The killer hook. The big idea. The idea virus. The overarching concept. The ear worm. The online rallying cry. The paradigm shifter.
What do all these things — and all the people/artists/brands behind them — share?
What do they all have in common?
The one thing that ensures their businesses or art stands apart from the maddeningly samey crowd and — for want of a better word — makes them rich beyond words?
The answer: Their storyselling magic.
(Not their storytelling — their storyselling magic.)
But even if your brand, or your product or service aren’t head and shoulders above the competition, if you can stand on their shoulders by virtue of telling — selling — a better story, you’ll attract the lion’s share of the audience.
An audience hardwired since before we left Africa 60,000 years ago to want to hear and share and be a fully paid up part of the next great story.
But even if you do get this — and I really, really hope you do — it is not enough just to hire someone to write your backstory and stick it on the About Us/Me page.
You see, the great storyselling brands — and with it the great web designers behind their digital storyselling strategies — use storyselling as the structure of their sales funnels.
I know: Sales funnel.
Sounds like something that comes right out of a Masters in Business class.
And it is.
And you know what, it works ..
According to Marketo, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
Marketing funnels. Sales funnels. Conversion funnels.
Whatever you call them, funnels are like spider webs, designed to lure clients in and keep them there, wrapping them in information and stories deliberately designed to be music to their ears just long enough for the client not to even realise that they are trapped — and ripe for the kill.
Okay, that was a bit dramatic — even creepy — but essentially that’s the deal with marketing funnels.
And so long as the client doesn’t realise they are being entangled in a web of conversion and snap out of it, they are your best weapons.
So you need to ensure your marketing and the user journey down the funnel you want your clients to take is snap-out-of-it proof.
To begin let's imagine you’re writing a blockbuster movie ..
But in this movie, you’re not the hero — the client is the hero.
You’re role is the guide.
The sage that the hero turns to in the course of the story when they have a problem they just can’t solve.
Now, just like a background story in a movie, the hero’s journey follows a sequence of chapters:
- Chapter 1: the hero learns about your problem-solving existence.
- Chapter 2: the hero checks out your values and backstory.
- Chapter 3: the hero decides they can trust you to solve their problems.
- Chapter 4: the hero becomes a client (and a hero in their own eyes).
All your client (your hero) needs to see is a vision of the future and to find his or her way through a logical and sequential sequence of short problem solving messages: from Awareness to Action.
You see, marketing funnels are designed to take each stage of the process from traffic attraction, lead conversion and sales conversion.
And if the story — and the funnel — coalesce to solve a BIG nagging problem, to win hearts and minds as well as change beliefs along the journey your brand story and your sales funnel are one.
The sales funnel trick — a trick very few visionary marketing professionals have mastered — is to design a way to let the audience engage with their own personal story and ‘discover’ your services for themselves.
To let them enter a labyrinth without even knowing they have entered one.
I know, that all sounds so bad!
And it is!
The Artful Science behind all business is designed to manipulate us into parting with our money — whilst feeling good about doing it!
And the first step is to understand how your hero thinks about their current problematic situation.
Knowing this, you can start fashioning yourself and your marketing as their true guide:
None of these come out of thin air; they are ‘planned’ touchpoints that reflect the values and attributes that best resonates with your hero as they seek answers.
You see, brands don’t tell stories, they sell stories.
And you — dear reader — are the often more than willing mark.
Think Apple, Nike, Airbnb.
Brand stories imperceptibly entwined with sales funnels have become blockbuster material.
So let’s wrap this up with a few facts:
50% of the people who visited one of my recent Squeeze pages.
Became a sales lead!
Do you know how exceptional a 50% "conversion" rate is when you are talking about a website?