If you’ve been reading my comments for any length of time, you know I’m passionate about the “power of story”. I believe story is the promotional currency of this generation. This morning, I read an e-newsletter from Marcia Yudkin. Marcia is a gifted communicator whom I follow. The headline for this blog is from Marcia. I asked Marcia if I could share her comments with you here and she graciously granted permission.
In writing copy, whether it’s for your website, the dust jacket for your book, or your corporate newsletter, pay attention to move beyond the facts of what you want to share and find a way to share a story…
Website “About” pages, publicity materials and promotions come to life when they shape facts using the framework of a familiar, cherished story line. Appealing narratives
* Underdog succeeds. Since the days of the Bible, we love to root for David against Goliath, the unknown who overtakes from behind, the unglamorous tortoise who beats the boastful hare.
* Metamorphosis. A caterpillar turning into a butterfly fascinates us. Just beware of too many transformations in your story. The butterfly then turning into a bird and then a monkey becomes bewildering.
* Discovery. How did you invent, find or formulate what you’re now known for?
* Triumph. A goal reached, obstacles defeated, the quest completed.
* Righting a wrong. As long as the injustice remedied was uncontroversial to your audience, this makes a stirring tale.
* Unexpected joy. The pitch for my Launch Your Information Empire course describes how in 1992, my husband and I stacked the dollar bills and checks that came in from an offer so high the piles fell over. Describe the surprising fun resulting from your efforts.
FIND YOUR SIGNATURE STORY: Stories can connect with clients where conventional marketing-speak falls flat. Discover branding that highlights your unique qualifications, intrigues perfect customers and makes you (or your company) the one to choose.
If you’d like to connect with Marcia, you may do so be contacting her at www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm
I recently came back from a financial success seminar hosted by two clients we serve, Ryan and Jamie Smith. It was three days filled with wit, wisdom, and tons of practical insights on wealth-building strategies for these tough economic times.
But what has stuck with me the most is a simple phrase Ryan shared in one of his talks. He said, “You serve others to make it, and you give to others to keep it.”
I like that.
In our pursuit of the security, peace, and comfort that money can provide — and we all know that money, in and of itself, is not the true source of those benefits — it’s important to keep that “others view” in focus.
We were put on this earth not merely to look out for ourselves, but to serve others. In fact, serving others must be at the core of our motivation to succeed. Sometimes I think it’s good to be reminded of that.
Your motivation to write, to produce, to dream, and to accomplish — when rooted in the value of serving others — will bring you the peace you seek.
If you are waiting to be financially secure in order to start giving to others, you probably won’t ever start. The time to give, to serve, and to be charitable is now. To quote a book by Pat Williams and Jay Strack called The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
So today, who can you serve? How can you serve? Lift up your head and see the “others view” that needs to be your focus.
A key aspect of successful marketing is differentiation…how to make yourself stand out from, not just your competition, but all the other distractions that may not be direct completion to your product or service. They do lay down a minefield of obstacles that can keep prospective customers from responding to YOU.
Here are three things to keep in mind. I call them the three “R’s” of good branding.
Resonate – your message needs to resonate in the mind and heart of your target audience. Your tag line, your central appeal, your book title needs to not just make sense inside the head of your consumers, it needs to create an image or an emotion. Why was Chicken Soup For The Soul such a phenomenally popular series of books? Was the wit and wisdom offered in those books really that compelling or different than the thousands of similar books that were published before? Perhaps. But the author’s were very smart in creating a title for their book that connected with their audience. Think about it…chicken soup for your soul? It doesn’t even make sense. How many times has your soul cried out for soup of any kind? And yet, when you read or say the phrase, you instinctively get it. The same is true for John Grey’s book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. The title doesn’t have to make sense…it just has to resonate in the mind and heart of the potential reader.
Repetition – you hear a message over and over and it will tend to have staying power. Think of all the slogans and tag lines that you can recall. We do chicken right. Just do it. Save money, live better. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Aflac! Tastes great, less filling. Most of these tag lines you remember because you’ve heard them over and over.
Recall – if you have a tag line or title that resonates with your audience and they hear it enough times, you will create recall or remembering! That’s what companies pay big bucks to creative agencies to come up with. They understand that if consumers can remember their product or service the next time they need it, or simply are out shopping, that will translate into more sales….or if you want to stick with our “R” theme, RESPONSE, or RESULTS or REWARDS! (hey, I’m on a roll here.)
So when planning your marketing strategy, book title, campaign theme or slogan, start with thinking about what will create emotion and resonate in the heart and mind of the consumer. Make sure they have ample opportunity to hear it over and over again. Do these first two “R’s” well and you’ve got a good shot at enjoying the benefits of the second two; recall and results!
If you would like us to help you with your brand strategies, call us. We can help you, and your team, bring a new level of clarity and connection with your consumers!