October 15, 2020 by John Herrington in Storybrand

StoryBrand: You are the Guide

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it a few thousand more times, the Storybrand marketing formula could be the best marketing strategy out there for your business’ success. Author and SB creator Donald Miller lays out the seven part framework behind all great stories. It’s a rhythm your audience is already familiar with. Story is an ancient communication framework they not only know, but they love. When this same framework is applied to your product, you now have the opportunity to engage with your customers beyond a call to action. You know that feeling when you’re deep in a book or a movie and you lose yourself for a bit? That’s called narrative transportation, and it’s that same sort of story you’re inviting your customer into with your product or service.

But before you dive into the narrative, it’s important to understand your role in the story. Quick refresher course- you are not the hero. I know. You were probably already reaching for the cape, but it’s not yours for the taking. In the Storybrand world, the leading role goes to the consumer. Your customers and your target audience- they are the heroes. They are the central part of the story. They are the main attraction.

I know. What gives? You get stuck with the role of the goofy best friend? Or the obnoxious uncle? Stay with me. You’ll redeem yourself, I promise. Your role in the story is to act as the guide. And the guide’s job is to help the hero solve his/her problem. Think Yoda, Dumbledore, the voice in Field of Dreams, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. By pointing them in the right direction, providing the tools or lending a hand, the guide accompanies the hero to success. Because of YOU, they will save the day. Because of YOU, they will slay the dragon. Because of YOU, they will live happily ever after. Feeling pretty awesome? Well, you should. But before you race out the door and try to Yoda everyone and their dog, take note of the key aspects that make up the ideal guide.

The Guide’s TWO most important characteristics

Empathy: express an understanding of your customer’s dilemma. Don’t just feel sorry, feel the same. Acknowledge where they are lacking because you’ve been there too.

“We understand how it feels to…”
“Nobody should have to experience…”
“Like you, we are frustrated by…”

Authority: a hero trusts a guide that knows what they’re doing. So, prove it. Give the audience reasons to believe you can be trusted.

-Testimonials from happy customers
-Stats of success
-Awards won or certifications earned
-Logos of reputable companies you’ve worked with

By establishing both a head and a heart, you have the opportunity to position your company as the ‘wise, old sage,’ ready and willing to take your clients to the finish line. We know it’s tempting to walk in the spotlight. But trust me. You’re better suited for the director’s chair.

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