being homeless. And the idea of being homeless was what made him go into the real estate industry. And the only reason he has been so successful is literally just knowing how important the idea of a home is to him. And that’s just driven him. So big one because he was comfortable sharing the story. I just want to like put that disclaimer there. If you are not comfortable sharing stories, you do not do not share them, like your own comfort level. And gut check will tell you everything you need to know about storytelling. But because he was comfortable, that made sense in his story, share this trauma thing. However, if it’s not related, please do not share your life stories like that are not one something you’re comfortable with or to something that your audience really needs to hear. Because I think that’s like one of the biggest, like, ways people go wrong. But to bring this back to the original point I was trying to make when I hear you explain it the way that you do, I think a lot of people can understand if they know why they’re telling that story, the idea of like the topic, and then they know what people what will help people move through and maybe the route that they’d like them to take, which could be like again, the you know, thing that hesitations the excitements and wants and needs, then they can then the story just appears right? Like, and it doesn’t have to be the you know, I love the Columbia health story, right. But it doesn’t have to be something like pop culture, you could literally be like the idea for me as an example, like I could, like memberships don’t work because we’ll actually things like Hollywood Video or blockbuster back in the day, like I just couldn’t bring myself around, back to bringing my videos back. Like it was always something that like kind of like just killed me like I could not return my videos on time. So you might think to like hearing this, like, well, what the heck does that have to do with your business? Aaron, you just told me to only tell stories related to my business. That would be great, though, if it came to things like where I was trying to how have someone’s objection that they have to do something in a very small period of time where I could be like, Hey, guy, like can’t do it quickly, either. So if I can’t do it quickly, I’m not gonna force that on my clients or people who are like taking my courses you have all the time you need, right? So when we know that that might be something people worry about these these little random tidbits of our life just kind of pop up, right? We don’t have to search for things. If you know what to say and why you’re saying it. You’ll know when to use it.
Right? And also, just making sure that you’re, like you said that the pop culture thing, if that is you need to really look to your audience as well. Like the example that I gave you, her audience is very Gen X. And you need to look to your audience. And also the story should be in like your voice, your tone, your vibe, and playing off of your audience. The most important thing about the way you tell stories is that it’s authentically you. It’s honest to you, and people can tell immediately if you’re lying. If it’s not in your voice. If you You are exaggerating for any reason. And I think that’s where people are getting, like kinda like the heebie jeebies from some of these stories like how people were always, when you see those, like I made $100,000, you know, when I just started my business in the first 60 days, and you can, too. Yeah, those are gross. They’re real stories. And we need to move away from that stuff. And I think that’s maybe what turns people off when they hear like, just tell your story, especially with origin stories, like you were saying, it doesn’t have to be a trauma focused story, it doesn’t your origin story does not have to be everything you’ve gone through. No, it needs to be a simple, you know, before time, then there was some sort of explosion that happened. And then there was an after time, but your origin story could be a five year period. And you just pick a tiny bit of it out, no one knows that whole story except for you. And you get to decide what part of that story you want to tell. And it’s whatever you want it to be as long as it relates to you and to your audience in a really honest, authentic way. Like my origin story, started, like in 2007, and went all the way up to 2015. When I started my business, that is a long time to choose something out of Yeah, but I know when I choose what I want to tell you out of it.
Erin Ollila 21:31
Yeah. And what I love about I love that you kind of told your origin story to start with, because, you know, it’s exactly the example you’re saying it doesn’t have to be this big, traumatic thing. But it needs to have like these moments, right? So for you, they were tiny moments, they were you deciding, you know, like you wanted to adjust your career, because you weren’t sure makeup was was really the full direction you wanted to go. So then you tried something creatively, then you kept moving through it. And each step that you took in your creative journey, taught you something new about what you wanted for the next step, right. So it was working traditionally, until it was working for yourself until it was like niching. And adjusting that niche until you get to the point where you’re really happy to be there. That’s the That’s the origin story. Like, I’m similar in that, like, my origin story was pretty much like my husband being like, so are you going to do this for other people forever? Or do you got to do this for yourself? I pay for the health insurance. And I was like, oh, no, like, I used to work in HR. So for me, I’m like, I don’t have paid time off. And he was just like, well just do it. Like that’s it. That’s how sexy my story is. It was like, you know, Kitchen Kitchen conversation when my husband is kind of like, I’m honestly sick of you just doing this for other people. Like you might as well just make money for yourself. And I was like, if you say which really honestly, it wasn’t that tame and pathetic, but it was really because I was being encouraged. I don’t know if I would have taken that step myself. But what’s the what’s the exciting thing in that like a husband and a wife sitting down in their kitchen? Yeah, you know, like someone’s kind of pushing someone else out of their comfort, a little level little like that makes no difference for my clients like,
it is very relatable.
