Last time I explained how BIG Ideas + SMALL Moments = BETTER sales messaging.
Now it’s time to dig a bit deeper into how that actually works for your biz.
(Late to the party? No worries. Catch up with pt.1 here.)
Using this ‘BI/SM’ approach strengthens your connection with your ideal prospects so you can better communicate your true, unique value to them.
Handily, there’s a super-simple way to do that by combining a memorable big marketing idea with focus-enhancing small moments:
Stories let you communicate an overall concept (like a big marketing idea) in a way that gets your prospect’s attention… AND holds that attention by incorporating memorable details (‘small moments’).
Stories work because they’re ‘sticky’:
They present information in a naturally entertaining format that the brain can latch onto and remember easily.
It’s been that way for as long as people have walked around on two legs. Stories connect, and we’re hardwired to understand them.
There are THREE simple story types you can use in your sales messaging to connect more deeply with your prospects…
And they all utilise stories you – and the majority of biz-owners, freelancers and marketers – already have access to.
So you don’t have to wait for your muse appearing out of nowhere and tickling you with the ol’ creative genius stick.
Big Idea / Small Moment Story Type 1:
The first one is YOUR story.
One way to communicate your product or service’s big idea is to explain what drove you to create it.
This is perfect for use on your About page, as well as in sales pages and even ad copy…
…especially if you’ve personally experienced the same problems your ideal customers face today, and can show empathy with them.
‘We are the stories we tell about ourselves’ – so this is your opportunity to shape how your potential future clients and customers see you.
Even if your biz wasn’t born out of a dramatic ‘life or death’ situation (let’s face it, most aren’t) you can still draw on your past experiences for BI/SM inspo:
The big idea in your message might come from the fact that most of the ‘solutions’ available for your problem didn’t have a lasting impact, because they were based on incomplete processes, common misconceptions or unreliable info…
…but that inspired you to come up with a better alternative.
TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus started the international money transfer service after getting ripped off by hidden, unexplained banking fees whenever he sent money home to Estonia from his job in London.
When he realised financial companies like banks and P*yP*l were conducting a £5.6 billion a year ‘mark-up’ industry that hit consumers and small biz owners alike, he set out to disrupt things by designing a fairer service.
The big idea: radically transparent “money without borders”.
Some small moments or ‘snapshots’ you could use to tell your story might be personal memories about how you felt at specific points in your journey:
The moment you decided “enough is enough” and took action to try and fix things for good…
How it felt when you first realised you’d solved that problem (or saw proof of concept), who you broke the news to first and what sharing that moment meant to you…
Even simple descriptions of feelings, memories, and turning point moments can bring the big idea behind your product / service to life, helping your prospect better visualise your experience.
All of which helps them get to Know, Like and Trust you, and reduces the amount of actual ‘selling’ you need to do.
BI/SM Story Type 2:
Now let’s think about your CUSTOMER’S stories.
This one’s actually a little easier (provided you’re asking the right questions of your clients and customers)…
Start by digging into your feedback files: surveys, testimonials, reviews & case studies of the people you’ve helped.
Again, look for small moments where people describe their thoughts and feelings at critical points in their journey.
You could show before & after comparisons between how they felt either side of using your product or service, and spotlight quotes that use emotional or descriptive language.
(Don’t have enough customer feedback to work with yet? This process can help.)
Dialogue and snippets of conversation are perfect for this, because they show your customers as real, living characters with distinct voices – not just marketing ‘avatars’ invented to prove a point.
My pal Kevin Rogers makes great use of this story type on his Copy Chief membership site’s ‘Praise page’, splicing snippets of spoken testimonials with written ones.
The result is a more ‘natural’ feel that reflects the informal atmosphere inside Copy Chief itself (it’s quite the party).
Sometimes when your customers write testimonials, they can slip into language which they think is more ‘appropriate’ but can come across a little stiff…
…but when they talk freely, they’re more likely to loosen up and display their enthusiasm for your service.
You can use customer transformation stories throughout your messaging…
As headlines and subheads in sales pages, in PPC ads to establish credibility fast, and to promote case studies you can use as authority content.
Be sure to tie these stories into your messaging’s ‘big idea’…
They should all emphasise the specific process only YOU use – your unique mechanism or personal experience, not just the market in general.
Remember: your big idea’s goal is to clearly communicate ONE core, memorable concept behind your biz…
So any small moments you use need to support this, keeping readers focused on that key point.
BI/SM Story Type 3:
Lastly, let’s consider your PROSPECT’S stories.
Speaking directly to your reader and putting them at the centre of the story helps them visualise a better future for themselves – while also demonstrating empathy with where they are right now.
For instance, you could challenge your prospect to imagine what a potential scenario would look like for them personally by asking a rhetorical question…
Zapier does this on their ‘How It Works’ page by asking visitors what they would do with the time they’d save each day/week/month/year if they used Zapier’s automation tools.
And alongside that “what would YOU do?” question, they preview specific case studies from existing customers stating how much time they’re saving and what they’re doing with it.
So they’re supporting their big idea – biz-owners can recover lost time by creating simple, personalised automations – with small moments that showcase actual user experiences, helping Johnny Prospect imagine himself in a better situation.
When you invite your reader to put themselves at the heart of the action, they get a sense of what life could be like once they’ve solved their problem.
Of course, the more detailed the picture you paint for them, the better.
Direct response expert Parris Lampropolous suggests asking this question to help you do that for your prospect’s story:
If I’m watching this on screen, what do I see?”
Using small moments to describe a future scenario helps transform your reader’s hope for a better outcome into belief that it can happen.
Ok, that’s a trio of simple story types you can use to communicate an attention-grabbing BIG Idea using memorable SMALL Moments.
Give ’em a go in your next sales message and let me know how you got on!