In February 2018, I attended a Live Story Brand workshop in Nashville to improve my insurance site's messaging.
At the time, I had ZERO idea that just 4 months later, I would be selling that same site for multiple 7 digits.
Here I am, happy & loving the event...
Let me be clear in saying my site didn't become worth millions from StoryBrand alone. I worked on the site for years growing its traffic to 70,000+ free Google visits per month and 2500 leads per month.
After the workshop, I did make multiple updates to my site (InsuranceBlogbyChris.com) which by buyer would later tell me affected their decision to purchase AND how much they were willing to pay me.
The bottom line is I was able to create something more than just traffic and leads. I had created a brand.
Here are 7 ways I improved the site prior to selling, which I estimate fetched me at least an extra half million.
#1 - I Turned My "Ordinary" Customers into Heroes
One of the things you learn in StoryBrand is people long to transform.
... to be something better.
- To be built like Captain America
- to captivate an audience like Gary Vee
- to be a millionaire philanthropist like Bill Gates
In my space, life insurance, the goal can't be to get someone a policy.
That's SUPER boring.
So after some brainstorming, my team and I agreed. We wanted our clients to feel like SUPER HEROES after they bought a policy.
That may sound cheesy but if you have the power to provide for your family even if you're gone, that's some life-after-death super hero power in my book.
So we created calls to action like these:
As you can see we didn't just call them super heroes, but were consistent with the imagery drawing capes on them, and in this case, putting this young girl on her dad's shoulders.
Bottom Line: Define the transformation you want your customer to experience and WHO you want them to be after doing business with you, and tailor your marketing content to show it.
#2 - I Created a Clear 3 Step Plan Showing Our Site Visitors How to Do Business with Us
Are you making it easy to do business with you?
Your prospects are human (and therefore, lazy) and want to burn as few calories as possible if they are going to work with you.
A great way to show them how EASY it is to move forward with you is by giving them a quick 3 step plan.
So after attending the workshop, I added the following "Hero for Life" Plan to our site:
Once they requested a free quote, on the quote results page, I also told them what to expect next so they could get to step 2, our "Quick 'n Easy Application," by adding this video:
The combination of this 3 step plan and the follow-up video drove sales through the roof.
In fact, the last few months before I sold the site, we hit record sales numbers in every month.
For you, giving your prospects and easy way to do business with you might be as simple as:
- Download our free software
- Watch our how-to video
- Start using the software and enjoy your results!
Bottom Line: Create a 3 or 4 step easy path your prospects can follow to work with you.
#3 - I Forced My Prospects to Choose Between Success and Failure
When you're getting to the end of a blog article, or Youtube video, or podcast, and it's time for you to call your audience to action, here's what to do.
Draw a line in the sand.
... and make them choose a side.
It's the proverbial "fork in the road." Remind them how great life will be if they take care of this problem RIGHT NOW, and how horrible their life will be if they do nothing or go to a competitor.
Here's a sample section I added to multiple blog posts.
Notice the Success language:
- you'll be able to provide for your family even if you're not here
- It's hero time
- it's like "life-after-death" powers
And Notice the Failure Language:
- life insurance is going to get more expensive if you wait
- you'll leave your family's well being to chance
- they could face serious obstacles without you
The pages we added this wording to all increased in conversion. I couldn't tell you by how much, because we also added other elements from this page but clearly the overall impact was better conversion.
Great Copy to Force Your Audience to Make a Choice
Here are a few ways I like to end every sales page or sales message. These phrases work great to force your audience choose between failure or success.
- "And now it's time to make a choice."
- "It's decision time."
- "You're at the crossroads."
Follow up this statement reminding them what success and failure look like and buying from you will be an absolute no brainer.
Bottom Line: Given a choice between success and failure, more prospects will choose success Make them choose!
Clarify Your Message So People Listen
#4 - I Created a Villain
Have you ever noticed how a lot of brands personify their customers "enemy" by creating a character?
Think of "Mayhem" at Allstate.
Or the little mucus blobs with arms and legs that apparently live in our noses when we have a cold. Thanks a lot Mucinex!
In the life insurance space, the real risk is dying without coverage which could leave your family unprepared to pay bills like the mortgage, grocery bills, or help your kids go to school.
So for us, we decided to create a villain we called "Mr. D" which was inspired by the grim reaper character in the "Meet Joe Black" movie.
The idea is that if we don't take care of our life insurance needs, we could be leaving our family's financial future in the hands of Mr. D, who is lurking and waiting for his chance to wreak havoc on our family.
Then we positioned our insurance as the solution to CRUSH DEATH.
I'll admit, not everyone loved or agreed on Mr. D.
But all the pages where we added him saw increased conversions, so we left him on the site.
Bottom Line: Create an enemy for your prospects and personify it. Then position your brand as the TNT to blow that enemy to shreds.
#5 - I Focused on My Prospect's Problems
One of my biggest successes came when I started implementing the following formula to my article introductions:
- If/Then Opening - Call out exactly who I'm speaking to (like 50 to 59 year olds below)
- Call to Action for the Typical Best option - I'd give people a CTA that would work for many of them
- Point out Problems We May Need to Sidestep - by identifying 3 to 4 problems early on (they probably already know they have 1 or 2 of them) we were able to show them that we understand their problem and also hook them into reading more by bringing up problems they perhaps hadn't considered.
Here's an example:
Want to string your prospect along for an entire blog post, or video, or podcast without losing them?
Talk about their problems.
All good stories have multiple problems in the plot.
Take one of my favorites, "Finding Nemo." Besides the main problem that Nemo needs to be rescued, think of ALL the problems the characters face along the way:
- Marlin loses the boat
- Then he meets Dory who slows him down b/c she has amnesia
- Then they tangle with the sharks
- Then Bruce the shark tries to eat them
- Then they drop the mask
- Then the creepy fish in the dark tries to eat them
- Then Dory gets stung by a jelly fish
- Then they get trapped in a whale
It goes ON and ON and ON and that's why you never lose interest as a viewer. So take a hint from "Finding Nemo" and talk about your customers' problems more.
Bottom Line: If you stop talking about your customers' problems, they'll lose interest and disengage.
In the end, adding these StoryBrand elements to my website dramatically increased its real and perceived value.
If you haven't taken the course or attended the live workshop, I highly recommend that you do.
You may be struggling to convert clients, to get email signups, or subscribers to your Youtube channel. By taking the course or live workshop, you'll finally be able to clarify all your marketing collateral that engages your prospects, turns them into customers, so you can grow your business.
Clarify Your Message So People Listen
*Please note I'm a paid affiliate for StoryBrand, so I will earn a commission if you purchase anything through them. This is provided at NO additional cost to you. StoryBrand has been huge for my business and I'd recommend them regardless.