Here’s a great way to inject a little magic into your marketing…
It’s a simple, fun tactic for bringing out the personality in your product story – or your personal story – so it resonates with people…
And can even transform passive readers into active customers.
We’re talking here about the ‘small moments’ – subtle sparks in your copy that really connect with your prospect…
…and the cool thing is, you can achieve this without even needing to be in the room with them.
People buy from people
It’s no secret that people are more likely to buy from you if they know, like and trust you.
I mean, when did you last pay for something online from someone you didn’t like, right?
(Ok, excluding Amazon. But they’re an unusual exception.
No personality, no humanity, no empathy – just a big ol’ corporate control over margins of price, access, and data. But if you’re not Amazon, keep reading…)
A big part of developing that relationship is communicating the small moments that make you or your product unique.
Not shocking revelations, necessarily…
Or feats of incredible prowess…
Just distinct, textural details that conjure up an image – or even better, a feeling – for your reader.
These small moments can be memorable details about how your product came into being…
They can be specific or unusual challenges you had to overcome to get where you are today…
Or they can be ‘sticky’ nuggets of information that leave a stronger impression of you on the page – and ultimately, in your reader’s mind.
You only need to sprinkle a little of this stuff into your marketing here and there to get results, because a little goes a long way.
Think: daisies in a meadow…
…or blueberries in a muffin.
Making a powerful appeal to your reader
When a prospect reads your message – on a landing page, your About page or in an email campaign – they’re mostly looking to learn what’s in it for them…
But whether they realize it or not, they’re also looking for the small moments – the blueberries in the muffin.
Partly because it’s here that you become ‘whole’ to them – you go from ‘just another service provider’ to a real person, a one-off.
And it’s also partly because people like to consume information as story – and the little details in your messaging help bring your story to life.
Look at these two descriptions:
My grandfather handed me the book, and I began reading it on the train home.”
My grandfather’s hand shook as he passed me the book. On the train home, as I began to read, a small black and white photo slipped out from the pages. It was of my grandparents, holding my father as a baby.”
Nothing particularly exciting happens, but the details in the second description – the shaking hand, the photograph – make it more resonant and memorable…
Your imagination has something to latch on to.
A memory – however fleeting – is created.
When we encounter a visual description like this, our brains respond and a connection is made.
And it’s this simple, subtle connection that strengthens the best sales arguments – even at a point where no actual ‘selling’ is taking place.
You don’t have to be a best-selling novelist or even a seasoned blogger to add this kind of ‘gold nugget’ detail to your web copy, though.
Take a moment to try this simple exercise:
Just think back to when you first heard one of your favourite records…
Or first read a book that really meant something to you…
Or discovered something that changed your life, like an amazing product or a game-changing technique that kick-started your biz.
Picture yourself at that moment:
What were you wearing? Were you all alone, and if not, who was there with you?
Could you smell cut grass? Or feel sand between your toes?
What was the weather like: school-holiday sunny or crisp, Christmas chilly?
Were you supposed to be somewhere else at that moment, doing something else?
Had you broken a rule that day, or had a chance encounter with someone significant?
Dig deep, and pull out a detail that brings that memory to life.
It doesn’t have to be poetic, or cinematic – or even flattering. People respond to humanity in others, not flawlessness…
But it’s these ‘small moments’ that stick in the mind, like a splash of colour in a black and white movie.
Here’s a couple of “Blueberry Muffin Marketing” examples in successful entrepreneurs’ stories
Billionaire entrepreneur John Paul Dejoria talks about how he clawed his way up from rock-bottom to founder of Paul Mitchell hair-care products and Patron Spirits.
Right at the start of the video he says:
“I was homeless in my early-20s – with a two-and-a-half-year-old son – and went around collecting soda-pop bottles from vacant lots.”
Baby-faced MD of RPD International, Josh Valman (still just 19!) revealed how he set up his first business at just 15, using a fake PayPal account to pay for manufacturing in China… something his parents weren’t happy about!
And London-based SBTV entrepreneurial success-story Jamal Edwards remembers “the long, cold N27 bus journeys home” from shooting his early interviews – all while still studying at college.
Notice how the vivid details in these examples – the soda bottles, the fake PayPal account, the number of the night-bus – highlight not just a transformation in the individuals’ lives…
They also form part of our perception of that individual’s character.
Persistence, guts, mischief, initiative and street-smarts…
It’s a powerful kind of branding, because you’re not asked to see them in simply an heroic or one-dimensional ‘Big Achiever’ light…
In fact, it’s less of a spotlight, more of a peek-behind-the-curtain…
You catch just a glimpse, but you start to feel you know the person telling the story.
When you let your prospects peek behind your curtain and see the detail in your story, that’s when they start to feel they can trust you…
That’s when you become a person to them – someone just a little different from the competition.
And in business, sometimes ‘different’ is as good as ‘better’.
Harnessing the power of other people’s stories
One last tip for today:
When you ask your customers for testimonials – (you are asking them, right?) – encourage them to add their own unique detail to the story of how you/your product helped them.
Then, you’ll be able to use other people’s resonant, personal stories that both demonstrate the benefits of your service AND stick in the mind of your reader.
It’s “show, don’t tell” in action.
Here’s a question you can ask that’ll help you do this:
What was happening in your life when you hired me/started using our product? And can you recall something that changed as a result, even a small detail?”
Instead of just asking “How did our product help you?” this question really gets your customer thinking about the before and after, and picturing themselves in both situations.
That’s where the gold is. And you’ll get answers with personal detail, like:
It’s like one of those old ‘spot the difference’ picture puzzles, where the brain finds it almost irresistible to start looking for what’s changed from one image to the next.
Like the old saying goes, “the devil is in the detail”…
So when you – and your customers – add a little “Blueberry Muffin Marketing” to your sales copy, those small details could start generating some big wins.