Pretty Websites Aren’t Everything

The Seven Pillars of Storytelling

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with how your website looks? Chances are you might give it a strong 9 or 10, right? When it comes to web design, most owners assume that all that they need to do is have a beautiful website and that will guarantee success.

Having a pretty website isn’t a bad thing; after all, a great first impression is really key to winning people over for the long haul. And yes, a pretty website will draw in a visitor immediately, but you also need to make sure it answers a few more questions for your potential customer to successfully rope them.

When your visitor arrives on your website, they need three questions answered:

  • What does your business offer?
  • How will it make my life better?
  • What do I need to do to get it?

One thing is for sure, once your potential customer lands on your website, everything should feel like a wonderful (scenic) journey; an interesting story. As Seth Godin says: “People do not buy goods or services; they buy relationships, stories, and magic.”

Your customers are the hero of your story, and they should always play center stage. They are the people that you should endeavor to engage, inspire and build trust with. You should present yourself in a position that assures them that you not only understand their pain/needs but you have the remedy to heal/solve their problem.

Remember, you need to actually get someone to your website in the first place, and that’s where effective marketing comes in. Marketing is a great lead generator for your business as it forms part of your business’s first contact with potential customers. Both your marketing message and your website need to be “in-tune”.

A beautiful design is less of a priority as compared to great content and marketing. There are a number of websites whose design could be termed as ‘basic’ yet, because of the content they have along with a robust marketing plan, they attract the right people who convert into sales. An example of such a website is the Berkshire Hathaway’s website which can be termed as vastly obsolete if compared with current websites, but Berkshire Hathaway rakes in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, meaning they understand their target audience very well and work around them.

The pillars of storytelling

While your website’s design may be what sets you apart from your competitors, it also needs to speak to your Brand Story, and carry your potential customer through the sales funnel. You want both your design and content to welcome and envelope the customer. So, how do you level up your content to inspire and engage your customers? Make sure it is anchored on the 7 brand pillars of storytelling:

Identify the character

Your customer is looking for a solution to their pain points. Making them the hero of your story means approaching your writing from the perspective of ‘I understand you’. For a potential customer, hearing you describe them immediately builds a rapport with, and interest in, your business because they see you as a kindred spirit.

Identify the problem

Once you have caught the customer’s attention, you should go on to describe their problem. There is nothing better than a customer knowing that your goods or services are going to be the right weapons with which they can combat their problem.

Identify and introduce the guide

Remember, your customer is the hero in your story. Your job is to be their guide, giving them a clear path to solving their problem. Let them have faith in the process you are about to take them through, let them be comfortable doing business with you.

Identify the plan

When you present a robust plan to your customer about how you intend to solve their problem, you are building their confidence in you too. This also works to alleviate any fears they may have of doing business with you.

Create a call to action

So you have identified your customer and pitched your brand as the solution to their problem, but what do you want them to do with the information? A call to action is your challenge to your customer on what they should do to sample your product or service. Without a call to action, they may never feel compelled to do anything or they may see you only as a source of information and then go elsewhere to someone else who has a clear message on what to do next.

Identifying what is at stake

Whereas it is important to let your customers know what they stand to gain from choosing to use your products or services, your story is even more compelling when you outline what the consequences will be should they opt not to use your product or service. Getting a customer to understand the cost of foregoing your product or service is the best way to convince them to try what you are offering.

Paint the picture of success

Your customer needs to see a clear picture of how amazing the benefits and outcomes of using your product or service will be. Do you have any testimonials from previous clients? Any analytics surrounding the success of your product or service? Show them off as your medals of honor! When they see that your product or service has worked out for real people, your customers will want to be part of the wave of success too.

Exercise: Assess your website using what you now know about the 7 pillars of storytelling. Does your website address each of the pillars?

As a bonus, remember to analyze your website from time to time to see if your strategy worked, and identify areas of improvement. Make sure your visitors can navigate easily through your website regardless of the device they are using. That, coupled with precise content and aggressive marketing is definitely bound to make your visitors connect well with your business and that might be the break you need!


Your Online Partner… for Success

Now more than ever you need a website that is more than a pretty business card. You need one that has its sleeves rolled up and working for you. We’re here to make sure your website is working just as hard as you are. Take advantage of a free 30-minute session with Christy to explore ways to take your site to the next level.