Facts tell and stories sell.
In writing as in speaking, the audience relates to stories. Whether you are speaking to a prospect or writing to them, allow them to see themselves in the scene. Write from your own personal experience.
Borrowed stories from Chicken Soup, other blogs or even books can reinforce your message but should not be the main focus of your message.
Have you heard the story of the little boy walking along a beach and throwing starfish back into the ocean? A man told the little boy to quit because there were so many starfish that the boy could not possibly make a difference. The young boy picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean with the words, “It made a difference to that one.” Even though that is a valuable story, it has been told and re-told so many times that it has lost its original impact. How can your audience trust your content to be fresh and original if your stories are old or borrowed?
Extend a Helping Hand
As the owner of Mountain Castles property management, housekeepers were among my many employees. One housekeeper, Kim, was a red-headed wild child who loved to party. She always made it to work on time and worked hard, but she was always borrowing money for lunch or gas to feed her old klunker car. One day the klunker died. It was not worth repairing and Kim didn’t have the money to repair it anyway. After a few months of riding the bus back and forth to work, Kim decided to buy the “soon to be retired” housekeeping truck.
Since Kim did not have any money and her credit rating was in the sub-basement level, it required some creativity to help her. I took a cd (for you younger folks, that is a certificate of deposit, not a computer disc), Kim and the title to the truck to the bank. Kim set the monthly payment and promised to pay off the loan in two years. Despite the sacrifice of giving up partying, she didn’t pay off the loan in two years or even three years but she did eventually receive the title to the truck. Can you imagine her pride? She achieved a feat that only a few years prior no one, including Kim would ever have believed she could do. Now she has a credit rating in the 600 range and her own cleaning business.
Personal Stories Connect
Hopefully everyone can relate to helping or being helped. What personal story can you write which will touch the heart strings, inspire someone to help another person, and bring a thought to life? Your original stories can make the same point as an overused story and still feel fresh.
Stories help the reader to step into the scene. Whether you are writing tech tips or blogging ideas, telling a story of how that tip or technique helped someone is much more interesting than sounding like an instructional manual. Facts tell, but the audience connects with a story.