11 September 2020 Josh Hooper

Clarify your message and make your customer the hero

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Here at Deeply Digital, a few of us have been reading the book ‘Building a Storybrand’ by Donald Miller. In short, the book outlines that all successful stories follow a 7 step framework. This framework can be applied to many areas in life, but the book shows how it can be used in the business world. It can be used to help you write more effective blogs, content and marketing material 

that will speak to your customers. Have this framework in the back of your mind when creating content - what are your customers problems? How are you trying to fix them? Use the framework, and the results will be fruitful.

If you’ve ever felt a disconnect between your business and your customers, there’s a chance that you haven't followed the framework and therefore created marketing that has not spoken to your customers correctly. This blog will guide you through the steps and give some practical examples of how to use the framework.

Let me quickly summarise the framework in one sentence: A character has a problem, meets a guide, who has a plan, calls them to action, that helps them avoid failure, and ends in success. 

Think of the last movie you watched, most likely, it follows this framework in some shape or form. We all subconsciously know this framework very well, therefore, applying it to business and making your customers the hero can be very rewarding.

Comp 3

Let’s break down the framework and explore how it can be applied to your business:

The SB7 Framework:

A character

The customer is the hero. The character in this story is a potential customer - who are they? You need to know who you are targeting your messaging towards. The importance of understanding your customers can’t be understated, it doesn’t matter how effective your messaging is if the right people aren’t going to see it. Effective messaging will make the customer the main character and make them a part of your business’ story.

Has a problem

Successful companies attend to the character's inner frustrations. How can you make their worries go away and fix their problems? Define what exactly the problem is that the customer is facing, spell it out for them. They might not even be aware of it, but if you identify the problem, you can offer them a solution.

And meets a guide

The customers are looking for a guide. The guide (your business) will help the character (your customers) solve their problems. The hero does not want another hero, they want someone to help them win the day. You should also be careful to not patronise your customers here, they are great and they just need some guidance to solve a problem that they have. If the messaging is making the customer feel inferior then they are no longer the hero and the story will fall apart.

Who has a plan

Customers trust a guide who has a plan. The guide is usually smart, wise, and experienced. Your customer should be confident that you know what you’re doing. For example, a plan, in this case, would be a landscaping company offering a quotation on a new garden. You’re giving a practical solution to fix the problem that your customer is facing.

And calls them to action

Customers need to be challenged to take action. Avoid confusing the customer, make the call to action clear, and clarify exactly how they can act on the ‘plan’ set out in the previous step.

That helps them avoid failure

Everyone is trying to avoid a tragic ending. Make the customer know that they will be missing out if they don’t follow up on the call to action. This step should have been worked out by itself if you have effectively marketed your business to the right people, your business is offering a targeted solution that will help them succeed.

And ends in success

This principle shows people how the product/service can positively influence their lives. This is where the story ends, the vast majority have happy endings. The main character has defeated the villain (failure, lack of growth) and won the day!

Now look at your business, your messaging does it follow this framework? The truth is: Customers don’t generally care about your story; they care about their own. Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your business. Take your customers on a journey following this framework, and reap the rewards.

You can find the book ‘Building a Storybrand’ by Donald Miller on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Building-StoryBrand-Clarify-Message-Customers-ebook/dp/B06XFJ2JGR