Secrets of Human Interest Stories
Everyone loves a good story. We grew up listening to our favorite bedtime story or interesting stories told about our family history. Movies scripts are written about good stories and television shows draw millions of dedicated viewers each week because of a good storyline.
Shows like The Good Wife or Mad Men are examples, which have the power to get people hooked until the season rolls out and many of the viewers can’t wait until the new season begins. These stories often keep the audience interested long enough to look at the commercials about products or services so that the next time the viewers are shopping online or at the mall, they’ll feel compelled to take a closer look or actually make a purchasing decision based on what has been embedded in their subconscious mind.
Using stories in business to draw interest is no new phenomenon. Newspapers have long used human interest stories to spark interest for the readers, which in turn benefited the business owners by penetrating the minds of potential customers.
Because of the clutter of information in our new age of technology, now more than ever, I believe human interest stories are the best way to get an audience’s attention long enough to tell them about your business and what you have to offer.
Wikipedia defines a human interest story as … a feature story that discusses a person or people in an interactive and/or emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest or sympathy in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be the story behind the story about an event, organization or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during war-time, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, or profile of someone known for a career achievement.
In our upcoming Business Superstars Edition of People You Need to Know Magazine, be prepared to read more inspirational and captivating personal interest stories.
To further express the secrets of and the power behind human interest stories, please read the article below by Uzo Onukwugha.
The Open Secret of Copywriting – It is Not What You Think
“I prefer to teach with images, parables and metaphors that plant in the mind the seeds of shot making.” -Harvey Penisk
Human interest stories by-pass the resistance of the mind and go straight to the heart where unconscious decisions are made. Telling stories is a hypnotic copywriting secret. It can shatter buying resistance and persuade the prospect to take you and your offer seriously. –Uzo Onukwugha
Why is storytelling the most powerful copywriting secret in the history of direct advertising and marketing?
The psychology of stories is embedded in human nature. Stories go beyond the natural to penetrate the human spirit where unconscious buying decisions are made. Humans love to hear human interest stories that relate to their problems, dreams, yearnings and aspirations. When you make the connection, you make the sale.
People love stories. Tabloid journalism sells like crazy. Kids love bedtime stories. Africans tell their children moonlight stories. Storytelling is the earliest form of oral tradition.
Effective communication involves painting clear vivid pictures with words in the mind of your target audience. Stories illustrate principles, demonstrate facts, and illustrate examples without being technical. Stories are remembered long after facts and figures are forgotten. There is an old copywriting maxim that says stories sell; facts tell. I prefer to sell than to tell.
A great story works wonders because it is entertaining, it engages the mind, captures attention and perplexes the heart all at the same time. It creates curiosity and the phenomenon of anticipation. Stories let you see and feel the seller’s benefits as reality.
Stories are also powerful because they often contain graphic examples, similes, metaphors, allegories, anecdotes and vignettes. All of these figures of speech and illustrations have the power to create pictures or mental movies that make an imprint in the mind of the readers. Yes, a picture may be more than a thousand words, but descriptive words also create mind pictures. Once your imagination is engaged, the sale is secured.
Remember however, that your story must be true, appropriate, and compelling. Honesty is still the best business policy that must be incorporated in your copywriting, otherwise you lose credibility.
Master storytellers are great natural sellers and natural copywriters even if they don’t know it. Just add the rules of good copywriting to the mix and you are good to go.
Most leading motivational speakers like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Bryan Tracy were all good salesmen who had their own storyline before they became successful.
Jim Rohn was America’s foremost business philosopher. Jim was Tony Robbins’ mentor. Jim’s story was that of a farm boy from rural Idaho. He dropped out of school and took a minimum wage job as a factory worker to support himself and his family. Jim’s turning point came when he met a man named Mr. Schaeffer. Mr. Schaeffer asked Jim why he was not rich and Jim complained about how little he was paid.
It was then that Mr. Schaeffer reminded Jim that the company was paying Jim how much he was worth at that time. Mr. Schaeffer explained to Jim that there were other people who were worth more and were receiving much higher pay from the same company. Mr. Schaeffer advised Jim to go to work on himself just like he worked on his job.
“Success is not what you chase; it is what you attract by the person you become,” said Mr. Schaeffer. “It is not the storm because the storm comes to everybody; it is the set of the sail of your thinking.”
“In other words, Jim, work on yourself, become an attractive person and you’ll have all the success you are looking for.”
Jim told this story repeatedly wherever he went and in any info-product that came out of Jim Rohn International. The philosophy behind this story empowered Jim’s life. And with this mindset, (Jim called it his philosophy) Jim sold millions of products, which made him a multi-millionaire while he was in his early thirties.
There are countless other successful copywriters and marketers who have used the story of their lives to sell a lot of products. Joe Vitale’s story was spirituality and hypnosis. Yanik Silver’s turning point was attending Dan Kennedy’s copywriting seminar with his life savings. Tony Robbins’ turning point came with an encounter with NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). Ted Nicholas’ life changed when he discovered the power of words. The examples are endless.
So what is your life story? Every life is a story. You may have multiple stories about your life’s journey. Go to your memory bank and pull out one if you don’t have a journal (story of your life’s journey). Choose a specific encounter for a specific product. The story behind your product may be your unique selling proposition. Choose an appropriate story that matches your product and target market; but don’t lie. It is not what you say; but how you say it that will give it a twist and carve out your groove in the marketplace.