When I first encountered Building a StoryBrand in 2017, I thought of it as “Donald Miller’s new book.” See, I live in Portland, Oregon, where Miller also lived for over a decade and already had many followers. From his faith-based memoirs Blue like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Days (my favorite), Miller’s disarmingly witty straight talk about some of life’s most challenging topics—family, identity, and faith—earned him respect even among secular audiences.
So when I decided to check out the book and later what turned out to be his then “new” company, I was amazed. As a former English professor and story geek, I soon discovered Miller had managed to take the meta-concepts of story and convert them for business owners.
In other words, Miller figured out how to give business owners—but often non-marketers—simple tools to create more effective marketing.
Flash forward to 2020, and StoryBrand is a multi-million dollar company based in Nashville with books, live trainings, and a brand new Business Made Simple University platform, with a subscription that Miller describes on his podcast as ‘dirt cheap.’
But what makes the StoryBrand methodology so different? And can it really make a difference in your business?
What makes the StoryBrand Approach Different
A quick stroll through Building a StoryBrand will lead you to what, in my opinion, is StoryBrand’s major differentiator. When it comes to marketing, StoryBrand teaches business owners to focus not on their own story but on their customer's story.
What does that mean? Rather than using your website or marketing to talk about what you offer, why it’s great, or to inundate your email list with announcements, StoryBrand emphasizes focusing on your customer’s problem.
At first, this may not seem that different. But what happens when you review your website, newsletters, social media posts, or emails and ask yourself who’s story you’re telling? The results are often sobering.
Can following the StoryBrand methodology really make a difference in your business?
The short answer is yes. As you encounter the concepts in Building a StoryBrand or in Miller’s “5-Minute Marketing Makeover,” you can immediately apply the lessons given to your website, which for many of us is the front door to our business.
But I would encourage you to keep going and apply the StoryBrand framework to all of your social media posts, email campaigns, and sales pages.
Because as StoryBrand preaches, the villain that’s keeping your potential customers from becoming qualified leads is noise.
By addressing your customer’s problem and focusing on their story, not yours, they will begin to hear the solutions you offer in your marketing.
In 2019, I became much more than a reader of Don Miller’s books but a student. Training with Don and his team in Nashville gave me a framework to help my clients elevate their marketing and streamline their message.
And as a copywriter and story strategist, I’ve seen firsthand what can happen when clients launch a new product or re-introduce new copy to their existing clients.
If you’re looking for an easy way to dip your toe into the world of StoryBrand, check out their weekly podcast called Building a StoryBrand.