What is StoryBrand? Answers from a StoryBrand Certified Guide

by | March 08, 2022

Here at Illuminated, we live and breathe StoryBrand.

It’s the messaging framework and foundation we leverage to create content for clients or ourselves, whether it’s developing brand messaging, writing website copy, or crafting marketing content for newsletters, social media posts, or sales funnels.

But we know not everyone is familiar with the StoryBrand framework and how it can benefit your business.

This post offers a deep dive into StoryBrand, including the who, what, when, and how, and answers to common questions we hear from business owners and leaders looking to understand what StoryBrand is and determine if it’s a tool they should incorporate in their business.


What is StoryBrand?

StoryBrand, also known as the StoryBrand framework, is a proven seven-part framework that clarifies your message. Created by Donald Miller, it positions your clients as the hero of the story you tell, with your organization as their guide.

If you think of a movie script, the story focuses on a hero that faces obstacles and overcomes them with the help of a guide. So instead of making your story about you, the StoryBrand framework emphasizes how you guide your clients to be the hero and reach success.

This mindset shift helps you stand out, as people are used to being marketed to by companies that focus on themselves, instead of how their products or services help them solve problems and see successful outcomes.

The clear, simple language produced by working through the StoryBrand framework allows you to quickly and effectively communicate what you do and win more business.

The end deliverable of working through the framework involves three elements: your BrandScript, BrandScript Script, and one-liner.

Once created, your StoryBrand messaging can–and should–be used across your organization. More on that below!


Who should use the StoryBrand framework?

Any business or nonprofit looking to communicate what they do will benefit from using the StoryBrand framework.

Whether you sell products or services, operate in-person or remotely, or are a team of one or 100+, StoryBrand messaging allows you to connect with customers and donors and drive strategic action. The framework can even be used to better reach other audiences, such as prospective employees.


What is a BrandScript?

A StoryBrand BrandScript is the seven-part framework. It lists your company’s unique answers for each of the seven sections, which together offer a plug-and-play foundation for you to use throughout your content creation and marketing efforts.

Calling back to the movie script example, your BrandScript covers:

  1. A character
    In this story, your client or donor
  2. That has a problem
    The external and internal pain points holding the character back
  3. And meets a guide
    A powerful combination of empathy and authority to establish your brand as a trusted expert
  4. Who gives them a plan
    A strategic three-step plan that offers a clear vision for how you will solve the character’s problem
  5. That calls them to action
    A direct call to action that offers a clear next step to do business with you
  6. That results in success
    A variety of successful outcomes your character will experience
  7. And avoids failure
    Negatives your character will avoid or put an end to by working with you


What is a BrandScript Script?

A StoryBrand BrandScript Script is long-form messaging crafted from your seven-part BrandScript. It brings the framework to life for you.

Your BrandScript Script offers a full look at your messaging and how the individual sections of the StoryBrand framework work together to build a powerful narrative that drives action.

Your BrandScript Script can be used as standalone content, for example as a sales email, sales letter, or website content, or pieced out in a variety of ways as you create content. Once your message is in place, the opportunities are nearly endless.


What is a one-liner?

A one-liner is also known as an elevator pitch. It’s a simple, concise answer to the question: what do you do?

The StoryBrand one-liner differs from other elevator pitch methods in that it follows the proven formula: problem + solution = success.

Short in length and using clear language, your one-liner will be easy for you and your team to memorize and use when networking and in conversation with critical audiences so everyone understands what you do.


Is the StoryBrand framework a good fit for my business?

In our experience, there is only one limitation that can hold you back from developing powerful StoryBrand messaging:

Lacking clarity on your target audience.

Your StoryBrand messaging relies on accurate answers to the seven-part framework (your BrandScript). For example, if you don’t nail the specific problem your client or donor experiences, your messaging will fall flat with your audience.

The good news–it’s always possible to learn more about your ideal clients. Performing market and client research will sharpen your sales process and marketing efforts, too.

If this has you worried at all, know that a StoryBrand Certified Guide is prepared and positioned to help you reach the right answers to ensure you feel confident in your BrandScript and StoryBrand messaging.


What is a StoryBrand Certified Guide?

A StoryBrand Certified Guide is a marketing professional who has gone through extensive training and has been certified by StoryBrand to use the framework for clients.

From consultants to agencies, StoryBrand Certified Guides offer a variety of services to help you get clear, effective messaging and use it throughout your website, marketing, sales, and more.

Each Guide has specific specialties, so it’s important to find the right fit for you and your business.

Here are examples of what you can hire a StoryBrand Certified Guide to help you with:

  • Create StoryBrand messaging from scratch
  • Consult on StoryBrand messaging you’ve started to gain guidance or clarity
  • Develop your marketing strategy or marketing plans
  • Write framework-driven website content
  • Write marketing materials, newsletters, and social media posts
  • Create full sales funnels targeted at driving new business your way


How can I get StoryBrand messaging for my business?

Get StoryBrand messaging through one of two methods–creating it yourself by following the framework or hiring a StoryBrand Certified Guide to craft it for you.

If you’d like to take it on internally, we recommend reading Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller or taking the virtual, on-demand StoryBrand Messaging Framework course through Business Made Simple University.

If you are interested in hiring a StoryBrand Certified Guide to create your messaging, you can schedule a consult call with us to learn more about working with our in-house Guides.


How do I use StoryBrand in my business?

You can, and should, use your StoryBrand messaging in every way your team and brand communicates with others.

At a high level, the StoryBrand framework will simplify your approach to marketing planning and execution, as well as your sales process. Think your website, social media, email marketing, marketing collateral, direct mail, presentations, sales collateral, and more.

StoryBrand Certified Guides also specialize in creating full sales funnels aimed at warming up your target audience and driving new leads to your inbox or front door.

Consult a StoryBrand Certified Guide to learn how you can put StoryBrand to work in your organization to produce the greatest results.


What results can I expect from the StoryBrand framework?

With clear, client-focused messaging in place, you’ll be set to better connect with your target audiences and convert them into paying clients.

StoryBrand messaging breaks down traditional barriers that often hold businesses back from scaling to the next level and reaching their goals.

By positioning your client as the hero of your messaging, you can expect to attract the clients you want to work with–yep, those dream clients!

By addressing the problem your clients experience and communicating how you are positioned to solve it, you build authority as a trusted expert and can more easily convert warm leads.

By painting a picture of the success your clients will achieve, you’ll see new clients lining up eager to get started and reach their goals.

These are only a few examples of how businesses like yours benefit from using the StoryBrand framework. Your specific results will be tailored to how you use your messaging.

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