StoryBrand is a communications blueprint for engaging the psychology of your customers and is used to clarify your message and get more conversions.

Let's take a look at how it works.

The truth is "most small businesses marketing isn't working."

Marketing becomes about the brand or the product and not the person buying the product. Yes, a customer is interested in your business but only in what they can get from it. How many times do you see websites that are all about them selling themselves and trying to impress their customers? Take a moment and think about it — the funny thing is it's not just small and medium businesses that waste marketing dollars in this way. Millions are being wasted in the top end of town as well.

Problem: Most small businesses don't have the budget for high-quality marketing.

But what is high-quality marketing, visuals, and written communication that uses psychology to influence the customer's decision? The decision that you want them to make.

What is storybrand marketing?

It's about being clear and engaging, it's about making you the business or coach the guide and your customer the hero. It's about not wasting calories figuring things out and making it simple so that even a caveman knows in seconds what you do and is tempted.

Marketers for many years have referred to the power of stories to engage their customers. Instagram is all about story and imagery to tell that story, not that I'm a user, but the general population knows the power of telling stories to engage the audience. They often just don't do a very good job of it. I could tell you my story and put you to sleep because it's about me. Or I could tell my story and invite you into it in a way that has meaning.

Then theirs the persona of a customer, one story will be engaging to one person but not the next.

My mum doesn't care that I love to develop websites in Oxygen until I tell her I build websites so that it makes it easy for her to buy her hair products online.

Let's review a general outline of what should be included as a Storybrand website:

1. Communicate how your product or brand makes your customer's life better

2. Stakes - what if your hero doesn't engage your product or service - People psychologically don't fear the idea of losing something. What's the impact look like, will you go to more lengths to not lose one hundred dollars compared to earning one hundred dollars?  Think about this the next time you shop for the best deal online and the hours it takes you to save that ten dollars.

3. Points of your service provision and what your customer gets if they engage with your brand.

4. Introduce the business or you with customer logs and/or testimonials (wow, your number 4) — Establish authority.

5. Price choices - Your customer is sold on the idea, but the last question is always a price. Making it easy to buy and easy to figure out.

6. Your customers plan to engage with your product and services - Simple 3-4 steps

7. Explainer - A one-liner and then expanding on this

8. Lead generator - Catchy title, sales line that will get an email address.

Further Strategies for the StoryBrand idea:

While I haven't seen the author Donald Miller go through the ideas of Product Launch Content (PLCs), I know that these are important in nurturing and selling to your customer if the website alone can't do it. They offer anticipation and touchpoints to get them over the line by providing free offerings before a product launch.

For more information on "Product Launch Formulae," PLF have read of the book by Jeff Walker called "Launch" which set's out the different phases of a sale using free Prelaunch Content. PLC. I see this playing an integral part in the lead generator.

Back to StoryBrand

9. Junkdraw - FAQs and other detailed information that contains the stuff you wanted to include elsewhere is important to SEO.

Why I needed StoryBrand and why you need it to.

I'm not a writer, I'm only ok with words. I'm a developer, and I always, always overcomplicate everything in my life. It's a curse,  my brain is so mixed with thoughts and emotions I need a structure to clarify my thoughts to make things simple so that I can repeat them over and over again.

About a month ago, I came across StoryBrand while involved in a digital mastermind with some other marketers. They looked at this website and said, "Jase, I don't know what you do; it takes me way too long to figure it out". This also reinforced the feedback I had from a couple of RWD members "I think it's a great idea but it took me a while to figure it out." Thanks, James and Leah.

Who developed it?

Storybrand was developed by an American writer by the name of Donald Miller and became popular around five years ago in 2017 when he wrote his StoryBrand book.

What is interesting is that Australia has only dribs and drabs of marketers using this to its true effect. Donald's story is engaging, and his book is a must-buy in my opinion. I'm also enrolled in his course at "Business Made Simple". I'd love to go down the certified provider route. 10k US is a lot of cash, and I do not doubt if I were a writer, this would be more than worth it. But I'm not.

Generally, does storybrand work?

I was recently involved in another mastermind where one of the participants had to run a mock sales call, and we provided feedback. He did well, but it was interesting how others in my group reviewed his sales pitch.

Do customers care that you use StoryBrand? Really do they want to know the details of what you're going to do with the strategy, or do they want to know the numbers? How many more sales will I get if I use this thing?

It took me some searching, and of course, this is going to be not clear cut, but one case study provided suggests they saw up to 800% increase in conversions.   

What's a BrandScript, then, and how is this different to StoryBrand?

