Mike: 00:02 – Once upon a time there was a business owner who wanted to solve a problem: a lack of clients. This owner decided to use marketing and heard about StoryBrand, but the entrepreneur didn’t know a thing about it and turned to the friendly people on Two-Brain Radio who laid out actionable steps that would help the business owner avoid bankruptcy and find great financial success. If you’re listening, you might just be that business owner. If that’s the case, I’m your guide, Mike Warkentin, here with another guide, Two-Brain mentor Jay Williams. Think of us as Yoda and Ben Kenobi to your Luke Skywalker, except we aren’t teaching you about the force. We’re talking about StoryBrand. I’m back with the rest of the show right after this. Bunch of gym owners added $5,000 a month in revenue after talking with one of our mentors. If you want to hear the story and learn the secrets to business success, you can talk to a Two-Brain Business mentor for free. Book a call at twobrainbusiness.com today.
Mike: 00:48 – And now we are back talking StoryBrand. It is “Building a StoryBrand” 2017 book by Donald Miller. It was a best seller. It’s still popular on Amazon, not his first bestseller. Donald wrote “Blue Like Jazz,” it was a New York Times bestseller in 2003. He generally writes on faith, God, self-discovery and things of that nature. He is now the CEO of StoryBrand. The blunt tagline on the website is “workshops to help you clarify your message.” It is a direct uppercut that tells you within five seconds exactly what is going to happen if you engage with this program and that’s on purpose. We’re going to talk about that in a sec. They now offer live workshops for about 3k and they have certifications to become a StoryBrand guide. We’re going to get into the details, but the short version is this. According to StoryBrand, your clients do not want to hear you talk about yourself. They want you to talk about them and all the awesome stuff your business can help them do. Two-Brain mentor Jay Williams attended a StoryBrand workshop so we’re going to hear his tale and talk about what he learned. Jay, how are you doing today?
Jay: 01:48 – Great. How are you Mike?
Mike: 01:49 – I’m good. Did I bore you with talking too much about myself?
Jay: 01:54 – No, I’m still in the story.
Mike: 01:55 – Good, good. The story is still working, so that’s good. We’ll get right into it. This episode of Two-Brain Radio syncs up with Chris Cooper’s work this week in the blogs, so be sure to check that out and be sure to subscribe for more stuff. So, StoryBrand. I want to know your story. How did you hear about StoryBrand? Why did you attend the workshop?
Jay: 02:15 – So, you know, I’m always looking for ways to kind of improve the marketing message and I had heard about the book and some of the processes a while back. It was floating around in our private Facebook group and for some reason I do just avoided it. I don’t know why, maybe the original person that recommend it I didn’t trust them or something. I finally got around to listening to the book and it was one of those things where I listened to it and I immediately was like, ah, right, I need to do this right away. And so usually when that happens, what I’ll do is just look for more information. I actually bought the physical copy of the book, listened to it again and wrote notes and started kind of doing the exercises in book and I went and checked out the online course. I went through the exercises in the online course and I kind of more or less created the script to talk about my business.
Mike: 03:10 – So you’re drinking from the fire hose right away.
Jay: 03:11 – Oh yeah. I mean it was one of those things where it put together a bunch of stuff that I had done research on in the past. I read a bunch of copywriting books and that kind of thing. And there was always something there about like, how do you tell a story? And they usually kind of touch on it, but this actually digs into what is a story and why the story is important. So, after going through all of that, I had already kind of redesigned my website. I started running some ads with some of the new stories and I had enough success where I thought, I wonder if there’s a deeper level. So that’s why.
Mike: 03:51 – I gotta jump in right now. Did you see success right away when you started changing your approach?
Jay: 03:56 – You know, what I saw was better conversions. It wasn’t like I had more people coming in; it wasn’t like the language was drawing more people in, but the people that did come were more in line with the message that I wanted to send. So I mean just a really simple example like you think about like a Facebook ad for example, right? If you’re trying to get the highest converting ad, you’re going to put a certain picture up there, right? Or you know, the one that gets the most clicks, you’re gonna put a certain picture on there. If you’re trying to get the one that brings you the right people, you’re going to put a different picture. And the message you’re going to send is different. So I’m not going to use you know act now and do all this kind of stuff on the ad after I went through this workshop. I’m going to start the story that I want them to be a part of. And the folks that are really interested are going to see that picture. They’re going to see the beginning of the story and they’re going to go, Oh, that’s me. I saw pretty fast results.
Mike: 05:01 – Yeah, so you’re seeing results and you decide, OK, I got to go right to the horse’s mouth, so to speak, and I’ve got to go take the take the course.
Jay: 05:09 – Yeah. Yeah. And you know, here’s the thing, like it’s not a revolution. It’s kind of like copywriting 101. I mean, it’s like you have to know your audience and you have to write for your audience, use as few words as possible and make sure that you’re resonating with them. The way that they frame it that makes it different is they talk about how to tell the story so that people feel like they are the hero of the story.
