Storytelling is very easy, isn't it?
We read everywhere that we absolutely have to tell our story. Aside from the fact that some just didn't have a heartbreaking story when they started their company, or perhaps that story shouldn't be hoisted, not all of us are good storytellers. It is not without reason that storytellers have been and are highly respected and actually still earn real money with their profession. We self-marketers, or "personal brander" in new German, have to work our way into this first. It's actually not our job.
Since the same task torments me as you do, I got myself some books and read them too. Ha! Many days, I read. OK. They were evenings and sometimes only an hour a day. I am only human and also a mother. But I have to say that once you've made the hang of the book and browsed from page to page, then you question a) all of your previous work and b) want to start over immediately or even give up everything because it seems impossible to achieve all of this.
But now to the actual topic of my blog today. I like to share with you what I've learned about storytelling so far because giving up is out of the question for me. The same thing counts for you too, otherwise, you wouldn't read here. However, instead of the planned parable version, I choose the KRIMI version. Because crime novels are more to me than Jesus stories. Here we go:
Every story needs a drama
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that we only want to follow a story to the end when we are constantly under tension. First, we want to get to know the people of the story, then get insider information about the upcoming drama, and then we want to experience the happy ending.
As opposed to an article in the newspaper or the news on television, we want our website visitors to be captivated until the end of the page. If possible, he should press the call-to-action button at the end of our story and buy or book our product. Mister Google also appreciates that our website visitors stay longer. Google then considers us to be particularly valuable for other searchers and brings us higher up in the search results list (ranking list). And who doesn't like being on page one on Google? So we want to create tension for several reasons.
If we use simple, well-worn phrases such as "Satisfied employees are the alpha and omega", the readers will certainly not want to listen to us for long. Instead, let's write sentences like: "Bernd earns 4,600 euros and would prefer not to get up on Monday morning", the readers ask themselves "Why? What makes Bernd so dissatisfied in his job" and would like to find out. You see, the involvement of your readers in your text is the big plus that we can and should use in storytelling.
Let the Drama begin
First, three important notes on the subject of drama:
- Draw the reader into your story right from the start of your text.
- Describe the drama as concretely as possible (if possible also in numbers, examples, with pictures) and
- Take your time with the happy ending. It is best to clarify how the drama dissolves in the last section.
How do you create tension and make you want to continue reading?
As I was allowed to learn, the best way to orientate yourself is to the stories of Sherlock Holmes. At the end of a paragraph, we give a shallow foretaste of the next paragraph and what the reader can learn more about right away. This increases the tension significantly. Small predictions such as "This idea should almost drive me into bankruptcy within the next few weeks" or "If I had known that this mistake would cost me many more customers" increase the urge in our reader to find out exactly what happened and how the writer made it up managed this drama. Also try so-called cliff hangers.
Would you like some examples? - "... but there is a solution to solve this problem without much effort" or: "At that moment it fell like tomatoes from my eyes". These types of sentences are ideal for adding to the end of a paragraph so that your reader is too curious to skip right now. It has been proven that readers are most likely to leave the post on a paragraph. So it has to be our goal to make sure that he doesn't do that with our texts.
Write lively and moving, but above all without empty phrases
Do you know these typical phrases: "The customer is king", "only while stocks last" or "create synergies". We no longer reach our customers with these kinds of sentences. They are too trite and your readers will be more fed up with them. It is questionable whether they will even reach the brain or will be thrown off at the ear or eye.
Here are some examples of how you can create new images for your readers and, above all, how you can develop your own personal storytelling language.
a) Make a striking comparison: Take a verb and search for an object, a place, an animal, or a person that exactly stands for this verb. Examples: "As beautiful as Helena of Troy", "He is as beautiful as an Adonis" or "It pops like mulled wine with rum". You can also do this well with adjectives. "Stupid as white bread" or "Smart like Einstein".
b) Write in metaphors: We understand pictures faster and easier than long written explanations. When we use metaphors to create images in the minds of our users, they not only understand our story more easily but also more intensively. Just think of the popularity of comics. Examples of metaphors: instead of "successful product" one could write "brand's driving force". Or here: instead of "My throat is dry, I'm thirsty", "I have the Gobi desert in my throat" would be an ingenious metaphor.
I could go on and on here forever. I found so many tips on this subject. Let's just read more crime novels and rewrite our website the next day.
Absolute book recommendation
f cI found the book "Texting Can" by Daniela Rorig and I love it. She writes very naturally, sometimes in an outrageously honest and cheeky manner.
If you are also looking for a book that gives you help on more than one topic and gives you tips on how to create better texts that captivate your readers - then this book is guaranteed to be a worthwhile investment for you.
Of course, I know that the book is in german. So for all English speaking visitors: just stay tuned I will write more Blogs with tips from this book and translate them to English. I am busy reading some English books as well.