I believe most small businesses are wasting a ton of money when it comes to marketing. They have it wrong at a very fundamental level! Why? Because I had discovered that I had marketing completely backwards and I don't think I'm alone. Only a handful of books have caused a true paradigm shift like this and I had to share it with you.
In his latest book Building a Story Brand, Donald Miller rewrites the story on marketing by making marketing all about the story. Utilizing a seven part framework, Miller takes the reader through the 7 elements of every compelling story. 1-A character, 2-has a problem, 3-and meets a guide, 4-who gives them a plan, 5-and calls them to action, 6-that helps them avoid failure, 7-and ends in success. By scripting your version of each of the seven parts of the story you can effectively craft a clear and simplified message to take to your target market.
In and of itself, no paradigm shifts appear until we identify the two critical characters.
First, I want you to take your most prominent marketing piece and look at it with a fresh perspective asking only one simple question. Who is the hero of the story in your piece? Your prominent piece could be your website, brochure, sign, business card, etc.
Go ahead. Take a look, then come back. Don't read ahead!
So who was the hero? What was the story told by your marketing piece? If you're like this imperfect leader it probably talks about how you or your product will solve all of your targets problems. It probably emphasizes your authority or product features. It may have data or testimonials that give you or your widget credibility. It likely has many, many paragraphs designed to educate and convince that all important lead that you are the hero of their story.
If it does, you've got it all wrong. Just like I did.
It's not about you. Which leads to my imperfect insight.
You're not the hero of your marketing story, your potential customer is.
As Miller illustrates, Luke Skywalker is your customer and you are Yoda. You're just the guide and your prospect is the hero. Your marketing should connect with your lead making them the center of the story. All heroes face some obstacle, some challenge that requires a guide to help them navigate a path forward. Add in some compensation and we have true capitalism. As the guide, you can show them the stakes if they follow your path or not. One way leads to failure and the other way to success.
Miller's most compelling and recognizable example? President Trump's campaign message. "Make America Great Again." Who's the hero in this message? We are, the American people. Now can you remember Hillary Clinton's message? I bet you can't. It was "I'm With Her." Now who's the hero in that message?
I can't cover the entire book including his insights on how the brain consumes information in a 700 word blog so feel free to get his book here and attend a workshop here. But I can summarize his thoughts by stating that most marketing is wasting large sums of money because "Customers don’t generally care about your story; they care about their own.”
And I can talk about what attracted me most to Don Miller's book which is the framework for practically applying the principles he teaches. I also offer framework, one that is designed to help you harmoniously orchestrate all the moving parts of your business. I utilize EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System and it's simple and practical tools to help you get more from your business. And similarly to Miller, my aim is to drive clarity and focus. Miller believes that "If you confuse, you lose." EOS would add "Less is more." Together, your prospects and employees may actually find themselves the hero of an amazing story. Having been taken someplace great by your company, the humble guide!
Finally, remember as Christmas approaches, you're not the Hero this season either!
Jesus is. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, relative or just a friend, you are simply the guide taking family and friends down a path to a relationship with our Saviour. Don't confuse a great gift this season with THE great story!
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EOS is designed to help us simplify, clarify and achieve our vision. We cover a straightforward marketing strategy as part of our proven implementation process.
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