Mike: 05:38 – You know, I’ll jump in just because what you brought up is really important. Like it’s not necessarily a new idea. It’s probably just framed better than a lot of people. And the thing that’s really interesting I saw was, it’s a Lego ad from 1978 and it’s a cute kid. She’s holding a, I don’t know, it’s a dinosaur or something she made out of Lego. And the tagline here is, look what I built with Lego. And this was held up as an example of the StoryBrand concept in practice, you know, 40 years ago or whatever because instead of saying Lego is a super safe toy for children and blah, blah, blah, all the things that, you know, features and benefits talk, this was the story where this kid built this amazing thing. And so this concept is around, and I have some examples I’ll throw at you later on of the stuff in practice so people get a good idea of it. But tell me more about the conference.
Jay: 06:19 – Yeah. So, I mean the conference was great. They basically go through the same framework. I mean I would say that like you can get a lot of the information just by going through the exercises and iterating and iterating and iterating. But they go through the framework and you get some coaching and it kind of gives you a different view. You get to bounce the ideas off of other people. Nashville is a pretty cool place to visit. But really like the biggest thing I got from that is not a completely new look at my story, the thing I got from it is that you have to make a decision and ship your story, right? It’s sorta like you could go back and forth and around and around and figuring out the right story, but you have to deliver. And that’s the biggest thing that I got from showing up in person.
Mike: 07:13 – Let me ask details quickly. Is it a one day, two day course? How long is it?
Jay: 07:16 – Yeah. So it’s a two-day course. You go and the first day you basically develop your script and then the second day you figure out ways to market your script, right? So you’re basically figure out the script of your customers. I can kind of break down how that works. And then the second day is like, OK, now that you have that script, you create a one liner so that if someone asks you what you do you have an answer.
Mike: 07:40 – And that’s the tagline that I read from their website, that punch in the face as soon as you see it, right?
Jay: 07:45 – Yeah, exactly. Or you know, and then it tells you, you know, what you should have on your website and then it tells you what kind of lead magnet you should create and then what your email search.
Mike: 07:55 – And am I right, $3,000 U.S.?
Jay: 07:58 – Yes.
Mike: 08:00 – OK. Was it worth it?
Jay: 08:04 – I got a lot out of it. I think you could get what you need by researching the book and doing some things online. Ultimately, just like anything else, the big benefit of going in person is that you actually do it.
Mike: 08:18 – You’ve got some financial investment. You’re forced to do it. I know you’re an action guy, so that probably helps you out when it’s like time to go. Let’s go. So that pressure of being there in person probably helps you just fire and get it done.
Jay: 08:31 – Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of theory behind all this stuff. It’s important to know it, but you got to take the action.
Mike: 08:36 – OK. So talk to me about the stuff you learned. You’ve obviously implemented some of this stuff and seen some results already, but what we’re going to talk about what you learned, and then kind of give you some ideas about how gym owners and other business owners can do this stuff and make their sites and marketing better.
Jay: 08:51 – Yeah. So I think there’s a couple of things. A couple of like truths that they give you that I resonated with. One of them is that people do not buy the best products, right? They buy the ones that are the clearest. And the point is like if you clarify your message, then people will listen. So if there’s anything that in your messaging that is unclear, people just tune it out. And I mean we’ve all seen that the more you write, it’s like if you write 10,000 words, people are not going to read through all that. But if you have an amazing quote, you know, people will resonate with it.
Mike: 09:34 – And you get into huge amounts of fitness industry jargon and things that gym owners might think is important but the customer doesn’t where you’re like, you know, I’m a NSCA certified CSCS and people like that’s just a bunch of alphabets. I don’t even know what that is. I don’t care. How can you make me look better naked, right. There’s a jargon, all sorts of stuff that’s just, really like jargon in marketing is just bad. That’s always been bad. So clarifying that with StoryBrand is a really, really great thing for everyone.
Jay: 09:56 – Yeah. You know, they say something that I really resonate with is like your brain is always looking for ways to survive and thrive. And so like if what you’re seeing or reading doesn’t help you survive and thrive, it’s just going to be ignored. Because on the flip side of it is like your brain is looking to conserve calories, you know?
Jay: 10:16 – And so if you’re hungry and you look across the street and you see a restaurant that is called, you know, Joe’s Crab Shack, then you’re going to know, OK, they serve crabs. And I’m hungry so I’m gonna go eat crab. If it’s just Joe’s, you might completely ignore it, right? Unless there’s some other thing that shows you that it’s a restaurant.
Mike: 10:40 – Or it’s like Joe’s Aquatic Crustacean Emporium and you’re like, ah, yeah, I’m not really certain what’s going on here. The simple version here is a good example I’ve got here written down is the old version of features and benefits is that low in calories and this is what the soft drink does. But the actual thing that people want is I want to drink this and look better. So it’s really like the ad isn’t low in calories. The ad is, you’ll look better naked. Whether or not that’s true or not is debatable, but that’s the principle.
Jay: 11:07 – Yeah. And so given all of those truths, they basically say, what we need to do is invite the customer into a story. And so they break down a story into seven steps and so the framework goes a character, step one, with a problem, step two meets a guide, step three who gives them a plan, that’s step four and then calls them to action step five, and that results in success, step six, or avoids failure.
Mike: 11:39 – That’s the SB seven framework, I think that’s called, correct?
Jay: 11:42 – Yeah. So the idea is, the whole point is like you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to tell your business’ story in that framework.
