Discover what you need to know about brand storytelling that will have you booking more speaking engagements with ease. Learning this will make you a better marketer.
If you’ve ever said, “I have a great story, but I don’t know how to market it or get started.” this post is for you.
Storytelling should be the foundation of your marketing. Your brand story should be used in email marketing, in your demo video, on your website, on social media etc.
Marketing is all about getting in front of the right people and either inspiring, educating or entertaining them to buy what you have to offer.
When you learn how to market your story and brand, you’ll have a much easier time booking gigs and getting paid your worth.
Writing, designing, and crafting a memorable story will make your brand stand out from the crowd and have your audience hanging on your every word.
It’s not enough to just have a cool story. It’s how you use that story on your site, on social, and in your demo video that will create opportunities.
You’ll find that people are reaching out, inquiring about your services, interviewing you on podcasts, and are wanting to know more about you from the stories your share.
Clear, concise storytelling will get your marketing message heard so people will notice you and listen to what you have to say.
A lot of what I learned comes from Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand, who business leaders and speakers how to clarify their message so people will listen. What he teaches can be broken down into seven parts.
I’ll briefly explain the StoryBrand framework of storytelling and how it pertains to speakers that want to book more gigs and share their message with the right people.
How do public speakers get booked and paid to speak? Marketing!
They have a plan, with a clear message and they take massive action on that plan.
I know a lot of speakers struggle with marketing — I know I did, especially in the beginning.
I know it’s tough to market yourself and your story, but with an action plan and easy to follow format, you’ll be booking gigs and getting steady paying clients wanting to work with you.
It’s your duty and responsibility to craft a clear, compelling message and have people listen to your story if it can help grow or change their business and life.
Here’s the StoryBrand framework broken down.
You have a character — with a problem — meets a guide — who gives them a plan — and calls them to action — that results in success — or failure.
Every story has a character(s). Most likely it’s you or your audience. The character needs to be someone the audience begins to know, like, and trust.
The character needs to be relatable and understand the audience’s perspective. Someone that’s been in the trenches or has walked in the same shoes. A person that feels real and has experienced similar pain or struggle.
Pro Tip: Don’t position yourself as the hero — It will backfire if you do. Your audience is the hero. You are the guide. (More on that in a minute. Keep reading.)
WITH A PROBLEM
What internal problem does your audience have?
What inner turmoil, frustration, stress or “thing” do they complain about?
What struggles in business or life do they talk to their friends or co-workers about?
People do a lot of complaining and it’s easy to figure out their problems if you ask or keep an ear to the ground.
Knowing your audience is the #1 marketing rule on the planet. You have to get inside their head, use their language, discover what they struggle with and how you can help solve a problem.
If you don’t know your audience, you’ll have a really hard time finding clients, booking gigs, and getting paid.
Pro Tip: Knowing the problem you solve for your audience is paramount to your speaking success.
Here are a few examples of problems people face. Start thinking about what problem you want to help people with…
Tony Robbins describes this as the 7 Areas of Life that are important if you want to master your life.
- Physical Body
- Emotions & Meaning
Within these seven areas, what problems do people face?
- Losing weight (Physical body)
- Fear, happiness, mindset (Emotions & Meaning)
- Marriage, being single (Relationships)
- Productivity, time management (Time)
- Getting new clients, starting a business (Work/Career)
- Saving money, family budget (Finances)
- Connecting to a higher purpose, charity, travel (Spirituality, Contribution, Celebration)
MEETS A GUIDE
Once you’ve identified a problem that you’ve solved for yourself or others, you become a guide for others. You’re standing on stage sharing your message of how you lost 40 lbs and changed your mindset around diet and exercise.
The audience can relate because they want to lose weight too and now all of the sudden, you’re the guide that is going to teach them how you did this.
You’ve created a result for yourself (lost 40 lbs) and now the audience wants to learn how you did it…
WHO GIVES THEM A PLAN
Naturally, you have a plan for how you lost the weight. Now it’s time you share the plan with your audience. Do you create a framework, plan or system that helps your audience get results?
The weight loss plan: Exercise 30 mins a day and cut carbs.
The Speaker Lab Roadmap: A step-by-step process that walks you through selecting a problem to knowing when to scale your business beyond the stage.
Plan your work — then work the plan.
