How to Leverage Your Story to Engage Your Audience

Female entrepreneur writing in a notebook in a green field

Before you go to the drawing board to create your website, there’s some important work you must do first.

Write your copy.

As much as you may wish it were true, building a website doesn’t magically make good copy appear. You have to do your homework.

But you have a problem. You dread writing. You procrastinate. You’d rather fluff the insulation in your attic than sit down and write your website copy. (Don’t worry – you’re not alone.)

Why? It’s hard. Memories of red marks and harsh criticism from high school English class may still echo in your mind. Perfectionism keeps you from starting, then has you making endless edits until there’s no life left in your words and sentences.

And readers can sense this. Words borne from struggle will turn them away.

So you want (and need) alive, dynamic copy that draws readers in to your website. Then you need them to stick around long enough to take action, such as signing up for your mailing list, scheduling a consultation, or referring a qualified lead to you. Sounds great, right?

But you still don’t know how to get there.

There’s so much advice in the online world about how to do it. It’s easy to fall into analysis paralysis. To alleviate the pressure, you may be tempted to wash your hands of the whole thing and hire copywriter to do it all for you. But you hesitate.

I get that. If you’re like my clients, you’re a soulful, mission-driven entrepreneur, and you want your message to be fully aligned with who you are, in your voice. You can’t afford for a copywriter to miss the mark. You’re looking for a partner, not a hand-off.

Fear not, my friend. I have good news for you. There’s a way to keep your hands on the wheel. You can write magnetic copy for your website, and it’s easier than you think.

The secret lies in your story.

Your story is the foundation from which your clear and compelling message grows.

Your story is connected to who you are, the pathways you’ve traveled, and the big why behind your business.

Your story demonstrates your purpose and passion.

So it’s very worthwhile to take some time to flesh out your foundational brand story. It’s the first step you need to take.

Here’s how to find your entry point.

Think of your life as a heroine’s journey. You’re the main character. You had a problem (or series of problems) to overcome. You met a helpful guide (or guides) who had a plan for helping you navigate your way through your problem. You took action. And while it may not have been easy, you achieved a positive outcome.

And now you’re in business to help others do the same.

See how the energy picks up when you place your experience into a story arc?

Humans are wired for story. It’s true! Cave people were painting pictographs on the walls long before they learned how to grow their own food. Storytelling is more embedded in our psyches than cultivating a consistent source of food!

But writing your story is just the beginning. Next you get to write out your client’s story. Because, ultimately, your client wants to be the heroine in her own story.

Asking yourself some questions can help you flesh out your client’s story:

What problem is she facing?
What plan do I offer for helping her navigate through it?
What does success look like for her?
Why am I the perfect guide for her?

Just as you had guides to help you on your journey, your client needs a guide too. And that guide can be YOU!

See how this gets exciting? Once you spell out what’s possible for your reader, you’ve drawn her in. Now she’s reading your website, your blogs, your articles.

And that, my friend, is half the battle in a crowded marketplace: getting someone’s attention.

So as you can see, fleshing out your foundational story is a fundamental step that makes all your copywriting easier. When your website copy is grounded in your experience, purpose, and passion, it will be magnetic. It will draw the right clients to you. And your confidence will soar.

I encourage you to give it a try.

Kim offers a fantastic brand story writing guide to help you get started on her website.

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credits

Created with Sketch.

Michelle Viljoen

(website design) is a graphic designer and brand consultant who specializes in creating and developing brands. Her core focuses are logo development, website design and brand direction.

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.