Mike: 11:51 – And one thing I’ll chuck at you here is there are apparently seven basic plots for every story that’s ever been written, right? Have you heard this one or did they talk about that at all? I’ll just read them to you just because it’s a really fascinating thing that when people about how do I tell my business’ story? The seven basic plots, I’ll give two examples of each. There is overcoming the monster. That’s James Bond and Star Wars, something bad that needs to end, rags to riches, Cinderella and Aladdin. That’s the transformational stuff. There’s the quest. Lord of the Rings, Raiders of the Lost Arc, got to find something important, voyage and return, Alice in Wonderland and the Hobbit. Then you’ve got comedy, and this isn’t necessarily hilarious. This is a triumph over circumstances which are confusing and funny. So Bridget Jones’ Diary, the Big Lebowski, those were comedies but you get what I’m saying, tragedy, Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet, and then you’ve got rebirth, which is Beauty and the Beast and Christmas Carol, things like that. So all stories, if you start thinking about it, just about every story that’s ever been written apparently can be rammed into one of these categories and your gym is probably going to start coming toward things like, Oh, there’s rags to riches elements, there’s transformational stuff and rebirth. There are ways to tell your story. So let’s talk more about this.
Jay: 12:57 – Yeah, it’s interesting you mentioned that because every one of those stories can actually be broken down into these seven steps as well. There’s a lot more sort of variety, some of those there’s like 15-20 steps and subplots, but they’ve tried to really boil it down to those seven things. A big part of that workshop is just, OK, we’re going to start with a character. So let’s define a character and what do they want?
Mike: 13:26 – So this is like your client avatar. Correct?
Jay: 13:29 – It’s similar. And that’s actually how I used to think about this in the past is just to go through an avatar, but it’s just like a character.
Jay: 13:41 – So in my case, I mean I’ll just kind of go through how I do it. So a character, answer to the question is what do your customers want as it relates to your product? So I was doing this for my gym and the things I thought about, were a gym or workout or fitness program. So it’s not necessarily a man or a woman, it’s just somebody looking for a gym. And then they have a problem. And so there’s like, there’s basically four different ways to think about the problem. There’s the villain, there’s the external, there’s the internal and the philosophical. So I just skip the villain part. There’s a lot of things you can do with the villain. Like you know, the villain is globo gyms, most people’s problem when they come to my gym is they don’t have time. Either they don’t have time to work out or they don’t have time to plan their workouts so they’re not making time. They’re busy. There’s some version of time. And that’s the external problem. The internal problem is because they don’t have time, they get frustrated and they feel guilty or they may feel embarrassed or scared.
Jay: 14:52 – It’s like they’re not in good shape. They haven’t been taking care of themselves because they say they don’t have time. And that makes them feel this way.
Mike: 15:00 – Yeah. Like I already see if you’re suggesting that your ideal client has a lack of time, there’s gotta be some sort of efficiency to your service and there’s gotta be some sort of promise of delivery of results within a timeframe that they can afford.
Jay: 15:13 – Well, yeah. What’s interesting about that, we’ll get back to that. It’s not great to actually address the external problem too much. You know, the other version of external problem is they don’t have enough money. Right? But this is more like the smokescreen that they put up in front of you to hide the internal problem, which is that they’re actually frustrated that they haven’t stuck to their routine or they’re feeling guilty or embarrassed.
Mike: 15:39 – OK. So we talk a lot about No-Sweat Intros, you’re actually just peeling back the layers to find out what the real problem is. Like what’s the big thing that’s stopping this person from coming to your gym?
Jay: 15:47 – Yeah, exactly.
Mike: 15:48 – It’s probably not time.
Jay: 15:50 – So you know, you haven’t made time for yourself in the last year. Like how does that make you feel? Well, you know, I used to be in shape. I just feel guilty that I let myself go. And then so that’s the external then the internal problem. And this was actually, number two, the problem part was the hardest part to kind of suss out. If you’re going to do this at home you gotta spent some time really sussing out step two, because the better you define their problem, the more successful all of your marketing is going to be. So the philosophical problem is the answer to the question of why is it just plain wrong for your customers to be burdened by this? And my answer to that is they deserve a better life.
Jay: 16:34 – And so, you know, if you think about this, it’s like you don’t have enough time. You’re looking for a gym but you don’t have a lot of time to work out. And that leaves you feeling frustrated and guilty and that’s just wrong because you deserve a better life.
Mike: 16:50 – Yeah. Maybe even physically bad too. You know, there might be some symptoms there where I just like, I feel out of shape and bad about myself.
Jay: 16:57 – Yeah, exactly. So yeah, you can see how this is starting to flow, right? So then the next part, step three, is that they need a guide. And this is another one of their kind of truths. A lot of times in our marketing, we make ourselves the hero, right? And one of the things they talk about is like if you look at Star Wars for example, who’s the hero in Star Wars?
Mike: 17:19 – Well we’ll go back to the ones I grew up with. I’ll say Luke Skywalker.
Jay: 17:22 – All right, so Luke Skywalker is the hero of Star Wars, right? Luke Skywalker isn’t actually strong. Like he’s pretty weak. He’s unsure of himself. Not until the end does he actually get some strength.
Mike: 17:35 – So ascension there for sure.
