using micro stories to engage your reader

Stories are powerful in marketing. In fact, they can do a lot to make marketing feel less contrived, ‘try hard’ and gross. They’re engaging without you trying to be convincing, if that makes sense.

A few days ago, I shared with you an example of how you can express your product through story. And months ago, I shared an example of what a common story of a holistic practitioner might be.

Here’s an example of a ‘micro story’ (from a colleague Milana Leshinksy) but one that is still incredibly compelling and hits the nail on the head.

Four important things to note about this story:

  • It’s in the third person. Which I love. In the marketing world, there’s a sense that everything needs to be in second person. Meaning, “Are you overwhelmed with things?” Using the word ‘you’ a lot. This can be powerful. It can also feel contrived and extremely leading. It can feel warm at times but it can also feel like a feigned, faux warmth. It can be experienced as you trying to create a sense of intimacy vs. actual intimacy. You likely see this on ads where they say, ‘are you struggling to make enough money? are you overloaded with debt? are you stuck in a job you hate?‘ And sometimes it feels really ‘salesy’. Or worse – invasive. Some people have such immense shame about their situation that to name it and speak to it directly or invite them to identify themselves directly is too scary. But a story in the third person, about another person is like a safe invitation. It lets you connect where you see the fit. A story is an offering – it doesn’t demand anything.
  • It nails it. This story is so common! This story demonstrates a keen empathy and understanding of the situation of many of her clients and potential clients. Now this one is about money. But the same thing could be written about relationships, health of spiritual angst. So many people would read this story and say, ‘wow. that’s so me!’ Could you do this with you clients life experience?
  • What else have they tried? I love this question. Ask yourself, ‘what other tools, routes, strategies and approaches have my clients tried before coming to me? And how do they feel about that?’ If you can acknowledge the road they’ve already been on . . . well that feels really good.
  • It’s so short! I love how short she made this. I’m not very good at short. I want to coin the term ‘micro story’. Coined!


The Story:

Once upon a time there was a business owner who wasn’t making any money.

She tried to publish an e-zine, submit articles, learn about search engines, and host teleclasses.

Her colleagues told her to do more free consults with prospects, but she had very limited time and, frankly, wasn’t really good at it.

Her coach told her to get out and speak to networking groups, but she had two children at home and didn’t want to travel.

Her husband told her to lower her rates, but that only attracted “nightmare” clients.

Nothing she ever did generated much business, so she continued to struggle.

Then one day she discovered a marketing strategy that changed her life. She started selling thousands dollars worth of her coaching products and programs,
top industry leaders wanted to work with her, and  she no longer worried about money.

To get the rest of the story and learn about how a struggling entrepreneur turned into a thriving one, go to this website and get her free videos.


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