The Story is in the “Why”
I’ve been working with a client whom I know really well. I’ve followed them for years, observed the changes in their brand and voice, and have had many a conversation with them about what their business is all about.
So when we started working together in the context of SEO & Content Strategy, my process got a little wonky. You see, I typically insist on starting with a questionnaire that really digs into the who and why of your business, BUT since I felt like we both had a good grasp on those things already, I scrapped it and started right in with some other aspects of my process.
BUT a little later, my client encouraged me to send the questionnaire anyway, and once they filled it out, I realized how silly it was that I had abandoned my process in the first place.
Because the why is your story.
What my questionnaire really does is help shape the mission for everything we do moving forward. Without it, we had started moving forward as most creatives do in their business—grasping at the “shoulds” of content strategy without getting to the deeper and more interesting aspect of hitting home some core values and wrapping your audience into your story along the way.
Because that story is what sets you apart.
It’s how your audience relates to you.
It’s what makes you feel like you’re not even selling something, but giving them something that makes them take the initiative of opting in for more (hint: that’s exactly what you’re doing).
So what is the story that your audience is buying? No, it’s not the actual product or service—it’s a deeper intangible. And that intangible is the core of every piece of content that’s going to get them saying Yes! OMG how did you get in my head??
I get it, though. It’s tough to learn how to write that way again. We get so afraid of straying from our core message and our niche that we abandon the story altogether and instead only focus on the facts: “I sell X.” “I will give you X.” “For a better business, you need X.”
So instead, let’s focus on the Y.
(See what I did there??)
X (what you sell) is just an ingredient that gets your client to Y (that deeper intangible). And the way we sell that deeper intangible is through the story your client is buying.
Give them that story.