Jay: 17:36 – Yeah. So if you make yourself the hero, right? The customer is walking around thinking they’re the hero. If you make yourself the hero, then they’re just going to look at you and they’re going, well, you’re just as weak as I am. So why should I listen to you? You got to make the customer the hero. And the way you do that is by expressing empathy and authority, right? So, you know, you say something like, we understand what it’s like to feel, blah. We understand what it’s like to feel embarrassed and scared. And then you express authority by saying we’ve helped over a thousand people look better or get stronger or feel better.
Mike: 18:12 – I’m going to throw an example at you here just because it was a really great one that I found and I think it’ll give people some perspective. This is apparently an ad that’s up all over in airports from Vanderbilt University and it’s a picture of a smiling person that says “they didn’t brag about how far they could take me, they asked where I wanted to go.” So rather than saying, our MBA does this or this program does that, they actually are saying that this, you know, we are asking this person who’s coming to us, what do you want to do with your life? And there’s some authority in there where they’re kind of winking and saying, we know how to help you get what you want. That’s a really cool way to frame that. I thought that was just a brilliant demonstration of the concept.
Jay: 18:49 – Yeah. 100%. I mean, it’s really all about your customers. You know, this is one of those things where personally before I went through this, I always kind of shied away from doing like a whole lot of social media and things like that because I always felt like it was me portraying myself as some sort of like, you know, hero, and so we weren’t really good at it. We’ve gotten better at it because we’ve really just focused on like how do we make the customer the hero. If I show a coach doing a handstand walk, I’m going to tell a story about how when they walked in they couldn’t do a push-up, you know, and they’ve built themselves up to this and so can you, rather than saying, look how awesome my coach is.
Mike: 19:31 – Yeah. Now that’s a pretty important distinction there where, yeah, we got to put the lens on the client and show the client that they’re the hero. But at the same time, the guide has to have authority. And so you do have to talk about yourself at times, you do have to establish yourself as an expert and show how you can, like Yoda is a Jedi master, he is the guide, he has some authority, helps Luke, right? So that’s the whole relationship and it’s I think some gyms sometimes fall too much on putting the hero mantle on themselves or they do it all on the client and totally forget that they have to establish their own authority.
Jay: 20:01 – Yeah, yeah, exactly. If the whole movie was Yoda slashing people up it wouldn’t have been the same. So you express empathy and authority and they talk about empathy is just like, you know, we understand what it’s like, we get it, et cetera. Authority is, you know, you use numbers or you use testimonials to talk about people that you’ve helped. So that’s step three. That one’s pretty easy. Step four is giving them a plan. And this is one where like this is actually one of the things that helped me clarify things a lot. The plan has to be really, really simple, right? And they say no more than three or four steps. Right? So the three or four that customers can take that lead them to a sale or explain how they would use the product after the sale. So the plan that I came up with was first you book a free intro, a no-sweat intro, get a custom plan, show up and then be a badass. And it’s so simple. Step one, get a a custom plan. Step two, show up. Step three, be a badass. And how do you get started? Book a free intro.
Mike: 21:16 – The customer doesn’t even have to do a whole lot there. Right? You’re doing the work on the custom plan. Right? So like that’s a freebie that you just check that one off. They just pretty much have to come see you.
Jay: 21:25 – Yeah. You know, the thing is like we all know that there’s a lot more than just those three things, but the customer has to see that it’s easy. If they don’t think it’s easy, then they’re just not going to do it. Again, they’re looking to conserve energy.
Mike: 21:41 – Yeah. And you’ve got elements of authority building in there where you’re saying a custom plan that you know, in my mind I’m thinking, OK, this guy obviously can evaluate my situation and offer a plan. And that’s definitely helping to establish your authority and take some of the pressure off the customer.
Jay: 21:56 – Yeah. So, if you’re developing this, three steps. And then number five is calls them to action. So this should be very simple for Two-Brain gyms. The call to action is the same for everything, it’s book a No-Sweat Intro. And when I talk to my coaches about this at the gym, what I realized is that it’s the same call to action no matter what program we’re selling, right? So if you want to join the gym book a No-Sweat Intro. If you want to join nutrition, No-Sweat Intro. If you want to learn how to do a muscle-up, No-Sweat Intro. Like basically we always do free intro to anything that we sell, right. And so just having that, it tells people exactly what to do.
Mike: 22:40 – Yeah. As opposed to these web pages. And I’m guilty of this where you’ve got 17 different programs and click this and this add on with this price and all this stuff that no one can really figure out. I’m coming to your site and I’m like, I’m going to book an intro and that’s my one and only step.
Jay: 22:55 – Yeah. And actually I made those changes to my site in the workshop cause I was like, Oh man, it needs to be so simple.
Mike: 23:04 – I know you’re an action guy. Move right away.
Jay: 23:04 – So they do talk about having a transitional call to action because they kind of described it as like, you know, you meet a woman and you’re like, Hey, would you like to get married? And it’s like they say no like, Hey, would you like to get married? And they say now. Hey would you like to get married, they say now. The fourth time you’re like, Hey, would you like to go for a cup of coffee? Oh, OK. I’ll go for a cup of coffee. And then you go for a cup of coffee and you ask to get married.
