As a writer, I think I’m pretty boring. Everyday, I write, edit, google how to spell words and everyday is the same. Or is it? While we might consider what we do daily as ho-hum and mundane, there are life lessons, successful outcomes, and touching stories that others would like to hear and even need to hear. Every time you solve a problem, grow as a professional, have a bumpy transaction go smoothly with a client is a story worth sharing. You may feel that writing a story is not your strong suit, but just the other day, you told a great story. Now just tell the story with words on “paper.”
Your personal stories help leads and clients relate to you and to what you are sharing. The stories will resonate clearly and deeply, building trust and closeness.
Have a Point
Focus on a main idea or theme such as your expertise (you are not in the story, just your knowledge is) helps solve a problem. The another theme is about how you helped a client make a decision, how you helped the client solve a tricky situation, how there was a communication error and how it was solved.
Examples include: an article on whether to go with a drought-friendly garden versus a flower garden (I see a comparison story!), how to maximize usage of an odd shaped space.
Each story can be told in a number of ways depending on how you want to the reader to digest the information. So you can do “Whether to upgrade a garage or convert it into a studio,” in which you lay out the pros and cons showing your expertise to the reader or “Helping the Studebaker’s figure out whether to upgrade a garage or convert it into a studio,” in which you tell a personal story and your interaction with them to problem solve.
And then what happened?
A good title will help you get started. Think about what the story is about and that is your blog post title. The title will keep you focused. Every time, you write a paragraph or sentence, does it tie back to your title? Even a title that is a question works. Next, a good intro.
The introductory paragraph should jump right into the story. What were you doing when you first got word of the challenge? Setting? Who else was there? It is important to set up the scene and lead up to the problem/main theme of your post.
Some people like to start off with a more direct introduction, like, “People spend a great deal of time in their bedroom, but focus on upgrading every other part of their home, and may feel renovating the bedroom is not important, but it is.” Then you could lead into the story.
Identify the Problem(s)
After you’ve set up the scene, what’s the problem related to the theme of your post? and what other challenges appeared with the initial problem? Were any of the challenges mental, physical, emotional?
This is going to be the height of your post. Identifying what the home owner felt, said and did as well as the circumstances around it should be familiar to your audience. Your audience may be homeowners who think the same way or are doing the same thing as the character of your story. Find a way to describe the problem so you put them in your “character’s” shoes.
“The clients originally didn’t see what I meant, but after a few nights of poor sleep, waking up to the sound of the roads and birds, waking up to bright jarring light, waking up to the heat of the morning, the clients saw they did have a problem and wanted me to help them solve it.”
Introduce YOUR Character
The stories you write for your home improvement blog or newsletter have a purpose: educate your leads or clients to your services and to introduce them to you. Are you the person they can turn to when things sour? Or what about helping two clients compromise on an upgrade or remodel? Your story is a way to subtly let your readers know how great of a fit you are, why your audience should keep you on their mind, and why you might be a great contractor to recommend to a friend or family member.
As the project gets going and problems arises, let your reader know your thoughts and concern. Describe the problem, let the reader in on what you were thinking, what your concerns were. This will go a long way toward helping them understand your particular brand and your personality. It’s a warm way to show who you are and what makes you stand out.
Answer the Problem and End with a Bang
You have finally come to the end of your story. You know your theme, have your title, your intro, and the body of the story. Now, for the cherry on top, write how you solved the problem your client faced. Show your work- the steps you took and your thinking process to help solve a problem and get the project done.
Tell how your clients responded. A negative reaction is OK to mention especially when you show how you turned that frown upside down. In your finality, mention how they changed their mind with your help.
Also mention the future, how they are happy with the project, maybe what they thought about the project to begin with and how they grew with the experience or how the project added more to their life then they originally thought.
“My clients went from being skeptics to ecstatic in a couple of days after completion of the bedroom remodel. They called me a couple of days later letting me know that sound proofing the windows and changing the blinds changed their life. No joke. Having the best sleep of their life consistently gave them energy and their love of coffee, turned in to a like of coffee. ”
Last minute tips:
- At the end of your story, you can provide a bullet list of what you would like the reader to take away from your story.
- Shine in your story, let your work shine, let your clients shine. Everyone should be tan by the end of the story!
- Never put your client down. Don’t make your clients out to be crazy and you saved the day. That’s ugly and no one will want to work with you.