Erin Ollila 23:10
Totally, but a meaning like, it’s not like, it’s like crazy and wild and someone’s gonna hear and be like, Oh, that Erin Ollila young? Oh, yeah. Her husband encouraged her to stop working. I’m totally going to work with her now. Right. But where, where that story may kind of be ordinary and relatable. Like you said, there are other little facets that people might hear through the tiny stories that I tell or through the little details that they learn about me. And then they decide, Oh, I like that about her right, or like, Oh, she’s relatable in this way. And that all comes from like, learning who your clients are, who how you want to present yourself to them in regards to your business, and what you’re comfortable sharing,
right. And the thing is, all the stories don’t need to be big, like if you are doing a launch. Typically, if you’re going to send out 10 emails, you’re going to have three longer stories in those emails, you know, the objection Buster, the hesitation Buster, maybe a big overcoming of a false belief. And then you’re going to have seven smaller stories that might not even be in those emails, they might be scattered throughout your social media. So people just need to take the pressure off themselves of needing to have these big life changing stories. They just need to be relatable. They just need to connect with your audience. And that can only come when you know your audience. And you can only know your audience when you put in the time to research and I think that’s really the key piece that’s missing is taking the time to research your audience. And I know when you’re just starting out it’s really difficult because you’re not sure how to research them. Or you just don’t really know who to research and That’s okay. But I have noticed like since 2020, I’m still getting a lot of the same launches sent to me with the same stories. And people just don’t have the same wants and needs anymore things have changed. Launches definitely aren’t performing the same way this year as they were last year or the year before. And so to be seen, so many launches coming in, that are just carbon copies to what they were last year, people cannot be surprised that they’re not performing the same, because you’re just not you can’t relate in the same way, right now, as you could two years ago. People just aren’t the same. Yeah. And so the only way you can find out how our wants have changed, or how our hesitations have changed, or what we’re looking for now is to interview people or survey them and find out how those things have changed. And then connect in a different way with new stories.
Erin Ollila 25:56
Yeah, and in regard to copying, like you were mentioning, copying your own launches, but like, this is also why it doesn’t work to copy anyone else’s strategic launches as well. Because you’re going to try to fit your story into a template that’s been created for their own business for their audience. And it does not perform exactly the way that it would need to perform for your business. You know, you know, your client that you mentioned earlier, who has a book club is going to have very different needs than someone who is selling, you know, physical training, right and membership, right? So you can’t, yes, inspiration and like the idea of a swipe as as, as an inspiration or motivation to get you started is one thing. But to look at someone else’s sales strategy, let’s just say the 10 emails, like you mentioned, right? And say, Okay, I really liked this person’s, you know, sales emails, I’m going to go back and look at them, I save them. You can’t just take Okay, email one does this email too does that, because the strategy is based on their individual needs and their individual audience as well.
Yeah, some people need 15 emails over a five day launch. Some people only need five emails, it all depends on your audience. And that’s going to change year to year. And so as much as it sucks to have to put that work in every single time, if you want to have a successful launch. That’s what you’d have to do.
Erin Ollila 27:23
Yeah, agreed. So I think we’ve done a great job covering the How to for story telling, but just in case anyone is kind of apprehensive as the right word here, but still like thinking to themselves, well, like I don’t need story as much as you guys are trying to convince me that I need story. Can we talk a little bit more about the reasons why story is so important? When it comes to sales or connection or anything like that, like, what does research stories do for our business?