Mike: 23:30 – Jay, that’s actually a really good spot for me to just quickly tell a quick story that might put that in perspective. Once upon a time, my hobby gym was not doing so hot and luckily I was friends with a wise wizard named Chris Cooper guy you know. He happened to run Two-Brain Business. Chris talked me down off the ledge. He pointed me to the incubator where I learned how to turn a hobby into a real business. His team could do the same for you out there if you’re listening. If you aren’t ready to talk to a mentor just yet, Chris has more than a dozen guides he’ll send you for free. These things solve a ton of problems, and they can help generate revenue and they don’t cost anything. So if you’re not ready to talk to a mentor just yet, get the whole whack of them for free at twobrainbusiness.com/free-tools. End of story. I’m not asking someone to marry me on the first date, just download our stuff. Now back to you, Jay.
Jay: 24:17 – Have a cup of coffee. So yeah, I mean the transitional call to action is like your lead magnet. So lots of different ways to approach this. But basically you create a lead magnet, which is just a free download where people give you their—you create something that solves one of their internal or external problems.
Mike: 24:43 – We’re solving retention for gym owners. We got a great one on that. That’s a great example.
Jay: 24:47 – Yeah. So yeah, for gym owners, that’s a great example. If you’re an actual gym, you know, look at the problems that people are saying that they have when they come into the gym.
Mike: 24:59 – Post-workout nutrition, bringing it on the road. You could think of hundreds of things, right?
Jay: 24:59 – 10 workouts you can do when you don’t have time. Five me your email address and I’ll email you those 10 workouts.
Mike: 25:11 – And I’ve seen some amazing guides from Two-Brain gyms, some really, really cool stuff. They don’t have to be epic necessarily, but I have seen some really actionable stuff that people can download.
Jay: 25:20 – Yeah. I mean the simpler the better. I think just get something out there and you’ll see some traction and that’s a good place to start. You know, I started with something like my transitional call to action is not that great. It’s just like, you know, 10 reasons why you are fit enough to start or something like that, and it’s just going to address the external problem.
Mike: 25:44 – It’s still a step between the big action steps. So that’s the whole point there is that it’s a transitional thing.
Jay: 25:49 – You know, the other thing about transitional calls to action is essentially social media is kind of like a transitional call to action, right? You’re providing a bunch of info along with the story, right? So like, Hey, you don’t have time to work out. Here’s an example of somebody that didn’t have time and now they have found time. You can book a free intro by going into our profile. It’s another kind of version of that. Any sort of content that you produce, any content that you produce, should have that direct call to action in it. And you can view it as a transitional call to action. So then step six is that ends in success. So you basically list all of the things that that will happen or can happen if they follow through.
Mike: 26:47 – So it’s a little bit of features and benefits, old school stuff there necessarily, but framed very differently.
Jay: 26:52 – Yeah. They talk about immediate success, long-term success, specific success, like features, and then general success. You can list as many things here as you can think of, right? So for example, immediate success might be, you know, feel better, right? You do a workout here, you’re going to feel better immediately. Long-term success is you’re going to get stronger, right? Specific success is, we have free parking, you know, or there are 50 classes a week or whatever. And then general success that you would have more confidence, better relationships, etc. So then the last step is help them avoid failure. So the negative consequences that customers will experience if they don’t use your product or service. And this one, you want to basically pick the top three and only use those. You need to highlight what will happen if they don’t take action, but you don’t need to overdo it and scare them.
Mike: 27:48 – So you’re not going to die if you don’t come to my gym. But you definitely won’t accomplish your goals.
Jay: 27:53 – Yeah. You might look back a year from now and say, you wish you would have started today.
Mike: 27:55 – Wish those pants fit.
Jay: 27:58 – Yeah, exactly. And then the last piece that they kind of have as like an underlying thing is you want somebody to transform. You want there to be a character transformation. So you know, what are they going from? And then what are they turning into? Right? So like Luke was, you know, a farm boy and then you turned into a Jedi, you know, somebody at your gym, they might go from average to athlete, you know, whatever. So, there’s sort of a transformation and I mean that’s the entire script. So if you put it all together, it’s kind of like, you know, you’re looking for a gym but you don’t have a lot of time and that leaves you feeling frustrated and guilty. But that’s just wrong because you deserve a better life. We understand what it’s like to feel embarrassed and scared. We’ve helped over 1200 people look better, get stronger and feel better. So all you need to do is book a free intro, get a custom plan, show up and be a badass. And then you will learn to lift safely. You’ll find likeminded people and will get stronger, look better, you’ll have more confidence and you’ll avoid that low energy, low confidence, avoid life being a struggle. We help you go from average to athlete.
Mike: 29:17 – Nice. So if I put that back in the framework, guys, Jay just took you through character, problem guide, action and achievement of success and avoidance of failure. That’s all in that one package. And you’ve got establishing of the authority in there as well. You’ve got that, I think you said 1200 people or there was a number in there that is establishing authority big time.
Jay: 29:37 – Yeah. Yeah. And you know, the thing is like once you have that script, it’s really just kind of a touch point for everything else you do. So all your social media posts should use language from that script. You know all the blog posts you do, all the videos should be telling stories based on that script. The idea is that you always want to touch on different aspects of it. You don’t touch on everything in every post, right? But you touch on different aspects of this so that you’re always inviting people into the story that you’re trying to tell.
