Think of the stories that stick with you. What is the magic ingredient? The formula that makes them stick is much less complicated than what you might imagine.
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand Framework focuses on a story’s key elements that not only make your listener keep reading, but makes them remember the point of the story.
Sharpening your Marketing Message:
Generally speaking, stories follow a seven-part framework. After researching and discovering this framework, Donald applied it to his own business and saw massive revenue gains over the next several years with no money on advertising.
“If you’re spending a lot of money on Facebook ads and all these kinds of ways to get your message out there, but you haven’t clarified your message, you really just bought a very expensive bullhorn and you’re holding it up to a monkey.”
However, when properly implemented, the seven characteristics of a story will make right people hear your message, identify with your service(s), and want your help.
In a sentence, the story goes: a character wants something but has a problem, meets a guide who gives them a plan, and calls them to action which either ends in a success or a failure.
- The Hero: A character who wants something/ has a goal to accomplish (the customer).
- The Problem: Something that opposes the Hero and what they want (the problem your business solves for the customer).
- The Guide: A person who helps the hero overcome the Problem (your business).
- The Plan: What the Guide gives the Hero to overcome the Problem.
- The Challenge: The Guide calls the Hero to action and challenges the Hero to do something.
- The Failure: The things that could be tragic for the hero.
- The Success: The victory of the Hero over the problem.
To ensure that your audience doesn’t get lost, tell them exactly how you solve their problem.
The three levels of problems are internal, external and philosophical. Most businesses typically focus on the external problem, when the customer is actually buying because of the internal problem. People are not motivated to buy because of the external problem they are facing. They buy because of the internal frustration the external problem causes. All stories are based on internal problems.
At the end of the day, your audience doesn’t care about your story, they want to know how you will fix their problem.
Part of solving this problem is authentically caring and establishing authority by sharing your expertise. This will also help you build trust as the guide. Then, you move the customer to action by offering a challenge, framed by what success and failure look like.
“Human beings do not move without, what’s called in story terms, “an inciting incident,” something that is challenging them and forcing them into the action,” says Miller.
While it isn’t necessary to have all seven characteristics in your marketing message, anything you use in your message should fit within these characteristics.
These “rules” will help your creative be more clear and less noisy.
Your customers are inundated with information and knowledge every second of every day.
As business owners, you face the same challenge. It is difficult to step away from all of the nitty-gritty details and explain your business or your product in the simplest of terms. However, you must recognize this is your stumbling block.
To break through the noise, remember that people don’t typically buy the “best” products and services; they buy the products and services they can understand the fastest.
If you showed a stranger your website for 60 seconds, could they answer the following questions?
- What is your offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to do to buy it?
Foundational priorities for your website should be a clear tagline and a direct call to action. It should feature a visual representation of pictures or graphics of the success the customer will find with your product and your product broken down into bite-size pieces. Finally, communicate off of a brand script to keep your message on track.
This throughline of simplicity is crucial to distilling your message into something direct and powerful.
While this is a lot of information in one sitting, think of it as the new, more effective ingredients for your glue. With this new formula, your audience will both understand and remember how you will solve their problem instantly.
To avoid the marketing money pit, stop throwing money at things that don’t work.
- Websites might be beautiful, but are they effective? If you want to create marketing that works, focus on the words: they are the key.
- Instead of offering a newsletter, offer a lead generation PDF to provide an incentive for people to share their emails. By downloading a PDF, your audience provides insight into what they’re interested in so you can share high quality follow up emails.
- A marketing plan that does the job must have six essential elements. This is what Miller used to grow his company from $250,000 to $3.6 million.
a. Clarify your company’s message.
b. Turn your website into a sales page.
c. Create a lead generating PDF.
d. On-ramp customers with an automated email campaign.
e. Craft an effective sales letter.
f. Gather customer testimonials.
- Through the StoryBrand Framework, based on powerful copywriting formulas you can learn exactly how to write copy that works and why it works.
Now, let’s apply this glue to your website.
- Pass the “grunt test?”
- Follow the 7 characteristics of a story within your message.
- Simplify your message. Tip: portray your company’s message like a movie trailer with your customer as the hero.
- Give a clear, direct call-to-action.
- Break it down: your services or offerings should be in easy-to-understand categories (no more than 3).
- Offer something of value or interesting in exchange for their email, like a lead generation PDF.
Remember. Do the work for them and show them exactly how they will find success and overcome failure with your guidance. Think Clear. Think Fast. Think Simple. Think Smart. And your story will stick like glue.
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