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.
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?
- Who should write your StoryBrand messaging? (this article)
- What can you do with StoryBrand messaging? (future article in series)
- What should you do next after StoryBrand messaging? (future article in series)
Who should write your StoryBrand messaging?
The answer to the question, “who should write your StoryBrand messaging?” is pretty simple – you want it to be a person who has a knack for storytelling. Your messaging will be way better if the person writing it is a talented writer to begin with. The StoryBrand framework makes it SO MUCH easier for a non-writer to get something down that is usable, but a talented writer will make the exact same story sing in a more beautiful way.
But “who should write your StoryBrand messaging?” is also a bit of a trick question. In my opinion, you have to answer two questions before writing your StoryBrand messaging – Who is the story going to come from? Who is the story going to be written by?
So, let’s explore how to answer these questions. And don’t quit reading in the middle, because at the end of the article I’ll answer 3 more questions that I get asked almost every time I help a company with their StoryBrand messaging.
Who will your StoryBrand messaging come from?
Let me be upfront and clear about one thing – you cannot hire someone to write your StoryBrand messaging on their own without your involvement. That’s not how this works. I know company leaders are busy (I own 8Bend Marketing and also participate on the executive leadership team at our sister company, InfoSystems, Inc., so trust me, I know). But this is not one of the things that you just “outsource” so that it doesn’t take up any of your own time.
If you run a small business, your StoryBrand messaging needs to be YOUR STORY in YOUR WORDS. If you are part of a larger, more mature business, there will likely be multiple contributors to your messaging (although you don’t want there to be too many contributors – more about that at the end of this article).
Your StoryBrand messaging will not truly capture your brand story unless it comes from you. You MUST BE involved. Even if you are not the person writing the story, you are the person “writing the story.”
So, if you don’t want to be involved, don’t proceed with StoryBrand messaging. If you are ready to be involved because you know that creating your brand story can’t be done without you, then you’ll need to answer the next question…
Who will your StoryBrand messaging be written by?
As I’ve stated previously in this article, your StoryBrand messaging needs to be written by a talented writer. If you have a talented copywriter on your team, by all means, make use of their talent. But make sure they are comfortable taking on this responsibility.
Based on my experience working with more than 100 businesses on their StoryBrand messaging, I can say with confidence that people who are not comfortable with the task of writing StoryBrand messaging will not deliver a good result. They will most likely second guess every word they write down, struggle to connect the story components together, and deliver messaging that is choppy, robotic, and unclear.
You want your StoryBrand messaging to be written by a natural writer. Someone who KNOWS they have the inherent talent of explaining things in a way that people can easily understand. Someone who sees themselves as persuasive. Someone whose hand would shoot up if you asked the question, “who believes they can write a speech that would grab an audience by the heart and squeeze until it brings them to tears?” Okay, that may be a little extreme, but you get the idea. And honestly, I bring that up because I’ve personally written StoryBrand messaging that has brought a customer to tears when I read it to them (this has happened more than once).
How to choose a StoryBrand copywriter
The bottom line is this – If you plan to move forward with StoryBrand messaging for your business, choose the best copywriter you have access to. If you don’t have a strong copywriter in your business, then HIRE A PROFESSIONAL. StoryBrand has a website that, as of February 2023, has about 650 StoryBrand Certified Guides available to browse and choose from.
I can only personally vouch for about 5 or 6 StoryBrand Certified Guides that I know and trust, but I’d be glad to share my thoughts if you want to discuss the StoryBrand Certified Guide program.
I will certainly vouch for my team. I became StoryBrand certified in 2019 and have built an entire agency around StoryBrand. In fact, I personally created the Great 8 Strategy Booster Playbook for StoryBrand. My personal mission is to help business leaders boost their strategy across 8 critical areas of business that directly impact revenue – Brand, Website, Product, Sales, Lead Gen, Marketing, Advertising, and Leadership.
I believe that boosting strategy in these 8 areas will help our customers achieve unprecedented growth and success.
3 Additional StoryBrand messaging FAQs
Q: How long does it take to write StoryBrand messaging?
A: At 8Bend Marketing, we schedule our StoryBrand messaging sessions for 4 hours. In our experience, we can almost always complete the entire 7-Part StoryBrand Framework in a 4-hour working session. After the 4-hour session, our copywriter will usually put 1-2 additional hours into drafting the BrandScript in paragraph format and the One-liner made up of a few short sentences.
If you are writing your own StoryBrand messaging and have never done it before, be prepared to start with a full workday (6-8 hours) and then assess your progress from there. It may take you days or weeks to write, revise, and finally commit to something you feel good about. Keep in mind that if you attend a StoryBrand Livestream to get hands-on coaching, you are committing to 2 full workdays.
Q: How much does it cost to write StoryBrand messaging?
A: The cost varies depending on who you work with, but at 8Bend Marketing we charge $2,995.00, and we include some extras in what we do. Included in our cost are the 4-hour private messaging session, a completed Brand Messaging Guide (7-Part Messaging Framework, BrandScript, and One-liner), and a 2-hour follow-up session for our team to present your messaging guide, get feedback for further revisions (if needed), and then help you create a “get started” plan on what to do with your StoryBrand messaging now that it is complete. Remember, your messaging will only help if you USE IT.
If you are exploring options, I would recommend assigning a dollar value to the following areas so you can compare the different scenarios:
- COST OF MY COMPANY’S TIME (DIY vs. HIRED PROFESSIONAL)
- COST OF PROFESSIONAL COPYWRITER (DIY vs. HIRED PROFESSIONAL)
- VALUE OF THE COMPLETED PROJECT (DIY vs. HIRED PROFESSIONAL)
Q: Who from my company should participate in the StoryBrand messaging?
A: My advice is to keep this group as limited as possible. Bring in the people you know will contribute valuable insights about your customers, the problems they deal with, and the help they are looking for. Don’t bring in people for political reasons (for example, Jim/Sally is a VP, so he/she should be there). The more crowded the room gets, the more difficult creating your messaging will become.
I have conducted a StoryBrand messaging session with a room of 12 and it went beautifully (the COO told me afterward that it was the best consulting session they had ever paid for), but it also could have been a disaster with the wrong facilitator leading the session.
To be safe, I’d stick to no more than 3 or 4 participants in your StoryBrand messaging session unless you are hiring a proven group facilitator.
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.
You can subscribe to Business Made Simple using our StoryBrand Agency affiliate link to help us earn a small commission.
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.