These Three Elements Give Stories More Meaning to Your Reader
(and gets them to take action)

Woman writing in notebook while sitting by window

We crave them … in fact we can't wait to read or listen to one.

And when we're finished, we feel good.

I'm talking about stories.

The reason we react so well to a good story is because our brains are wired for them. Literally.

Princeton Neuroscience Professor Uri Hasson, who has been researching and studying how the brain works since 2004, says that "a story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience."

When you can get your reader to feel this way, there's a higher chance they'll read much of what you've written … all the way to the point where you ask them to take some action … such as hitting the buy button or "clicking here" for more details.

But it's more than just a feeling you create with the story you are sharing with your reader …

Scientists have also found that certain chemicals such as dopamine, cortisol, and oxytocin are released when we read or hear a good story. And those chemicals are often associated with happiness and trust.

This matters because when a reader trusts what you say, it reduces the "buyer anxiety" they experience, making them more inclined to buy.

But how do you actually write a story that moves a reader to action while at the same time kicking in all those brain chemicals?

Good thing you asked! There are three elements that make a story just too good to put down: unique, captivating, and emotional.

Let me walk you through each one of these, so you better understand how to write a good story …

Story Element #1 Unique: It almost goes without saying that the more unique you make your story, the more it will stand out to the reader. Think of it like this … the person you are writing to is desperately looking for something different.

No one … not your reader, not even yourself, wants to waste time reading a piece of content or copy that seems like something they've read about in a hundred other places.

Instead, they crave something new … something different … something unique. For you as a writer, there's only one way to come up with a unique story and that's through research.

Research is what leads you to an unusual statistic, an interesting piece of history, or what legendary copywriter Don Mahoney called a "golden nugget" … a bit of information that really pops off the page.

Story Element #2: Captivating: As you search for your "golden nugget," what you're looking for is something that is both relevant and meaningful to your target audience.

This means the research you do should be in niches directly related to what you are selling. For instance, if you are writing about alternative health supplements, you'll want to read through a lot of material on the subject matter. That might include scientific studies, books, case studies, specific websites, newspaper articles, etc.

You'll not only be uncovering relevant information, but you'll also become well-versed in the product. And the deeper understanding you have of the product you are ultimately selling (yes, even if you're writing content!), the more persuasive your writing becomes.

But you'll also want to do research in places where your target audience hangs out …

The Internet is filled with communities and forums of all sorts. And it's here you'll discover the questions and concerns, comments … you'll literally see the conversations your prospect is having about the product or service.

You'll even pick up on the language they use, which you can infuse into your copy as well.

Another tip that helps make the story you are telling relevant to your prospect is using the word YOU.

As Dale Carnegie once said, "Remember that a person's name, is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

Story Element #3 Emotional: One of the best ways to make a story emotional is to show your prospect how they overcome obstacles and challenges using the product or service you are selling.

Some call it the "zero to hero" technique. You can do this by using a customer testimonial, but you're telling readers how this person's life changed after they used the product.

Maybe they were struggling to lose weight, something they'd dealt with for years. They tried all kinds of methods, but nothing seemed to work … that is until they tried this particular weight loss product. And the pounds melted away like butter. Now they're in better shape and feel good too.

To use a customer testimonial in this way, you have to include the details. How long did they struggle? Did they feel depressed or was their health declining? How long did it take before they saw results? And what is their health condition now?

By adding the details, you bring the story to life. But you're also making it easy for the reader to see themselves in that situation.

And when this happens, you know those happy brain chemicals are activated and your prospect is more likely to ultimately buy.

Of course, the more times that happens, the more sales you make for your client, which makes them happy too. And that sets off a chain reaction …

Because when your client is happy with the results of your copy, they'll want you to write more often. And the more you write, the more money you make. Which makes you happy too!

Learn the art of storytelling in your copy and content and you'll see a dramatic increase in your income.

Practice the three elements I gave you above the next time you write a story. I guarantee it will be more engaging and effective at connecting with the reader.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: March 18, 2024

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