Troy Moore – Marketingwithtroy.com
Hi, Troy Moore here, and today’s topic covers. How to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less.
Now a lot of people say, “I can’t tell a story,” or they try to tell a story; they get all fancy and technical and weird with it, and so then the story doesn’t end up fulfilling its purpose which is to sell somebody something; at least that’s the purposes of what I’m going to teach you in this video. So really, actually it’s super easy to sell with stories because if you study all these sales letters, you’ll find that 80 percent of them use three different types of story. And so you really only have to learn three kinds to be good enough to sell with stories. And a lot of people make it hard and weird, and you can just be down-to-earth like you’re talking to somebody over the table and just follow the simple plot lines that I’m going to show you, and you should be able to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less, especially with the three exercises I’m going to show you.
Really quickly…why? Why should you learn how to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less? Well, simply put, stories are what engage people. What do people prefer? Do they prefer to read a non-fiction book, or do they prefer to watch prime-time television? And I think the answer is quite obvious. Most people, 10 to 1 easily, probably 100 to 1, would prefer to watch a good show on television than to read a non-fiction book. In fact, I think the average person reads three books or less a year, which is kind of sad since we’re in the information age. It’s just a huge explosion of it.
So 10 million people tune in to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, so people are conditioned to get information through stories. So that makes it a perfect medium to disseminate information to them. Because see, stories you can use to demonstrate things. So you can tell a story to demonstrate the power of your product, and you can use it to heighten the believability of your claims through proof. You can use that to really get their emotions pumping, so they feel they absolutely need this now or some part of their life is never going to be complete. So you can use stories as a medium of information, and we all know that you need to give people information before they can purchase your stuff. So this is a great way to do that. You show them instead of tell them, which is the next point here.
I like to do the tell, then show. So that way you tell them what they’re going to get from it, but then you show it in action. So you can tell somebody simply, “This is going to improve your life if you get this today. It’s going to really make you a happier person.” Well, you just told them. You kind of forced it down their throat, and that creates an adversarial relationship because you’re telling them and trying to convince them, and they’re trying not to be taken.
Instead, you could give a story of somebody who used your product. “John was exactly where you are at. And he was pretty much at the end of his rope. He didn’t even believe this stuff was going to work, but on just a whim he tried it anyway. And then within 7 days, John started noticing an improvement in his demeanor. He was happier; he was more jolly to be around. And, in fact, he started getting invited to places he normally wasn’t getting invited to simply because he had more of a magnetic personality.”
See, then you can fill in the details. So you’re selling all the benefits there, but you’re not telling them. You’re not coming out and saying, “You’ve got to get this. It’s going to improve your life. I’m hard-selling you and beating you over the head,” but you’re just showing them. “Look at John. John did all this great stuff.” So stories show instead of telling, and that’s very, very important. Think about it if you’re watching a movie. Do they say, “There’s John. He’s this big, mean biker dude. Watch out for John. He’s a tough dude.” They don’t even say anything. They don’t even have a narrative usually. Usually, John pulls up in his big old hog. Vroom, vroom. He’s got the bandanas, the tattoos on, and just a mean snarl on his face. So they’re showing you through actions that John’s a bad dude instead of just coming out and telling you.
And that’s how you use stories to show people and demonstrate things through action instead of just telling them. And that’s why it’s such a great tool for persuasion. And I think without fail with maybe a couple exceptions, all my sales letter have stories. And that’s the default setting that I try to give everything in a story format. And stories are just really great for selling people simply for the fact is that it engages them; you can show instead of tell them, and then you can give them all sorts of information that will heighten their ability to say yes.
So with that said, a lot of people get wigged out about story telling, and I think it has to do with poor conditioning. People have been conditioned to think that telling a story is very hard because when they were in school people forced them to write, which is pretty stupid. If they force you to do something you don’t want to do, naturally you’re going to have negative connotations to that. And a lot of people were forced to write, and they weren’t given good strategies to write; so, therefore, they now link a lot of pain to writing.
