Marketing is not very easy. Finding the right words that will resonate with your potential clients can often be quite challenging. But there’s one thing that can help you when it comes to writing your website and marketing copy: story.
In this article I’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways from one of my favorite marketing books, Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.
The Power of Story in Your Private Practice Marketing
Donald Miller is a student of storytelling.
He says, “Story is the greatest weapon to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.”
Stories are memorable. Stories capture the human spirit and keep our attention, especially if it’s a good one.
When we tell a good story with our marketing, we move from just creating information and hoping to compel potential clients to actually inviting them into something bigger.
You see, the one thing that is so powerful about storytelling, especially when it comes to your marketing, is that the human response is to place ourselves within a good story.
We think about what we’d do in the hero’s situation.
How would we overcome such a challenge?
How can I be the hero?!
“Once you understand how story integrates with your brand message, you’ll be able to create communication pieces (and even brand strategy) that engages more [clients] and grows your business.”
And this is exactly what Donald Miller teaches you to do in Building A Story Brand.
After writing 8 books and studying hundreds of movies, plays and musicals, he’s boiled down the essential elements of a compelling story.
You can use this framework to make your potential client the hero of the story you tell with your private practice:
“A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in SUCCESS.”
Your client is the character… you are the guide.
Can you see how you could take this framework and write a story about your client’s challenges and how you and your private practice can guide them toward success?
Three Crucial Questions You Must Answer for Your Ideal Client
As I work with my clients to create compelling content and websites, it’s extremely helpful to be clear on the desires of the client(s) they are trying to reach.
If you’re not clear on what your ideal client desires and the things keeping them from reaching those desires, your marketing may just fall flat.
When you do know these things, you can craft compelling copy that resonates with the story they’re already living and give them the plan to reach success.
Donald mentions that the story you tell with your marketing copy should answer the following three questions, and quickly:
- What does the hero (your ideal client) want?
- Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
- What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?
If you can answer these questions, with clarity, you can invite your website visitors into a compelling story where they can see themselves “getting what they want.”
Let’s say your client is a stressed-out professional and you want to create a landing page that attracts that client.
Your answers may go something like this:
- You want to be free from the stress and anxiety caused by your demanding job.
- But even when you’re at home, playing with your children or trying to unwind, you’re still thinking about that last email that came in, the fire you’ll need to put out tomorrow morning when you get to work and the many projects you’re trying to balance.
- If you can’t find a way to manage these pressures well, you feel like your health will continue to slip, there will be more and more conflict with your spouse and you just might miss the best years of your children’s life.
See the type of story that tells?
The copy paints a picture that the client can fully relate to and say “yes, that’s me! Now give me the way out!”
Guiding Your Clients Toward Success and Away From Failure
Another aspect of great storytelling that can help you create compelling marketing for your private practice is the reality and tension of what’s at stake.
In The Lord Of The Rings, we want to see Frodo destroy the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom and avoid the end of the world at the hand of the forces of darkness.
We want resolution in our stories, and your potential clients most definitely want a resolution when it comes to their own.
This is where you can paint the picture of what life can look like should a client choose to work with you.
It’s also a chance to explain what life can look like if nothing changes for your potential client.
This creates a vision of those deep desires that your client wants and gives them a plan (your services) to achieve those desires.
Think about how your clients are feeling before working with you and how they may feel after.
What does life look like before working with you and what could it look like after?
Using this structure can help you craft extremely compelling copy for your private practice website that connects with potential clients and gives them hope for a better future and the motivation they need to take action.
The above are just a few of my favorite highlights from Donald Miller’s book, Building A Story Brand.
When I read this book, I dog-eared and underlined something on every few pages. It’s just that good!
If you’re struggling with what to say on your private practice website or any other marketing you do for your business, this is a must read for you.
The simple framework gives you a structure to easily follow and prompts to help you avoid sitting in front of a blank computer screen and write content that will help you grow your practice.
The book also comes with free access to a website where you can craft your own story script so you can refer to the key aspects of your ideal client’s story and use it to create consistent and compelling marketing copy.
I hope you find it as helpful in your marketing as I did!
Click the link below to learn more:
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