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Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Charles Cherney

I am living my life and doing my work with joy. I have successfully served hundreds of buyers and sellers in Cambridge and Somerville, MA...

I am living my life and doing my work with joy. I have successfully served hundreds of buyers and sellers in Cambridge and Somerville, MA...

May 31 4 minutes read

Building a StoryBrand

Building A StoryBrand (2017) is by Donald Miller. I learned about this book from Jimmy Mackin, co-founder of Curaytor. Before setting out to revise this very website, I read Miller's book not once, not twice, but three times!!!

Miller's premise is that your customer - your client - should be the hero of the story, rather than yourself or your brand. He believes in clarifying your message and making it simple and relevant and repeatable. Miller says, "If you confuse, you'll lose." According to Miller,

You (the business) are the GUIDE.

Your customer (the client) is the HERO.

 As a business, your goal is to clarify the role you play in your customer's success story. And as a business, you want to give customers clear calls to action. Folks want to know where you can take them. In this regard, one's goal with one's branding is for every potential customer to know what you can do for them. And, as Miller notes, "The more we talk about the problems our clients experience, the more interest they will have in our brand."

Miller points out that "companies tend to sell solutions to external problems but people buy solutions to internal problems." Take residential real estate as an example:

External problem:
A person needs to buy or sell a home.

Internal problem:
A person fears that they will not succeed in buying or selling a home.

In this example, the Realtor or real estate company wants to address the person's internal problem. The Charles Cherney Team aims to address this internal problem. Our solution? As we say on the home page of our website

Buy the Right Home and Sell for the Best Price

By this statement, we seek to reassure the customer (the hero) that the Charles Cherney Team (the guide) will make their next move happen.

In thinking about one's business as the guide, Miller emphasizes the importance of expressing empathy as well demonstrating authority. Our empathy creates a bond of trust and our authority assures the customer we are somebody who knows what they are doing. Authority does not mean one preaches. Just the opposite in fact. First and foremost, one listens. And then one takes correct actions.

Miller believes creating a plan of action for a customer is effective. So, for example, consider our success plans for buyers and sellers here on our website. Plans alleviate confusion and allow the customer to take the next step.

A good website, Miller believes, includes clear and actionable direct calls to action. For example, Call Today or Schedule An Appointment. A good website, he further notes, also includes transitional calls to action. So, for example, Answers to Common Questions, or Market Reports. Basically, transitional calls to action give the customer who is still on the decision-making journey something of value right now.

At the heart of Building A StoryBrand is the importance of story. Stories move us. And businesses that effectively tell stories in which the customer is the hero and the business is the guide are businesses that are most likely to win. Of course, there is a lot to the art of storytelling. Being specific matters. And being clear about the positive results that come from engaging with one's business is important. As is being authentic. And delivering something of value.

Buy the Right Home
Sell for the Best Price

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