Increase Your Website Conversions by Telling Lies?

by Justin

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This is a guest post by Jimmy Wrex. You can check him out at NicheExperiments.com.

Yep, you read the title correctly . . .

But before you close the browser window and or hit the back button let me just say this. All successful marketers are liars. This is how Seth Godin puts it:

Entrepreneurs must forsake any attempt to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and must instead focus on what people believe and then work to tell them stories that fit and enhance their worldview.
(All Marketers are Liars)

Taken out of context that could translate as “say anything to make a sale.” But that’s not what Seth is saying here. The point is that effective marketing relies on good story telling, and good story telling does not include all of the facts.

Stories are how we communicate ideas and make sense of the world, its been that way since the beginning, but good stories alone are not enough to constitute good marketing in this low trust world. Lets face it, if all it took was a good story to encourage action I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now, I’d be desperately writing and sending checks to the Nigerian royal family who’s emails keep ending up in my spam box for some reason.

To make a story truly effective for internet marketing purposes it needs to be 3 things:

  1. Authentic (undisputed origin)
  2. Believable (credible, convincing or realistic)
  3. Exciting (remember that first sale?)

And nowhere is this more vital to your success than on the internet, because as we all know it’s easy to pretend to be something you’re not when hiding behind the computer screen, and as time pushes on we’re only going to become more skeptical and scam savvy.

So take a look at your blog or niche site and ask yourself whether it is all 3 of these things. If not then maybe some changes are needed, but we’ll get to that later.

Let’s take a look at a 2 examples from the internet marketing world that really float my boat (so to speak).

Frank Kern – Man or Myth?

Frank is probably the most famous internet marketer alive today. He’s made millions of dollars from product launches and is revered and hated in the internet marketing world, but never ignored. Frank polarizes opinion, and he’s cool with that.

Franks success is down to his story. The videos he frequently appears in (his medium of choice) tell a story about success. They tell a story about a regular surfer dude who hangs out with his millionaire buddies having fun and making crazy money. It’s no accident that he shows off his expensive computer equipment, fancy cars and luxury home. It’s all about creating desire. Some people love the story and some hate it – but everyone knows it and that’s what matters.

Pat Flynn – The Family Man Done Good!

SmartPassiveIncome.com by Pat Flynn is a perfect storm of internet marketing story telling. Pat makes the story believable by showing an in depth monthly income report. He makes it authentic by constantly reinforcing his values (providing tons of free valuable information). And it’s exciting because he’s the “average guy” who made it to $30,000 per month.

I can pretty much guarantee that although most of Pats readers will claim to be reading his blog for the internet marketing advice, they will also be able to tell you intimate details about his personal life, but of course, only the ones he wants us to know ;)

5 Story Telling Strategies That You Can Implement Today

OK, so now we know that story telling is your conversions weapon. Whether you’re looking to get traffic or sales, telling an effective story is the road to success. Here are 5 strategies to help you implement and emphasize a good story on your website.

  1. About Page – Utilize your “About” page for maximum effect. Of course you should sell the benefits of your website here but don’t forget to also make your emotional connection here too. Let’s face it, if they clicked the “about” tab they are as open as they are ever going to be to hearing your story. Make it authentic, believable and exciting. How you do that will depend on your niche, but get this right and you’ll turn traffic into real fans (and not just Facebook fans).
  2. Guest Posting – Getting your name and website featured on an authority blog (like SITEFling) is like getting a recommendation from them. Remember how Frank Kern is always hanging out with his super successful internet buddies on his videos. I bet he has tons of non internet types as friends too but they just don’t add to the story. We don’t care if his friend Mike is a pilot. So guest posting within your niche is aligning yourself with the real players in your industry. Having your name on their blog is like having them say, “this guy is one of us and that cant hurt your story, right? It’s called success by association.”
  3. Social Media – Facebook and Twitter are the perfect place to share details about your life and to let people get to know you. Robert Cialdini says that, “people do business with those that they know, like and trust.” So allowing people to get to know more about you than just your view on Twitter marketing is a good story telling strategy here.
  4. Social Proof – What tells a better story, a Facebook fan page with 10,000 fans or a page with 10 fans? 200,000 Twitter followers or just 2? How about a blog post with 100 comments or zero? I rest my case.
  5. Blog Design / Theme – Do you want to be seen as an authority like news websites? Would you rather be seen as traditional? Maybe you want to be seen as cutting edge and cool? Choose a design and theme that stands out and tells your story. If you decide to just go for the standard free WordPress theme that everyone uses, well that tells a story about you as well . . . and it’s not a good one.

