Online Business Voyeurism (gasp!)

“In clinical psychology, voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

In popular imagination the term is used in a more general sense to refer to someone who habitually observes others without their knowledge, with no necessary implication of sexual interest.”

That’s how Wikipedia defines voyeurism.

In today’s blog post I want to share with you a form of “voyeurism” that actually works to get you more customers and make you more money.

First, let’s get the basics out of the way.

Then we’ll get to the juicy “peeping” stuff.

Savvy online entrepreneurs understand that at the root of powerful and effective marketing there always has to be a focus on unique benefits and a big compelling promise.

As you’ve probably heard many times before – what prospective customers want to know from your marketing is how they stand to benefit from your product or service.

Frankly, they don’t care about you, your online business, your experience, or your credentials. What they care about most is how their life stands to be improved by getting your product or paying for your service.

And, the most effective marketing explicitly shows and focuses on those benefits. Then, finishes up with a big, compelling, benefit-driven promise, backed with loads of proof.

The issue many online entrepreneurs deal with when focusing on benefits and a big promise in their marketing is how to do it without coming across with puffery and hype.

Sharing your product or service track record of delivering those benefits certainly helps. But, there’s an even better way to prove your product can do what you say it can… without saying it explicitly.

Want to know how?

Give your prospects the opportunity to enjoy a little voyeurism.

Give them a peek… a peep, if you will…. into the real life experience of a former prospect of yours turned customer.

How, you ask?

With a compelling prospect-to-customer story.

By telling a story about someone just like your typical prospect, and showing how they benefited from your product or service, you circumvent the part of the prospect’s brain that views everything you say as nothing more than an advertising claim.

In other words, when you tell a story – and show the real-life experience of a prospect turned happy customer – your marketing message is no longer viewed as marketing. It’s viewed simply as a story.

And if the story clearly SHOWS how your product or service delivered the benefits you’re promising you can, it’s accepted as a fact, instead of just an advertising claim.

So, what’s the best customer story format to use?

Well, first, the proagonist of the story – the main character (the customer) – needs to be someone who was in the same situation as your typical prospect.

Meaning: if, for example, you were marketing an information product about getting out of debt, you want your protagonist to have started with thousands in debt. Even better, if your protagonist can start in a worse situation that your typical prospect, the story will have even more power.

So, for example, if you were marketing an information product about getting out of debt, you could tell a story about someone who owed more than $100,000, lost their house to foreclosure, and was forced to file bankruptcy.

Then, you would finish the story by showing their experience [ tell the truth of course!] with your info-product, and how it helped them eliminate all of their debt, regain a quality credit score, and get back into their own home… with cash to spare.

In this example, prospective customers who have a moderate level of debt would immediately think, “Hey, if this product helped out someone in that bad of financial shape, they could easily help me.”

The key to telling a good customer story is to have the antagonist start in a position worse than your typical prospect, then show how they took action and became a customer – despite some common trepidation, concerns, and doubts – detail their emotional and “physical” experience going through and using your product or service and, finally, show how they experienced the benefits you’re promising – ending in the position your prospective customers desire.

A story like this will not only compel readership – since human beings are groomed to pay attention to stories – but, it will also deliver a powerful marketing message that demonstrates your track record and ability to deliver on the benefits and big promise behind your marketing.