People often have a difficult time creating real understanding between themselves and their listener. This is especially true in business.
Did you know that when you’re not clear—when you confuse your customers—you lose money?
When you don’t communicate clearly, your customers don’t know why they should buy your product. So they don’t.
Here’s a great example from an unclear conversation I had last week.
I had a conversation with a friend the other day who I hadn’t seen in about six years. I had a basic understanding of what he did for a living—he is in the armed services—however, I don’t actually know what he does day to day, so I asked him.
His response to me: “You know, I do stuff. There’s the downtime at the base and we all do our stuff and then there’s the time we go out.”
What?? (And, yes, this was his actual response to me).
I tried again. “Yes, I get that there are the times at the base and then the times in the field, but what are you specifically doing?”
“Well … I guess you could call it a raid.”
“So are you identifying people who are the bad guys or looking for weapons?”
“No, other teams do that.”
At the end of the conversation, I still had no idea what he does.
The problem with a lack of clarity is that when you are not understood, your customers don’t recognize your values which means you fail to accomplish your agenda.
Being louder doesn’t mean you’re being clearer
Have you watched someone in a non-native situation, with a language barrier? Often, people talk louder and with more emphasis to try to be understood, “SIE SCHICKEN DEN BRIEF DORT HIN,” while the listener starts to cry and says in her head, “Please don’t yell at me! I can’t understand that much German and you’re talking too quickly.” (True story. Yes, I am a crier when someone yells at me.)
When you aren’t communicating clearly, agendas aren’t accomplished; if you’re a business, it means lost revenue. And sometimes someone ends up crying.
I want to prevent your tears. My goal is to help you: Tell your story better so you make more money.
You’re not doomed to communicating poorly or getting louder to try to be understood. There is a proven framework you can use to clarify your message. Developed by Donald Miller, the StoryBrand Framework helps your customers understand why you matter to them and why they should buy. (However, it won’t teach you German, nor will it explain special ops).
Having a structure for your messaging gives you direction for what is needed to communicate clearly. Just as it is easier to edit something than it is to create content out of thin air, it is much easier (and clearer) to create a website, email, or other piece of marketing collateral with a proven structure.
Any form of good marketing tells the potential customer a story. All good stories have a predictable pattern, and so, good marketing should also.
Clarify Your Message With the StoryBrand Framework
Depending on which screenwriter you talk to, stories can have upwards of 36 parts. But for our purposes there’s only seven. And you’ll recognize these seven aspects as we go through them. Here’s the seven-part StoryBrand Framework:
Has a problem
Meets a guide
Who gives them a plan
And calls them to action
That results in…
That’s it! It’s pretty obvious when you think about a movie, but what does it look like when you use it in your marketing? Let’s take a look.
Your verbiage should refer to a character: your customer. This character has a problem. When you talk about the problem your customer has, you want to be really clear. Your customer should come away saying, “I feel this way too!” Or, “I have this exact problem.” This creates curiosity—it makes them wonder, can this person solve my problem?
In a great story, there is always a guide who shows the way forward for the hero (your customer). In the StoryBrand Framework, you are the guide showing your potential customer a way to help them with their problem. You are not the hero—they are the hero. And you help them win. You give your customer a plan to help them succeed.
But every great storyteller knows the hero won’t act unless someone tells him to. So there is a call to action. For you, it’s simple: “Buy Now.” The hero either ignores the call to action and fails or he accepts your call to action and solves his problem. With your help (product or service), they succeed.
When businesses utilize this framework for their messaging, they get really clear. Visitors to their website can tell in a few seconds what problem the company solves for them. And when people know what problem you help them solve, they buy more.
Create your own brand story with the StoryBrand Framework
If you are interested in trying your hand at creating a clear brand story, you can go to mystorybrand.com where you will be walked through the whole process of clarifying your message for free. Or, you can contact us and we would be glad to help you and your company clarify your message and grow your business
Don’t risk your business by continuing to confuse your customer — don’t tell them you make stuff and then do other stuff and then go on raids, like my Army friend. And don’t shout gibberish at them either. Louder marketing does not equal clearer communication.
Clarify your message and help your customers succeed. They’ll become your biggest fans and you’ll feel happier and make more money in the process.
To your success,