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Putting StoryBrand to Work

Now that you’ve created your BrandScript, it’s time to implement it!

If you’re paying attention, you are no doubt aware by now that I am in love with Donald Miller's best-selling book Building a Story Brand - Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. Why else would I devote two podcasts and blog posts to it?

Last week, we walked through the 7-part framework to create a great BrandScript.

A character…

has a problem…

and meets a guide…

who gives them a plan…

and calls them to action…

that helps them avoid failure...

and ends in success.

If you took my advice last week, then you took the time to build your own BrandScript based on this easy-to-follow framework. If you didn't do that then I suggest you go back and either listen to last week's podcast or read last week's blog post so that you can start building your own StoryBrand.

Although I have a degree in marketing, I really wish that I had a process to follow that was as simple as the StoryBrand framework for the last 30 years. StoryBrand genuinely takes the mystery out of writing a message so that your customers will understand quickly and want to pay attention - which is why I am so passionate about making sure every business owner reads this book! If you have already taken the time to create your BrandScript, now is the time to put it to practical use in your marketing efforts.

In the opening paragraph of Chapter 12 of his book, Miller says it best:

“We will only see an increased engagement from our customers if we implement our StoryBrand BrandScript in our marketing and messaging material. The BrandScript you've put together has to show up on websites, in e-mail campaigns, elevator pitches, and sales scripts... The more you execute, the more clearly you will communicate and the more your brand will stand out.”

The more I learn about StoryBrand and the more we have woven it into our own marketing material the more I realize that any business can use this simple concept to really stand out from their competition and achieve great results.

Start With Your Website

I spend a good portion of my days talking with business owners about how we can help them prepare their businesses for a future transition. One of the first things I do is go straight to their website. I want to see how the business is using their website to drive customers to them. Frankly, I'm astounded at the number of websites that are 20 years old, using old technology, that are not much more than a brochure on the internet. Now don't get me wrong, there are many great websites out there today, but there are still too many websites that just miss the mark. There are too many inexpensive tools to let your website languish. It’s very affordable today to build a great website. That's why one of the first places I believe a business should start to implement their BrandScript is on their website.

Miller suggests that every website should include at least these five things:

  • An offer above the fold

  • Obvious calls-to-action

  • Images of success

  • A bite-sized breakdown of your revenue streams

  • Very few words

An Offer Above the Fold

An offer above the fold refers to newspapers. In newspapers, you always see the story or the ad on the top side of the fold of the newspaper. If your advertisement or offer is below the fold you risk not being seen by potential customers. We can learn from the old newspaper days when we are creating a great website.

When you go to your website, how far do you have to scroll to understand what your company offers to your prospective customers? If it’s not easy to discern on the “front page,” you probably need to redesign your website to ensure that your BrandScript is very clear without having to scroll down the website. With all of the information available to us today, very few people are patient enough to dig through your website to understand what's in it for them. Make it obvious. Put it front and center, above the fold, so you can grab their attention.

Obvious Calls to Action

You might recall from last week's podcast that a call to action is the one thing your customer needs to do in order to engage in business with you. There are two types of calls to action - direct and transitional.

The first is a direct call to action that gives your customer the ability to buy now if they're ready.

The second is a transitional call to action, also called a lead magnet. Think of this as “I'm not ready to get married yet but I'd be happy to go on a date.” Of course it's preferred to use a direct call to action so that your customers can engage immediately. However, if your business is like ours, where every service or product you offer is customized to your character's needs, perhaps a transitional call to action could be a great approach. If that describes your business, you should also think about direct calls to action that prompt the visitor to call now.

It is so important for you to have an obvious call to action above the fold and to repeat it throughout your website.

Images of Success

What kind of images do you use on your website? Are they beautiful images depicting your product or service - or do the images on your website show happy customers using your products or services. A happy customer holding your product is far superior to an image of your product sitting on a table.

One of the most common mistakes on websites today is putting a picture of your beautiful building front and center. That just wastes mental calories trying to get to your message. My advice is lose the building. Focus on the happy customers who have achieved success with your product or service.

