According to Storybrand there are 7 things that make up an effective story. To be clear, story is any marketing message your business sends. The 7 things are:

  1. The character
  2. The problem
  3. The guide
  4. The plan to solve the problem
  5. Call to action
  6. Results
  7. Success or failure

For more details on those 7 things then you should watch the great 20 minute video they have describing the entire Storybrand framework. We’re not going to cover their whole framework. We are going to take a look at the top 4 issues with getting your story — or your WHY, depending on how you think about it — across to your customers. After you read this, take a look at the WHY we developed earlier in the month and evaluate your marketing against your WHY, with these 4 problems in mind.

1. You as the hero

The first and biggest problem is that you make yourself into the hero of the story. You’re going to sweep in and solve all the problems with your service. While that may sound okay, the truth is that your customers want to be the hero. You should be the guide. Think of yourself as the Yoda of the story, providing pivotal training and information at the right time so your client can win. Your client takes that information and wins the day.

2. Unclear problem

The second big mistake with your marketing message is that you don’t have a clear problem you can solve. You’ve only got 5 seconds when someone comes to your site to convince them that you can solve a problem they have. In that 5 seconds your prospects are expected to read many huge blocks of text, which they don’t really care about.

Have one clear issue you can solve for them, stated in 5, maybe 10, words and a call to action. That’s it. Drop all the other amazing things about your business.

3. No plan or unclear plan

When prospects come to you, they want a plan to follow. Unfortunately for most service providers there are about 20 different options on their site. I’ve written a whole series about finding a niche and marketing to it, so start there.

I’m also writing a book called Finding and Marketing to your Niche. Get on my email list to find out about it first.

Read that series above. Find your niche and then put together a clear short plan that your prospects can understand. Let them know what the plan is and then keep all the other crap you can do out of the way.

4. Never asking for the sale

This is the final issue, and if you’re doing everything else right, you can still have a terrible business if you don’t do this last thing.

You need to ask the prospect for a sale!!!

If you can’t ask for the sale, you’re clearly not comfortable with the services you provide. If you’re not confident enough in your services to ask for a sale, then why on earth would a client purchase from you?

[Tweet “If you can’t ask for the sale, you’re clearly not comfortable with the services you provide”]

They won’t, and they aren’t. If you want to have a successful business you need to learn to ask for the sale. This even starts with your website. Right on the homepage have a big obvious button where people can book a consult, or book an onsite visit or…whatever suits your business.

If you can take some time this week and address these 4 issues with your marketing, you’re going to start attracting better clients and start making more sales.

If you want to take the guess work out of marketing get my book Finding and Marketing to Your Niche for my 3 step marketing plan.

photo credit: brickresort cc