A Beginner’s Guide to StoryBrand Part 2: How Do You Write StoryBrand Messaging?

The StoryBrand Framework is an excellent way to position your company as the guide to your customers. In this continuation of "A Beginner's Guide to StoryBrand," we'll talk about how to start utilizing the framework and what route is best for you and your situation.

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In this article series, A Beginner’s Guide to StoryBrand, my goal is to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from nearly 4 years of writing StoryBrand messaging guides and coaching 100+ business owners and executives through the 7-part StoryBrand Messaging Framework. 

But before I get into the tips and advice, I’d like to share a little background about how I discovered StoryBrand. I had a much different introduction to StoryBrand than most. Most people hear about StoryBrand and start with the book (Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller). Many others hear about StoryBrand and start with their podcasts (Marketing Made Simple with Dr. J.J. Peterson and Business Made Simple with Donald Miller). And still others hear about StoryBrand and pay the $275.00 subscription for businessmadesimple.com to get access to all of Donald Miller’s business training courses. 

I heard about StoryBrand from at least 3 different trusted peers who gave it such high praise that I decided to skip the books and podcasts (their online courses didn’t exist yet in 2019) and pay $3,000.00 to attend the StoryBrand Live Workshop in Nashville, TN (these events are no longer held in person, but are now presented as a live stream for $995.00). 

Let me tell you, it’s probably the best $3,000.00 I’ve ever spent on my company credit card. 

If you are just now discovering StoryBrand, feel free to start with any of the resources listed above. Or… if you want to skip the formalities and get straight to the results and value like I did, book a meeting on my calendar and I’ll answer your questions and help you get started with StoryBrand quickly. 

Before you read on, be sure to catch up on all the articles in this series: 

“A Beginner’s Guide to the StoryBrand Messaging Framework” article series from 8Bend Marketing: 

  • What is the StoryBrand Messaging Framework? 
  • How do you write StoryBrand messaging? (this article) 
  • Who should write your StoryBrand messaging? (future article in series) 
  • What can you do with StoryBrand messaging? (future article in series) 
  • What should you do next after StoryBrand messaging? (future article in series) 

How do you write StoryBrand messaging? 

The answer to the question, “how do you write StoryBrand messaging?” is simple – you write down the 7 elements of your brand story and then combine them together to create a short narrative. Think of the 7 story elements as “building blocks” that can be used in different combinations for different purposes. 

  1. A character (a.k.a. the hero) 
  2. The character’s problem 
  3. A guide
  4. The guide’s plan
  5. The call to action
  6. Successful outcomes from following the plan
  7. Negative consequences from not following the plan 

You won’t be able to write the 7 story elements until you understand them in greater detail, so you’ll need to either attend a StoryBrand Live Stream event, subscribe to Business Made Simple, or read the book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller. 

Below is more information about each of these options: 

Attending a StoryBrand Live Stream Event 

When you attend a StoryBrand Live Stream, you’ll be in a small group of other business owners and professionals who are there for the same reasons you are – to write your StoryBrand messaging. Each group is facilitated by a Certified StoryBrand Guide that has been trained to coach people through the StoryBrand framework. The Live Stream alternates between teaching sessions led by members of the StoryBrand team and workshop sessions led by your facilitator in a designated Zoom room for your group. 

StoryBrand Live Streams are conducted over two full business days, so you’ll need to plan to take two days away from your regular work. The event will not be worth the investment unless you can attend distraction-free, so if you need to monitor your email, take phone calls, etc. during business hours, then this is not a good option for you. 

If you can swing the two days off, this is the best option to guarantee you get the work completed and that your work is reviewed by a professional for quality. 

There are two pricing options for attending a StoryBrand Live Stream – $995.00 for regular registration or $1,495.00 for VIP registration. The main difference between the two is the size of the group you will be part of. Regular groups have up to 12 people in them and VIP groups have up to 6 people. The fewer people in your group, the more individual coaching time you’ll get from your Certified StoryBrand Guide. 

One side note to mention – I’ve found that listening to others receive coaching is just as valuable as the coaching you receive directly. Other group members will ask questions you didn’t think to ask or will prompt your facilitator to respond to their situation with advice that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise. 

You can register for a StoryBrand Live Stream and join a coaching group with me (Josh Davis, 8Bend Marketing president) as your group facilitator by using our StoryBrand Agency affiliate link

Business Made Simple 

If the StoryBrand Live Stream won’t work for you, the next best option for learning the 7-part StoryBrand Messaging Framework is to subscribe to the Business Made Simple online courses. The downside of the online StoryBrand Messaging course is that you’re on your own to watch the videos and get the work completed. It can be a struggle to get through online training when you don’t have two full days of time blocked off on your calendar. And odds are you won’t follow through and finish your messaging without the extra accountability of a personal facilitator. You will also be less confident in the quality of your completed work without the assistance and affirmation of a Certified StoryBrand Guide. 

The upside of subscribing to Business Made Simple is that in addition to the StoryBrand Messaging course, you’ll have a full year of access to other courses that cover leadership, sales, marketing, products, overhead and operations, and cash flow. 

Many people who attend the StoryBrand Live Stream also end up subscribing to Business Made Simple for the rest of the great content it offers. 

You can subscribe to Business Made Simple using our StoryBrand Agency affiliate link to help us earn a small commission. 

Mystorybrand.com (with the book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller) 

If you want the least expensive option for learning the 7-part StoryBrand Messaging Framework, then simply buy the book (or listen to the audiobook). The experience won’t be the same as attending the StoryBrand Live Stream or subscribing to Business Made Simple, but it really is a fantastic book to read. As you are reading the book, you can use the accompanying website, www.mystorybrand.com, to write your brand messaging. 

The bottom line is this – Most business books are intended to challenge your mindset and introduce a paradigm shift (but that’s where their usefulness stops). The thing I absolutely admire about Donald Miller and the entire StoryBrand concept is that it doesn’t stop with theory. The StoryBrand book would have been a great book and an international best-seller if it were just a stand-alone book about story-based marketing. StoryBrand offers readers a fantastic paradigm shift (it has been life changing for me and many others), but it also delivers a user-friendly framework that anyone can use to write their own brand messaging. 

I wish you the best while exploring StoryBrand and all the benefits that this copywriting methodology offers. I started using this framework in 2019 and it has added incredible value to my sales and marketing work. If you would like to meet and discuss StoryBrand, I’d be glad to answer questions and share my expertise – Book a meeting to discuss StoryBrand

Josh Davis is the co-founder and President of 8Bend Marketing. Josh is a skilled marketing strategist, copywriter, and StoryBrand messaging expert who is passionate about helping customers clarify their messaging and stop losing deals they should be winning. 

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