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Eliminate Noise – So Customers Will Listen

Organizations have an enemy. That enemy is noise.

Noise has killed more ideas, products, services, and missions than interest rate hikes, recessions, and COVID combined. I’m not talking about the noise of our culture. I’m talking about the noise we create as a business.

What we call marketing is just noisy clutter that litters our website, email, and social media. We talk about ourselves and other things that our customers don’t care about. It’s costing us customers and revenue. If you’re a nonprofit, it also costs you donors and volunteers.

If we want to connect with our customers, we need to stop confusing them with noise. Great writers know it’s not what you say ... it’s what you don’t say.

Clarify Your Message and Customers Will Listen

How many team members can explain how we help our customer survive or thrive? If we clearly explain what we have to offer, we create trust and repeat business.

Keep it simple

Our customer has an innate filter. If we are not talking about how we are helping them survive or thrive, they tune us out.

Donald Miller created a powerful secret weapon to grow our business; StoryBrand. Clarify our message by inviting our customer into a story. Tell people how we are helping them survive and thrive.

Use Story to Create Short, Simple Soundbites

One of the biggest challenges in marketing is to get people to stop tuning us out and pay attention long enough to communicate why they should buy our product or service. Harness the power of story to generate interest in what we offer. Stories are age old formulas to connect with people. Jesus and Aesop used stories to connect with people.

StoryBrand Seven Part Framework - Clarity Replaces the Noise

StoryBrand Framework has been used by over 700,000 leaders to clarify their message. It’s mostly used by small business leaders because of its power to clearly communicate our organization’s value to our customer. The framework’s seven plot points of a good story deliver seven soundbites for our marketing. The framework looks like this:

A Character Who Wants Something. The story starts when we meet a character who wants something. The Hero wants to save the world or win the championship. Our customer is the character, the Hero.

With a Problem. All Heroes do not get what they want right away. If they did, the story would end. There is a challenge that makes the story interesting. The Hero is up against a problem. Conflict makes us pay attention to the story. When we talk about our customer’s problems and how our products or services solve their problems, our marketing connects with the customer. People only buy products or services that solve their problems.

Meets a Guide. The Hero needs help in overcoming their challenge. So, who helps the Hero win? The Guide. Mary Poppins guides the children, Gandalf guides Frodo Baggins, Mr. Miyagi guides Daniel in The Karate Kid. Without guides, heroes would be lost. They would never overcome their problems.

It’s important we never play the Hero. We are always the guide in the story. Many leaders make the mistake of positioning themselves as the hero. They talk about how great their product is. Customer don’t care about our business. They care about how our business solves their problem.

The guide demonstrates empathy toward the Hero. They know how the Hero feels. And the guide demonstrates authority. They demonstrate they know how to help the Hero win.

Who Gives Them a Plan. Customers don’t want to walk into the unknown. They are ready to move forward, but it is risky. What we do next is give them a plan, a clear path to moving forward. When the customer sees the path, they are more likely to move forward.

And Calls Them to Action. At this point in the story, we are inviting customers to place the order. Some customers are ready, many are not. People don’t do things unless they are asked to do them. In stories, the Heroes are often lethargic. They are ill equipped and filled with doubt. Guides often have to challenge Heroes to take action. We tell them it’s time to place the order.

So, the Hero Can Avoid Failure. Good stories have something to be won or lost based on whether or not the Hero accomplishes the task. Will Katniss die in Hunger Games and her district continue to suffer? If the customer doesn’t buy our product or service, their story will end in failure. We remind them how to avoid the discomfort of failure.

And Experience Success. We are answering the customer’s question, “what’s in it for me?” Every Hero is looking for a happily ever after ending. A successful ending invites customers into a happy, positive thing that solves their problem and makes their life better. When we paint a picture of good things our customers will experience, we increase the perceived value of our products or services.

Use the Seven Elements of Great Storytelling to Grow Your Organization Once you redesign your marketing collateral using your new clear message, your customers will respond, and your revenue should increase.

Contact Wes to learn more about StoryBrand

Wes Legg - Coach & Guide

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