Let’s assume for the sake of this article that you’ve read Donald Miller’s excellent treatise on clarifying your brand messaging, “Building a StoryBrand.” Let’s also assume that you followed Miller’s advice, headed over to mystorybrand.com, answered all the questions there, and completed your first BrandScript.
(If you haven’t done any of those things, don’t worry. You can get caught up with my last article, which answers the question, “What Is a StoryBrand BrandScript?” If you started a BrandScript but ran into difficulties finishing it, read on. This article is for you, too.)
If you did your BrandScript right by following the guidelines Miller laid out in his book, you now have a document defining a clear message that will grab the attention of your target audience and spur them to action.
But writing a BrandScript is only the first step toward transforming your business. What comes next is just as important, if not more important: what you do with your BrandScript.
A 5-Step StoryBrand Implementation Process
If you’re at a loss as to what to do next with your BrandScript, the following five steps should provide some direction.
Keep in mind, though, that every brand’s needs are a little different. I encourage you to think of the following steps as a starting point for building a StoryBrand execution plan that works for your business.
(This is one reason why the guidance of a StoryBrand Certified Agency can be so valuable. More on that below.)
We’ve guided dozens of clients through StoryBrand implementation projects, and we find that, when these five elements work together, they can bring more prospects to your brand and ultimately help you convert them to paying customers.
Step 1: Refine Your BrandScript
Your BrandScript is the key to all of this, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right. (And if you haven’t completed your BrandScript yet, now is the time.)
The StoryBrand Framework is easy to understand, but applying it to your business and your customers is not always straightforward — especially if you’re just learning to think about your message in terms of storytelling.
Common BrandScript mistakes include:
- Being too vague.
- Failing to identify the correct internal and external problems.
- Overcomplicating the plan.
- Making your brand the hero, rather than your customers.
- Making calls-to-action that are boring or without value.
It might be useful, at this point, to invest in some StoryBrand coaching.
A StoryBrand coach will go through your BrandScript with you, challenging your answers where you need challenging, tightening up points that need tightening up, and in general, helping you hone your message to be as crystal clear as it can be.
Step 2: Use Your BrandScript as the Basis for a Website Redesign
Many brand websites are full of noise that can confuse potential customers. “If you confuse, you’ll lose,” says Donald Miller.
So, your website is an excellent (perhaps the best) place to start integrating your brand-new, StoryBrand-infused, highly-clarified messaging.
I recommend focusing on your homepage and then building out additional pages as needed. Work with a wireframe until you know precisely what you want your site to say and how you want it to function; visuals are distractions at this early stage.
If you don’t have web development experts on your team, or you simply don’t have the time, full-service digital marketing agencies like Media Junction® have the expertise and resources to make your vision a reality.
Step 3: Create a Lead-Generating Asset
The StoryBrand Framework calls for a “transitional call-to-action,” a low-risk way for visitors to deepen their relationship with your brand without immediately making a purchase.
Typically, your offer will “cost” prospects no more than their email address, which you can add to your database of potential customers. (HubSpot’s inbound marketing philosophy uses a similar concept.)
The key to a good transitional call-to-action is that it’s something your prospects actually want. Your BrandScript should help you identify what that would be. As for the form of your offer, Donald Miller suggests options like pdf ebooks, samples, free trials, and videos.
Step 4: Build an Email Nurturing Campaign
A well-planned sequence of emails can gently nudge your prospects toward a deeper appreciation of your brand, and ultimately, a purchase.
But emails are tricky things. We all get so many every day; it’s hard to rise above the flood and score more than a few seconds of reading time.
Your BrandScript can point the way. By casting your prospects as heroes in their own stories, you can craft email messages that succinctly capture your prospects’ frustration with their problems and guide them toward a solution.
A typical StoryBrand Implementation project with Media Junction will include the creation of up to 4 automated emails that close with an effective sales letter. This email nurturing campaign turns into a 24/7 salesforce.
Email campaigns help new and established clients remember brands. Even if a customer doesn't need your company’s help right now, when they eventually do, they will remember you from your email campaign.
Step 5: Gather Customer Testimonials
Crucial to the StoryBrand concept is the idea of transformation. Your customers want to change, Donald Miller says. Your role is to guide them from “before” to “after.”
“Your job is to transport your customers from one state to another. They start in the ‘before state.’ This describes where they are when they begin to engage our brand. But we help them move to the ‘after state,’ which is what they can become with our help.” — Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand
How have you helped your customers transform? Powerful stories of transformation are critical for understanding and perfecting your BrandScript, and thus, your messaging.
So, reach out and ask your biggest fans. A StoryBrand Certified Agency like us can help you formulate your questions and turn the answers into clear, compelling stories that entice potential customers.
Who Can Help With StoryBrand Implementation?
Just a brief word here in closing on how much work this all is. I admit, it is a lot, and it may call on resources your company doesn’t have on hand, such as web design and copywriting talent.
No one said that transformation would be simple. That’s why the StoryBrand Framework emphasizes the role of a guide. We all can use some assistance getting where we want to go.
In the StoryBrand community, there are StoryBrand Certified Guides and StoryBrand Certified Agencies. I’ll be writing a full blog post in the future on the difference between the two. For now, though, I’ll just say both are proven experts on the StoryBrand Framework. The main difference is that guides are individuals and agencies are teams.
If all you need is coaching through the BrandScript creation and implementation process, a StoryBrand Certified Guide might be the most cost-effective solution. If you need the whole package — copywriting, web design and development, automated email creation — an agency may be the way to go.
But, as I said, more on that in a future post! Subscribe to our blog to make sure all of our other insights on StoryBrand implementation make it to your inbox.