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Story Loop

I have a big announcement to share 😲 🎉

But first, let me tell you about Story Loops. 

They’re a powerful tool in both marketing and storytelling. 

Imagine your friend says, “Guess what?!”

Then they walk away. 

You’d go a little bit crazy, right? (I know I would.)

It’s because they opened a Story Loop, but didn’t close it.

An open Story Loop is a teaser. An imbalance. Something off that’s begging for resolution.

It’s like a dissonant musical chord your brain goes crazy wanting to resolve.

I love how Jay Acunzo describes these open loops:

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“As human beings, we crave closure… Your brain goes, ‘Wait … finish that! Tell me! What happened next?!’ … It’s tough to feel any other way besides interested…. 

The desire turns us into toddlers stamping our feet, flinging ourselves to the floor, demanding that we get what we want. 

Because it doesn’t feel like something we want. It’s something we need.

In short, when a loop begins to open, we desperately need to see it closed.”

In any movie you’ve ever enjoyed, it’s an open Story Loop that keeps you engaged in the plot. 

The character wants something — BUT WILL THEY GET IT?!?!? Stay tuned… and you do.

Ok, so what does this have to do with marketing? 

Well, marketing is partly a competition for peoples’ attention. And if you want their attention, a great way to get it is by opening a Story Loop. 

Overdone, this can get sleazy and manipulative. 

Done well, it creates motivation to act. 

That action could be opening your email, reading your social post, or even buying your product. 

One reliable way to open a Story Loop is by pointing out a problem: “Most businesses are wasting money on their marketing.”

You want to know what’s next, right? How? Why? How do we fix it?

It’s way more compelling than if I just said, “I know a great way of doing marketing.” 

There’s no motion in the second statement. No imbalance. No craving for closure.

So: In your email headlines. On your website. As you talk to people. 

How can you create more Story Loops?

PS – Remember that big announcement I mentioned at the start of this post? There actually isn’t one. 😎 I was opening a Story Loop for you. Did it work? Hit reply and let me know if the open loop was bugging you the whole way through… (or not!)

PPS – Ok, ok, fine, I’ll make an announcement: I have ONE spot left for writing a business’s website between now and Jun. Is it yours? Hit reply if you think it might be.

This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

Want sage advice on life and business in your inbox every week? Join the Magic Words of the Week email list.

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