It’s the latest buzzword in all things marketing and fundraising. But there’s a fundamental error that many are making. Find out where businesses go wrong with story.
In my dealings with businesses over time, there’s something I’ve noticed quite clearly. Everyone has a story to tell.
Of course that’s expected, many see their work as a cause they are most passionate about. They love what they do. The people they help and the outcomes they make happen. They want to tell people to support their story. To join their story. Make their story happen.
Rethink whose story it is.
Unfortunately, in a media-rich world that markets ‘me, me, me,’ your story just isn’t going to cut it. Or not as you’re currently writing it anyway.
When working with my clients there is something I often have to work through with them to see their copy shine. It’s helping them rethink whose story we want to be talking about.
Many organisations need to realise that their service, cause or product is not the story itself. They need to realise that what they offer will instead be used to help a supporter or customer complete their own story.
The reason you need to tell the customer’s story
Have you ever opened up a piece of mail from a charity and read something along the lines of this: ‘Help us give 30,000 children hope this Christmas with a $30 gift’. The supporter is nowhere in sight. Therefore, the target sounds impossible, especially placed next to $30. We don’t even know what hope would mean… is it reuniting them with family? Giving them food? Or getting them an education?
The supporter needs to be able to picture what their actual $30 gift will do. How you will use it. Who it will help.
See the difference for yourself: your $30 is going to help a child in need. However, if you want to improve it, try this: your $30 will provide a meal this Christmas to a child like Steven who would otherwise go without.
By making this simple distinction from the start, the whole approach to how you write your appeal letter will dramatically shift. Details the customer wants to hear will suddenly find themselves appear, pointless business jargon will quickly be booted out.
When we remember whose story we are trying to tell, the right people will listen.
If you’d like to chat through your next story for your communications and are looking for some advice, why not get in touch and we can arrange a time to discuss.