#145: StoryBrand Framework: Simple Calls to Action are Non-negotiable


Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast! Over the past few weeks, we have been spending time digging into the StoryBrand framework so that you can put all of the ideas and nuggets of wisdom that you’ve read in Building a StoryBrand into Action. This week we will continue that conversation and talk about buttons. Ok, what we are really talking about is what goes in the buttons that you place on your website and more specifically the calls to action that you are making.

We were driving home from a quick visit to our in-laws this past weekend, and we were on I 95. And our son noticed as he looked up from the book he was reading, he noticed all of the road signs and they were really confusing. We were heading into a junction of sorts, and you had to be in the very right lane to exit on the first exit ramp, and you had to be in the next lane to exit on the second exit ramp.

But meanwhile, cars were merging on because these exit ramps were also on ramps. It was one of those combined deals and further over some lanes were shifting. There was a fork in the highway up ahead. It was confusing, and he noticed that kind of everything was all mangled together and that it was really difficult to know where you were going.

You know what I’m talking about, right? We’ve all been on those roads where it’s just really, really confusing. That’s not what we want for our calls to action. We want our calls to action for our clients to be nice and simple. Nothing like the complicated highway signs that we see when we’re driving. And you have to be in this lane to do that and that lane to do that.

And heaven knows if the lane is actually going to do exactly what you think it’s going to do. We want to be really, really clear with our calls to action.

The Definitions

If a call to action is something that’s new to you or a new term for you, basically a call to action is exactly what it sounds like. We want to call our clients to take action on what it is we are offering.

There are two different types of calls to action. There is a direct call to action and a transitional call to action. Now, a direct call to action is usually the one that’s associated with a paid product or an offer that you are making. The transitional call to action is more along the terms of, I’d like to get to know you a little bit more. I’m not ready to give you a credit card. So what do you have for me that isn’t going to cost me money that I could check you out a little bit more?

You need both of these in your business. You need direct calls to action, and you need transitional calls to action. Because if you only offer direct calls to action, the people who are new to your world, they aren’t ready. They don’t know, like, and trust you. And so they’re going to walk away and go somewhere else where they can get something that is either a really low ticket or is free so that they can get to know whether or not they like this person without investing a thousand dollars, $2,000, or maybe $10,000. You need both of these. 

Now, one of the biggest problems with call to action is that a lot of times they’re not clear. And so in getting ready for this podcast, I was looking at a lot of different websites, and in fact, I’ve been working on my own website and wrestling with the different calls to action that I actually want to implement as I’m making updates and adding in new resources for you all.

Direct Calls to Action

Let’s start by talking about the direct calls to action. We need it to be really, really simple to understand what that step is. One of the direct calls to action that I noticed on the highway this weekend was a billboard, and it was for Buc-eess. I’ve never actually been in one, but our friends keep telling us, these are amazing. They have awesome bathrooms that are always super clean. That’s, that’s a win in my book. But here’s the thing, the first billboard I saw for Buc-ees was 154 miles away from the location. It says only 154 miles to go: Stop in. That was really clear. I knew that Buc-ees really wanted me to stop in, in 154 miles, and then it was 130, and then it was 119. All I have to say is that Buc-ees location must be new because we’ve never seen these billboards before on this particular stretch of road. But that’s a really clear direct call to action. Stop in. We don’t want you to drive by. We want you to, we don’t want you to check us out. We want you to stop in, stop in the store, stop and visit us. And Buc-ees billboard was also very clear. I knew exactly how far ahead to go before I needed to stop in. Okay, so that’s a really good direct call to action. It wasn’t an invitation, it was a, Hey, stop here. And of course you’re going to buy something, right? 

Let’s talk about some more realistic calls to action that you are using or maybe that you’ve seen when you’ve been looking at websites or looking at social media. One big example is buy Now. I was shopping for cello strings, an extra set of cello strings for our son, and I was on Johnson string and the, in the upper right corner, big button shop. They have a lot of educational materials on their website, they do a lot of rentals and all of that kind of stuff. And so Shop Now was big. It was clear, it was a color that didn’t necessarily appear in other places, and the button color stood out. I was able to see it right away, and I knew that I could go ahead and click Shop. 

Now, another example is, like I said, buy now. Very clear. Book a demo is also an example of a really clear direct call to action. I know that I’m going to book something right now and it’s going to be a demo, or I’m going to book a call, book a discovery call. I know for lots of coaches, they offer a discovery call before even talking about what coaching packages are available or what coaching services are available. So there’s that book, a discovery call or book a call. 

Now these all sound nice and clear, and they are, the problem is that if we shift even just a little bit, the language becomes unclear and it’s hard for the person to know what to do. So get started now is one that I’ve used in the past, and I’ve actually moved away from it because it’s on the edge of clarity. Get started now. I don’t really know what step I’m taking to learn more. What do you mean learn more? Again, that’s not super clear. Let’s chat. I see this a lot on websites. Let’s chat. And it seems really colloquial. It seems like really just down and hearty and let’s, let’s sit down and have a chat. And I know that when I talk to people on social media, I say, Hey, let’s schedule a time to chat and we can work through these challenges. I don’t ever say just let’s chat because chat about what, right? 