Mike: 30:10 – So I have a quote from you here, and I can’t remember where I found this on the internet, but it was in an article and it says most companies waste enormous amounts of money trying to tell their story. The truth is no one cares. People want to hear about their own story, right? So from your perspective, how many gyms out there are making that mistake? There must be tons that are trying to tell the story of their gym, but they’re not getting in touch with the client, am I right?
Jay: 30:35 – Yeah. I mean most of them are.
Mike: 30:38 – I’ll give you an example. Throw an example at you here. BMW changed their tagline. Used to be the ultimate driving machine. So that’s very focused on what they do. High quality. This thing is awesome. We are the experts. This is the coolest car ever. Their new tagline is sheer driving pleasure, and they’re not having the pleasure. That’s you, right? That’s right back on you where the tagline is completely different. I’ll give you one other one. McDonald’s. They had that campaign. It was successful for different reasons, but the two all-beef patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun. That says very little about the client right. Now, their tagline that’s been the same since I think, 03 or something like that is I’m loving it, which is right back on the person. So these are shifts in business that you’re seeing. And again, Lego has been doing it since 78.
Jay: 31:21 – Yeah. Yeah. I mean the best companies do this. I mean Apple is, you know, the iPod was like 10,000 songs in your pocket or something, which is completely different from talking about like, you know, it has this amount of hard drive and all this kind of stuff. It’s really just about how you’re going to use it. What kind of person it makes you. They story that they’re bringing you into.
Mike: 31:41 – Chris has talked a little bit about this in Two-Brain stuff where he’s made the analogy of, you know, no one goes to the store to buy a drill bit, right? But you go to the store and the guy is like, Oh, this diamond trip tip drill bit. It’s going to just mow down whatever you’re drilling and you don’t care because you don’t actually want the drill, but you just want the hole in the wall. And that’s the analogy Chris has always used.
Jay: 31:58 – Yeah. So the thing that happened after we did this is we used to have this big script that we would follow when we did intros and we basically just tossed it out and just went back to using a blank sheet of paper, right? I mean it was just like, and we used to have like kind of a tour and stuff that we took people through and now it’s like you walk into the gym and we say, Hey, you know, thanks for coming in. This is our gym. It’s mostly empty space. Come with me. We’ll sit down and talk about your goals. And that’s really what the No-Sweat Intro is about. But the thing is like, the whole point is you’re making it all about them. And Oh, by the way, we have showers and changing rooms and lots of free parking. You know? And I think with most gyms, it’s like, Oh, look at all the cool stuff that we have or all the cool stuff that we do, and sometimes that overlaps with the story the customer is telling themselves, you know, you show a buff guy doing a snatch on your website, if there’s a buff guy who wants to learn how to do a snatch, that’s great. But if it’s a, you know, a soccer mom that’s never lifted weights before, those are absolutely opposite stories and you’re not going to get through to that person.
Mike: 33:13 – So to do this, to put all this stuff in place and make it happen, you really need to take like a long hard look at your business and your clients and figure out what problems your ideal clients have and how your business can solve them.
Jay: 33:24 – Yeah. And so one of the things they talk about is just sitting down with your clients. Like we always say, you know, sit down with your best clients. Ask them what are they struggling with? You know, listen to the words that they use. Maybe record it so that you get their actual language. And that’s how you put the script together. The best part about having this is that it’s almost like a playbook for everything else you do, right? Once you have an idea of what the story is, and that idea changes, it’s not always perfect. But you have an idea of what the story is so now you can use that to produce content. And that’s one of the things that we always talk about in Two-Brain is like if you’re not producing consistent content, then people don’t know you’re the authority.
Mike: 34:08 – Yeah. And I guess it’s like going back, if you looked at the story that a lot of CrossFit affiliates were telling say back in, I don’t know, 2009, 2012, something like that you’re looking at, if you’re looking from the outside, you’re seeing, wow, this guy came in as a Navy SEAL. He trained for 18 months and he went to the CrossFit Games and he vomited a lot in between and there was a lot of blood. That was the story a lot of gyms told. Right. And like you said, that applies to like that 1% of people that are out there. We got those guys, like they all came to our gyms, but then the other 99%, that story does resonate with them. They’re not in that story right there. And by definition they’ve been excluded from your marketing, your social media. They don’t feel like they could even come. And that’s why so many gyms have had this problem. CrossFit’s dangerous, I can’t do functional fitness and that’s too hard for me. I’m not in shape to come to your gym. Like that’s probably the funniest one I’ve ever heard. I’m not in shape and I can’t come to your gym. That’s a story gone wrong there. Right?
Jay: 35:02 – Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we don’t really even talk about CrossFit. If you listen to what I said with the script, don’t really talk that much about what we do. You know, it’s more like what you, what the customer wants. Right? Right. Once they come in, they’ll kind of figure it out. But again, it’s talking about the hole, not the drill.
Mike: 35:26 – And there’s a very specific market that wants to do quote unquote CrossFit or functional fitness. But what you’re saying in your story here is that there is a market of people that want to look better, feel better, you know, lose weight, be healthier, whatever that is. And they don’t really care what the product is. They want your, you know, you provide the solution. They just want to work toward that.
