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Storybrand: a How-to Manual


Research tells us that if a visitor to your website doesn’t comprehend the message on your website in just 5.59 seconds, they will leave.

Obviously, it’s impossible to persuade a person to purchase your product or services if they click off your website moments after they landed on it. So, how do you convince them to stay? Use the StoryBrand Framework to learn the value of a clear message and quickly grab their attention. Then, lead the visitor to take action. 

Donald Miller is the author of Building a StoryBrand, which became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. He explains how to use the 7 elements of great storytelling to grow your business. Since businesses of all sizes use websites to connect with potential customers, understanding this process will improve the clarity of your website. Only when that happens can your website fulfill its true potential to increase sales.

Keep reading to learn:

The Connection Between Story and Business
The Complete Storybrand Process
The Value of a Clear Message
The Fastest Way to Improve Your Website
Improving Your Elevator Pitch

The Connection Between Story and Business

Think back to your high school literature class. The best books were simple and focused. In every good story—whether a good book or a movie—it’s evident who the hero is and what they want. As humans, we are neurologically wired to connect with stories, which increases comprehension.

Donald Miller says it best:

“Story formulas reveal a well-worn path in the human brain, and if we want to stay in business, we need to position our products along this path.”

By paying attention to the elements of a good story, you can increase the engagement the visitor to your website has with your brand.

The first element is a hero. Instead of focusing on your company, switch the focus to highlight the customer. If you talk about how many years you have been in business, you are making yourself the hero. How does that help your visitor?

This major paradigm shift—taking the focus off you and onto your customer—will help the website visitor see you as a trusted resource who can help them solve their problem.

Understanding the Complete Storybrand Process

While changing the focus from you to your customer is the first step. Here’s the rest of the entire StoryBrand framework:

We take a little bit of a deeper dive into this framework here. The beauty of this framework is that it forces you to be strategic in your messaging. Plus, it forces you to look at your company through the eyes of your customers. Only then can you provide them with a rich web experience that provides them with the resources they need.

The StoryBrand framework helps business owners and marketing directors tap into what great storytellers have always known about connecting with their audience. For example, take a look at Pixar. It doesn’t matter if your favorite Pixar movie is Up, Monsters, Inc, Inside Out, Toy Story, or one of their other top films, they all follow a specific formula. Back in 2012, Emma Coats, a Pixar Story Artist, made her list of Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling.

Coats’ rule number 22 is: “What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there” . By understanding and following the StoryBrand Process, you can define the essence of your business.

You can learn more about the StoryBrand process in this informative post by our Director of Operations, Rob Donaldson.

  1. The Character
  2. The Problem
  3. The Guide
  4. The Plan
  5. Extend a Call to Action
  6. Show Them Failure
  7. End With a Win

The Value of a Clear Message

To realize the power of writing concisely, let’s talk about Ernest Hemmingway. In an article explaining the reasons to be concise with your writing, Forbes recalls a famous story about Hemmingway saying he could tell an entire story in just six words. He wrote:

“For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Hemingway embraced brevity long before the internet was invented. However, research on how people read online reinforces the idea that less is more when it comes to content.

That’s yet another reason to follow the StoryBrand framework. When you learn how and why you should use simple, easy-to-understand language on your website, you’re one step closer to enticing visitors to stay on your website. Want some tips on B2B content writing?

Our blog, The Value of a Clear Message shares specific ways to write in a way that connects with visitors.

The Fastest Way to Improve
Your Website

StoryBrand has one quick way to determine if a visitor to your website can quickly figure out what you do; it’s called the Grunt Test. This name comes from the idea that, if you showed your website to a simple caveman, they should be able to “grunt” exactly what you do and how to get it just by looking at the homepage.

Here’s how to conduct your own grunt test and what to do if your website fails this simple test.

Improving Your Elevator Pitch with Storybrand

Leads don’t only come to you via the internet. So what happens when you meet someone new and they ask, “What do you do?” How you respond to that question can potentially be good for business. Watch this quick video to learn how the StoryBrand process can be applied to other aspects of your business. In this video, Donald Miller shares how to change your elevator pitch to make it more effective.

Once you change your elevator pitch, also called your one-liner, by describing the problem, the solution and the reward, the person you’re talking to immediately understands how you can help them.

Read, StoryBrand: Putting Your Message to Work to learn how to get your team on the same page

How to Get Anyone's Attention

Want Help from Bonafide StoryBrand Experts?

Our entire agency completed the certification training to learn the StoryBrand process, which has improved the way we create web experiences for our clients. Complete the form and let’s get started!

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