BrandScrits are short-to-point outlines, no more than a couple of sentences that come out of the StoryBrand framework and enable you to repeat a message in all of your marketing material being clear and consistent, customer centred.

While it could be compared similar to a mission statement, a company could have one that tells employees what the goals are.

As simply as possible:

A BrandScript is more customer-focused, and key it identifies their internal challenge. Finally, calling them to some action.

Marketing agency:

"We help clients get their product in front of more customers. So that they can grow and their customers get the benefit of x."

Five top storybrand websites

1. Coffee Hit UK The agency that built this website has some compelling stats on growth as a result of the use of Storybrand

StoryBrand Coffee Shop

Proven StoryBrand Results

2. Accounting Complete

Accounting StoryBrand

3. Zen founder - I'd say almost my favourite example, given its simplicity.

Zen StoryBrand

4. Results and co. - An agency practising what they preach clearly identifies you as the hero, the product, the stakes and the process. A clear call to action is repeated throughout.

Results and co StoryBrand

Storybrand Guide, Business Made Simple University

5. The Happier Sleeper - You see StoryBrand clearly at work here with a very simple structure. I also love their lead gen which wasn't in all of the previous examples but is clearly an easy win and a must.

Happy Sleeper StoryBrand


Results Baby Sleep


A fairly comprehensive list of 202 examples StoryBrand websites can be found at another American-based agency located in Colorado, Clearbrand. This one is endorsed by Donald Millar himself and is great if your looking for inspiration. Certified StoryBrand guide.

Storybrand tools

If you are interested and just getting started with StoryBrand, head over to My Story Brand, and you can use their tool for free to generate one Storybrand free of charge

StoryBrand Book 2017

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller 2017

Marketing Made Simple

Marketing Made Simple 2020

Are you a copywriter who uses StoryBrand framework and is located in regional Australia. We'd love to hear from you.


One frustration we have in regional Australia is the bargain basement 2.5K website and I'm not sure if it's limited to regional areas but there are a few challenges here that I think freelancers and agencies need to look at more closely when pricing to this level.

Problems with a 2.5K website
  1. If you're trying to do the whole project yourself then your trying to do everything good but not great. The term "Jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind does't it.
  2. You should not be trying. to do the work of a specialist yourself - it's not only greedy but it's stupid. Consider:
    1. You get sick and can't build a website, are you not replaceable, what happens to your bills?
    2. How do you keep your skills up across the different areas.
    3. How is your family going? when did you see them last or are you working an 80 hour week?
    4. Your limiting yourself to the amount of projects you can be involved with.
    5. You're doing a disservice to your customer by not providing high qualtiy to all of the elements going into their website.
    6. You're limiting the ability for your customer to scale the project and provide additional opportunities you'll find during a discovery.
  3. You're setting a presedent that this is how much a website should cost in regional Australia.
  4. If you are paying others for service then your certainly not even breaking even on the project.
  5. You're cutting corners such as using a DIY builder and template. This has it's own inherit prolems for you as a business feeding a giant money making machine but even here you won't make a profit unless you're maybe doing websites on the side of your main income and even then what's your weekends worth to you.

Let's break things down a little further because I"m sure many of you still think $2500 is possible, has to be possible when our overseas competitors charge $500 for a website.

Let's break it down at a very low hourly rate of $100 (This is CHEAP)
  • Base Fee ($500) pays for licensing setup of infrastrcuture, DNS
  • Discovery ($500) should not be free and has to involve keyword and competitor research to be successful
  • 5 pages UX ($500) wireframes 100x5
  • 5 page UI Concepts ($500)
  • Copy ($500)
  • 5 page Development ($500)
  • Project managment ($200)
  • Launch Fee ($300) includes time for setting up Google analytics, 301 redirects, mobile testing, broken links and optimisation.

Total $4000

There are some shortcuts I've taken here such as photography which we always include with our websites as mandatory which would easily take the website to 5k.

So you think your different and you can still do it

Most of you won't include discovery which in itself is a disservice. You don't take your car to a mechanic and say there's something wrong and expect them to spend time for free figuring out what "there's something wrong with my car" actually means. We accept that this is part of the process.

Next time you have a customer ask how much a website is going to cost don't think of it as your pricing a website. Ask them how much they're prepared to "spend" on the process and if they say someone can do it for $2k-2.5k and if you can't persuade them a website at that cost is not going to be of any value then maybe it's a website you shouldn't be doing at all and go work at Woolworths or Coles for more money.

No wonder so many regional marketers are burning out.

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