Over the past 25 years of selling things to people, I’ve learned a thing or two (well, actually about 439 things) about what potential clients want during the buying experience.
Sure, every client is different from the next, but most can be grouped into a handful of different buyer types. I’ve worked with a model based on four communication styles learned through my executive coach, Laura Moriarty with Tahoe Training Partners.
These closely resemble the four main personality types in the DISC assessment and are incredibly helpful in stretching your way of selling to match how buyers feel most comfortable – but that’s for a different post.
What all types of buyers want
No matter who you’re selling to they all want one thing. It’s not a best friend. It’s not all the awards you’ve won or the list you’re on or magazine you’ve been published in. It’s not a massive bullet-point list that details all the things you do for your clients. These may help with a particular type of client, but not every type of client.
So what does every type of client want?
What everyone wants to know is how their lives will be transformed by the work you do.
The operative word here is “transformed.” They want to know how your clients go from where they are (unsure about how to have the wedding of their dreams) to where they want to be (looking back at images like the ones on your IG feed or Pinterest or website portfolio).
It’s the process that’s important
I’m not the first person to write about this – and I won’t be the last. Your couples are the heroes of their story and they'll likely follow a few basic plot lines.
The hero’s journey is a concept anthropologist Joseph Campbell and psychologist Carl Jung believed goes back as far as humans have been telling stories around fires. If you’ve not read about it, do it. Here’s an article that summarizes it simply and easily.
The basic concept includes three main stages:
If you want to geek out on the full 12 stages:
If you’ve read Donald Miller’s Storybrand, you’ll recognize much of this is familiar: hero, guide, transformation. In fact, Miller states quite clearly his inspiration for Storybrand grew from reading The Seven Basic Plots, a near-800 word page-turner based in large part on Campbell’s and Jung’s work.
Here are the seven basic plots:
I’m not trying to bore you with a bunch of history on the study of heroes and stories. Personally, I find it fascinating – and helpful to know the background of who’s talking about what in the marketing and sales world. And as a student of history, I’ve always been motivated to research the primary and secondary sources of the material I read, and maybe you will too?
Which plot are you using in your real wedding blogs?
The real reason I’m bringing it up and sharing it with you is that I want your blog posts to tell stories your site visitors will find interesting.
To grab your readers’ attention, you have to do more than throw up 50 images and vendor links (no story). You have to do more than tell how your couple met, how he proposed, what their look/feel/vibe was, and what their favorite memory was from the wedding (boring story).
You have to do more than report a bunch of information.
People want transformation – not information – and that comes from the seven major plots Christopher Booker describes in his book and the 12 stages listed out by Campbell. The best stories will follow these formulas.
When you blog about a real wedding from one of your real couples, you have to ask yourself, What’s the real story here? What plot did their wedding follow? What was the journey they went on? What comfort or false belief did they have to give up? What obstacles did they face? How did you, the Guide, help them through the darkest part of their journey? What did triumph look like at the wedding and after the wedding?
Don’t be afraid of conflict
The one thing every story has in common is a problem. The hero can’t undergo a transformation if there wasn’t anything wrong in the first place or if s/he didn’t run into one on their journey. That’s what makes these stories interesting!
Like DNA with essential traits that have helped us survive over the past tens and hundreds of thousands of years, the best stories are still with us because people remembered them. They remember them because they’re interesting. And they’re interesting because there’s conflict. There’s conflict because not all is right with the world.
And it’s okay to talk about that. In fact, that’s really what we care most about. How did we overcome obstacles on our way to triumph.
People will read interesting stories
We hear all the time the false belief that people don’t read anymore. As professional copywriters, we know that’s not true. The 40+ clients’ websites we’ve written for over the past ten months see all sorts of engagement from site visitors.
You know what people don’t read? Bad writing. Boring stories. Information.
So start creating real wedding blog posts that tell a story – and make the plot follow one of the well-known and readily accepted plots humans have loved since, well, the beginning of our time on this planet.
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