How much do I want to read more? 7/10
Make your sales line clear and short.
Don't consume too much power of your customers' processing time to decrypt what your business is about.
Third, your brand should fulfill a basic need for your customers.
What owes me is how business (marketing) techniques can apply to our own personal development: we need clarity. As much as with ourselves than with communicating with others. What are we selling to ourselves, is it a clear, well-defined product, or is it chaotic? How can we attract the success we want if we don't start with being clear with ourselves?
[quote, SETH GODIN]
“This is a seminal book built around an idea that will clarify, energize, and transform your business. Donald Miller offers a specific, detailed, and useful way to change the way you talk about the work you care about.”
[quote, JOHN C. MAXWELL]
“Donald Miller will teach you a lot more than how to sell products; he will teach you how to transform the lives of your customers. Your customers need you to play a role in their lives, and this book will teach you how. If you want your business to grow, read this book.”
[quote, DAVE RAMSEY]
“This is the most important business/marketing book of the year. All communicators know the power of Story. Donald Miller has captured the process to make your marketing pierce the white noise of the most overserved marketing generation in history. You have to read this book!”
“Donald Miller reminds us that all good messaging begins and ends with empathy. He knows that if you want to be seen, heard, and understood, the first step is to listen. Get this book if you want to connect with people in a profound way.”
This is not a book about telling your company’s story. A book like that would be a waste of time. Customers don’t generally care about your story; they care about their own.
Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand. This is the secret every phenomenally successful business understands.
Marketing has changed. Businesses that invite their customers into a heroic story grow. Businesses that don’t are forgotten.
May we all be richly rewarded for putting our customers’ stories above our own.
SECTION 1: WHY MOST MARKETING IS A MONEY PIT
CHAPTER 1 - THE KEY TO BEING SEEN, HEARD, AND UNDERSTOOD
The fact is, pretty websites don’t sell things. Words sell things. And if we haven’t clarified our message, our customers won’t listen.
Before I started StoryBrand I was a writer and spent thousands of hours staring at a blank computer screen, wondering what to say. That soul-wrenching frustration led me to create a “communication framework” based on the proven power of story, and I swear it was like discovering a secret formula.
Once we got clear, we doubled in revenue for four consecutive years. I now teach that framework to more than three thousand businesses each year.
Because the human brain, no matter what region of the world it comes from, is drawn toward clarity and away from confusion.
The reality is we aren’t just in a race to get our products to market; we’re also in a race to communicate why our customers need those products in their lives. Even if we have the best product in the marketplace, we’ll lose to an inferior product if our competitor’s offer is communicated more clearly.
How many sales are we missing out on because customers can’t figure out what our offer is within five seconds of visiting our website?
WHY SO MANY BUSINESSES FAIL
“There’s a reason most marketing collateral doesn’t work,” Mike said, putting his feet up on the coffee table. “Their marketing is too complicated. The brain doesn’t know how to process the information. The more simple and predictable the communication, the easier it is for the brain to digest.
What Mike helped me understand is that, without us knowing it, human beings are constantly scanning their environment (even advertising) for information that is going to help them meet their primitive need to survive.
So what do customers do when we blast a bunch of noise at them? They ignore us.
And so right there on my back porch, Mike defined two critical mistakes brands make when they talk about their products and services.
Mistake Number One
The first mistake brands make is they fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that will help people survive and thrive.
All great stories are about survival—either physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual. A story about anything else won’t work to captivate an audience. Nobody’s interested.
This means that if we position our products and services as anything but an aid in helping people survive, thrive, be accepted, find love, achieve an aspirational identity, or bond with a tribe that will defend them physically and socially, good luck selling anything to anybody.
Mistake Number Two
The second mistake brands make is they cause their customers to burn too many calories in an effort to understand their offer.
Imagine every time we talk about our products to potential customers, they have to start running on a treadmill. Literally, they have to jog the whole time we’re talking. How long do you think they’re going to pay attention? Not long. And yet this is precisely what’s happening.
These two realities—the reality that people are looking for brands that can help them survive and thrive, and the reality that communication must be simple—explain why the SB7 Framework has helped so many businesses increase their revenue. The key is to make your company’s message about something that helps the customer survive and to do so in such a way that they can understand it without burning too many calories.
STORY TO THE RESCUE
Mike agreed the most powerful tool we can use to organize information so people don’t have to burn very many calories is story.
Still, when I talk about story to business leaders, they immediately put me in a category with artists, thinking I want to introduce them to something fanciful. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a concrete formula we can use to garner attention from otherwise distracted customers. I’m talking about practical steps we can take to make sure people see us, hear us, and understand exactly why they simply must engage our products.
THE FORMULA FOR CLEAR COMMUNICATION
We know it works because some form of this formula has been active for thousands of years to help people tell stories.
When it comes to getting people to pay attention, this formula will be your most powerful ally.
THE KEY IS CLARITY
In a story, audiences must always know who the hero is, what the hero wants, who the hero has to defeat to get what they want, what tragic thing will happen if the hero doesn’t win, and what wonderful thing will happen if they do. If an audience can’t answer these basic questions, they’ll check out and the movie will lose millions at the box office. If a screenwriter breaks these rules, they’ll likely never work again.
The same is true for the brand you represent. Our customers have questions burning inside them, and if we aren’t answering those questions, they’ll move on to another brand. If we haven’t identified what our customer wants, what problem we are helping them solve, and what life will look like after they engage our products and services.
“If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
BUSINESS HAS AN ENEMY
The enemy I’m talking about is noise.
Noise has killed more ideas, products, and services than taxes, recessions, lawsuits, climbing interest rates, and even inferior product design.
“I don’t think this will work for me,” he said. “My business is too diverse to reduce down to a simple message.” I asked him to explain.
at first glance it looked like the website for an Italian restaurant. The first question I had when I went to the website was, “Do you serve free breadsticks?” There were a thousand links ranging from contact information to FAQs to a timeline of the company’s history. There were even links to the nonprofits the business supported. It was as though he was answering a hundred questions his customers had never asked.
STOP SAYING THAT
All experienced writers know the key to great writing isn’t in what they say; it’s in what they don’t say. The more we cut out, the better the screenplay or book. The mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal is often credited for sending a long letter stating he simply didn’t have time to send a short one.
CLARIFY YOUR MESSAGE
To clarify our message we’re going to need a formula. A serious formula. This formula needs to organize our thinking, reduce our marketing effort, obliterate confusion, terrify the competition, and finally get our businesses growing again.
Let’s learn about that formula now.