The story “Adversity” in Steve & Jacks Home News reminded me how powerful stories can be in moving readers to action by appealing to their emotions. After his daughter had complained that, due to her dyslexia, she needed to work twice as hard as her classmates, a father brought three pots of water to a boil, placing a potato in one pot, an egg in the second, and some ground coffee in the third. Each of the ingredients, he explained, had faced the same adversity in terms of the boiling water. The potato, which had gone in strong, became soft, the father pointed out. The egg, originally fragile, had become hard. The coffee beans had created something entirely new.
“Consumers are used to telling stories to themselves and telling stories to each other, and it’s just natural to buy stuff from someone who’s telling us a story,” observes Seth Godin in his latest book, All Marketers Tell Stories. Essential elements of effective stories, he explains, include:
- an implied promise (of fun, money, safety, a shortcut, emotional satisfaction)
- appeal to the senses rather than to logic
The story Steve and Jack Rupp chose for their newsletter is a very good example, I think, of the type of story we blog content writers can use in blog posts. The father-daughter relationship is one to which readers can relate; the message is inspirational and emotionally appealing. It uses trivia, pulling together facts we had probably not considered (the different effect boiling water has on eggs, potatoes, or coffee beans).
A big part of providing business blogging assistance is helping business owners and professional practitioners formulate stories about themselves and their own business or practice. The history of the company and the values of its leaders are story elements that create ties with blog readers. Online visitors to your blog, I teach at Say It For You, want to feel you understand them and their needs, but they want to understand you as well. The stories content writers in Indianapolis tell in their marketing blogs have the power to forge an emotional connection between the provider and the potential customer.
The “boiling water” represents both the environment in which that business or practice operates and the complex of problems for which they offer solutions. Every business or practice has wonderful stories just waiting to be told, describing how the “boiling water” made them stronger, more empathetic, and better able to bring something entirely new to their marketplace.