The dawn of websites equaled the wakening of the online corporate brochure. “We can have a brochure about our company where we don’t have to ever pay for printing,” the board members at every Fortune 100 Company would exclaim in celebratory glee.
Then you and I ended up reading those corporate websites.
Full of blah, blah, blah-speak and zero personality.
Just like those companies trained you in the wrong way of marketing before websites erupted as a communications vehicle, now they were subliminally schooling you in using a platform while forgetting one big, important thing.
And if you’ve followed their lead, subconsciously or not, your website is missing a critical piece.
The single thing your website is missing
People have been sharing stories as long as there have been people on earth. We relate to one another through them. They spark emotion that cannot be evoked otherwise.
If you knew stories would help you sell more, book more clients, and earn more revenue, you’d work harder to incorporate stories into your website, right?
So let me tell you one.
About ten years ago, I traveled across the country to attend a conference called the Fortune Growth Summit. The event’s audience consisted of some of the fastest growing businesses in the states, and the entrepreneurs that ran them.
The purpose of the event was knowledge-sharing from thought leaders in anything that helps businesses grow – finance, marketing, start-up strategy, you name it.
Wide-eyed and ready to absorb everything, I trekked from session to session eager to learn.
I attended sessions about being fascinating, led by Sally Hogshead, sessions about differentiation, led by Young Me Moon, and while all the sessions were interesting, there is one I still remember.
And that session was a talk given by Bob Parsons, the founder of Go Daddy.
I wasn’t even looking forward to attending it. I hated Go Daddy (and still do).
But Bob Parsons spent the entire session telling stories of his childhood and the serendipitous events that led him to forming the company. His point, take risks and learn to trust yourself, wasn’t truncated by statistics or studies. His point was illustrated through stories.
I walked away remembering practically every word.
And truthfully, while his words didn’t inspire me to shop for hosting at Go Daddy, they did inspire me to quit my job and start my own business. In other words, his words sold me.
If you could sell people by simply telling stories, would you?
What stories do for people
Stories act like the connective tissue that pull you back to a feeling, an experience, and a memory. We begin sensing the same emotions we felt when we first heard the story every time we recall it.
Because of the Levels Of Processing Method, we’re more likely to remember stories than facts that are studied, even if those facts are studied over and over again. The reason why is because we remember things we spend more time and cognitive energy processing.
We are wrapped up in stories when we hear or read them, and therefore, we’re more likely to remember them.
Without stories, the facts, messages, and points we hear or read fade from our memory quickly.
As I wrote about a year ago, a fascinating Harvard Business Review article proved that stories increase the value of otherwise low-priced objects exponentially. Without a story, an object is just an object. Tell a story casting a new light on the same object, and suddenly its worth changes – even if the object itself doesn’t.
How you can tell a story on your website
Your website isn’t an online brochure. It’s a vessel for story telling.
Sections ripe for stories include your blog, your about page, and even your products page.
If you believe my point above that facts aren’t memorable, but stories are, then weave the facts you want to tell through stories. Those important facts will still be stated, but they’ll stick with people because of the stories.
And the worth of your business may just be elevated along the way.