Having a messaging framework will help you communicate clearly. I keep going back to these 2 books when I need to write a sales page/email, website homepage, or launching a Facebook Group challenge.
2 Messaging Frameworks:
- StoryBrand BrandScript
If you are a local business and offer services, then any of these 3 messaging frameworks will work for you. You just need to pick which one is more your style. How do you like to sell your services? On a sales page/email, website, or through launches?
Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
What is the P.A.S.T.O.R. framework?
As business owners, we sometimes struggle at times to figure out how to sell without being pushy or seeming desperate to make the sale.
Using any messaging framework, you are essentially presenting yourself as the guide that will help those listening to get what they need. You have gone before them and done what it is they need to do in order to be successful.
I absolutely love how MDS explains the difference between persuasion and manipulation. Matt says that Persuasion comes from channeling someone’s existing internal desires, whereas manipulation is outside pressure that did not originally exist.
Onto the meaning behind the acronym…
P stands for the Person and the Problem
When you’re selling a product or service you want to know all you can about the person and the problem they have. When you know all you can about a person and their problem, you can empathize with them in the way they need.
When you are able to properly empathize with them you build a connection and trust which will always pay off. Whether it pays off in an immediate sale or the start of a relationship that will ultimately lead to a sale; or at the very least the beginning of trust in your brand.
Ask yourself the following questions to start thinking in this direction:
- Who are they?
- Why do they need what you have to offer?
- How do they feel about the problem they have?
- What do they want your product or service to accomplish for them?
These are just a few questions that can offer insight into truly getting to know your customers and their needs. It will undoubtedly help you provide a better product or service which will help you maintain a positive long-term relationship.
A stands for Amplification
To amplify the problem for them is like holding a magnifying glass in front of it so that they can see it better. These are digging deeper-type questions and they have to do with both the current situation and their future situation. Painting a clear picture of their future if the problem doesn’t get solved will certainly amplify the issue for them and create some urgency that they will be unable to ignore.
S stands for Story
This is your story. The story behind the reason your product or service exists. You are the person who is able to solve the problem they have because you’ve already been there and done that. You have the answer they need and you’re happy to help them arrive at the same success you’ve enjoyed.
T stands for Testimony
There is nothing more powerful than an authentic testimonial. We’re wired to love a good success story. Better yet, we’re wired to work for it! You read that right. I know these days we want things to come easy to us. We can warm up our food in seconds, we can turn on our television or streaming device and have the world of entertainment at our fingertips, and we can talk face-to-face with anyone we want in no time flat.
But, the truth is… we like to work for things! Work satisfies a deep need that can only be fulfilled by knowing we put our effort into whatever it was we worked for. Knowing I did what it takes to firm up my body with good old sweat equity instead of swallowing some pill helps me feel powerful. More than feel, I KNOW I can accomplish difficult things.
So, give them a testimony they won’t soon forget.
O stands for Offer
The offer. You may think this has to ultimately do with the ‘sale’, and this is the time that you make your offer in hopes that they’ll click the buy button. However, this offer is really more results-oriented, meaning that the offer really has to do with what will be offered to them as a result of their commitment to buy.
For example, if you’re selling a fitness influencer selling a program that includes different workouts, the offer is the result they will experience. This is another opportunity for you to paint a picture of the way life could be. Always fun!
R stands for Response and Results
I think it could also be said that the ‘R’ in this acronym stands for REMINDER and REQUEST. This is the point where you will make your request. You need to be crystal clear about what it is you want them to do. You need to be clear about what they stand to gain if they buy and what the consequential risks are of not buying from you. What are stakes?
This does not have to be done in a pushy or manipulative way. Again, you can paint a picture. Our imaginations are extremely powerful. Many times the mere act of visualizing what life can be like will be all the motivation we need to start. Visualization and imagination are also able to pull us along when we’re not necessarily ‘feeling it’.
In his book, Copy That Sells, Ray Edwards recommends directing 80% of your writing on the result and 20% on the product or service itself. I think that says a whole lot about the power of imagination!
How do you write a sales email?
HubSpot has a simple formula to follow for how to write a sales email that people want to respond to. That’s the point, right? You don’t want to spend enormous amounts of your valuable time drafting emails that don’t generate any interest.
Here are the 5 steps they list:
- Include a subject line
- Write a strong opening line
- Include helpful body copy
- Add a CTA in the closing copy
- Add a professional signature
Follow the link above for a broader explanation of each point.
We’d love to speak with you about your business’ potential. Schedule a call today and we’ll see how we can help you.
Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller
What is the StoryBrand framework?
While this is not the only method that works, it is by far, my favorite one! I am a writer and have some experience in working with story structure so this one speaks to me. StoryBrand is the method of applying the proven structure and components of storytelling to your marketing.
Humans are hard-wired to understand and communicate through stories. Long before there were e-readers, we communicated using pictographs, codices, wax tablets, and a plethora of other types of mechanisms. All these were used to tell stories using words and images. We ‘get’ story and we’re supposed to get it. We’re just built to understand this way of communication. Stories have a specific order and we need them to be just that way.
Let’s break down the 7 components of the StoryBrand messaging framework…
This is the HERO of the story. This is your customer or client. That’s right… your brand is NOT the hero of the story! Too many companies cast themselves into this role and end up over telling their own story.
Think about this for a second. Imagine you meet someone at a party. They were a stranger to you up until just now. Instead of seeming interested in getting to know you, they are spending all of their time telling you all about them. All. About. Them. This is the ultimate turn-off! Why would I want to listen to someone constantly talk about themselves? This person is not interested in me at all. This person has nothing in common with me! I can NOT relate. So, I bounce!
