StoryBrand Crash Course: Quickly Learn the StoryBrand Basics to Level-Up Your Marketing

StoryBrand Crash Course

Maybe you’ve read Building a StoryBrand. Or listened to the Business Made Simple Podcast. Or had Donald Miller speak at one of your corporate events. Chances are you’ve heard of StoryBrand, but you need a refresher of what it means for your brand. 

Well, look no further. I’m about to give you a crash course to quickly learn the StoryBrand basics to level-up your marketing!

I’ve been working directly with StoryBrand for years, leading their workshops and helping clients put this framework to work for their brand. I eat sleep and breathe this stuff and am thrilled to pass along these key StoryBrand points. When you embrace the framework and apply each point in your marketing, you will see results. Here's your guide to quickly learn the StoryBrand Basics to level-up your marketing.

1. Nobody has extra time to figure out what you do.

Human brains are designed to do two things. Survive and thrive. Every purchasing decision we make is connected to that reality. We are trying to increase our security, improve our status or strengthen our relationships. Whether we are buying a $4 tube of lipstick or a $95k electric Audi, we are working to increase our odds of surviving and thriving in this world. People may not consciously realize that’s what they’re doing, but that is what’s happening.

In order to survive and thrive, we must conserve our energy. Because you know, if barbarians come over the hill into our cul-de-sac, we’re going to need that energy to fight that off and defend our home!

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to process information. Anyone who has written a book, taught a course, or participated in a business-critical strategic meeting knows that when we have to think hard, our brains get tired. So when a brand is complicated or uses insider terms trying to describe what they do, we filter them out. Because it’s asking us to burn energy we need to fight off those barbarians! It sounds silly, but it’s true.

Think about what you tune out… When information is being presented to you that is complicated to understand and doesn’t relate to your life - hello daydreaming.

Here’s what this means for your brand: You need to communicate about your product in such a way that your customers see clearly how it will help them survive and thrive AND you better not ask them to burn too much energy understanding what you say.

That means that when it comes to effective marketing, simplicity and clarity are the name of the game.

2. Story is the best way to capture a person’s attention

We know that we need to simply and clearly present our product to our customers in a way that connects with their survival and thriving. But how do we do that? 

The answer is: Tell a great story. When we engage in a great story, we stop daydreaming and pay attention. When we really care about the hero of the story and what happens to them, we are riveted. 

So, let’s harness the magic that gets us to binge a great show on Netflix (Queen’s Gambit anyone?) and use that in our marketing! 

Most brands know they need to use storytelling in their marketing, but they aren’t sure how. Well my friend, I’m about to give you the keys to the kingdom.

3. Stories have a formula 

I’m about to ruin movies for you forever. But it’ll be worth it when you’re swimming in all that money your business is going to make… Scrooge McDuck style. 

For centuries, storytellers have used a formula. Of course there are different variations of it, but the bones of it remain the same. 

You have a hero who wants something. 

But they have a problem that is blocking them from getting what they want. And that problem makes them feel a certain way. They are willing to face huge challenges to solve that problem and stop feeling that way. 

They can’t solve that problem on their own, so storytellers introduce a character called The Guide. It’s the Guide’s job to give the hero a plan to help them overcome their problem and get what they want. Gandalf. Dory. Yoda. Mister Miyagi. All Guides.

The Guide challenges the hero to take action. No Frodo, you can’t just stay in the Shire. You’ve gotta get to Mordor and drop that ring in the fire of Mount Doom. 

And finally, there have to be some stakes in the story. What tragic results do we want our hero to avoid? And, what’s the successful happy ending our hero will get if she is successful? 

That framework will show up in movie after movie and book after book. It’s familiar and clear. People respond to it. So, let’s use that framework for your brand so that people are excited to engage in the story you’re telling.

4. Your customer is the Hero of the story (not you). You’re the Guide.

Yeah, baby. This is the ticket to the whole thing. When brands come in and try to be the hero to save the day, it subtly puts them at odds with their customer. Because everyone is the hero of their own story. That means, your customer sees themself as the hero of their story. 

So let’s let them shine as Hero and instead be the Guide they desperately need. You are Gandalf. You’ve been where your customer is and know what they’re up against. You can have empathy for them. But, you also have a proven track record of success and actually know how to help them solve their problem. 

When you demonstrate empathy and authority they can trust you as their Guide, and you can give them the plan they need to solve their problem. So, confidently step into that Guide role and lead them toward success. 

It’s a huge paradigm shift, and one that is going to make you lots and lots of money.

5. Create a clear brand story using this framework, and watch your business grow. 

 
These are the 7 questions you must answer in order to tell a strong brand story. 
  • What does your customer want?
  • What problem do you solve for your customer? 
  • What are the empathy and authority you have that make you their Guide?
  • What plan are you giving them?
  • How are you calling them to take action?
  • What is the failure you will help them avoid?
  • What success can they look forward to when they buy from you?

And there you have it- the key tips to quickly learning the StoryBrand basics to level-up your marketing. After years of helping brand’s apply the StoryBrand Framework, I know it’s easier said than done. People get in there and start trying to answer these questions and they realize that simplification is hard. 

If you see the power of this framework, but you’re spinning your wheels trying to actually use it for your brand, shoot me an email at kristin@decodedstrategies.com. I know how hard it is, and I have a lot of reps at helping businesses successfully apply the StoryBrand Framework. We can get you rolling in your marketing with a clear brand story that customers want to be invited into. 

You shouldn’t have to work this hard to get more of the right customers who stick around for the long-run. With a ton of StoryBrand expertise and experience, I’m here to help.

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