That’s not good because really it’s simple, especially if you were given the systems that I’m about to show you. Then story writing becomes very, very simple. We’re not trying to be novelists here. We’re not trying to win awards and whatever. We’re just trying to sell something to somebody. So crafting a story for selling purposes is a very, very mechanical process. It’s kind of like following a recipe; there’s not much to it.
There are really only three types of stories that regularly sell. Now there are some stories that you’ll catch people on a fluke like they laugh when I sat down on the piano, but when I started to play – that’s an us vs. them plot, by the way. That’s a really big, grandiose story. You don’t even have to get that good. That’s why it’s a famous ad. There are some stories that are irregular that you typically don’t see, but for the most part, if you want to stack the odds in your favor, I know that about 80 percent of winning ads follow one of these three plots. So all’s you have to learn are these three plots, and you’ll be pretty good to go. Just pretty much plug one in.
Now I use advanced plots. Let me be honest with you. If you study my sales letters, I go and use some advanced sub-plotting techniques and all this and all that. And I tried to teach that to my copywriting students, but what I find is I don’t have to give you the perfect thing upfront. Once you learn how to tell these three plots, than any other plot you want to figure out and create a system for will become easy. So let’s just learn these three, and then if you want to go deeper, by all means, you’ll have the tools by that point to go deeper. So I do get a little more advanced, but here’s the simple solution, like I said. We’re mastering the art of story telling in 7 days or less. I’m not going to make you the end-all, be-all expert. That took me a while.
But to get really good really quickly, this is all you need: the journey plot, us vs. them plot, and the happy accident.
And should we create systems for these so we can get good at these really quick? Well, the answer is yes. And the systems I create for these are simply fill-in-the-blank templates.
Here’s where I started; here’s where I hit rock bottom; here’s where I rebounded and found the solution; here’s why I’m sharing it with you. That’s it. That’s that story in four sentences. That’s the basic whole crux of that journey plot if you want to drill it down. I was exactly where you were at. I was struggling to make money online. I was putting everything I could into it, and for some reason, nothing was working for me. And then you want to really drive the emotions deep.
In fact, I remember one time I was so desperate for money that I even almost stole money out of my brother-in-law’s dresser. It was just sitting there. I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t, but I knew I was at rock bottom when my passion for trying to make money on the internet had left me broke and almost turned me into a thief. But that’s not where the story ends – see, now I’m going into the rebound. I vowed that day to never get in that situation again and do something. So I went home that night, and I re-engineered the whole approach. I said, “If I’m going to do it, I’m going to make it simple. I’m just going to take these quick actions, and I’m going to get results by the end of the week. That was my destination. And what I found is when I re-engineered my approach, then I was able to get all these results quickly. Then over the next three months, I really tweaked the process, and I was able to do this, this, and this.” And then you explain that. “And now I’m sharing this with you today. Why? Very simply, I know that this is going to be the ultimate solution for you, and really I want to get you into a coaching program later. So I want to start with a small-time offer to really show you what it’s all about.” So it’s a business move or whatever. The why I’m sharing with you could simply be “because I know other people like you need this information that was just like me” or “nobody else is telling you this information, and this is why I want to give it to you.”
That’s it. Here’s where I started; here’s when I hit rock bottom; here’s how I rebounded and found the solution; here’s why I’m sharing it with you.
I do this with my copywriting students. We’ll be sitting in there in class, and I’ll just be like, “Hey guys, what’s your story?” They’ll be like, “Uh, I don’t know,” and I’ll be able to craft their story for them. I’ll ask them three or four questions, and then I’ll basically – I’ll drill out a very excellent, top-notch story for them in two or three minutes. They’ve seen me do this live in front of them, simply because I have this template in my head.
