Stories, stories, stories…copywriter says keep telling stories!
My friend Mavis is a freelance copywriter like me. But she calls herself a story teller. And it’s true. Copywriters are story tellers. Companies hire us copywriters to tell their stories on their Websites, in their email marketing, in their blogs…at least the smart companies do.
People love stories. Maybe it’s because for most of human existence, we’ve relied on oral traditions to pass along information, lore and lessons. Whatever the reason, watch a room full of children enraptured by a story teller, and you’ll see that same attention given to a compelling speaker standing before a room full of adults…if he or she is telling a story.
Here’s a recent example that makes my copywriter point so well, I will simply…tell the story!
Last month I went with a friend to visit his friends, a family of four in Idaho. It was a nine-hour drive from Seattle to their little town of 1,500 residents, and their impressive 32-acre spread. Among the two kids, four dogs, 13 horses and more cats than I could count were 300 chickens being raised for eggs and meat. Matt, the patriarch of this affair, works 50 miles away in the city of Boise. He trucks in cartons of eggs when he heads to the city for people to buy, but people also come to their place to buy the fryers.
When he first started this little side business, he was shocked not only to find out that people would pay $20 for a chicken, but that they’d drive 50 miles from the city to do so. In his mind, the economics just didn’t work out as far as the real cost of that little fryer.
As he told me, the Seattle copywriter, this story, I wasn’t surprised at all. I was rather envious that I didn’t have more copywriting clients like Matt, with stories that just tell themselves…
That’s because those customers are buying so much more than that fryer! They are buying the whole experience of driving out to the country. They are buying the chance to interact with a real country boy (because even at 46, Matt is still very much a country boy!). They are buying a chicken that lived a healthy, wholesome, natural life…as opposed to a factory raised one.
The first time a customer asked if the chicken she was buying had lived a good life, Matt thought she was kidding. She wasn’t. And I’m not surprised. It’s all part of the story.
The story. It’s all about the story. Whether you’re talking about chickens or Hummers, it’s all about the story. The one we tell ourselves as part of the buying process. The one we experience as we buy. The one we tell others about our purchase. We humans love stories.
We copywriters love stories too. Wheter it’s Web writing or brochure copywriting, story telling makes our work more fun and more effective.
So go forth, copywriters and marketers, and tell those stories! We’re listening!