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Why STORIES Are Sticky
Funny how seductive context can become. I own an amazing TIGER of a bicycle, a Specialized Roubaix  SL2, purchased after Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer and ridden less than ten times.

This extraordinary bicycle deserves a new and better home since my cross Canada trip feels doubtful. I added this beautiful monster to Story of Cancer's eBay store a few days ago: .

The interesting part of the #Internetmarketing story is how I listed the SL2 first. Trying to understand what "works" on eBay I put in facts, figures and technical details. BORING and not STICKY.

I'm an #Internetmarketer with at least 50 posts about the need to tell great stories on my more than 4 blogs. Why would I APE an environment? Because when in doubt we look around and conform.

Teams I've managed made over $30M online and not ONE TIME did we make money by conforming. We may have marked a competitor in the same way lions spray territory, but we made money because we took risks, developed experience-based values and did what we knew to be TRUE regardless of if it was in fashion or not.

I know #storytelling is the new #SEO . I've preached, presented and Slideshared the importance of stories and storytelling yet the first thing I do is explain the FACTS of a bicycle like this.


Facts aren't JUST boring they can be limiting, judgmental and boring. We don't BUY something because of the facts. We buy a $2,000 bicycle because it THRILLS us and we really want a $10K bike but can't sell the concept to our inner self or significant others.

So I converted "Specialized Roubaix SL2" to "Black Mamba". Some would say using a deadly snake to describe a bicycle is nuts. Black Mamba describes the swift DANGER of this bicycle. In new copy on eBay I shared how a bicycle like this can save your life.

How can a bicycle save your life?

This bicycle's frame is so responsive and true taking corners at 55MPH is something even "duffers" like me can experience and live to tell the story. Why call a bicycle than can "save life" a "Black Mamba".

Most know Black Mambas are deadly snakes. To be that deadly Mambas also have to be GREAT at being snakes. By playing on the analogy attention is gained while a reader's curiosity engine is fully started.

Once the Black Mamba hook is set coming back with an explanation that goes almost opposite to the hook makes the analogy STICKY. Made To Stick, one of the most important #internetmarketing   Books, says build NEW things on a firm foundation of KNOWN things. Building NEW on OLD and UNDERSTOOD reduces #shockofthenew reactions (fight or flight).

I like to find great analogies and then figure out how to work them into the picture. In the case of the Black Mamba the analogy is so strong, its ability to get attention so great, that is is worth the tension it creates.

The lesson is to NEVER let CONTEXT dictate process. Ebay surely has many new rules I don't begin to understand yet, but telling a better story is always a good idea  if ONLY because as long as people buy with emotion and justify with logic STORIES will be the KEY skill no matter what you sell and no matter where.

How can a Black Mamba help cure cancer? Another story for another time :). M
John van den Brink's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoWill King's profile photoMartin W. Smith's profile photo
I would have sold it as the only Specialized bicycle with their logo backwards ;-)
Great example of the powers of stories for selling!
I will chime in to endorse the idea that story makes the sale more than just facts and figures on eBay.

(Full disclosure: I've had an eBay account since 1999 and spent 13 years working for the company.)

Over the years, the most memorable items on eBay have been those with great stories attached.

Does anyone remember Wedding Dress Guy?

How about the Virgin Mary on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

These and other items over the years went viral mainly because of the unique stories that went with the item (lots of wedding dresses are sold through eBay).

Anyone selling that same model of bike can cite the same facts, figures, diagrams and endorsements, but only you can cite your unique experience with that specific bike, why you bought it, and why you're letting go of it.

During the early years of eBay, almost every item description was a story ("My Dad's fishing lures…" "My mother's favorite crystal set…"). As eBay has evolved and mass marketing has taken hold, much of that has fallen by the wayside in favor of pre-written product descriptions.

While SEO is important to help buyers find specific items they want, telling a unique story about an item will really make that item stand out.
+Will King  Hope it is cool that I copied your comment to my post too If not let me know and I can easily remove. Thanks again for insight, guidance and wisdom WIll. Let me know if you are available to run our ebay store :).
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