10 Story Formats That Create More Profitable Connections With Potential Customers

Ben Sweetlove

The beautiful thing about storytelling is that you can use it to captivate, educate, and indoctrinate audiences in your favour.

There’s no doubt that storytelling captivates, educates, and indoctrinates audiences. 

Just look at Hollywood’s billion-dollar storytelling industry.

And think of the last time you read a book you simply couldn’t put down.

Or the last time a film ‘stayed’ in your mind after you saw it.

Storytelling will take a cold audience you buy on Facebook or Google and convert them into warm, ready-to-buy leads (all on autopilot).

Storytelling does so much more than provide entertainment to your future customers. 

Here’s why storytelling is a powerful sales and marketing tool:

Storytelling Forges A Unique Bond Between You And Each Reader 

Great storytelling creates positive emotional associations with your brand. Use storytelling to win both the hearts and minds of your audience, so they find it very hard to ignore your sales propositions. 

Storytelling Sets You Apart (And Cuts Through Competitor Marketing)

Story-based emails are infinitely more memorable than dull “marketing” emails. Telling great stories puts you in a different league to your competitors, and they’ll make you stand out in your prospects’ email inboxes, too. 

Storytelling Softens Up Your Toughest Prospects

Your customers love hearing stories, but they hate it when you try and sell them stuff. Use tasteful, informative storytelling to deliver traditional sales messages, just like the Greeks using that big ol’ Trojan horse to deliver a can of whoop-ass on Troy. 

Storytelling Makes You Memorable

People seldom remember statistics, but they love recalling stories.

If you tell your audience informative, engaging stories that they love repeating to their friends, they’ll remember you as an intelligent, skilled authority. This effect alone will do wonders for your sales process. 

Ten Story Types

Weave these ten story types into the language on your website, landing pages, email communications, paid advertising and social media marketing:

Story Type: Breaking News 

“Breaking News” stories capture the attention of even the most distracted audiences. After all, humans are hard-wired to stop, read, and discuss the latest news. This ad type is very powerful on Facebook.

Story Type: Lighthouse In A Storm 

A “Lighthouse In A Storm” story captivates your audience’s attention, demonstrates your deep understanding of their unwanted problem, and then positions YOUR solution as the lighthouse in their storm. This story type is also ideal on Facebook. 

Story Type: Rags To Riches

A “Rags To Riches” story explores how a celebrity or historical figure overcame adversity to create an incredible or unforeseen outcome, and weaves in an important message, lesson or anecdote for the reader (that sells a particular benefit or feature of your offering). This story type can also explain how you helped a client or customer solve their unique problems and/or create an incredible outcome. These stories are powerful when used in an email. 

Story Type: Believe It Or Not

A “Believe It Or Not” story explores the mysterious, outrageous, compelling, or unconventional way somebody from history achieved something of importance. This story type weaves in a valuable lesson for the reader, related to your product or service. These stories are powerful when used in an email. 

Story Type: Oracle

An “Oracle” story provides compelling facts, data, analysis, or historical events woven into a story that provides a lesson for the reader. These stories are powerful when used in an email. 

Story Type: Everyday Hero

An “Everyday Hero” story gives your reader inspiration that they have the power to change the world around them, using the strategies, services, or products that you provide. These stories are powerful when used in an email. 

Story Type: Future-Paced Fable

A “Future-Paced Fable” story fast-forwards your reader into a vivid, executing future where they’re already experiencing the incredible benefits of your product or service. This ‘future pacing’ strategy uses descriptive language to help the reader emotionally connect with your offering. Future-Paced Fables work well when woven into Facebook ads.

Story Type: Dreamcatcher

“Dreamcatcher” stories are micro-narratives that demonstrate to a reader that you deeply understand what their dreams are. Dreamcatchers are most commonly used throughout landing page copywriting. 

Story Type: Cost Of Inaction

“Cost Of Inaction” stories clearly demonstrate to the reader the consequences of doing nothing to solve a problem they have. This story agitates pain and positions your solution as the best next step.  “Cost Of Inaction” stories work well in emails or landing pages.

Story Type: Objection Buster

“Objection Buster” stories unpack and debunk common objection(s) your prospects have, woven into a compelling story.