When I’m asked to review websites and online stores, I usually start by checking the About Us page. Many times I’ve found it to be full of dull boring text, if not totally empty. This is a wrong start to online marketing. Your About Us page should tell a powerful story, a story that will get the reader hooked, your brand remembered, and your values admired.
Put simply, Power Stories are those that will turn prospects into customers, and customers into raving fans. Many business owners make the same mistake, they get caught up telling the world about their services and qualifications, when they should focus on the benefits a customer will get as a result of using their product or service.
Once you get to our website, you’ll read our story and develop a bond with our team and company. That will help you feel comfortable in ordering from us. Then you’d check out our products and read the descriptions and get a better feel of how the products would help. -Eric Bandholz, BeardBrand.
Power Stories is a term coined by author and entrepreneur Valerie Khoo in a book she wrote specifically for that. She sees that any given story can become powerful when it resonates deeply with someone.
Different stories impact people in different ways, and so your role as a business owner and/or online marketer, is to identify which story your listener or reader is going to identify with the most.
“Humans are hard-wired to listen to, absorb and share stories. We’ve been doing it since we were sitting around the fire in caves!” –Valerie Khoo
In her book, Valerie tells us that every business has 8 power stories to tell, and then she goes on to help readers to discover and tell the right stories already within them to transform their work and change their lives.
Those 8 stories are: Customer, Passion, Business, Pitch, Product, Media and Leader Story, and she concludes with the Entrepreneur’s journey.
A Power Customer Story is all about your customers” experiences with you. This includes case studies, testimonials or simply conversational stories that you tell prospective customers who want to know that you”ve helped others just like them.
And the easiest and most powerful way to do this is by telling the story of another real customer whose life changed to the better because of you and your products / services.
Take for instance Shopify which created a series of online mini-stories, talking about their customers’ adventures in selling online. New owners of Shopify online stores would just tell their stories before and after they started selling online.
One of those customer stories is the one of Sophie Kovic, a young Australian who used to work at a local movie theater and was struggling to make ends meet. Even her boyfriend was doing all what he could to keep his Cafe business afloat in spite of the tough economic times and a chronic wrist injury.
Both were working long hours and barely earning a living, and had to vacate their house as they fell behind in paying their mortgage.
It was until one day when Sophie read Tim Ferriss” famous book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” Sophie, then 24 years old and a new mother, decided she need a drastic change in her life, and so she followed Tim Ferriss” step-by-step business plan and found her niche; a feathered human hair extension online store.
Online sales went very well for Sophie that she moved from selling online to developing mobile Apps and other ventures.
‘stories – the ones we tell our customers and the ones we tell ourselves – are the most misunderstood part of marketing.” –Seth Godin
Finding customer stories is not easy, granted, yet doable. Shopify found those stories when shop-owners applied for Shopify’s “Build-A-Business Competition,” awarding a total of $500,000 in prizes and giveaways.
Not every business can throw away half a million, but the concept still applies.
Business owners need to influence, inspire and persuade their teams to get behind the vision of the business. They can achieve that by telling their story.
A Leader’s Story is the one that can be used to fire up nations or motivate armies into action, and to encourage staff — and even customers — to help you build your business.
This book is highly-recommended and worth-reading. Now go back to your About Us page, rename it to Our Story, and spice it up a bit.
Tell Power Stories. Stop resorting to boring text. Buy Power Stories book to know how to.