5 Strategies To Write High-Converting Stories
Updated: Apr 7, 2019
Whether you’re writing a personal story to walk people step-by-step through a problem you went through and how you got out of it… or a lived happily ever after story to show how your product/service changed people’s lives… you need to know how to tell it.
It doesn’t matter what kind of story you have to tell…
It doesn’t matter if you can’t find any interesting story to share…
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any personal story at all…
In the end, the ultimate goal is to get the sale.
So what matters the most is knowing how to tell even the most awful story in a compelling way
I remember when I first read about the strategies you’re about to discover… I was a 16-year old teen wondering what the heck I could do to start bringing in the money… I had already understood money didn't work like this:
Of course, I had the “shiny object syndrome”. I’d hear about something business-related and I wouldn’t doubt to go after it. At that time, my brother had just finished a copywriting course, and I thought it would be worth giving it a shot. I went to my brother’s bedroom and here’s how the conversation went by:
ME: “Hey, what do you think if you share your account with me so I can take the course too?”
HIM: “Sure, why not?”
Hmm.. that was too easy, I thought.
ME: “Great, thanks, what’s your password then?
HIM: “Oh, but you should pay me half the price first.”
BAAAH! I knew there had to be a catch! Of course, I wasn’t willing to pay $500 bucks for the course… I had more interesting stuff to save money for. For a whole week, I would go day and night after him using WORTHLESS negotiation techniques to get his account… only to get the same response: “Pay me 50% of the course and we’ll share the account.”
At this point, you might be thinking “Why didn’t he share the account with you for free?”... Excellent question… I had it too. The thing is that I felt something deep in my gut telling me I needed to take that course. Every time I got rejected, I felt my body heat up intensely (the same feeling you get when you regret not having done something).
Sometimes during meals my brother talked about how great it felt making money writing copy for his first clients. He seemed so happy... I can’t say if he did it just to bother me, or if he actually was doing FURIOUSLY well.
What had he learned from that course that had been so valuable?
It turns out that going after him for the whole week wasn’t a good strategy… and I ended up paying the $500 bucks… cash.
First week… second week... third… fourth... I devoured the course in 4 damn weeks! Four weeks full of maximum-productivity power sessions (90-minute blocks) chunked off specifically for the course. Every day, I would spend AT LEAST one power session watching the course videos and another one taking action… practicing...writing...rewriting. That’s how I went discover the 5 Strategies to Write High-Converting Stories I'm about to reveal.
1 - Strong Hook
Having a well-crafted hook is the first element of a great story. It should be given a good thought, being also the first thing people will look at when they see your post/website/ad.
The hook is a single sentence that should demonstrate why people should keep reading. Give a strong statement that will make people want to follow through.
There’s only ONE purpose for your hook, and that is to catch people’s attention immediately… creating enough curiosity to make people read the next sentence of your story.
More common than not, people make the horrific, awful, unforgivable mistake of asking for permission to tell a story. This goes like: “Please, let me tell you a quick story...” NO, NO, BIG NO! Never ask for permission. Link your story with the previous text creatively… people will thank you for that by reading through.
If you’re having trouble crafting a hook, just do a Google search and you’ll find plenty of reliable sources on how to do so. To check if you already have a good one, you should ask yourself 3 questions…
Does my hook create curiosity?
Does my hook catch my eye?
In how many seconds did the hook catch my eye? (They should be less than 5)
It’s always better to get others backup, so ask people around you if they can read your hook and answer the questions above for you too. If you’re able to craft an eye-catcher hook for your story… and it takes less than 5 seconds for you to be drawn into the next sentence, then you’re ready to move on to strategy #2.
2 - Visualizing = Memorable
Details are the key to making your story visualizable. Allow the audience to go visualize the story their own way. What I mean is….. Don’t pour in too many details and try to make them visualize your story how you do.
Also, very important… let them create their own visualization in first person as if they were YOU in the story. Everything that’s happening within the story “is happening to them”. The whole point here is to make the reader feel they know you very well. You’re telling a story that shows who you are, open-hearted.
