How do you tell a story about your services or your business?
If you’re unsure of the answer to that question, it’s time for you to learn more about StoryBrand. You may have heard of StoryBrand before and are wondering what it is about or if it’s going to benefit you in any way. In this month’s blog, I explain exactly what it is, how it works and the ways it can positively impact your brand.
So, first and foremost; have you ever landed on somebody’s website and had a hard time figuring out what they do and how they can actually help you? That’s precisely what happens when your marketing message is not clear. People will land on your website and then leave because they don’t understand what you do and how you can help them.
If a potential customer is unable to fully understand what it is that you do within the first five seconds of landing on your website, they’re going to leave. It’s as simple as that; unclear messaging leads to missed opportunities and lost customers. The same can be said for your social media pages and any other marketing material that you put out into the world.
Focusing on achieving clarity with your message and defining who exactly it is for is what’s inevitably going to help you win business and win customers over.
Here’s the thing, your ‘About Us’ section on your website should not be about you! It should be about your customer.
Who is the hero of your story?
Here’s the other thing: When customers land on your website or your social media platforms, they’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”. When you send them an email, they’re thinking the exact same thing. Simply put, it pays to put your customers first by making it instantly clear how they can benefit from engaging with you.
If you make your customer the hero of your story, the hero of your journey, the hero of all of your business decisions, your business will become customer-centric and your messaging, brand, experience – everything – will tie into what your customers love about you. And because all of your messaging involves your customer, it’s going to resonate with more people which means, your business will grow.
This is essentially what the StoryBrand framework helps you to achieve. To give you more insight, let’s take a look at StoryBrand’s seven-part framework, what’s included and why it is of benefit to you.
StoryBrand’s seven-part framework
- Firstly, a lot of businesses make the mistake of establishing themselves as the hero of their message, but customers quickly get bored with that. Why? If they don’t understand what’s in it for them pretty quickly in the process, they will likely search for an alternative; someone who communicates very clearly, simply, and quickly how they can help a customer solve their problem.
- Secondly, customers buy solutions to problems, and usually, those problems are internal. This means they are based on feelings and emotions – their desires, pains, or challenges. The features of your product or service are not going to solve a problem, but what will is fixing the pain that the customer has, whatever that might be.
- For example, if I walk into a dental surgery and the dentist starts to show me their marvellous technology, I’m thinking, “I’ve got a pain in my tooth here, can you fix that rather than showing me your machinery?”. That’s what I mean – it’s about solving that internal problem: I’ve got a pain in my tooth and I need to get it fixed.
- Revolving your service around fixing the internal feelings and emotions that your customers are thinking about when they engage with you is going to help you create empathy and to resonate with your ideal clients.
- The third thing to consider is that customers need a guide as opposed to another hero. Oftentimes, when business owners engage with the customer in the first instance, they present themselves as another hero – much like the dentist who waffles on about their marvellous technology when they should be listening to the patient.
- Those things are not relevant because your customer – the central hero of your story – needs somebody who can effectively and informatively guide them along the way. They need somebody with credibility, authority, and expertise who can help them solve their problem. They don’t need somebody else who’s just like them. After all, there can only be one hero in your story.
- The fourth element of the framework is to recognise that your customers need a guide who can give them a plan. If I go to the dentist and say, “I’ve got a toothache, can you please help me?” and the dentist responds with a concise plan of action that will solve my problem and get the job done, that’s the ideal scenario. When the guide shows up and knows exactly what to do, the hero automatically trusts the guide.
- They already accept that the dentist has their certifications; they don’t need to see their CV. They need to see proof that the dentist – or business owner or service provider – can solve their problem, they don’t need to see their CV! The customer needs to see somebody who’s going to take control and help them through their journey or their transformation so the pain goes away.
- When it comes to a customer’s needs, goals, or desires, they want somebody who’s going to help them achieve what they’re looking for with less stress and less effort. When you, as a business owner, can do that, it can create a truly remarkable customer experience.
