Think about the last time you shopped for a pair of boots, which ones did you buy? I bet it was the pair that put a big smile on your face and slipped on your feet like butter.
The rational you knew may have needed the boots, but the emotional you bought the pair that made you happy.
Ever wonder what your sales would look like if you put a big smile on people’s faces? Or struck a chord so deep they just had to find out more?
Getting business and referrals really comes down to how well you can appeal to people on some emotional level. Here are some of the best ways to use content to get more clients.
1) Move people from point A to point Z
People start out at point A, with some problem they need to solve. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to leave them hanging there with nowhere to go. Remember, this is their first step. They don’t care too much about the services you provide just yet. They just want to get to point Z.
What you want to do is connect the dots for them and help them get where they want to go (without giving away the farm). The closer you get people there, the more likely they are to get excited about your brand and what you do. They’ll start associating you with rewarding experiences, and from there it’s an logical next step to buy.
What can you do?
The key here is to get clear on who your customer is and what motivates them to buy. You want to look at everything, not only demographics but any obstacles that may prevent them from working with you. Then create content that teaches people how to move as close as possible to point Z before you ask for their money. For more info on identifying your ideal customers, check out this post.
2) Rebrand or repackage
When I first started my temporary tattoo company, business was great and we had decent sales.
After the first couple of years, we realized that the key to selling more tattoos was to keep feeding the machine and churn out new designs.
The problem was that after 300 or so designs, we were running out of ideas. And most of our new designs weren’t bringing in more money because they weren’t selling. We were pretty much shooting in the dark with new designs and not knowing what people wanted.
Then it dawned on us.
People said they wanted new designs and they really thought they wanted new designs. But what they really wanted was their favorite styles reinvented.
Once we figured that out, all we had to do was take our bestsellers, change them up a bit and package them differently.
So what can you do?
The idea of something new is powerful. It makes people feel young, excited, and invigorated. Without them even knowing it, their brains light up.
The reality of new is that it doesn’t have to be brand new, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to hit a home run. You can take one of your existing products, make a few tweaks and rebrand it.
The key to rebranding old products or services is keeping them relevant.
You don’t want to randomly rebrand old products without careful analysis of why you’re doing it, what you want to achieve ,and who it’s for.
Reevaluate what your target audience wants by reaching out to your customers to find out what common themes or questions they have. This way you’ll know how much tweaking and updating you need to do.
Then alter the new offering to create a more compelling reason why people should buy it.
3) Tell people why
When someone asks to get in front of you at the supermarket, aren’t you more likely to let them in if they give you a reason? And it doesn’t even have to be a good reason. Something simple like “I only have one thing to buy” or “I need to” will do. As long as you know why, you’d probably step aside and let them in.
Now if that same person tried to get in front of you and didn’t say anything at all to you, do you think you’d still let them cut in front of you? I know I wouldn’t.
The thing is this: Our brains are always searching for meaning, even when there may be no real meaning. We want the reasoning and we want to know why. We seek out explanations to understand everything we experience in life.
If you apply this to your marketing, your customers need a reason. You have to help them connect the dots between what they need and what you can do for them.
So what can you do?
Include reasons in your content to justify people’s decisions. Your landing pages, website content, sales pages, ads and emails need to clearly explain why people should buy from you and what they will get out of it.
Review your ideal customer to determine what drives their decisions and make sure your “why” speaks to those motivating factors. Are they looking to save time? Money? Convince their boss to purchase some software? Tell them how your offer will help them do that. Use bullet points to list all the benefits people will receive.
Explaining why you are offering something will make people be far more likely to commit.
4) Tell a Story
There’s something about a good song that transports people to another place. Our favorite songs make us feel like they happened to us or like we could have written them.
Stories leave an imprint. Our brains are wired to plant ourselves into experiences we read about as if they are real. They activate the language parts of our brain as well as the parts of the brain we would use if we were actually experiencing it first hand.
This means that telling a story one of the strongest and smartest ways connect with people. They’ll remember your stories more than they will facts and data about our products.
You can keep your message subtle while still leading people in the direction you want them to go.
So what can you do?
Turn your backstory into your brand story. Why you do what you do is filled with stories about why you do what you do, how you get here and what drives you. The way you have arrived at solutions and your value proposition are all about stories. Don’t be bashful – include them in your content and give people a chance to get to know you and visualize your process as if it happened to them.
You want to create a story for your brand that people can relate to. Show your audience what you stand for and why it should matter to them.
Once you decide what message you want to convey, use more stories to deliver your message. Think about the types of stories that may appeal to your target audience and how they relate to the stories your customers have.
Think about case studies. Stories of other people’s journey working with you and the things you helped them achieve are powerful ways to connect to potential customers. Hearing other people’s success helps them envision this same success.
Stories like these are a powerful form of emotional marketing and should be all over your web content, ebooks, blog posts and landing pages. Walk people through painful problems you and others have had and how you achieved a result.
5) Make it easy
Would you rather walk up a long hill or hop in a car and drive it? What about spending 3 months creating a product or just 3 weeks?
If you give people a hard option and an easy one, most of the time they’re going to choose the easiest one. The mere thought of effort has a price, and the desire to achieve a goal is always balanced out by the weighing the benefits and costs.
For instance, I can always justify buying a new handbag, not only because I desperately need one but I just want one. If I can find one on sale that would make me really happy. AND that bag just happens to go with everything I wear and I can use it every day, my decision to buy just got a lot easier.
So when you give people a choice between a course of action that’s hard and one that’s easy, they’re going to choose the easy one.
So what can you do?
If we apply this to marketing, using shorter, simpler words that are easy to process will connect with people more than their longer synonyms. For example, instead of saying “difficult”, use “tough” or “hard”.
Words that have few syllables are easier to digest. Simple words also make your products and services seem to be an easy solution.
Before you publish new content, go back and replace longer words with shorter ones. And while you’re at it, take a look at your sentences and try shortening ones that seem long. Shorter sentences are easier to digest and easier to read.
Use words like “easy”, “step-by-step”, “fast”, and “system”, when you write so people know right away that your solution is the simplest one available.
And there’s nothing that puts people more at ease than using the word free. “Free” is about as low-risk as you can get and more powerful than any discount or offer in convincing people to take action.
6) Make people curious
We’re all curious by nature and want to fill in gaps between what we know and what we want to know.
Creating curiosity naturally inspires people to take action. Curiosity also triggers activity in our brains associated with pleasure. There’s something exciting about pulling back the curtain to see what’s behind it.
The idea is to keep that curiosity gap open long enough to keep people engaged so they take the next step, without making them squirmy. You want to give them just enough information to make them curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity right away. Your goal is to lead people to your next step, not give everything away right up front.
What can you do?
Use subtle teasers to give people a taste of how they can achieve their desired result or leave behind their existing pain through your products or services.
Asking your readers a question is another way to engage them with the curiosity gap. Questions feel incomplete and leave readers hanging.
Using a question will inspire people to open your email or click through your content in search of an answer. The question mark will itself will stand out from other punctuation on the page.
Be careful not to mislead readers with this teaser-like approach technique. Your content should always set the right expectations for readers. Nothing will ruin trust in your brand more than not delivering on your promise.
For instance, the headline “Grow your email list 99% faster: how one site did it” really grabs your attention. I want to know how they did it. Just make sure your content post backs it up. The last thing you want to do is invite people in your door and not deliver. That’s one of the fastest ways to lose their trust in you.