If you are using your direct calls to action, you want to make sure that the result is very clear that they are buying. Now they’re shopping, now they’re booking a call. They are booking a demo, they’re applying. Now, I use Apply now on my website because I ask for an application to be considered for a messaging playbook because I have limited slots available. I also ask for an application to the Progress connection, which is an asynchronous coaching program that I do. And I want to make sure that the person is a good fit. So I don’t want to use buy now or check out now or purchase now, because I want to make sure that it’s a good fit for the person and for me. It needs to be a great synergistic experience, whether it’s the playbook or the progress connection. Now, I will send someone, if I’m just doing a 24 hour asynchronous coaching for them, I will send them straight to a, you know, save your slot now or schedule your day now, because that’s just a 24 hour situation, it’s a lower ticket offer. 

The key here is to make sure that regardless of whether it’s low ticket, high ticket, somewhere in between ticket or it’s an application process or a discovery call process, you want to make sure that the words you’re using tell your reader exactly what it is they’re getting themselves into. These are all for our paid offers. These are all for the things that we want someone to hand over that credit card for.

Transitional Calls to Action

That is not always where we’re starting with our clients, right? Because when they come to us, they don’t necessarily know who we are. And so they need to get to know us a little bit. And one of the things that I always think about, and I know Dr. JJ Peterson talks about this a lot as well as Don Miller.

They talk about the fact that a transitional call to action is very much like asking for a second date. That direct call to action is, Hey, can you marry me? Let’s go ahead and get this going. And a transitional call to action is a lot more like a second date. This is, this can be really tricky, sometimes even more tricky than the direct calls to action because it is a layer underneath that direct call to action.

You are not asking for a credit card here in most cases, but you do have to solve a pain point. That’s the key. When I see transitional calls to action, sometimes I’m noticing that they aren’t actually solving a pain point. It needs to be compelling because what you’re actually doing here is probably asking for someone’s name and email address. And you have to solve a pain point for that to be worthwhile to them.

While you’re not asking for a credit card, you are asking for personal information. And that email address is very coveted. So when I talk about, when I talk with clients about their messaging, there are three key components that need to be present. They need to, in order to have that standout messaging, they have to have a mindset shift, authenticity, and a solid framework behind them. That means that if I’m solving pain points, I’m going to develop lead magnets that fall into these three categories. And then, and that’s what I would encourage you to do is think about what is your framework? 

What is your process for working with your clients, whether it is through a course, a membership,or a coaching program, what pain points do you need to solve? And where are they within the framework that you use to work with your clients? And so once you have those lead magnets kind of figured out, you can absolutely then create your transitional calls to action depending on what it is that you are offering. I use a Business Insights email. And so I say, sign up now or get the emails. 

I noticed on the Johnson string website that they had a big box that said, don’t miss another sale. And it was, it was a button to sign up for their email list so that you could get your sales right in your email inbox. And so you didn’t have to miss another sale. And I thought that was brilliant because it’s not about get sale information because that doesn’t excite me, but I don’t want to miss another sale. And so that transitional call to action is going to get me onto their email list. I’m already on it. So I didn’t obviously sign up, but it was very compelling enough that I clicked on it just to see what it was and to see how I can make sure I didn’t miss a sale to see if it was something different than the email list.

You can also use things like Get the Checklist. So I have a lead magnet checklist. Get the checklist. I have a 30 day planner. I use Download the Planner. And so again, we are looking for simplicity. We are looking for clarity in the language that we use in our calls to action, whether they are direct or they are transitional calls to action.

The key points are the same. They must be clear, they must be simple, and they must be directed to the point because especially if we’re talking about a website, those buttons only hold so many words before they look big and clunky and awful. So make sure that you are getting your point across in as few words as possible on those calls to action.

Now, I’ve been talking a lot about these offers and you know, thinking in terms of a website, but remember that at the end of your weekly emails, for instance, you might have a PSS section. I do this, I have kind of a supersized PS section and it talks through a few different opportunities that the people on my email list have an opportunity to take advantage of. And I’ll usually include a transitional call to action. So, I’ll include a link to one of my lead magnets, letting them know that it’s still there. If they haven’t grabbed it yet. I will share about maybe an offer that I am launching right now, or maybe one that I’m saying, Hey, I’ve opened up some new seats to this. Make sure that you go check it out and grab your seat today. Or if I’ve got a webinar coming up, I’ll say, register for the webinar, register for the masterclass. And so these are all very clear calls to action in ways you can use them in an email. 

You can also use them at the end of your social media posts when you want engagement right on our social media posts. And so we hope and pray that someone will just respond, but that’s not the way we work. So when you are putting up your reels, your short or your short form videos of any kind, when you are putting up your bigger posts, even your stories on say Instagram or Facebook, you want to make sure that you are including a call to action. And a lot of times here the call to action is, Hey, these are tips one through five, which tip is your favorite? My clients often tell me, tip two is their favorite, which one’s yours? And so now they know to go below the reel or the post and say, I really like tip three. I agree with your clients, I like tip two. So we’re not making it challenging. But these are calls to action all the same. They aren’t necessarily leading back to your offer, but they are leading to a deeper conversation so that you can respond and say, oh, you liked tip three. Well, how do you think you’re going to use it? Or, what really stood out for you? What made that one stick out to you? And so we get to have that conversation. 

