There is storytelling and then there is awesome storytelling. Writing content can be incredibly challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Using words to describe a world, a problem, or a solution, to tell a story is very powerful. Words have the ability to change the readers mind, connect with their emotions, and empower them to take action.
Not everyone can sit down and write great content. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes patience. It takes a lot of reading. And it takes a lot of practice. How can you get started mastering storytelling?
With all that being said, there are many helpful tools that can spark your imagination and help you get started towards awesome storytelling. The following are five persuasive writing formulas you can use to help ignite the writer inside of you. Each of these awesome storytelling techniques takes time to master. My recommendation is to try out each one, learn it in detail, and then move on to the next.
Notice the writing formulas follow a similar pattern. The elements are similar to those found in traditional storytelling. The following writing formulas focus on persuading the reader to action, click a link, buy a product, write a review, subscribe to a podcast. Think of formulas as helpful tools when getting started. As you become more familiar with the pattern, you may find yourself gravitating towards specific writing formulas.
Why Writing Formulas?
It is important to note that storytelling for business, as with any other type, is a process. And as such, with any process, it can continuously be improved upon. Copywriting is an art and science that is used to connect with readers, surface specific emotions, and get them to take an action. In fact, copywriting is more prominent than it first appears.
Writing formulas are important to understand and study as they are proven methods that are effective. Why waste time when you can study a technique that has worked before?
Awesome Storytelling Formulas
Star – Chain – Hook
Star – The product/service/idea
Chain – A series of facts, sources, benefits, and reasons
Hook – The call to action
Star – Story – Solution
Star – The main character of your story (could be anything-product/service/idea or even the reader)
Story – The story itself
Solution – An explanation of how the star wins in the end
The 5 Basic Objections
- I don’t have enough time.
- I don’t have enough money.
- It won’t work for me.
- I don’t believe you.
- I don’t need it.
Before – After – Bridge
The Before-After-Bridge is a very popular storytelling formula, used by prominent speakers such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs. One of my favorite presentations on storytelling through speeches is by Nancy Duarte.
Here is the formula she talks about in her research.
Before: Here’s your world…
After: Imagine what it’d be like, having Problem A solved…
Bridge: Here’s how to get there
Here is the inspiring TedTalk she gave uncovering the common structure of some of the greatest communicators.
Problem – Agitate – Solve
Identify a problem
Agitate the problem
Solve the problem
Your turn. Do you have any helpful tools to share that can help others get started on their path to mastering awesome storytelling? Share in the comments below.