Be the guide with a plan, don’t be the hero. Give your audience the tools, resources, and knowledge necessary to complete the mission on their own.
Your audience becomes the hero in their own story.
AND CALLS THEM TO ACTION
This is where the character (you or your audience) is called to make a decision and what marketers refer to as the “Call-to-Action.” Is your call-to-action clear, concise, and does it make sense to your audience?
Have you called them to the challenge?
Will you invite them to take the journey no matter the risks?
As their guide and leader, this is your job. The environment you create for the audience should have them working the plan immediately?
“Insight without action is worthless.” – Marie Forleo
If you can get the audience to take immediate action and get a fast result, they will love you forever. My friend, Noah Kagan, strives to do this during every speech. We talked about it on The Speaker Lab podcast.
As a result, people love him, value his opinion, and use his words as gold. He understands the power of an action plan.
Pro Tip: Other calls-to-action on a website, email newsletter or marketing materials might include:
“Request a Demo”
Use a CTA (call-to-action) on every page of your website and in all of your marketing materials.
THAT RESULTS IN SUCCESS — OR FAILURE
Paint the picture of success. Your story needs to show what the happy ending will look like with your audience as the hero.
As a fitness instructor, you show them a physical result. That’s why you constantly see half-naked bodies with tight abs all over the internet.
It’s why business speakers need to describe, in detail, what an increase in profit will look like — And most importantly how the audience will FEEL once they’ve accomplished the mission and reached their goal.
It’s why relationship experts show photos of happy couples with 2.5 kids running around. They create the desire to be married and show the fairytale playing out in your favor.
In business, testimonials on your website matter. People want to know that you have experience and have helped others just like them.
Make success relevant and specific to your audience.
Modern marketing is going more and more visual in every industry. Make sure you have proof or visual results to show your audience the ultimate goal or vision.
People crave freedom, love, being heard, and valued. Show them what’s possible if they follow the plan and take action.
Pro Tip: People value experiences. They love to travel, send their kids to college, enjoy a loving relationship, grow as a person, experience freedom from a cubicle, speak with confidence, and love their bodies.
The better and more detailed you can paint this picture, the better chance you have of making a difference in their life.
Equally as important to paint the picture of success, you need to show what failure will look like in your storytelling and marketing. Showing your audience the worse case scenario and what lack of action looks like will also make an impact in their decision making.
Ultimately, you want people to book your services and buy your products that will solve their problems. If they don’t take action and make a change the same mundane future awaits for them.
It’s your job to show both the positive and negative choices that your audience has.
Option 1: Continue down the path you’re on — fat, overweight, depressed, and tired.
Option 2: Invest in your health and feel energized, playful, happy, and love the way you look.
When you lay out the options for your audience, of course, they want to live happy, thin and free. No one wants to feel unhealthy and uncomfortable in their clothes.
START AT THE END
When you’re creating and crafting your story from the stage, it’s important that you start at the end. Decide what the main idea or purpose of your speech will be.
From that point, you’ll be able to design your story with grace and ease. When you know the purpose of your speech and how you want the audience to feel, you will be better equipped to tell a compelling story.
You’re able to make a larger impact when you know the moral of the story.
IT’S ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
Take the pressure off of you and focus on your audience. Use the framework described in this post to craft your story and market your message with your audience in mind. This simple mindset shift will help calm your nerves and deliver a more powerful message too.
You’re allowed to use the same story over and over, but you change the purpose based on the audience. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again or create original content for every talk.
You can use a story about your car breaking down and how it’s important to practice regular maintenance. You have a personal responsibility to maintain your car for the safety of your family.
Main idea: Personal responsibility. Audience: Parents with small kids.
Now you tell the same story about your car breaking down, but the car is now a metaphor for your physical body.
When you take care of your body (like your car) it will last for years to come. You fill it will gas regularly, change the oil, make sure you get new tires every few thousand miles.
When you fill the tank it’s like eating healthy foods when you change the oil, it’s a quarterly cleanse, and when you get new tires, it’s like getting a new pair of shoes to exercise.
Main idea: Health and fitness. Audience: Men that need to lose 40 lbs or more.
Same story, different audience based on what’s relevant to the audience. You have the freedom to tell your story 100 different ways.
At this point, you have a plan and framework for what you need to know about brand storytelling. When you master this art of storytelling, you’ll find yourself in a position to create your best life.