Well, what it really does is it fills in the gaps between what you’re trying to say, and what your audience is hearing. Because you are trying to get across different messages, whether that be you know, what the benefits are, what the features are, what you stand for, what you stand against, what makes you different than your competition, all of those different things that make you stand out against what is increasingly an incredibly saturated market across the board. You can’t just do that, or it’s very difficult to do that with just a bulleted list of features or benefits. And so the way that we’ve been doing this for, you know, 3000 10,000, I’m not even sure how many years is with stories, because you can connect with somebody on an emotional level. It builds your credibility, it helps you show off your expertise, because you’re able to use specific examples that brings in clients that you’ve worked with, or you can talk about, you know, a specific situation that you’ve been a part of, depending on what type of industry that you work within, you know, whether it’s speaking on a stage or, you know, depending on where you what industry you work in, you’re going to have a different type of example. But those stories really let you give a very specific example of something that someone else cannot copy, like, you cannot get an email from somebody take a story that they’ve told and plop that into your email. It’s just not possible. It makes you uncopyable. Yeah, and so I mean, you can choose to not use storytelling that’s completely up to you but you’re just leaving so much on the table when there is not a market out there. That is just not so saturated, that the only thing or one The only things that helps you stand out is you. And the only thing that differentiates you from anyone else at this point really, is the stories that you have to tell.
Erin Ollila 30:12
Yeah, I agree. And I think even in regard to like the idea of like conversion, when you take that a step, like, pass, pass you as the business, right? When you think about the idea of conversion, I think like, everyone understands that storage drive interest, right? Whether it’s like a child with a bedtime story, or whether it’s like meeting someone at a networking event, and you kind of get caught up in someone’s throwing you like and what happened next? And what happened next. Right. So then now let’s take that idea of like story as an interest driver and take it to conversion. Well, to make a conversion, we need to be able to make a decision as a buyer, right? And how do we make that decision? I mean, that’s a little bit more complicated than this conversation. But there’s many things right, like, there’s certain touch points, there’s having enough information that’s feeling like that you have trust, or you feel confidence in the person you’re buying from, all of these little things kind of get packaged up. So when you’re able to take the story lens to something sales specific when you want someone to convert, being able to connect with them on that level, share something, whether it’s a personal story, or the idea of a story that they would understand, like, you know, like the Columbia House example, something that they can connect with, it helps them make those decisions that are necessary before they can convert. So it’s not just about an eye, you’re agreeing. So I’m not lecturing you on this one. But it’s not just about the idea of like setting yourself apart and having something to say and nurturing your clients. It’s that nurture through sales part to like, you’re giving them the power to make their own personal decisions based on what you share with them. And if you just do like you’re mentioning a list of features and benefits, I think it makes it harder for them to make the decision because like, everyone has a list of features and benefits. But what makes you different from the next person exactly like the wedding industry. As an example, I always I’ve worked with a lot of photographers before. And I think about this, it’s like, you all have beautiful pictures. I mean, sure, some of you might not. But in that case, if you’re the one who doesn’t have the prettiest pictures, you got more work to do than we need to worry about when it comes to copy. So we’ll just take five wedding photographers with gorgeous images on their site. And they all have those bullet points of like, this is the pricing. This is the amount of time when you have a consumer who’s comparing those five people, they’re comparing the most minut details together to make a decision, like okay, maybe that person gives an extra half an hour or this person has like 10 extra pages in their photo album, that does not help them at all. They want the idea of a wedding, it’s there’s no real pain point except maybe finance. It’s that level of excitement. Like they want someone that’s gonna capture something that goes beyond an image a memory, right? So if you can build that story where your competitor is not doing that, they’re no longer comparing apples to apples and orange oranges. Again, they’re comparing a feeling that you’re giving them, they’re being able to say, Okay, well, this person has not built a rapport with me at all, but this person has kind of connected with me through some maybe a Services Guide or blog post, like I feel more confident making the decision because they seem more professional, they seem like trustworthy. And that’s what story does to build that part too.
Yeah, I find because I work with a lot of life coaches. And I mean, that industry, there’s life coaches everywhere, and that there’s life coach, because there’s not necessarily I mean, there is some accreditation, but not all life coaches have it. And so there’s a big trust issue, when people are looking at who they want to hire as a life coach. And so story really comes into play. They’re not only to build that trust factor, but also to differentiate between who you want, guiding you through whatever your struggles are. And so those stories really help people relate to you as a person to show what you’ve gone through how you were able to move through those different struggles in order for people not only to trust you, but to build that credibility. And that’s a huge factor in a lot of different industries. But it’s also those smaller stories, because you’re able to see, you know, I have that in common with this person. And no matter whether you really like it or not, because this is kind of what I struggle with a little bit on social media, but you have to like the person to work with them. And so it’s those little stories that, you know, you’re like, Oh, I like that too, or that’s really interesting about that person. And so
we’re thinking that repel people, which is exactly totally awesome. Yes.
