#186: The Secret Behind why StoryBrand isn’t Working for Your Business


You’ve read the Building a StoryBrand book by Donald Miller. You’ve mapped out the 7 parts of the framework, but nothing is changing in your business. People still aren’t finding you. Your email list growth is the same size it has been for three months, the people following you on Facebook and Instagram aren’t your people, and your latest course launch yielded a handful of sales at best.

We’ve all been there. We’ve read the book and felt like we should be able to figure everything out, but we just get stuck when nothing changes after implementing the 7-part framework.

Does this mean that StoryBrand doesn’t work?

Not necessarily. Think about this, if all we needed were books to be successful, then everyone who read a business book would be profitable, right?

Did the book leave you with questions along the way? Did you find yourself saying, “Yes, but what about…?”

The secret behind unlocking the power of StoryBrand isn’t something that you’ll find in the book, but I’m going to spill the beans on the key today. And at the end of today’s episode, as a StoryBrand Certified Guide,  I’ll highlight for you which piece of the 7-part framework I think is the single most important part to nail so that your audience feels seen, heard, and understood.

What is StoryBrand?

If you are new to StoryBrand or have contemplated picking up the Building a StoryBrand book by Donald Miller, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that it is a worthy investment. If you are watching the video version of this podcast on YouTube, you’ll see it on the bookshelf behind me. I regularly reach for it.

I came to StoryBrand when I was trying to figure out my own messaging several years ago. I was new to this side of my business and couldn’t quite get things figured out. Sound familiar? Every entrepreneur experiences this at some point.

After all, we all need help with messaging to some degree.

Now StoryBrand appealed to me because of the simplicity of the 7-part framework. This episode isn’t about breaking down that framework, but if you are interested in learning more, definitely check out episode 164 for an overview.

The simplicity made my research brain happy. Everything had a place and a time. It just fit. But there was a moment when I realized that the book wasn’t going to be enough to help me figure out my messaging.

Building a comprehensive messaging ecosystem is complicated and requires many different facets and strategies. To say we only need the book is like saying a sailor only needs a compass to cross the ocean. When they really need sonar, maps, a second set of eyes in the tricky passes, and countless other tools to keep their vessel safe.

In fact, one of my private clients came to me because they had read the Building a StoryBrand book and were lost as to how to implement everything effectively. Think about all of the people that join Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula course despite having read his book called Launch that goes through the formula.

If a book were enough to create a full messaging ecosystem then authors wouldn’t be sharing their information in other ways in addition to books. It would seem like if that is the only needed resource to experience success then they wouldn’t need to have courses, communities, or offer 1:1 training/coaching.

Having read the book, I knew I needed something more. And me being me, I decided that becoming an expert in the framework was the way to go. I became a StoryBrand Certified Guide and along the way had access to the secret to making StoryBrand work in my business.

In addition to discovering the secret to making StoryBrand effective in any business, I also uncovered the most important part of the StoryBrand framework and I’ll share that with you toward the end of today’s episode.

The Secret Behind StoryBrand Success

Enough suspense. What is the secret to making StoryBrand work in your business? It is so simple that I felt like I deserved a “duh!”.

A book will provide quality information as a starting point, but the real progress comes from the implementation with a second set of eyes. Now before you worry that I’m pitching something right now, I’m not.

I’m sharing what I have found to be true time and again because I suffered for the first year and a half of my business.

When we are creating a messaging ecosystem that is magnetic we are just too close to it all to be objective. We see our words, our ideas differently because we have already internalized the importance of what we do. We are masters of our craft and are ready to share that expertise with others.

In other words, we automatically read between the lines.

It is kind of like a child who is just learning to read. They sound out every letter and syllable of every word. Whereas after they’ve been reading awhile, they can skim a line and, using context clues, tell you what the sentence says pretty quickly. They made some assumptions, filled in some blanks, and read the sentence in one fell swoop.

The same thing happens in our business. We are so used to what we offer, how we help, and who we help that our words might be missing the key components that someone new might need.

When a digital entrepreneur gets a second set of eyes on their messaging, someone who is familiar with their business but not a member of their business can open up the gaping holes that exist.

This is exactly what happened when I became a Guide. During training, we got a lot of sets of eyes on our messaging and got feedback. Each round of feedback uncovered more areas for improvement and clarity.

The secret to magnetic messaging using the StoryBrand framework is to get feedback and as I said earlier, there is a specific piece of the framework that you absolutely have to nail in order to make that messaging nice and strong. I’ll share that with you in just a few moments, but first let’s talk about this week’s action item.

Action Item: Get Feedback

If the secret to implementing StoryBrand effectively in your business is to get feedback, it seems fitting that this week’s action item is to find someone to look at your messaging and identify not just what is working, but the holes that need to be filled in with more detail, more persuasive examples, and of course whether you’ve nailed the piece of the framework that will pull your potential client in that I’ll be sharing in today’s Sixty-Second Solution before we wrap up the episode.

But what does asking for feedback look like?

You can ask in a Facebook group, but we’ve all had that experience where we posted something and just needed a simple answer. We post and then the regret sets in when we get 8 more suggestions and no one likes the original ideas that we proposed. It is enough to make us pull out our hair.

Isn’t it better to get help that is tailored to your business and needs than to get 10 responses from people who may not know your perspective, vision, or needs?

What is the solution?

If you have a trusted advisor in your business, reach out to them and ask for feedback on your messaging. It is uncomfortable, but gosh the best growth comes from those moments of discomfort. Give them specific questions to consider and items to review. If you do not have a trusted advisor, mentor, or coach, this week might be the time to consider that next step in your business.

Creating a Strategy for Growth

Growth in your business is all about strategy. But finding the right strategy, like the secret I shared today about making sure you get an unbiased second set of eyes on your messaging for honest, critical feedback, can be tough to find on your own.

You know that I’m open about sharing my experiences on the podcast, but one thing I know after 15 years as a college professor and coach is that we can’t get everything from a book, or even from the amazing resources out there. We need 1:1 guidance because the resources are just 10% of the overall strategy for growth, the other 90% is mindset.

If you are listening today and realizing that you are ready to take the next steps in your business and get 1:1 customized, tailored help with building your digital course creation business, let’s have a talk. Send me a DM at DigitalCourseCreatorGuide on Instagram or Facebook, and yes I really mean it. I respond to every message I receive.

Now I know that not everyone is ready for a 1:1 Coach or mentor, but you might still have questions, need help getting unstuck, or just plotting out your next step. I’m here for that as well, because we all deserve to have support in our business. If you need a little extra support, I hold at least two slots each week for strategy calls that are designed to help you get unstuck and take action in your business. These are free, no obligation calls and you can schedule your call at coursecalls.com.

If you are ready to make the next 12 months THE year that you go from being an uncertain Course Creator to a Six Figure Course Creator, schedule a strategy call today. Again, the link to schedule is coursecalls.com.

Sixty-Second Solution

Speaking of creating a solid strategy in your business, I promised you the strategic, key piece of the StoryBrand framework that will create magnetic messaging for your potential clients is the problems section of the framework.

When a client knows that you understand what they are feeling, what they are doing that isn’t working, and can even identify the bigger picture issues that are causing them pain right now, you gain their trust.

You are taking the time to understand what they are going through and that is what makes the StoryBrand framework so powerful. Our messaging becomes magnetic when our potential clients stand up and say, “That’s me!”

So be sure to spend extra time on the problems section of the StoryBrand framework.

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