Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Use a Story to Grab Your Reader

Once upon a time; it was a dark and stormy night; the cell was 8 feet by 10 feet--these are opening lines to a story--lines the writer hopes will keep you reading on. Since the beginning of time, stories have been used to entertain,
teach lessons and pass on the values of a culture.

Today, businesses and professionals use stories to connect with their audience. Readers appreciate a story that can make complex laws or court decisions understandable and relatable. Simply stating the facts of the matter loses readers, but stories with characters with identifiable problems engage more of the brain and keep the reader on the page.

Why use stories?

Stories can simplify complicated issues.
A story helps consumers adopt a new idea.
Stories make concepts memorable.
A story can inspire consumers to act.

What makes a good story?

Here’s where the realm of fiction comes to aid of the world of non-fiction.

Each story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The main character is challenged in the beginning, tested in the middle and solves the problem in the end. Assume your article is about how consumers find lawyers. You could start with Candy Consumer staring at her computer, trying to decide what search terms to put in the Google search box. She types in some words and soon is on her way. The story gives a background for you to move into a discussion of how to find a lawyer on the Internet.

In the world of the law, all cases start with the facts, the story or problem the client brings to you. You take those facts and search the law to find resolutions to the client’s problems.

For example, perhaps many of your clients ask about Wills and Powers of Attorney. So, when you write a new blog post for your website, create a fictional couple in their late 50’s with grown children who want to know the difference between a will and powers of attorney. You have set up the problem using a story format, now you can define a will and a power of attorney in general terms thereby helping readers to understand what they are and when each is used.

Not all blog posts need to start with a story, however, every once in a while give it a try. Stories can build trust around the writer, draw the reader in, making them willing to learn a little law and motivate a consumer to contact you.
Roberta GubbinsComment