How to tell a story

A story sells. But, like many others, I’m not very good at talking about myself. I mean, I admit that I do talk about myself too much. But in things like writing my resume, explaining my skills, or saying my achievements, well, I need some practice if I am going to sell a product like craft beer coming from my brewery.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I kept hearing people talk about AskPat. So I finally had to check it out.

AskPat is a new project from Pat Plynn, the self-proclaimed “crash test dummy of online business.” His other podcast, Smart Passive Income, is so successful and had so many listener questions, that he started a new podcast just for answering questions.

He obviously gets a lot of questions, AskPat is published 5 days per week. By the time I gave it a go, he had nearly 200 episodes, but I figure I’d listen to the first few to get a feel for it.

The very first episode gave me such good information. And I’ve already put it into action to tell my story better!

My About Page tells my story

In AskPat episode 001 is about creating the perfect About Page.

“The about page is extremely important on any website,” says Pat. “Many would argue that it is, in fact, the most important page on your website.”

According to Pat, the about page is “typically one of the most visited pages on your website.”

Another key figure in podcasting is John Lee Dumas. He often says that the audience is always asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” It’s so important that he makes it easy to remember by just using the acronym, WIIFM.

So an excellent About Page tells my story, but it does it in a way that is not focused on me, but on the reader.

Pat says people go to the About Page to:

  • Learn about you
  • See what you have to offer
  • Find out whether it’s worth sticking around

5 key elements for an about page

Here’s Pat Flynn’s formula for the perfect About Page.

#1 The Hook – Show them they’re in the right spot.

Right at the beginning you have to let the reader know whether they will find what they’re looking for. You can do that by writing for the reader’s point of view.

For example, I might say, “Do you ever wonder what it takes to start a brewery?”

A large focus of this blog is my pursuit to start a brewery, so if the reader is interested in that, they need to know that’s what I’m talking about.

Another way you can show the reader that they’re in the right spot is by relating to them.

I could say, “Wow! My work was really causing some health issues, I had to get out of there. So I decided to follow a dream and try to start a brewery.”

A lot of people can relate to a bad work environment. So they might like to read more about my story on this site.

This section of the About Page really has to go deep.

Pat quotes Jay Abraham:

Define the problem better than your target customer, and they will assume you have the answer.

#2 Share The Benefits – Not the features, but the benefits.

Lots of products of services try to advertise by stating the features. But the better way is to state the benefits.

One feature of my blog would be: I write about my pursuit to start a brewery.

A benefit would be: Watch me start a brewery to see what works and avoid my mistakes.

Again, this is about thinking from the reader’s point of the view. Whereas the features focus on the product, the benefits focus on the audience.

#3 Social Proof and Testimonials – Give proof that you are the person to follow.

It really helps to have “social proof.”

Social proof is an important way to show the reader that my product or service is worth their time.

If I can show the reader that others have found my blog helpful, they themselves will be more likely to invest their time. If I can show that others have found my beer to be great, they’ll be more likely to buy some.

#4 My Personal Story – Tell a little bit about your background, where you came from, how you came to be.

As I said in the beginning, a story sells.

Podcasts and video are becoming more popular than blogs because hearing someone’s voice or seeing their face builds a much stronger connection than just reading what they wrote.

Humans resonate with a story. A story shows the personality behind a product or service. It’s no different with craft beer.

Tiffany Adamowski owns 99 Bottles beer store in Federal Way, Washington. “Personality sells,” she says.

In a blog on MicroBrewr, she writes, “Beers with catchy, fun, and unique brands are easiest to sell on a customer’s first visit.”

The About Page on your website is like a visit to the local craft beer specialty store. When the customer looks to see what’s on the shelf, the first to catch their attention is the story.

So, in a few paragraphs, tell your audience a little bit about yourself. Get intimate. What are your hobbies? What are your weaknesses? What are your dreams? Tell them something personal that they can resonate with.

#5 Include an Opt-In Box For the Email List – You must do this.

Lastly, Pat says every About Page must have a way for the reader to sign up for your email list.

A lot can be said about the importance of an email list. Other than in-person, face-to-face meetings, there are few ways to communicate with your audience that are as direct as email.

By way of their email address, they have invited you into their personal email inbox. It is a special privilege. Don’t pass the opportunity to tell your customer about new products, deals, promotions, or just a something new in your life.

But you don’t get the opportunity without their email address. Pat says his opt-ins increased by 446% the month he added an opt-in form on his About Page. So add an option to opt-in on the most visited page on your website—your About Page.

What do you think?

I had been intending to revamp my About Page. So after listening to this AskPat episode 001, I finally got around to it.

I redid the About Page on this blog, Beer Exam School, and MicroBrewr. It’s good practice for learning to craft a story of my future brewery.

Let me know what you think of my new, rewritten About Page. And send me a link to your new About Page. Post it in the comments below.

 

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Nathan Pierce

    Drinks beer, quit his job, planning to start a brewery. I try to write every week about something in my life relating to my pursuit to start a brewery. Topics include: entrepreneurship, beer, leadership, and productivity.