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CFD 127 – Maggie Patterson Reveals How to Craft Stories that Boost Sales!

Talk about essential skills, guest Maggie Patterson rocks at one of them… intelligently crafted communication! An experienced marketing copywriter with two decades working with all types and sizes of businesses, Maggie has written a whole lot of copy that converts to sales! In today’s episode of Cashflow Diary Maggie talks about what you are really selling. Here’s a hint: it’s not what you think! Communicating your brand is so much more than your products and services. You can learn a whole lot from listening to this rock star writer and marketing professional about the logical flow of communication and telling the right stories. Maggie talks about how your back story links to what you’re doing now. This guest has a refreshing message… what is your story? And how do you bring it out with a really unique flavor? You’ll learn that building your funnel and your database is kind of like building a house. You have to be really clear on what your customers and clients need from you. In short, you have to create relatable moments for your base. This is just the tip of the iceberg on what Maggie has to share in this bold episode. Learn more. LISTEN NOW

Show Notes

Summary:

On this episode of Cashflow Diary, J interviews copywriter and communications strategist, Maggie Patterson. This podcast is part of the essential skills series, and covers storytelling and content marketing. Maggie works with entrepreneurs to help them market their business using content and communications strategies in addition to copy that converts to meet business goals. She has 15 years of experience and has been featured on many websites, including The Huffington Post, Virgin, and Yahoo Small Business.

Episode Rundown: 

03:53 Origin Story

08:03 Storytelling and messaging

09:32 Risk of alienation

11:21 Needing help

13:16 Learn to tell your story

15:32 Types of stories

18:32 Content marketing

20:51 The ‘right’ story

24:41 Apply for a free one-on-one breakthrough session/ J’s episode insight

25:41 Three pillars of content marketing

18:19 Brand Image

30:39 Press Releases vs. social media

34:20 Communicating on social media

38:18 Switching industries

Main Questions Asked:

  • When you are working with someone new, how do they come to the realization that they need help?
  • What is the first way I should learn to tell my story?
  • Are there ‘types’ of stories to achieve certain objectives?
  • What does ‘content marketing’ look like, and how does one do it?
  • How do I know if it’s the ‘right’ story?
  • What are we really talking about when we say ‘content marketing?’
  • What is your ‘go to’ strategy for working with a client and getting them up and running?
  • Why do you prefer social media over press releases?
  • What do you do if you want to switch industries?
  • How does one put themselves in a position so they have a story to tell when it comes time to exit?
  • What would you say to the person who is considering getting into business but is afraid?

Key Lessons Learned:

  • It’s important to become a marketer of what you do, not just a technician behind what you do.
  • Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end.
  • No one is ever successful by playing it safe.
  • The way to dominate a market is to educate them first.

Story Telling: 

  • Most entrepreneurs don’t really understand how their backstory connects to where they are today.
  • Figure out what it is you can say that no one else says, or makes your story interesting and engaging.
  • Storytelling and messaging is the foundation for everything you do in marketing, so if you skip ahead, it will be shaky.
  • People who are charismatic are willing to take a stand and aren’t wishy-washy.
  • What are you so passionate about that you are willing to be bold and brazen, and really step up and take ownership?
  • When we take a stand we run the risk of alienating some people. We aren’t sure if that person is a sale, and it is this fear drives us. 

Learning to Tell Your Story:

  • You have to understand how storytelling works.
  • Stories are a pattern that our brain recognizes.
  • How stories function in our brain is so different to how we receive logic.
  • When you communicate with facts, only two parts of the brain is being activated. However, storytelling activates multiple parts of the brain.
  • Stories create imagination, and if the story sticks long enough, we start to think of it as real and fill in blanks.
  • You can often remember someone’s story rather than the product they are selling.
  • When you are selling, the fastest way to overcome someone’s objections is to warm them up with a story to get them open to receiving your message.
  • Storytelling is a pattern that can be replicated.

Types of Stories: 

  • People tend to talk about the heroes journey, however, there are two types of stories:

1) Stories that inspire

2) Stories people relate to

  • Stop thinking of stories as ‘epic tales’ but rather a little piece of color and slice of life that people can relate to as a human.
  • You need to give people what they expect with a story, because it’s a pattern so they want their happy ending.
  • When you tell a negative story you still need to end on a high note, or you’ll leave a bad taste in the audiences’ mouth.

Content Marketing:

  • Use content to educate and inform people. By doing this, you are creating trust and people are more apt to do business with you.
  • The 3 pillars of content marketing:

1) Story

2) Content (what is the most appropriate vehicle for your personality?)

3) Promotion (how we are going to get the message out there?)

  • Content marketing moves away from selling and moves toward creating value and injecting stories.
  • Content is the starting point for everything else you do.
  • Content marketing is not the fastest strategy but is more about scaling your business. 

The Right Story & Your Website:

  • When it comes to websites, the words, look, colors, and feel all tell a story about your brand.
  • There will be ‘right’ stories for different stages in your business.
  • Start to think about how you want people to feel when they are interacting with you.
  • What is the desired feeling of your website and brand? Bold, warmth, approachable? This will set the pace for everything.
  • Stories evolve over time and aren’t static. 

Brand Image:

  • We have to be aware of how we want to ‘show up’ for our clients, and how we want to present ourselves. This is essentially your brand image.
  • Think about the big brands, e.g Coke, and analyze. How do they make you feel? Why do they use consistent colors?
  • We are often good at getting people in the door, but drop the ball on the full brand experience.
  • Make sure you create a set of expectations.

Press Releases vs. Social Media:

  • The press release is a retro tool. We use it because we all know about it but it is very impersonal, static, and boring.
  • Coke is actively phasing out the use of press releases.
  • Brand journalism is being an internal journalist within your own brand.
  • Your message will be a lot more effective if you are doing it on a one-to-one basis.
  • Figure out where ‘your people’ are. If you have a large audience, ensure you get very narrow with your scope.
  • Start building relationships with your local media rather than aiming for big fish like The Today Show. Get real experience before you go big.
  • Sometimes you have to do something to realize it’s not the right fit for you or your audience.

Switching Industries:

  • Quitting our job without a client list isn’t ever a good idea.
  • Always have a good transition plan.
  • Remember people need to be warmed up before they pay you.
  • Ensure you understand the needs of your clients, and take the time to do discovery interviews and understand their pain points.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show in iTunes 

Links to Resources Mentioned 

Maggie Patterson

Marketing Moxie Show

The Fascinate Test

Learn Investing Now

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Why is storytelling important for your business? Find out w/ @magspatterson & J Massey cashflowdiarypodcast.com @CashFlowDiary

Did social media kill the press release? Find out w/ @magspatterson & J Massey cashflowdiarypodcast.com @CashFlowDiary