You everyone’s not gonna like you. Yeah. So that’s when you are taking you know, that stand for that stand against.
Erin Ollila 35:11
Yeah. Yeah, like I think about like my Instagram, I’m so on, on strategic on social media but like, I maybe will share some of my podcasts on there but the other things you’re gonna see are like my garden or me being at the library or going to the park. And, you know, maybe someone’s gonna be like, why are there tomatoes? Right? Like, if that turns you off? Cool? Because like, I mean, I like I like my garden. Or if, or someone might see it and be like, Oh, my gosh, I’ve been trying so hard to grow tomatoes, like what are you doing, you know, that’s making these tomatoes so big, then there’s that connection point where we can kind of talk more about it. So silly example for someone who is not trying to be strategic, who definitely probably could be a little bit more strategic, but it’s those little things of just saying like, you know, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I have these tomatoes this big this year, I’ve never done that helps kind of build rapport with people who, maybe they be a client, or maybe they’re just in that cheerleader group of like people who like you on the internet, and would be happy to share things like your launches, or share your name, if someone that they know is looking for someone who does what you do,
right and with, with followers on social media, those people are also generally going to be cold, they’re moving to warm. So the stories that you tell them, there aren’t necessarily going to be the same stories that you would tell in a launch, because they’re going to be at a different point in the funnel.
Erin Ollila 36:34
So before we end today, I did have one more question I wanted you to answer for me because I something we had talked about earlier was the idea of community storytelling, and how that kind of impacts not only your business, but like the larger global community as well. What is community storytelling.
So community storytelling is just kind of a shift from like the typical hero’s journey, which I think a lot of people are growing a bit tired of like the whole story brand, which I think you know, is a little bit played out at this point. So community storytelling is learning to tell your stories through a community lens. And the easiest way to think about that is what, how can you tell a story where the end benefit is how you’re helping the community at large, or you’re effecting a change within your community, or systemic change, or it doesn’t have to be on that global scale, it kind of depends what type of business you have. So for example, liquid death, their whole mission is death to plastic. So that is a pretty simple example of a community storytelling, everything they do is based around death to plastic, someone like Rachael Rogers, who has Hello, seven, she has a very community focused mission, you know, she wants more women and more women of color to be millionaires. And she tells a lot of stories that are told through the success of the people in her community. And she talks a lot about systemic change through the community that she runs, we just don’t see a lot of people who are talking about the changes they’d like to see in their community, whether it’s, you know, the copywriting community, you know, we just don’t want to see a lot of, you know, bro marketing or those types of things. And it’s really just simple little shifts to this type of stories that you’re telling. And that might just mean telling more of your clients stories, the changes they’re making out in the world. I know when Brenda McGowan did her pre launch, she was raising money for an organization that helped a kids with dyslexia. And so she was telling that story. She was raising money for that. And that’s a community change. And these are just things that help the audience that you have relate to in a totally different way. And it’s just something that needs to be done very authentically, you have to be 100% honest, because people can see through you in a second. And so if it’s not something that speaks to you, then don’t even try it. But I just think it’s something that the larger community, especially on social media, and especially younger generations is something that they’re really looking for is people to start telling a new kind of story. We’re just really tired of like, good versus evil, you versus AI, all of those different things. And just being able to tell this new type of story is something that’s really exciting. It’s exciting when I see personal brands start to tell those stories and I think the easier way to do it is to start telling stories based on any kind of clients you have if they’re if their mission is more community You focus if you’re not, or just trying to make those little shifts within your industry or within your community or any of those types of things, and love that.
Erin Ollila 40:10
Okay, so we’ve reached the end of the episode here. And my favorite question for everyone is if you could give a teeny tiny homework assignment to our listeners based on the conversation that we’ve had today, what would you give them?
So I would just say start with one strategic story. So pick a topic and then go to step two, which is just picking a want need pain point hesitation, belief, or false, sorry, or false belief. And then connect those to pick your story. And then just create that one little story into an email and see what happens.
Erin Ollila 40:45
Thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it and everyone I’ll see you again back next week. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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