Remember our last contact? When I told you my story about being ‘first on the scene’ at a road accident?
It was edge of the seat stuff – for both of us – and I promised to give you the three reasons why I shared this ‘raw’ experience with you…
Here they are, in order of importance…
No. 3 – It helped me to process what I’d experienced
You probably picked up that I was a little shaken by the experience. It was valuable for me to be mindful of what I’d just been through – writing it down helped me to work through how I reacted to the situation and put the situation into perspective.
No. 2 – There was a link
Having the perspective on the experience also enabled me to identify a more practical link – i.e. the need for preparedness, with a Plan B always ready to go. In essence it was the ‘moral of the story – more importantly it gave a ‘take-away’ or tangible lesson from the experience that I could share with you.
No. 1 – I had a gripping story to tell
How many times have you been held up in city traffic by a simple, minor accident? What often happens is people aren’t slowing down because they’re being careful. They’re looking at the accident scene.
I knew I had something valuable to convey – but it was important that I got the headline and opening paragraph right in order for you to continue reading.
The key ‘instructive moment’ for you is to think about how you can use a story or recent ‘wow!’ moment to get a message through to your clients.
Marketing guru Dan Kennedy (the Darth Vader of marketing) takes this further by imploring clients to create opening lines that readers ‘can’t not look away from’.
That’s a challenge I think we should all aspire to in our client communication and promotions!
Extra points to note:
- The story was written in the present tense – this helps you to be in the story, rather than a reader of the story. Test this!
- The first paragraph in the story finished with an incomplete sentence – known as an open loop (“I round a curve and see…”). This pushes people to keep reading. I know it’s hard if you’re a tad OCD (like me) and want neatly finished paragraphs – just test this and get some feedback on the key question – does it force your target audience to keep reading?
- Darth would’ve been very grumpy with me if he read the article. The BIG weakness in the article was a lack of a call to action or offer. I’ll keep working on bringing out my inner dark side!