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January 20, 2020

What is StoryBrand?

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 7 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 2 plus 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 7 part framework and much more about Storybrand.

The StoryBrand 7 Part Framework

The StoryBrand 7 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 7 components:

  1. A Character
  2. With a problem
  3. Meets a guide
  4. Who gives them a plan
  5. That calls them to action
  6. That results in success
  7. Or failure

A Character

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.

Or Failure

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 2 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." Also from the StoryBrand website, here is a list of B2B and B2C categories where StoryBrand is perfect:

Financial AdvisorsFortune 500 CompaniesRetail
Tech CompaniesConsultantsSmall Businesses
Real Estate AgentsStartupsNon-Profits
Service-Based CompaniesRestaurantsSolopreneurs
ManufacturersMedical professionalsGovernment agencies
BanksSports teamsand more... !

As a StoryBrand Certified Guide, I have helped clients in these industries:

  • Insurance
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Concrete Construction
  • Counseling
  • Architect
  • Auto Parts Manufacturer
  • Executive Recruiter
  • Non-Profit
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Life Coach
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Video Editing Specialist

Is There Proof That StoryBrand Works?

Actually, there is proof! Dr. J.J. Peterson, as a part of his Phd, studied this question. He started with three positions:

  1. StoryBrand improves profitability
  2. StoryBrand improves employee morale and confidence
  3. 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 non-profit didn't matter.

The only that mattered was how much they actually did StoryBrand.

Click here to download J.J.'s paper.

What does it cost for StoryBrand?

The answer to this question is... it depends. It depends on what you're looking for. The entry-level for StoryBrand is the book, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, and it goes up from there to a live workshop. From the live workshop, you'd be looking at hiring a StoryBrand Certified Guide to help you execute your implementation of StoryBrand.

The book: Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen $17-20

The book is a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller and an Amazon Best Seller. The book is well written and easy to read. You can buy it here.

Best selling book by Donald Miller

Business Made Simple University: $275/year

StoryBrand launched Business Made Simple University (BMSU) in 2019. BMSU is a great investment and very economical. The price is $275 per year per user. You get access to the messaging course which is the online version of the StoryBrand live workshop which sells for $2,995. So, the BMSU platform is a real steal. You can buy it here.

The StoryBrand Live Workshop: $2995

This workshop is really well done. Don Miller, JJ Peterson, and Koula Callahan are the main speakers and teachers. This workshop is a great way to block off a couple of days and go clarify your message. It's held in downtown Nashville and you'll walk away with a clear message for your business and a clear structure on what you need for your sales funnel.

At the workshop, participants are taught how to apply their newly clarified message to all of their marketing. Participants develop their one-liner, which helps them introduce the company. They also create the words for a web page, write marketing emails, create sales pitches, lead generating assets, and more.

This is me at the Sept 2019 Live WorkShop. StoryBrand has a cool photo booth set up where you can take your own photos.
This is me with Eric Newsome (SB Certified Guide), and Nathan Hall (SB Certified Guide)

The live workshop is a great experience and you'll get some great business knowledge if you go. If you'd like to go you can register with this link.

Hiring a StoryBrand Certified Guide: $1500 to $20,000 and up

StoryBrand has an amazing database of Certified Guides. All of the guides who are certified have gone through the live workshop and spent two full days with Don Miller and this team. During the 4 days together, the guides are taught how to help execute the StoryBrand Framework. Many of the guides you'll find in the database are talented marketers in their own right. They possess the skills you need to develop world-class marketing for your business.

Clarify your message webpage
StoryBrand's database of Certified Guides www.clarifyyourmessage.com

You can use the filter to find a StoryBrand Certified Guide that specializes in exactly what you need and by proximity to you. Many guides have all the technology you need to work remotely, but if you like working with a guide face to face, you can find one close to you.

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 7 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.

Donald Miller and Mitch Alverson

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. Here is the link to the episode on Spotify.

Conclusion

I hope this post gives you a look into StoryBrand. If you need help with StoryBrand... click here to book a call with Mitch.

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