- Fifth on the list is a customer’s need to be called to action. I see so many small business owners making the mistake of creating valuable, informative content on social media (which is great as it builds trust with people) without including a call to action for the reader at the end of the post.
- Imagine Amazon’s website without any call-to-action button that enables you to buy products with one click. With no features or functions that instruct you how to proceed if a service or product interests you. When you deliver informative, valuable, educational, funny, or inspiring content across your social platforms, be sure to add a call to action to avoid making this disastrous mistake.
- Whether it’s encouraging potential customers to get in touch, sign up now, schedule a call, or even comment below, creating a call to action facilitates engagement, and the more engagement you have with your prospect customers, the more likely they are to do business with you in the future.
- The sixth box to tick is helping the customer understand what avoiding failure looks like. Let’s imagine again that I have a pain in my tooth. If the dentist says to me, “We’ve done the x-ray, we’ve identified this as the problem and if you don’t do X, Y or Z, this is what’s going to happen”, they’re essentially highlighting what’s at stake. Customers need to understand what’s at stake if they don’t take action and do something now.
- The final piece of the framework is equally as important; customers need to see a picture of success. Take IKEA for example. IKEA is really a warehouse of flat-packed furniture, but what they’ve done is remarkable. They have created two things from a customer experience perspective.
- First and foremost, each of their branches features a servicescape that you must walk through to navigate the store. Within this servicescape, the furniture is placed in such a way that allows you to visualise what it might look like in your own home. Rather than look at cardboard, flat-packed items on a shelf in a warehouse, you get to see the final product in action as such. That’s one part.
- The other thing they do is to give you the plan of how to put it together. And when you build something yourself, it totally invites you into the story, because it creates a memory of going to IKEA, picking the piece of furniture and putting it together before making it a part of your home.
Each of the above elements creates the seven-part StoryBrand framework.
Why is the StoryBrand framework useful for your business?
Now that we’ve defined the seven-part StoryBrand framework, you may still have some pressing questions, such as why exactly is it useful? The quick answer is that it’s useful because it has a clear purpose: to make your marketing message as simple and as clear as possible.
You can use it on your website, you can use it to create a one-liner (a one-line statement that everybody in your business knows and uses consistently for your elevator pitch), you can use it on your marketing collateral, on your website, on your business card, in person – wherever you are.
You can also use the framework to create a lead generator because when you’re aware of your customer’s problems, you’ll also understand how you can give value to them and help them make things easier, or guide them towards achieving their goals or solving their problem. When you create and give out a lead generator, you gather your customer’s email, which enters them into your story, but equally positions you as the guide.
The third thing you can do with the StoryBrand framework is to create an automated drip email campaign, which invites the customer to interact with you. It calls them to action and invites them to buy now, schedule a call, sign up, or whatever call to action is relevant to your business.
The next thing it does is to create and tell a story of transformation. What I mean by that is it talks about a customer being at a point before they engage with you; how they went on a journey, and maybe encountered a few bumps or milestones along the way that had to be overcome or achieved before they could get to the final part of their journey. That journey of transformation is something that customers like to hear because when you tell a story, customers can visualise themselves as part of the story. They can empathise with that story and think, “If it worked for that person, it may very well work for me.”.
The StoryBrand framework also enables users to pull all of this together to create a system that generates referrals for your business. And when you get a referral from an existing customer, that is the best source of business or draw for potential new prospects, because they are much more likely to actually buy from you when they actively engage with you.
I hope, after reading this blog, that you have more clarity on the StoryBrand seven-part framework, in terms of what it is all about and how it can positively impact your business success.
And now, for my own call to action!
Later on this month, on the 28th of April at 1 PM UK time, I will be hosting a 90-minute masterclass – ‘Marketing Mastery Live’ – where I get into much more detail about the StoryBrand framework. You can register here!