You’re a writer… you know the power of telling stories.
Stories have the ability to move people, to touch them emotionally. They have the power to persuade… to inform… to inspire.
They can change how people think and help them see the world or one of its aspects in a new way.
They also, and you might not have used them this way, have the power to organize.
When it comes to being productive and getting things done in an effective and efficient way, stories can be one of your best tools.
But I haven’t met many writers who use them for getting organized.
Here’s how it works… When you’re starting a new project and you aren’t sure where to begin or what order you need to do things in, tell yourself a story. This is a great way to sort it all out.
When you do this, one of two things will happen. You’ll either realize that you knew what you needed to do, and it came out as you put it in a narrative.
Or you’ll realize what questions you have that need answers before you can really plan everything out.
So, let’s say you’re building your own website and you aren’t sure what to do first, what has to be done before launch, and what can wait until after launch.
Try putting the process of creating your website in story form rather than in list form.
On a list, you might have things like “write homepage copy,” “write About page copy,” and “choose a color scheme.”
Tell Yourself a Story to Uncover Project Details
But if you tell yourself a story, “write a homepage” will look more like this:
I sit down to write the copy for my homepage. What do I want readers to feel when they arrive? What action do I want them to take? How will they find my homepage in the first place (and do I need to know this now before I start writing)? I know I want my readers to feel excited about the possibility of working with me. That means I need to focus my message on two things — why working with me is different and how I deliver the results they’re after.
The answer to the first is that I use a proven process that keeps things moving. My clients always know where we at and how things are progressing. There’s no worry and I remove all the stress of follow up by proactively keeping them informed.
The answer to the second is that I take a user-centric approach. I know how to identify and remove barriers encountered by the reader and my track record of increasing leads for my clients is outstanding.
So this is just one, little portion of the story of your website. But you can see how this helps you determine how everything should unfold, what information you still need to gather, and what you already know you need to focus on.
Next time you’re feeling stuck with any project, sit down and write out the story of how you’d like the project to progress. You’ll get a much more detailed timeline and order of tasks… and you’ll see where you still need to ask some questions.
New on the Site
Sometimes a client proposes something to you that you know is a mistake. How do you handle that? Well, Andrew Murray was recently faced with such a dilemma and he shares his approach here.
When a client hires you, they are hoping you’ll be able to deliver specific results for them. Here’s how to uncover what that result is and then how to systematically help them achieve their goals. John Torre breaks the process down into seven key steps.
Offering a free giveaway is a classic method for growing your list. In this post from Suzanna Fitzgerald, you’ll see three different structures you can use to give visitors an incentive to let you stay in touch.
Mark Your Calendar
August 21: Speaking of list-building, don’t miss our upcoming interview with Brian T. Edmondson. Brian is an expert at growing email lists and in this interview, he shares a proven way to attract more targeted subscribers to your list. This is a skill you can use to grow your own business and one your clients will pay you handsomely for.
August 26: There’s still time to get in on our current Practice Assignment. Try your hand at writing a blog post. Submit it to me by August 26th and have a chance to see your work reviewed in a live webinar. You can find the details here.
Around the Web
Copyblogger shares a good guide to setting up an internal linking strategy for your blog.
Are your clients struggling to see the value of SEO? Follow the link for five objections you’re likely to encounter and how to answer them.
When it comes to digital marketing, you have so many options. Ahrefs shares seven digital marketing strategies that are proven to work.
Product pages are super important, but they’re often where things fall apart in terms of conversions. Crazy Egg shares four easy ways to boost conversions on these critical pages.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!