Instantly set yourself apart and attract more quality clients by crafting your narrative

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When our creative agency entered the “PSD to Code” space, there was something that attracted clients to us from the start.

And it hasn’t changed to this day.

That same “thing” is what makes us look like a lighthouse on stormy waters to the people in our market.

We’ve grown substantially as a result. We’re pretty regularly thanked even, as a result.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

What is it?

Our narrative.

What’s a “narrative?”

Your narrative is the story of you and your company that lets your market instantly:

  1. connect,
  2. relate, 
  3. like, and
  4. trust you.

While only a story of a few words, it shows people that you’re not just “another” creative…

You’re “THE” creative.

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They instantly understand why you’re different. And why you’re better.

For example, for Reliable PSD, our company mentioned above, our story is essentially this:

  • We’re a creative agency that’s outsourced a good bit of code over the years.
  • We’ve run into more horror stories than we can count doing this, involving terrible quality and poor service.
  • We realized we weren’t alone. Tens of thousands of other designers out there are in our shoes.
  • We decided to do something about it. So we created our own PSD to Code company that actually does it right.
  • Now designers finally have an option with really friendly service, very high quality code, and a tremendous amount of care.

I removed the frills and made the writing very plain and direct – but even there you can see our tale, and I’m sure you can imagine why our market responds so well to it, considering they are the tens of thousands of our peeps out there still suffering.

How to craft your tale in 3 steps

Every narrative or “hero tale,” as I like to call them, has 3 parts.

Here they are, and how the above example fits into them:

1: The problem. (What sucks in your market?)

We’ve run into more horror stories than we can count doing this, involving terrible quality and poor service.

2: Discovering / forming the solution. (How did you solve it?)

We realized we weren’t alone. Tens of thousands of other designers out there are in our shoes.

We decided to do something about it. So we created our own PSD to Code company that actually does it right.

3: Blue skies. (What does life look like after the problem is solved?)

Now designers finally have an option with really friendly service, very high quality code, and a tremendous amount of care.

On our website, this message is EVERYWHERE.

It’s built into the main headline. As soon as you scroll down on the home page, you get the story.

On the inner pages, we repeat it in different words.

Etc., etc.

Why? Because it works.

And when you have a good story, it’s a lot of fun to tell it 😉

Let’s check out a few more examples of powerful narratives.

Nurture me Nature

Nurture me Nature is my wife’s mom’s company that started because food was making her sick. She discovered a whole list of ingredients that make her really miserable – and it turns out a lot of people out there share her dilemma. So she crafted baking mixes / recipes that exclude those ingredients, and only have really great ingredients instead (no artificial preservatives or ingredients that sound like they belong in a chemistry class).

This food lets her, and many others, eat and enjoy life – pain-free.

When she tells this story at farmers markets and in-store demonstrations – that’s when her product flies off the shelf.

AirBnb

Airbnb has a two-sided story depending on if you’re a host or a guest.

If you’re a guest, the story is that you hate hotels – how cold and sterile, unfriendly, and impersonal they are, and how they make you feel like a “tourist” – not a “traveler.” Plus, they are EXPENSIVE. Now you can live like a local and stay with one too with cozy, home-like accommodations that are WAY cheaper.

If you’re a host, the story is that so many people around the world have a spare room or couch in their house. And so many people could use some extra cash. So AirBnB created a way that makes your house feel a bit fuller, and puts some cash in your pocket.

Über

Very similar concept to AirBnb, only swap out taxis for hotel accommodations. Also, add a bit to the story of how taxis can be hard to find – so why not a taxi that can find you? (This is possible with the GPS functionality of their app.)

Tuna Fish

Now that sustainability of our eco systems is becoming such a hot issue, I’ve seen lots of tuna fish companies charge premiums backed by a narrative.

The narrative is about how traditional nets are ruining our ocean’s chances of sustainability, so they use local fishermen who use actual fishing poles to catch the tuna.

The story is that you save the planet, support the local economy, and learn what’s really going on in the fishing industry.

In Conclusion

Narratives are powerful because we’re a story-telling species. Doesn’t it make sense to inject that into your marketing, too?

Get to work. Figure out your narrative.

Chances are it’s something you’re already doing, or that’s already happened to you – you just have to see the forest for the trees.

Questions, thoughts?

I’d love to hear what’s on your mind. Leave me a comment below.

Want more on crafting your marketing message?

Read more here:

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About David Tendrich

David Tendrich is the co-head of creative agency Unexpected Ways, as well as the co-founder of Reliable PSD: the first-ever PSD to HTML & PSD to Wordpress service run by designers, for designers. He co-runs his companies from Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife and biz partner, Lou Levit.

 

More about David’s business: David is co-founder of Reliable PSD – what happened when a group of designers got fed up with PSD to Code companies… and created their own. Check them out, and see why freelancers & agencies are head over heels for this amazing new service.

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Comments

  1. Christyl Benford says:

    This is a great article David! I’m starting the branding for my company and I didn’t think to present it to the public as a story.

    Since you repeat the story over and over in your website but in different wording, does this help your SEO too? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Julia Goldberg says:

    One thing in common with all of these narratives: they are all customer-centric. That’s really important because rather than talking about “me me me” this method really filters out the pain point, and what you have to offer that will solve it. A much better sell.

    Thanks for breaking it down step by step! Very helpful.

  3. Alejandro León says:

    Great!

  4. Hey David, thank you so much! really nice article 🙂

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