Assuming that you have created your company’s brand story using the story brand framework, it is time to use that framework to create a roadmap to grow your business. You can use the story brand framework you created to:
- Create a one-liner for your company
- Create a lead generator to collect email addresses
- Create an automated email drip campaign
- Collect and tell stories of transformation
- Create a system that generates referrals
Create a One-Liner for Your Company
The first step in creating a roadmap to grow your business is to develop a one-liner because most sales are lost the second a founder start rambling on about their business when somebody asks “What do you do?” If you start describing why you started your business or listing the things you do, you will lose the prospect’s interest pretty fast. A one-liner, or what some call a “Wow statement” is an improved way to answer the question of “what do you do?” It’s more than a slogan or tagline. It’s a statement that makes the prospect realize they might need your products and services and want to know more. What makes a great one-liner is “imagination” and “intrigue”. Your one-liner should arouse the curiosity of qualified buyers and invite them to learn more about your business. Everyone in your company should memorize your one-liner verbatim. Creating a one-liner and repeating it over and over is a great way to spread the word about what you do.
To create a compelling one-liner, you will synthesize a version of your story brand framework using the following four elements:
- The character
- The problem
- The plan
- The success
Your one-liner does not have to be a single sentence nor does it need to be four sentences, one for each of the elements.
Let’s say your business is a gym that caters to busy moms. The characters are moms, the problem is that they are busy, your plan is to help them get in a meaningful workout so they will remain healthy and have the energy to keep up with their busy schedule, which is what success looks like. Your one-liner might be:
“We help busy moms get a meaningful workout so they feel healthy and full of energy.”
If you sell vacation timeshares to retired couples, you might say “We save retirees the cost and headache of owning a second home. Our extended-stay timeshares deliver the hassle-free luxury accommodations you deserve”. The characters are retirees, the problem is the cost and hassle of owning a second home, the plan is to provide an extended-stay timeshare, and success is spending time enjoying hassle-free luxury accommodations.
How to use a one-liner
- Memorize your one-liner and repeat it over and over again
- Have your employees and team members remember your one-liner
- Include your one-liner on your website
- Repeat your one-liner in every possible marketing collateral piece
- Print your one-liner on business cards and social media bios
- Print it on your packaging
- Include it in your email signature
Create a Lead Generator to Collect Email Addresses
What is the most private personal possession that you own? The one thing that would terrify you if it fell into the wrong hands and gave them access to all your personal information. Is it your smartphone? It’s also likely there’s one important account on your phone that acts as a gateway to nearly every other component in your life. Can you guess what that is? It’s your e-mail account. Your e-mail address is the most sacred personal thing you possess and is the username to some of the most important applications in your life from medical records to bank accounts. But what if a prospect willingly allows you to contact them in such a personal way? Welcome to the world of email marketing.
Email marketing is the most effective way to spread the word about your business. While you may have thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook fans, they are not nearly as efficient as sending an update or an offer via email because of the algorithm.
How do you get somebody to join your email list? You offer something of value in return for their email address. This free offer is what’s known as a lead generator. This is the transitional call to action you defined in your story brand framework.
The ideal lead generator must do two things: provide significant value to the customer and establish you as an authority in the field. Offering a downloadable pdf or eBook makes a great lead generator. A few popular lead generators include:
- A downloadable guide
- An online course or webinar
- Software demos or free trials
- Free samples
- Live demos
Create an Automated Email Drip Campaign
Sharing valuable content is an important part of your roadmap to grow your business but the point is there’s great value in simply reminding your prospects that you exist. Your prospects may not need your product today but they might need it tomorrow. On the day they do need it we want to make sure they remember who we are, what we have, and how they can reach us.
An automated e-mail drip campaign triggers a series of timed emails as soon as a person is added to our list. You might ask yourself does anybody actually read those messages? The answer is that it really doesn’t matter. Even with a low open rate, your emails will keep your brand active in the mind of your prospect as they scroll through their inbox.
Several years ago, I read the Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer and downloaded a free resource identified in the book. Every week or so, I get an email from him with a sales tip. While I rarely read the emails he sends as I’m just too busy, I remember him, and when someone asks me a sales question that I can’t answer, I share his name as a sales guru to conduct further research.
There are two types of emails in a typical automated email drip campaign, nurturing emails and sales emails.
Nurturing emails provide valuable information that relates to your brand. For example, Jeffrey’s nurturing emails always deal with some aspect of sales. An effective formula for nurturing emails is to talk about a problem, explain a plan to solve the problem, and describe what life can look like once the problem is solved. One way to start a nurturing email is to address a question that you often get asked and provide the answer that you normally provide. For ideas on the kind of questions prospects might ask, you can use AnswerThePublic which is a free search listening tool.
The sales email generally follows a similar format as a nurturing email but includes a call to action the prospect should take such as “call today” or “start your free trial.”
Most automated email campaigns involve sending approximately one e-mail per week. During a typical month, you might send three nurturing emails and one sales email.
I personally use MailChimp for my automated email drip campaigns because it is free for up to 2,000 email addresses and is easy to set up and use.
Collect and Tell Stories of Transformation
Few things are more compelling than a story that shows the transformation of a hero. That is why so many stories are about the hero transforming into somebody better. Testimonials give prospects the gift of “going second”. The challenge lies in getting the right kinds of testimonials. Ones that showcase your value and the results you get for your customers and the experience they had working with you. Simply asking for a testimonial usually doesn’t work because customers will usually share their feelings about you by default.
Creating a compelling tale of transformation means you have to ask the right questions and you need some raw material to work with. The following questions will allow you to build a bank of compelling testimonials.
- What was the problem you were having before you discovered our product or service?
- What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve that problem?
- What was different about our product or service?
- Take us to the moment you realized the product was working to solve your problem.
- Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved.
Create a System That Generates Referrals
Ask just about any business owner how they get new customers and the majority will say word of mouth. It would seem obvious that every business will want to generate more word-of-mouth referrals. The final step of using the roadmap to grow your business once the prospect becomes a customer and you have solved their problem is to turn around and invite them to become evangelists or social agents for your brand. Here is a step-by-step look at what it takes to create an effective referral system.
- Identify your existing ideal customer and send them occasional prompts to reorder.
- Give customers a reason to spread the word. Rather than just ask them to use their own words, give them something that makes it easy to spread the word such as a pdf or a video they can send to their friends and colleagues.
- Offer a reward to existing clients who refer their friends and colleagues.
- Start an affiliate program and offer your customers a commission on any orders they referred
How can you turn your story brand framework into a roadmap to grow your business?