Why You Need To Start Using Story To Market Your Brand

So you start a business and you’re fired up! You’ve got all your licenses, inventory, and you’ve set up shop. What next? How do you get people to actually buy from you?

Good question, my friend.

You’ve got to do two things...

You have to show them you have something of value that they need, and you have to communicate that value more clearly than anyone else, and quicker than anyone else.

People don’t like to buy things when they’re confused or when it takes too long for them to understand what benefit you’re offering them.

Now, you’re probably thinking “that’s great Brianna, but how the heck do I do that?” Sounds a little vague.

I want you to take a deep breath right now and look at this concretely.

All of your marketing is about sharing what you love with people who need what you have to offer. Even if what you offer is a luxury service or item, there is someone who you are trying to benefit and serve. So think about them. And then narrow it down to one person (you can make them up or base it on a real person) who you would absolutely LOVE to have as a client.

Now every step after that is just telling them a story.

What story?

The story where they’re the hero, and you’re the guide leading them to overcome some type of roadblock.

I’m basing this off of not only my own experience, but the amazing work of Donald Miller over at StoryBrand, and the inspiration of Graham Cochrane who put Miller on my radar (through my amazing husband, don’t ya just love how good work spreads?!?!).

Here’s how the story map goes…

  1. A hero/protagonist is identified

  2. The hero has some type of inner or outer struggle

  3. On their journey the hero meets a guide

  4. This guide sees the struggle and offers a plan

  5. The hero is called to take action on that plan

  6. That plan helps them avoid a failure

  7. The hero has success

Now let me show you how this helps you market your business. And I’ll use a clothing boutique as an example.

A Hero/Protagonist Is Identified

A sweet young woman from a small town who lives at coffee shops, binge watches Twin Peaks on Netflix, and has “borrowed” all of her mom’s old outfits from the 70’s.

The hero has some type of inner or outer struggle

This young woman loves all things vintage, but has a hard time finding vintage clothes that fit her shape and is feeling overwhelmed that all the mom jeans she sees on Ebay and at Goodwill are not her size and look way too worn out.

(The struggle doesn’t have to be some cosmic style conflict. It can be simple, but real.)

On their journey the hero meets a guide

Because you know that a girl like this is your ideal client you’ve been making content that is attractive to her. Everything you write, all your photos, every video, and ad is created with the intention of creating a relationship with her and helping her with her fashion woes. So now there’s contact...you’ve met!

This guide sees the struggle and offers a plan

All the work you did to “meet” the girl ties in to your offer. She wants vintage clothes that fit her shape and are newer looking, and you have them! You even offer a free sizing quiz that matches her up with the perfect fitting vintage jeans for her shape and size that is up in your shop.

The hero is called to take action on that plan

After she takes the free quiz you show her great photos of these jeans (and probably someone wearing them looking freakin’ happy) and describe clearly not only the features, they’re durable and have a 37” in waste, but also the benefits. These benefits matter to her! They’re going to make her feel like a boss and like she can take on anything.

That plan helps them avoid a failure

By shopping your store she can finally wear the style of clothes that she loves and that make her feel special. She no longer has to keep searching and feeling disappointed. Plus after reading all the features and benefits she knows that the product she’s getting is worth every penny.

That hero has success

She buys an amazing pair of dark wash denim from you and feels like a million bucks. You made the whole process about empowering her so she could get what she needed. All of the messaging and ever step was created with her in mind. You facilitated, you guided her, but she was the hero that you led to success.

There it is my friend!

You can get wrapped up in every single tactic for marketing your brand, but if you aren’t thinking of your ideal client, what they need, and how you can help them clearly understand the benefits of what you offer quickly you might just be wasting your time. And this story framework is perfect for facilitating that.

And it can take a little bit of time and compassion to figure out how to do that. There isn’t a one size fits all marketing strategy that will tell you EXACTLY what to do in every situation.

But I hope that this marketing framework (thanks StoryBrand again, seriously!) helps you have some sense of focus so you can move forward in marketing your brand and growing your business. Plus, if done right, most guides get good reviews from the heroes they lead to success :)

Didn't catch my new and FREE guide for building a branded Business Instagram Profile? It fits great within the story branding framework.

You can download it here... Just click the picture below


Brianna K.

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