Jay: 35:48 – Yeah, to be clear, I mean, there are gyms that are much more competitive and have much higher-level athletes than mine that are going to have a different version of the story. This is the story for my gym based on the people that I work with. And so once I have this, it’s like, OK, great. This is the overall story for the gym. Now I can look at, for example, our teens program and create a story for the teens. You know, it’s like you’re looking for a way to get in shape for softball but you’re not sure what to do and et cetera, et cetera. You can go through the whole thing and it’s actually really easy to do that when you have the overarching story, because then you can just plug it in. Do the same for the strength program or the CrossFit light program.
Mike: 36:39 – So if gym owner or a business owner is listening right now, do you think they need to go to the StoryBrand workshop or what do you think, what’s their step here? If they want to learn more about this?
Jay: 36:49 – I mean I would start by reading the book and just doing the exercises.
Mike: 36:56 – Yeah. That’s “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen.” Donald Miller, it is an Amazon best seller. I’m looking at it right now. That’s the book.
Jay: 37:06 – Yeah, I would read the book and do the exercises and then once you’ve done them and you have an idea that you’re happy with, run it by either like your mentor or somebody that you trust and just see how it sounds to them. Right. And kind of go through a couple of iterations of that and then look for somebody that can answer when you say, you know, Hey, the problem is that people don’t have enough money. They can tell you like you live in New York City. You need to make sure that the message is not completely off brand. I think if you did that, if gym owners did that, that would be just such a huge step because the ones that I’ve talked to about this kind of thing. It’s like just changing a couple of words on your website makes a difference.
Mike: 37:55 – Yeah, and I’ve talked to a lot of gym owners and the common thing with a lot of them is from media perspective is what do I say? What do I do? What do I put on social media? Is that basic thing like I have no idea what to say to my market. So if they clarify first of all who they’re talking to and what those people need to hear, then that kind of guides the conversation a little bit I think.
Jay: 38:14 – Yeah. And so, the second part of the workshop is we start talking about creating a one liner so that you can answer this stuff pretty quickly and then updating your website. And here’s the different things that make a difference with the website. And then the lead magnet and stuff like that. Ultimately it’s just ways for you to use this language. And it’s ways for you to get it in action. If you wanted to just go and do the quick and dirty version of this and you just like read the book, created the script, just start playing around on Instagram. Just use quotes from things that you wrote in your script and see how it resonates with people, you know, take pictures that represent the things that gives you real-time feedback, how much engagement, how many likes, how many intros did you get. And it will tell you whether it actually works.
Mike: 39:04 – It’s funny cause a lot of this stuff again is not, this is not a rocket science in the sense that it was just invented and these are old-school advertising principles that most people ignore. And it’s funny because when I was writing radio ads back about 10 years ago, I could tell people what I think would be a good ad, but they’d say, no, I don’t want to do that. I just want to tell people about the features of this car, and customers, how many V8 engines can you really listen to before you don’t care? It’s probably like one, you know, unless you’re a gear head. Is there anything about the program, the StoryBrand concept and the framework and everything that kind of just didn’t work for you or you were sitting there listening, you’re like, man, I don’t know if that’s going to work at my gym or I want to kind of, you know, punt that part out. Is there anything that gym owners you think might run into something where they just, you know, skip that chapter kind of thing?
Jay: 39:51 – You know, I think most of it resonated. I think really the big thing and why and why I grabbed onto it so much is like you, I’ve just read so many different things about copywriting and trying to get people through ads or through writing to do what you want them to do. Right. And this was just like a new perspective on how to do that. But if it’s the first exposure you’ve ever had to copywriting then you’re not gonna get it at the same level, right? So, you know, it may be like you go through this whole thing and you’re like, eh, whatever doesn’t work for me. The biggest thing that you gotta do is just iterate through it and make sure that it actually resonates with you personally and with your clients and then track the results. Right? This is not a magic pill at all. Like you put it together, you try it, you see what the feedback is. You can actually look at your revenue over time and see if it makes a difference. So I wouldn’t say there’s anything I’d throw out, but I would say that it’s not the end state, it’s just the beginning.
Mike: 41:09 – And a lot of the things that we’ve talked about here, like lead magnets and sales processes and all that different stuff. We’re talking about a lot of that in Two-Brain Radio right now. So, people should subscribe, check our archives. I’ve got a series going right now with Mateo Lopez where we’re talking about all this stuff, copywriting, ad creative, landing pages, all the stuff that kind of goes along with the marketing package. So there’s a ton of that in there. I’ll give you, you watch Mad Men or have you watched that?
Jay: 41:32 – I watched the first few seasons.
Mike: 41:33 – Yeah. So I’ll give you a quote from a old Don Draper here. Just relates to what you said. “Advertising is based on one thing: Happiness. You know what happiness is. Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear.” So what he’s talking about there is that desired state, right? It’s like there’s success. That’s that new-car smell that smells like success. And then there’s the freedom of fear, which is the absence of failure and the negative things you talked about trying to avoid. So it’s really addressed to see how gyms can now use this to sort of frame their offerings essentially and try and generate clients. Do you have any tests planned or anything that you’re going to try and use this for the next little bit to see what happens?
