My client, founder of a personal finance and bookkeeping business, had never done a process like mine before. In fact, she'd seldom had to market her business, and she'd never written about it. She'd never needed to. A powerhouse entrepreneur, my client grew her successful business over 20 years through word-of-mouth referrals. This year, as she stepped up her newsletter efforts, she asked me to write some stories. She truly is a numbers person, and doesn’t think of her work as lending itself to good storytelling.
But of course she, like every entrepreneur, has amazing stories of all the challenges she’s overcome and things she’s learned.
Not everyone operates from a storytelling framework. My numbers-focused client initially asked that I create stories about general financial advice, researched and aggregated from other blogs and financial sites that were doing similar work. But I didn't think we could create content that would wow her clients by aggregating from other sources. I told my client: "I'm not the expert. You are. And the really interesting story here isn't necessarily accounting or finance, it's YOU. Your work, your experience, your successes.” My work is to conduct a personal, journalistic interview and write stories based on the specifics my clients want to share.
She was hesitant, because she didn’t think she had stories in her, but she agreed to try the process for a month.
Six months in and we're going strong. My client loves the stories we’ve created together about her life’s work. Even better, her newsletter efforts this year have coincided with a massive increase in engagement with her business and a big influx of new clientele — 40 new clients for her business during a pandemic, at a time of year where in the past, she might have only seen a handful. She’s even had some folks reach out to her to specifically say they liked the writing, which resulted in a few client referrals for me, too! Writing real stories about real people, for real people, is the one content strategy that always resonates, builds trust, and creates a solid foundation for a relationship between client and service provider.
When I write for a client, it’s because their story is unique, and interesting, and it has the potential to make readers' lives better. Readers gravitate to true stories about real things. They love meaty topics where they can attach to specifics about the person being written about, and they can sense when they don't have it.