And I always know start, drive it to the worst part, then the rebound and the solution, and here’s why I’m sharing it with you. Watch my mouse. This is how it looks on the graph. You start at this point right here. You drop down to here, and then you rebound and you go up higher than that point. So you end here. So instead of starting from here and going all the way up to here, you go from all the way down here to all the way up there. So there’s that difference; there’s that higher arc of where you were to where you ended up. And that’s the importance of the journey part. Here’s where I started; here’s where I hit rock bottom; here’s where I rebounded and found the solution; and here’s why I’m sharing it with you.
This is another plot. Someone or some ones, a group of people, have been keeping something from you that could enhance your life. For some reason they’ve been hoarding information from you, whatever that reason may be. Maybe there’s a conspiracy; maybe they just don’t want you to know about it because then it would affect them in some way, or maybe they just plain like to control other people. Who knows? But for some reason, someone or some ones have been keeping something from you that could enhance your life. Here’s how I discovered this. Because here’s how I got inside the insider’s circle. Here’s what it actually is, or at least hint at it. Here’s why they don’t want you to know about it, and here’s why I’m sharing it with you. Simple, simple stuff.
So the big pharmacy conspiracy. The pharmacists and all these big pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know that you could actually heal yourself without any of these medicines. I discovered this because I was inside, and I worked for pharmaceutical companies for a wide period of time. And I actually saw top-secret, classified documents where they specifically created situations to attack naïve doctors and load them up with a bunch of crap and to really circumvent and actually destroy the all-natural sector of health. In fact, here’s how you do it. I mean, really a lot of these techniques for healing yourself without pharmaceuticals are – and then you share three techniques where you don’t need pharmaceuticals. Now here’s why they don’t want you to know about it. Simply, there’s a lot of money at stake here that they could lose out on, and so they don’t want to lose market share. That’s why they’re not showing this to you. But here’s why I’m telling you. I’m telling you this because I personally have seen so many people suffer in the pharmaceutical company that I knew could be healed for much cheaper, much quicker, and I’ve had enough of that so that’s why I’m coming clean with you.
Boom. That’s a good story, isn’t it? It’s a real good story. Someone or some ones have been keeping something from you that could enhance your life. Here’s how I discovered that they’re keeping this from you. Here’s what it is; let me show you a couple things so you get an idea of it. Here’s why they don’t want you to know, and here’s why I’m sharing with you. I mean, can it get easier to tell a story than that? It can’t. This is the simplest way. That’s why I’m claiming that I can teach you right here in this one video how to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less.
The final story here is the happy accident. This is great because it’s great for selling purposes because people think the gurus are something special that they’re not. But if an average, everyday Joe discovers by a fluke that it can work, then you think, “Well, if he can do it by accident – he’s just an everyday Joe – then I’m sure I can do it.” So that’s the great power of this story. “By accident, I stumbled across the magic solution. I thought it was a fluke, so here’s how I tested it.” That handles our objection, by the way. “Turns out it wasn’t a fluke. Once I discovered it by accident, it was easy to improve upon it. Here’s why I’m sharing it with you.”
“OK, so I used to be a loser with the women. I couldn’t pick up any women. And then one day I just went out and had fun, and I totally changed one aspect of my mind state. I just started acting completely different, not because I thought it would work; just because I was bored. And all of a sudden all these women were attracted to me, and they were giving me their phone numbers and this, that, and the third. And I thought it was a fluke. I thought maybe I was just dressed really good that day or some reason they maybe thought I was a celebrity or something. I don’t know.
So I told two or three of my friends about it, and then they went out and acted the same way, and they got the same results. So it turns out it wasn’t a fluke. And then once I discovered this just by accident, I found that with a couple simple tweaks I could even improve on it and make it even better. So now whenever I go out, women are always flocking and hanging around me and thinking I’m the next Casanova. I’m sharing this with you because it’s so simple, so easy, and so incredibly powerful, and I know a lot of guys that are cool people; just can’t get dates with women. And so, I want to level the playing field with you so you don’t have to be an asshole to get women to like you, and you can still get a lot of beautiful women in your life.”
