Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Non-Fiction, Reviews

Building a StoryBrand

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching readers the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Okay, so this book may seem like it’s kind of a niche interest, but it’s actually really good and is applicable to anyone building a company or building their own personal brand! Storytelling in marketing is super powerful. I think most people understand this on some level. Just think about your favorite brands…chances are they’re telling great stories!

Building a StoryBrand really lays out how to use storytelling to accelerate your brand’s results by discovering how to craft a message you’re customers want to and need to hear. It walks you step-by-step through the framework and explains the concepts in a clear, easy-to-read format.

I’ve also read Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels. While I liked that book a lot, I think Building a StoryBrand is easier for a non-marketing person to understand. The examples Donal Miller gives are a little more tangible and aren’t necessarily bound up with the online world. I think sometimes people who aren’t digital natives (and even some that are) struggle with concepts when they are tied up with the digital space. It’s a lot easier to understand an example from a movie, a book, or even a company that sells physical products like cars or t-shirts.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the concept and explains why storytelling is so powerful for brands. The second section is where you get to go through the StoryBrand framework and create a script for your brand. The third part shows you what you can do with your StoryBrand script once you have one.

After reading the book, I went online to MyStoryBrand.com where you can actually fill out the framework for yourself. Even though it’s been a little bit since I finished the book, the notes at the end of each chapter helped me quickly remember what each part of the framework was about and fill out my StoryBrand script.

Even if you don’t run a company or have anything to sell, this book is great for anyone who is building a personal brand, running an organization, or just managing an entity that needs an identity. This book makes the concept of storytelling easy to understand, develop, and implement!

Business, Personal Development, Self-Help

The Storyteller’s Secret

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo

How did a Venice Beach T-shirt vendor become television’s most successful producer? How did an entrepreneur who started in a garage create the most iconic product launches in business history? How did a timid pastor’s son overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking to captivate sold-out crowds at Yankee Stadium, twice? How did a human rights attorney earn TED’s longest standing ovation, and how did a Facebook executive launch a movement to encourage millions of women to “lean in”?

They told brilliant stories.

In The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don’t, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and communication expert Carmine Gallo reveals the keys to telling powerful stories that inspire, motivate, educate, build brands, launch movements, and change lives. The New York Times has called a well-told story “a strategic tool with irresistible power” – the proof lies in the success stories of 50 icons, leaders, and legends featured in The Storyteller’s Secret: entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Sara Blakely, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Sheryl Sandberg; spellbinding speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, and Malala Yousafzai; and business leaders behind famous brands such as Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Wynn Resorts, Whole Foods, and Pixar. Whether your goal is to educate, fundraise, inspire teams, build an award-winning culture, or to deliver memorable presentations, a story is your most valuable asset and your competitive advantage.

In The Storyteller’s Secret, Gallo explains why the brain is hardwired to love stories – especially rags-to-riches stories – and how the latest science can help you craft a persuasive narrative that wins hearts and minds. “The art of storytelling can be used to drive change,” says billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. And since the next decade will see the most change our civilization has ever known, your story will radically transform your business, your life, and the lives of those you touch. Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story. Your story can change the world. Isn’t it time you shared yours?

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I’ve always believed that stories are powerful. That’s why I became a writer and later got interested in marketing. I believe marketing and writing have a lot in common – they both deal with the art of telling a good story and communicating ideas to other people. I did a talk on marketing last year and I mentioned how when I hire marketing people, one of the things I look for is writing skill. Because if you’ve made it through 13 years of compulsory education plus however many years you spent in college and you still can’t write well, I’m not going to be able to fix that. I can teach you to Facebook and to Instagram and to design email blasts. But if all the teachers who came before me couldn’t turn you into a writer, why do I think I’ll be any more successful?

Anyway.

When I saw The Storyteller’s Secret on display in an airport window, I knew I had to buy it and read it. I didn’t even look up any reviews, I just snapped a picture of it and when I next went to buy something on Amazon, I added it to my cart and started reading the book the same day it showed up at my house.

What makes this book interesting is not that it’s particularly ground-breaking or earth-shattering. I’ve read enough self-improvement and business books over the last 2.5 years to realize that a lot of the same stories end up in the pages of different books. But the repetition doesn’t make them any less powerful. And it doesn’t make me feel any less motivated because I’ve heard that story before. So in that way, even though the The Storyteller’s Secret features the stories of people like Steve Jobs and John Lasseter (read Jobs’ biography last year), Malala (been following her story since the news first broke), and Martin Luther King Jr., an inspiring story is still an inspiring story. And The Storyteller’s Secret contains over 37 of them, succinctly summarized, categorized, and broken down to include a key “takeaway” at the end of each chapter. Plus, the storyteller’s toolkit at the end of the book is an invaluable resource that can help you get back on track if you’re struggling to tell a story that really and truly connects with your audience.

If you don’t yet understand the power of story in marketing and selling your brand, pick up The Storyteller’s Secret. This will be a book you keep on the shelf for years to come, to pick up when you need a moment’s inspiration.

Remember: Anyone who tells you words don’t have power and words don’t matter is a fool. Words can start movements or change the tide of war. And if words can do those things, just imagine what they can do for your brand…