A Bite-sized Breakdown of your Revenue Streams

Many businesses today have a very broad product offering. If you do, then you can't show everything above the fold. A better approach would be to synthesize your product offering into the most likely candidate(s) to engage a prospect for the first time. That is way easier to say than do. I get it.

Another approach might be to analyze your most profitable products. If your most profitable products are the things that drive customers to you, then that's a great place to start.

Very Few Words

In this age of high information overload, no one really reads websites anymore. Rather, we scan them. So, the fewer words you can use to drive your message home the better. Think of the phrase first coined by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal in 1657 (and used over and over through the centuries), “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

If your message is complicated, then spend the time to whittle it down to the fewest possible words that communicate exactly the message that will engage your prospect.

As you are redesigning your website the most important thing is to make certain that it stays on your BrandScript.

Five Things to Implement Your StoryBrand

Finally, I'd like to mention the five almost free things you can do to implement your StoryBrand framework and grow your business according to Miller.

1) Create a Great One-Liner

Think of your one liner as a one to three sentence elevator pitch that clearly articulates your brand message. Developing a strong one liner is not easy to do. Take the components of your BrandScript and find a way to articulate the character, the problem, the plan, and the success and just two or three sentences. This will take some work. Make a draft, and share it with your team, and wordsmith it until you have something that will keep your customers attention.

2) Create a Lead Generator

Every business needs a lead generator. You can collect email addresses by offering free transitional calls-to-action like a white paper, ebook, e-course, webinar, or just about anything that will entice the visitor to give you their email address.

3) Create An Automated Email Drip Campaign

Now that you have collected email addresses, you need to create an automated way to stay in front of those prospects that have engaged by giving you their email. There are dozens of free and paid tools that you can use to create automated campaigns so that once it starts, you don't have to think about how to communicate with your prospects and stay top of mind with them.

4) Collect And Tell Stories Of Transformation

When you created your BrandScript, you articulated a character transformation of the hero in the story. Be sure to collect stories about customers who have been transformed by your product and service and tell those stories so that others can see themselves in the story.

5) Create A System That Generates Referrals

If you're like me, you hate to be asked to identify two or three friends that you can refer. That's the old school way of collecting referrals. Today, there are much more sophisticated and nuanced ways to ask your customers to give you a referral. If you have customers that are genuinely delighted with your products or services, it's okay to ask them for a referral. But it's even better if you make them an offer and give them an incentive to give you that referral. Simply asking a customer for a referral is typically not enough. Tell them specifically what you would like to have and give them a format to provide that referral.

There is much more to implementing your BrandScript into your marketing material and if you want to learn more then just go buy Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. And, of course, we are here to help. Just like I’ve asked you to do, we have spent time analyzing our own marketing so that we could implement our BrandScript in our marketing messages. If you take the time to do that, you can transform your marketing into a lead generating machine that can't help but make your business grow.

And of course as you already know, a growing business makes you more valuable and that's what we are all about, maximizing your business value.

So, stop right now, and put a plan in place to implement your BrandScript on your website. It’s the most obvious and easiest place to start! Once you start, if you need a nudge in the right direction, reach out to us and we’ll give you an honest opinion!

Message me on LinkedIn or on our Facebook Page or email me or call my cell and tell me HOW you are going to use Story Brand to upgrade your marketing! It will have an enormous impact on your business value! What are you going to do today - to Maximize Business Value?

And remember, we’re here to help. If we can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out!

In case you missed it, here is this week’s Maximize Business Value Podcast on the same topic.

Tom Bronson is the founder and President of Mastery Partners, a company that helps business owners maximize business value, design exit strategy, and transition their business on their terms. Mastery utilizes proven techniques and strategies that dramatically improve business value that was developed during Tom’s career 100 business transactions as either a business buyer or seller. As a business owner himself, he has been in your situation a hundred times, and he knows what it takes to craft the right strategy. Bronson is passionate about helping business owners and has the experience to do it. Want to chat more or think Tom can help you? Reach out at or check out his book, Maximize Business Value, Begin with The Exit in Mind (2020).

Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to Maximize Business Value so they can transition their business on their terms. Our mission was born from the lessons we’ve learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom so you can succeed.

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