So that’d be great for selling a dating product, but it works for anything that you discovered by accident. This is a great plot if you discovered something kind of as a fluke. I know one of my students was talking about how she accidentally discovered how to sell books on Amazon and get a lot of money from it. So that was great. It was great to really help her weave out her story for her copy based on this little outline here. So it’s by accident. I stumbled across the magic solution, thought it was a fluke, so I tested it. Turns out it wasn’t. Once I discovered it by accident, it was easy to make it better with actual deliberate intent, and here’s why I’m sharing it with you. These are the only three plots you need in 90 percent of the cases to sell something very successfully.
Now with that said, let me give you some strategies to really ingrain this down more than just a theoretical level, but give you some practical applications to practice this. So then the next time you do craft stories, you’re going to be powerful with them. And the thing to remember is plot is a verb. The plot is not a noun. The journey plot is the use of plot as a noun, but plot means – if somebody’s plotting something, what are they doing? They’re planning ahead. They’re coming up with a strategy or whatever. And that means it’s showing. That’s an action. So the plot is action; it’s not a static thing. And so this is how you can really understand that and learn how to write stories that keep moving and engage people based on those plots I showed you about.
Put yourself on the 3-day story challenge. Here are 3 different exercises you can do to really get down to mastering story telling.
Day 1: Write 8-10 line stories for each of the 3 plots above. Write fictional stories. Just make them up just so you can get the idea of the flow, how the dots connect. So use this as an outline and limit yourself to only 8 or 10 lines to go through each of these parts. Same thing with here and same thing with here. Just like I did right off the top of my head with you on this video. Just sit down and write them down. You can type them out; write them down. It doesn’t matter. Write 8-10 line stories for each of the 3 plots above. That’s Day 1.
Day 2 takes your favorite movie and reverse storyboard it. This is very simply where you start at your end and work your way to the beginning. So pick your favorite movie and then write the last scene. This is where the characters ended up; this is what happened in the end, and then this is where they’re at now. And then take the scene before that that led up to that final scene and then write that out. And then take the scene before that and write that out.
It’s really amazing when you do this backward. Then you’re going to see, “Oh, this is how this set up this next movement. This is how this set up this next movement. Oh, this is how this set up…” So you’re seeing the end before you see the beginning, which really helps you see the structure. And so you’re being able to see these techniques firsthand. So this is very powerful to take a plot and break it down and go through it in reverse. So this is where they ended up; this is how they got to there; this is what led them to get from there to there, and this is where they started.
“Ohhhh, by looking at it from a whole new light by backward, now I’m starting to see the dots.” I kind of got this idea because I think it’s Leonardo da Vinci, in order for him to get an objective view of his paintings, what he would do is flip them upside down and put them up in a mirror. So that way he looked at them from a completely new angle, and he was able to see things in a different way. That’s what this is. You’re running it backward; so then all of a sudden you’re seeing all these connections in the story and these underlying techniques that you never saw before.
Finally, the last technique you want to learn to use to plot effectively is that take your favorite novel and attribute one phrase or even one word to each page. So what you want to do is quickly scan through that page and see what’s the main action that’s going on on this page. Then write that down in a 3-word phrase or even a 1-word phrase if you can get away with that. And do that for each page. And then you’ll say, “OK, this is the main action on this page. This is the main action on this page. This is the main action on this page,” and so on and so forth. And you’ll see action in motion, and that’s a big part of the story is that action. You’re keeping the action going; keeping the plot moving along. And so these are the 3 techniques you’re going to want to use. And if you use these, if you just do these 3 and then start writing stories in your copy, in less than 7 days you’ll be as good as anybody needs to be for telling stories to sell stuff.
So that’s it. Very simple, very effective. And I’ve just drilled down to a very simple system. Use one of these 3 plots. Use these exercises until you feel very confident or feel good enough to write. And then start crafting your sales letters and your marketing communications, your e-mail, copy, all that stuff. Anytime you’re marketing with somebody and a story’s appropriate, just use one of these.