This is part 2 of how to harness the power of narrative to clarify your marketing messages and sell anything with Story Brand. Find part 1 here.

4. Gives the hero a plan

After you have presented yourself as the guide by showing that you understand the hero's problem and that you know how to solve it, it's time to actually help the hero by giving them a plan to slay their proverbial dragon.

Seeing that you're trying to sell something here, this is where you are going to introduce your product. But the plan is more than simply 'buy this'.

Imagine the hero is a supposed to cross a creek with fast flowing water. You, the guide, are right there, beside the water, trying to convince them to take a particular route that you know to be safe. Your plan is akin to pointing at the stones in the creek that the hero can step on to get to the other side.

Your plan needs to do two things, namely it will clarify what the hero needs to do and remove perceived risk at the same time.

  1. Clarify: 3 steps to take that would lead the hero to a sale; or alternatively how they would use the product.
  2. Remove perceived risk: list the agreements you make with the customer to alleviate fears they may have and assure them that you can be trusted. This includes any guarantees around payment, warrantees, return policies etcetera.

You may feel like you're stating the obvious in your plan, but what's obvious to you may not be obvious to your potential customer. Think of the plans that come with IKEA furniture and how many people still mess that up. Always err on the side of clarity.

A good plan will make the hero think: "Oh great, this is not as hard as I thought! I can do this."

For our power rack example, this would be a good plan:

  • Secure payment with credit card, debit card or paypal
  • Free 3-day delivery
  • Installation plan included (demonstration video link here)
  • 30 day no questions asked return policy
  • 10 year warrantee on the entire construction

5. Call to action

You may think that it's obvious what you want your customer to do now. After all, you've explained the path that you want them to follow, so now they'll just go ahead and buy your product, right?

Well, they might...

But it's actually really valuable to actively call you customer to action at this point, articulating exactly what you want them to do right now.

Think about it. Up to this point, your potential customer has just been passively consuming the information you've been feeding them, but now it's time for them to start engaging with you. So you need to shake them up and wake them up to the fact that it's their turn to take action.

There are two ways you can do this, namely direct and transitional.

A direct call to action aims to really close a sale directly at this point. These are the "buy now" or "download" or "schedule your appointment today" calls you see everywhere. By the way, the reason you see them everywhere is simple: they work.

A transitional call to action is more indirect and aims to establish or deepen the relationship with your potential customer if they're not ready to buy yet, so that they will remember you when they are ready.

For our power rack, these are some possible calls to action:

Direct:

  • buy now
  • add to cart

Transitional:

  • Download our e-book: 30 exercises you can do with just a barbell
  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date about promotions
  • Subscribe to our Youtube channel
  • Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a $100 gift card

In part 3 of this series, we'll go over the last two components of the Storybrand: failure and success.