We want to encourage engagement. So please remember that you can use these calls to action in the concept of a call to action in anything that you’re doing. And I’ll show you an example in just a few moments of how you can use it on a podcast as well, not just on your written content. You can also use it in your audio or auditory type content that you are producing now.

Action Item

Let’s talk about action items for the week. ’cause you know, if you’ve been listening to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast for any length of time, this is about the time when we always talk about what you can do to put what we’ve talked about today into action. Because what you listen to, what you learn is only as good as the progress you make as a result. 

Today what I’d like you to do is look at your website, look at your weekly content, social media, podcasts, emails, whatever it is you put out, your Pinterest pins, whatever it is you are creating and putting out into the world, I want you to take a look at the calls to action that you are using. 

And then, if you’re a spreadsheet kind of person, make a spreadsheet and put all of the ones that you found that you’ve used recently, maybe in the last week or two, and see if you can just noodle around with it and make them clearer. Obviously, if you already have something posted, you already have a podcast recorded, you are not going to go back and change your calls to action, but you can create new calls to action for the next time you talk about that topic. Or the next time you talk about the lead magnet checklist or the plan or this or that freebie or that downloadable P D F. You can talk about the call. You can create calls to action that are clearer for the next time you talk about those things. 

What I want you to do this week is really look at the big picture holistically at the content that you have, website, weekly content, all of it, and see what kinds of calls to action you are using. Think about whether they are direct, whether they are transitional, and if they are clear. 

Here’s the other thing I want you to look for. Have you been creating content without calls to action? 

If the answer is yes, and my guess is you’ve put out at least one or two things without a call to action, evaluate whether or not that was intentional. There are some times, and I’ve heard this from others as well, when your post or your content is emotionally charged, that you don’t necessarily need a clear call to action because people are going to respond because of the charge of what you’ve said. And so you might have intentionally not included a call to action. Those are not the things I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the ones where you just forgot it didn’t even cross your mind, you had no idea. You should have put a call to action. Look for those moments as well. Okay? So make sure that your calls to action are clear, they are compelling, they are direct and simple. And then make sure that in direct, by direct I mean they are to the point.

Make sure that if you have a transitional call to action that you are using, that it is going to solve a pain point for your potential client because we want to make it worth their while.


Calls to action. We don’t want them to be like the confusing highway signs that look like spaghetti junctions. We want our calls to action to be clear, simple, crisp, short, to the point, sweet, easy to find, easy to follow. And this week we’ve been talking a lot about the different types of calls to action. I gave you a few examples of some really strong ones. We talked through some weaker calls to action and why they might be a little bit weak. And then we talked a little bit about where you can look in your own content for these calls to action and where you can actually implement them so that you are gaining engagement, you are gaining notice, you are gaining that reach, you are just really working on creating conversations with your potential clients. I trust that was helpful. This week’s call to action, I told you I would give you an example on a podcast that I’d like for you to head on over to entrepreneursinflow.co. And I want you to scroll down to the bottom.

Now, I could tell you an easier way to get there, but I want you to kind of scroll through and see some of the calls to action and see what you think the whole way. At the bottom of entrepreneurs in flow.co, there is a button, there is a box that says Business Insights. I want you to go there, give me your first name and your email address so that I can keep you updated on resources, on new ideas and messaging, on ways that we can work together, like messenger coaching and messaging playbooks, and generally kind of keeping you up to date on mindset and business, business growth and business momentum. So please head over to entrepreneurs inflow.co. I want you to scroll the whole way to the bottom. Fill out that business insights box that you’ll find on your lower right corner if you’re on desktop or it’ll just appear in the row as you scroll down your mobile device.

Fill that out. And I cannot wait to see you in my email inbox, and I can’t wait to step into your email inbox. And you’ll notice that when I send emails, a lot of times I say, Hey, can you, can you hit reply and tell me a little bit more about this or that? I do actually want you to respond.

That is part of the beauty of having these email opportunities with clients and potential clients, is that you can create conversations in that one-on-one setting a little bit easier than you can in say a podcast or a social media. That is one too many. All right. As always, thank you so much for joining me today. I will see you back here next week for another episode of the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast.

We are going to talk about success and failure and how to talk about that within the StoryBrand framework in a way that is compelling. It is easy to understand for you, and I’ll talk to you about the system that I use to simplify talking about success and failure so that it doesn’t feel cringey or overly Pollyanna. 

I will see you back here next week for another episode of the podcast where we are focusing on mentoring community and implementation so that we can remove the overwhelm of building a successful and profitable business and add in a little dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

Show Resources

Apply to Work with Dr. Moira: https://www.digitalcoursecreatorguide.com/apply/

StoryBrand Messaging Framework: https://mystorybrand.com/

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