The same goes for your potential customers and your marketing. Now, I’m not saying you can’t tell people about your story and how you arrived at the product or service you offer. These are important things, of course. But, if you don’t inspire them to live their best life and tell them why it is that your product or service can help them achieve that, they too will bounce!
So what to do? Ask these questions:
- Who is the hero (who is your customer)?
- What does the hero want?
That’s it. Determine these two things and you’ve started the story.
Has A Problem
You must BE KNOWN for solving a problem!
We must clearly define the problem our products resolve. Bare with me for a bit here… I have something to say that can sometimes be tricky to grasp for those of us that have a product that can solve multiple problems. It’s a great accomplishment if a product can solve more than one problem! Nobody is taking away from that here. However, it’s important to do what is necessary to be as clear as possible in order for the message you’re putting out there to be fully internalized. This means you’ll have to break it down.
Herein lies some existential work. You’re going to have to identify at least two things here; better if you can identify three.
People have three problems:
- External Problem
- Internal Problem
- Philosophical Problem
Here’s what I mean…
People buy products to solve internal problems. However, the problem is that many companies, and we’d go so far as to say most companies, market and sell their products to solve external problems.
The best way to break it down is this:
EXTERNAL problems are more fact-based. A great example of this would be when you can’t fit into your 28-inch pants. That’s just a fact. Don’t be mad.
INTERNAL problems deal with how we feel about the problem. So, if I can’t fit into my 28-inch pants… How does that make me feel? I can tell you from personal experience, that when I have to make an effort to squeeze into what I know is a reasonable size, I feel utterly powerless.
PHILOSOPHICAL problems deal with the injustice of it all. Not to sound like a child here, but how is it not fair that they have to deal with this at all? Why is it just plain wrong that they have to? The answer to that would be your philosophical problem.
So, identify those three problems, or at the very least the first two, and you’re on your way to defining THE PROBLEM.
And Meets A Guide
Are you ready for your role? As they say in the entertainment business, you’re up! So, we’ve established that you’re customer is the hero of their own story and they have a problem. I now ask you… what happens in every good movie script (emphasis on the good here)?
They meet a guide! This is you. Congratulations, you’ve landed yourself a role in this story. It’s an important role too! A principle role, as they’d say.
In order for the guide to be the guide, you have to have had experience with and have solved the problem. This makes you the perfect person to ‘guide’ the hero to their success. You’ve been there and done that and there is nobody better suited to help them through.
Who Gives Them A Plan
As the guide who has been there and successfully solved the problem, you give them the plan. That ‘magic’ (okay, not always so magic) formula that they can use to solve the problem for themselves. Remember, they’re the hero!
The best way to present the plan is to break it down into a few simple steps. Simplicity is best and will make it seem possible to them. This is of the utmost importance. How many times have you forfeited what seemed at the beginning like an attainable goal because the process became too complicated? I’ve done this more than I’d like to admit!
The fact is, however, that the reality is that the process wasn’t necessarily impossible, but it hadn’t been broken down into simple and feasible steps. In the end, we’re very simple creatures.
And Calls Them To Action
Here’s another natural human condition we can’t seem to escape. The need to be presented with a reason to make a change. Think about it. We have the ability to acclimate to almost anything, which can be a positive thing. But, we seem to lean a little too much on this ability when it really would be best to just go ahead and make the change without needing this defined catalyst. Unfortunately, we’ll likely all continue to need that push.
So, the guide has the plan and needs to call the hero to action. This is otherwise known as the direct call to action. A direct call to action will look like the following:
- Buy Now Button
- Schedule An Appointment
- Register Today
- Schedule A Call
It’s just that straightforward. If you don’t have the confidence to give your direct call to action, it is likely that your problem isn’t well-defined enough. If that is the case, go back to the drawing board. Once you land on the strongest problems the rest is cake!
That Helps Them Avoid Failure
When we watch well-written and constructed films, we naturally (because the storyteller has foreshadowed each type of ending) know what will happen if the hero succeeds or fails. We are aware of the stakes and we’re pulling for the ultimate success of the hero. Stories without decisive and meaningful stakes are just plain boring.
In terms of marketing, you want to clearly present the result your customer will experience if they don’t buy your product or move forward with your service. What are the stakes for them? The idea of painting a doom-and-gloom picture for our customers to examine can create some anxiety. We automatically think about the consequences of sounding so negative.
In 1979, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner by the name of Daniel Kahneman published a theory about why customers make specific purchasing decisions. Prospect Theory is essentially about the aversion to the loss we naturally possess. We don’t like to lose! Why would we? Losing sucks!
So, don’t be afraid of highlighting the stakes, especially the stakes that deal with failure. What does failure ultimately look like for your customer? How will your customer feel if they fail? Detail these with the feelings behind the consequences and you’ll be well on your way.
And Ends In A Success
Ready for the fun part? Who doesn’t love success? No hands raised here. After all, we usually visualize what life could be like ‘if only.’ That part of us is always looking for ways to help us succeed in life.
StoryBrand founder, Donald Miller, maintains that people want to be taken somewhere. He mentions this as being some of the best leadership advice he’s ever been given. He says that without being aware of it, every potential customer is asking us where we can take them.
So, where will you take them? What will their results look like? Again, paint the picture. Use as much color as you want, but make sure you’re specific and that it all relates to how their life will look like and be more positive because they said yes.
We offer StoryBrand Coaching and would love to help you get over any humps you’re experiencing in the implementation of this method. We’ve seen so much success after helping our clients and want you to be next!
Implementing the right messaging and marketing frameworks will help grow your local business.
Get your questions answered and share what marketing frameworks are working for you. We’d love to know how it’s going!