Jay: 42:14 – Yeah. I mean, so what I did after I got back from this, is I ran all the stuff by my staff, because ultimately they’re the ones that deliver the stuff. And so I ran it by the staff and said, Hey, you know, do you resonate with this message, and once we kinda got all in agreement with that, I just started changing the website. Completely redid our website based on this.
Mike: 42:40 – What’s the website if people want to go look at it?
Jay: 42:42 – CrossFithale.com.
Mike: 42:42 – All right, so check that out if you want to see an example. And of course the StoryBrand website as well. Like I said, the tagline on there tells you exactly, I mean, there’s not a lot to—when I was looking through the StoryBrand website, there’s not a ton of options. They’re kind of pushing, you know, bluntly over and over again, here’s what we do and we do it well, and they’ve got the whole social proof. And if you look at the StoryBrand website and you look at a really good gym website, you’re going to see some commonalities for sure.
Jay: 43:06 – Yeah, I mean really it’s like the expectation is not the first time you go to StoryBrand that you’re going to sign up, but you’ll know what to do if you want to do it. You go and do whatever their call to action is. It’s book a free intro. And I don’t expect that you’re going to do that the first time you come in. You’re going to see my blog post. You can see our social media and then you’re going to come back around.
Mike: 43:35 – And that social media and all the stuff that you’re producing is going to be framed the way you want it to reflect that message that you’re putting out on the call to action.
Jay: 43:43 – Yeah. And you know the other part about this, like when I look at websites, and think about yourself when you look at websites, you’re just scanning stuff. And so you just want to gather the information that’s going to tell you if this is going to solve your problem, right? So the more stuff that you put on there, the less you’re going to resonate with people. And so I simplified the site tremendously. I removed almost everything, and it works. I mean I’ve been getting more free intros since we started changing the language and we tweak and change it from time to time, but it works.
Mike: 44:17 – And that’s really what everyone wants. If it works, you know, you said it, track your data. If you try something and the numbers don’t prove it out. Get rid of it. If the numbers do, prove it out, keep her going. And that’s exactly is just a common—it’s common sense, but it’s also what we teach at Two-Brain regularly, is always analyze the results and if it doesn’t get better, punt it.
Jay: 44:38 – Yeah. The other thing, the way that I test any new language is I’ll put it on my Facebook ads. So I’ll run like a bunch of different pictures and then test different language with the same picture and see which one gets the most clicks and then get rid of the bad ones.
Mike: 44:59 – Facebook is a great place to test things like that. You can AB test, like John and Mateo, the marketing team was telling me in our previous podcast, with dynamic creative, a new service, you can test like huge combinations of taglines and photos and copy and Facebook will find out which one works and start pumping that one up. Get rid of the rest. So it’s an amazing place to test your marketing.
Jay: 45:18 – So yes, but this is why the StoryBrand fit in really well. Here’s the thing, I heard this quote from Seth, the guy who writes all the books. He said if you optimize your website enough, it will turn into a porn site. And that’s true. Like it gets so far away from the message and so much in different version that it changes into something else. Right. And that’s part of what I was kind of struggling with ads cause the best performing ads were not the ones that necessarily had the language that I agreed with. Right. And so this gives you a base to start with the language and then you can tweak little things here or there and then you see what kind of clients you get in and you see if they actually resonate with your message.
Mike: 46:05 – Yeah. I can tell you right now the, you know, the five people at my gym that I can throw up and get a hundred likes on Instagram, no questions asked. But it’s not because people want to come to the gym.
Jay: 46:17 – Yeah, exactly. It’s because of other reasons.
Mike: 46:20 – Exactly. OK. So wrapping this up then, is StoryBrand the be-all-end-all? Is it the answer to your marketing problems, is the end of the story I went to the StoryBrand marketing workshop and I became a millionaire?
Jay: 46:34 – No, I wouldn’t say it’s the end all be all. I think it’s a good system that gives you a framework. But really the big picture of this is like if you’re running a business, you’re in charge of your own marketing and you need to learn sales and marketing to be able to run a successful business. It’s really the difference between success and failure. Good marketing and good sales can solve almost any problem in business. And so it’s important for you to go out and learn everything you can to make sure that your message resonates with your clients. And this is one way that you can make some progress on that.
Mike: 47:08 – And that that is why we have sales and marketing and our Incubator. It’s not enough to be a great trainer anymore. You have to be a good business owner to be successful. And you teach that to your clients as a mentor, correct?
Jay: 47:19 – Yeah, absolutely. I mean we are always trying and tweaking and testing things and really catering it towards that particular business owner.
Mike: 47:31 – All right, that is the end of the story, but it will be continued in next episodes. Be sure to subscribe toTwo-Brain Radio. Chris Cooper is here all the time with all sorts of advice. I’m talking with Mateo Lopez regularly. We’re doing marketing stuff in a series right now. And you’ve got Sean Woodland who’s talking to the top people from the fitness world. Thanks for listening. I’m Mike Warkentin for Jay Williams and this is Two-Brain Radio. Please remember to subscribe. If you’re a gym owner and need some help growing your business, Two-Brain mentors can show you the exact steps to add $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Book a free call on twobrainbusiness.com to find out more.
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