There are several reasons why client stories are so much more effective than a simple description of your services, or even than a straight testimonial.
- Stories are engaging. They allow room for background, drama and time for the reader to really settle in and want to know more.
- Stories are evidence. Stories show your reader that someone just like them used and benefited from your services.
- Stories are newsworthy. We’re used to reading and hearing stories about people in the news. Information that’s delivered in this familiar format is accessible and credible.
Here are some suggested writing prompts that will help you turn one of your client projects into a newsworthy client story that will be attractive to new clients.
Every story needs a hero: Give your reader some background information about the client – really focus on what will get attention and make your story stand out. Does your client have a unique business or life circumstance? Was their problem particularly dramatic? At the same time, you want to be sure to highlight the circumstances that your prospective clients will relate to.
Write for your destination: My sister and I had a few publications in mind when we started this project, so I was aiming to write in a voice that would fit into those.
I did the same thing last week when I went blog-hopping to launch the Content Creation Capsule. You may have noticed the difference, for example, between the posts I wrote for Molly Gordon and Janet Slack. Both post felt authentic and in my voice, but I presented my ideas in a slightly different format to fit each blog.
Give your hero a voice: Use direct quotes to allow your client to say precisely how he or she felt about working with you. Ask broad questions that will highlight the benefits across all life areas and levels of experience. How is life different? What do you notice as you go through a typical day? What has surprised you most about this experience?
Quote yourself: Remember that you’re the expert here. Study the work of journalists you enjoy reading and notice how they position expert quotes within their stories. Insert a quote that authentically demonstrates how your specific methods, experience or expertise made this story come to life.
P.S. As my volunteer editor for many years, Ruth has already provided far more value to my business (and my life!) than I ever would have charged her for this service.