by Mitch Alverson.
When you bring together the power of story and a business framework, you have a winning combination. A marketing philosophy that is a sure paradigm buster in the marketing world… StoryBrand is really taking the marketing world by storm.
StoryBrand is a marketing philosophy and framework that was created by Donald Miller. The framework is made up of seven parts. The StoryBrand framework is designed to help businesses understand their customer’s stories and then clearly communicate how they help their customers. The StoryBrand philosophy is designed to create clarity for businesses so they stop confusing their customers and stop wasting their marketing dollars.
I’ve spent the last three years as a StoryBrand Certified Guide. I’ve been successful and I’ve seen this framework work time and time again, making business owners light up with “Aha Moments” and often say, “Where has this been and why did I not know about it?”
Keep reading as I explain the seven-part framework and much more about Storybrand.
The StoryBrand Seven-Part Framework
The StoryBrand seven-part framework, also known as a “BrandScript,” is the best place to start if you want to StoryBrand your business. The BrandScript was created when Don Miller went away to see if he could figure out why his marketing wasn’t really working for his life coaching seminar.
At this retreat, Don Miller put together the power of story and a framework that would help him clarify his message. Miller boiled the story formula down to seven components:
- A Character
- With a problem
- Meets a guide
- Who gives them a plan
- That calls them to action
- That results in success
- Or failure
Every great story has one primary hero. With StoryBrand, the hero is the character. For you and your business, the hero in the story is your main customer. It is imperative that the character only wants one thing. When our character wants multiple things, the story gets confusing and your marketing gets cluttered. An example from the movies that works here is Jason Bourne. Jason Bourne really only wanted to discover his past and find out who he really was.
With a Problem
The story comes to life when a character has a problem. The rest of the story is about how the character solves that problem and how the problem is making the character feel. Almost always there is a philosophical problem that also exists. So, your character has an external problem, an internal problem, and a philosophical problem.
The external problem is the clear thing you solve. If you sell lawn service, the external problem is… I need my lawn cut. The internal problem is how your ugly lawn is making you feel. It could be frustrated or emasculated. Philosophically, it is just plain wrong for your character to have a yard that looks bad.
Meets a Guide
The guide is the person showing the hero what to do to win the day. Luke Skywalker had Yoda. Katniss had Haymitch. The hero of the story always needs a guide to show them the way. In the original Rocky it was Mick, in Rocky II it was Apollo Creed.
Here is the big paradigm shift for business owners. Your customer is the hero… you are the guide. Start presenting yourself as the guide. If you are the hero, you are in direct competition with your customer. Your customer wakes up every day as the hero in their own story, and they are looking for a guide. Be the guide!
Who Gives Them a Plan
In keeping with the movie theme, in every great movie, the guide gives the hero a plan. Usually, it is something pretty simple and easy. That is exactly how it translates to business. You should give your character an easy step-by-step plan. Stick with three steps.
Step 1: Schedule a Call
Step 2: Onsite Assessment
Step 3: Set Your Business Free
We are trying to convey to the character that it is really easy to do business with you.
That Calls Them to Action
If you don’t call your customers to action, they won’t take any. This doesn’t have to be super salesy and pushy. It could be a simple “Buy Now” button in the top right-hand corner of your website, or whatever your version of “Buy Now” is. Just like in the movies, the hero is called to action. Yoda tells Luke to “use the force.” You have to call your customers to action.
That Results in Success
You have to use language and images that remind your character what success looks like and what their life could be like if they do business with you. When you do your BrandScript, you should brainstorm all the ways that your character’s life can be transformed for the better. Write all of those words down. Look for images that portray success. These can be smiley happy people or people using your product or service.
Failure is real. We have to talk about failure so that our customers don’t forget what might happen if they don’t do business with us. Since we’re using a BrandScript and have done the research on our customers, we’ll know what failure looks like for our customers. When we stop talking about our customer’s potential failure, they stop listening.
Caution: Too much failure will cause your customers to tune you out. Failure is like salt in a cake, too much and it will taste awful, too little and everyone will know something is missing.
Will StoryBrand Work for My Business?
This is a common question when it comes to StoryBrand. Many companies and entrepreneurs often think their business is too complex, or it just won’t work for them. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The answer is, absolutely yes! StoryBrand will work for your business. If you deal with humans, then StoryBrand will work for you. I’ve been a StoryBrand Certified Guide for over two years now. I have not seen an instance where StoryBrand did not bring clarity and accelerate business execution.
StoryBrand says on their website, “If you use words to sell, you need StoryBrand.”
Is There Proof That StoryBrand Works?
Actually, there is proof! Dr. J.J. Peterson, as a part of his Ph.D., studied this question. He started with three positions:
- StoryBrand improves profitability.
- StoryBrand improves employee morale and confidence.
- StoryBrand saves time and money when creating marketing collateral.
J.J. learned that the only factor that directly affected these three areas was the level of implementation in all areas of marketing. In other words, the companies that actually implemented StoryBrand in all areas of marketing saw improvement in all three areas.
The size of the company didn’t matter. The type of company didn’t matter. The type of StoryBrand workshop didn’t really matter, and whether they were for-profit or not-for-profit didn’t matter.
The only thing that mattered was how much they actually did StoryBrand.
Who Created StoryBrand?
Donald Miller wrote Christian memoirs before getting into writing business books and workshops to help companies clarify their messages. The journey to StoryBrand started with a workshop Don ran called Storyline. Don went away to a cabin in North Carolina to work on the lack of growth for his Storyline conference.
While at the cabin, Don came up with the Seven-Part Framework that he eventually would call the BrandScript. The BrandScript helped Don clarify his marketing message and his conferences went from 350 registrants to selling out at 2,200 registrants in just a couple of years.
After Don saw the success and ease of marketing Storyline, he knew it would help other businesses. He created a company called StoryBrand and began hosting workshops to help others clarify their message.
The Building A StoryBrand Podcast
The podcast is how I first learned about StoryBrand. I love the podcast and listen weekly. Don is a good interviewer and he and J.J.’s weekly banter and discussion is priceless. The episode you should listen to in order to get what StoryBrand is all about is episode 65.
About the Author
Mitch Alverson is a StoryBrand Certified Guide who helps companies with their messaging while making the internet less complex. Mitch builds Sales Funnels for his clients using tools like WordPress and ClickFunnels. If you need help clarifying your message and building out your Sales Funnel you can contact Mitch at mitch@b3advisors or learn more at https://www.b3advisors.org
Photo: Don Miller and Mitch Alverson