What’s most powerful of making people visualize themselves in your story is that you’ll be seen as a very interesting person - no matter the situation.
The more memorable your story becomes, the more memorable you are. The more memorable you are, the more people will trust you… and the more people trust you, the more they’ll buy from you.
There’s a science behind this... something the brain is associated with called MIRRORING. That’s how people are able to visualize themselves in the speaker’s environment… along with the details. When this happens, the reader’s brain connects with that of the speaker/writer.
And this leads to strategy #3…
3 - Relatability
Telling your story to the right people… finding common ground between your readers and you….. saying you’ve been there before and making readers visualize themselves in your story are all good tactics to make your story relatable. Relatability is a really, REALLY important characteristic according to consumers of the modern digital world.
Did you see THAT? At the right inferior corner... 78% of consumers say that relevance is somewhat or very important.
Nobody will relate with your story if you talk about something extravagant no one else can afford or have been through. It just doesn’t work like that, and you’ll be seen as an egotist. Before writing your story, ask yourself: How can people relate to this?
4 - Emotional Rollercoaster
This is one of my favorites... because in my head, it looks something like this:
Keeping the audience feeling good the whole time won’t help you sell at all. You should attack their pain points in your story… “I’ve been there, and I know how it feels, not being able to spare some time with your family, not being able to buy popcorn in the theater without grabbing your under-couch savings.”
When they’re logged all the way doooown, that’s where your product appears. Your product is the hero that helped you get out of that disappointing situation. What you’re doing is to make your product be “BATMAN” and you are “Robin”. Your product is the hero, and you’re just helping that hero shine in the light.
Here I bring up 4 Simple Steps to Create An Emotional Rollercoaster:
1) Walk them so low that they feel the pain. You know how they are feeling, you’ve been there already.
2) Walk them to saving grace. Tell them what you can do for them.
3) Bring them back down. “But I don’t know if you qualify.”
4) Bring them back up… “But maybe you qualify.” Give them the way to qualify.
5 - Open Loops
This is the most epic strategy for basically everything, including TV Shows, Netflix Series, Movies, etc. Have open loops in your story - something that leaves the audience in suspense, wanting to know what’s next already. These will draw people into your story.
ASK QUESTIONS through the story that people want to know the answer to. They’ll be waiting for you to answer those questions. And actually, you will… periodically… through the rest of your copy.
Here's a quick bonus… 3 Undeniable Keys to Write High-Converting Stories!
#1 - Emotion
You know people are mostly, if not completely driven my emotions. Take advantage by evoking such in your audience. Remember strategy #4? You’ll be the driver of the emotional rollercoaster.
#2 - Connection
Find common ground, build rapport, give details and show who you really are. Telling the truth will make people relate to you, and a connection will be established.
#3 - Content
68% of consumers find content that informs and educates to be most valuable.
Your story should leave a message… a new perspective… a new insight… anything you want, but your audience must find it worthy and unique.
Alright, you’re almost done… but before you leave… remember the story I told you at the beginning?... about my uselessness when negotiating to get FREE access for a copywriting course? Well, I never told you why my brother made me pay the $500 bucks… did I? There you have it, an open loop!
Oh, wait… you might also be wondering which copywriting course I took, don’t you? Hmmm… you surely do.
It turns out that my brother had me pay for the course for ONE single reason - one that still resonates in my mind...
We humans commit to what we pay for.
He knew I would only commit to becoming a copywriter If I paid for it. Today, I’m more than happy to say he was totally right… and I thank him... publicly.
As for the latter, I took Anik Singal’s Copywriting Academy course. Maybe you want to give it a glance. And… before you go, just remember:
"Great stories happen to those who can tell them." -Ira Glas
To your storytelling success,
P.S. Which is your favorite strategy? Share it with me in the comments below!
P.P.S. Know someone who might benefit from this article? Let them walk with you through the art of storytelling by sharing it with them... they'll appreciate it.