So there you have it. Choose your story wisely. Make it authentic, believable and exciting, but also make it true (or as true as possible) because you don’t want to be caught telling lies.

ABOUT Jimmy Wrex…

Jimmy Wrex is a Niche Experimenter! He loves nothing more than trying out new money making methods with his buddy Pete, and then documenting the results on their blog at NicheExperiments.com.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Greene August 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Great points about sharing one’s story. I often find it challenging to convince clients to include some personal information on their websites, such as on their About pages and in their blogs. Often, they’re concerned about competitors reading their information, or it simply concerns them that their details are “out there.”

I think they’re worrying for nothing. Instead, when you add in the personal element, you create connections with your readers and fans. If they feel they know you, they’re more likely to buy from you.

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Jimmy Wrex September 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Exactly Susan. People buy from those that they know, like and trust. The About Me page is one of the most important on the website and is so often overlooked.

Thanks for the comment.

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Neil Ashworth August 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

The truth is out there Jimmy! But not online ;-)

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Jimmy Wrex September 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

LOL, the truth is out there . . . just not the whole truth.

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Keith Everett August 31, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Hi Jimmy

This is a nice post my friend. I think in this Internet Marketing 2.0 World we live in, the truth is on everyone’s lips.. TRUE, it’s better to have a story to tell, but keep it real and be yourself.
For too long now, the thieves and pirates of the Internet have created the “Pied Piper” effect, leading people up the garden path and fleecing them of their hard earned cash..

These SHOCKING tactics have led to much distrust in marketers, even the good ones..
Today is a whole new World out there, and honesty PAYS big time.. as you say.
If you don’t have a compelling story to tell, tell them about a friend, a relative or another friendly marketer you know, tell them about me if you don’t have a story..
Jimmy and Myself are proof positive that honest ethical Marketers exist and prosper and can teach you to do the same… tell the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you FREE..

Keith

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Jimmy Wrex September 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the comment Keith. You’re so right, the scammers out there give us all a bad name, BUT they also make us stand out like a beacon of light to those that do find us. Keep up the good work mate!!

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Adam Jones August 31, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Awesome content Jimmy!
For once in my life I read the whole thing :-)
Actually, I’m lying.
Nah, I’m not… I did read the whole thing.
Perhaps I need to change my strategy and tell more lies… mmm… food for thought.
Thanks again Jimmy

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Jimmy Wrex September 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm

haha – You probably dont need to tell more lies . . . just less truths?

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Joshua Zamora September 1, 2011 at 12:36 am

Hey Jimmy! Truly amazing post! I will definitely put these tips to good use. and you are absolutely right that good story telling increase conversions.

Atleast for me a blog that ties in a personal story keeps me hooked.

Joshua the ZamuraiBlogger

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Jimmy Wrex September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Hi Joshua,

I just checked out your site and About Me page and you do a good job of putting across your personality and personal story – nice work! I also notice you’re from Miami. I had a mad 24 hour party stopover there once on the way to Central America for a holiday. It was craaaaazy! Such a fun place.

Thanks for the comment.

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Marcus September 7, 2011 at 3:53 am

The problem I have with most marketing copy written by “the best” in our business is that most of it realizes on the prospect believing something that isn’t true. It isn’t outright lying, but the intent is to get the prospect to believe in a lie. Some may think this is clever, I just don’t see it that way. At the end of the day you need to sell a product or service that stand on it’s own and delivers on the promise.

To me, the test is whether the prospect believes the product they bought is actually more or less valuable than what they believed before they bought it. If your product won’t be perceived as MORE valuable after they bought it, then your failing the customer. This is not a model on which to build a business.

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Marcus September 7, 2011 at 3:54 am

Wow, typos…. “realizes” = “relies” and “your failing” = “you’re failing”.

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Justin September 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. And I hope you read through the article to see that we were not actually recommending anyone lie.

We are recommending that you tell a story, a true story, that illustrates the problems you were having and how you overcame that. Which moves right into the pitch, selling whatever it is you are selling that helped you overcome your problem.

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Jimmy Wrex September 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I couldn’t agree more Marcus. The word “lie” here is really a clever marketing tactic that I borrowed from Seth Godin to get attention. The “lie” really means the story, and no dynamic and compelling story will ever include EVERY last piece of detail. If it did the message of story would become so diluted it would lose all meaning.

So we tell stories in our marketing that prove our point and sell our products, but to make this really effective we need to keep our stories authentic – that’s the key!

Thanks for your comment.

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John Gaddis October 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I can see people going to the extreme when it comes to lying in marketing. You definitle do not want to go overboard. It is best to keep it real and believable. You can lose alot of trust by lieing too much.

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