In this episode, we’ll talk about how to boost sales for your business by using a proven story framework called “Story Brand.” My guest Adam Wills is not only a student of mine with a growing freelance web design business but is also a certified Story Brand Coach who helps his clients with not only building new sites but with their messaging, content, conversions, sales funnels and more.

We cover this 7-point framework in detail so that you can get a great understanding of it and more importantly, how to apply to your business AND your client website making you more valuable than ever because you’re not only working on “design,” but conversions and “message marketing.”

In short, the framework is:

  1. 19:26 The hero/main character
  2. 24:08 The problem
  3. 28:37 The guide…that’s you!
  4. 41:22 The plan/process
  5. 47:37 The Call-To-Action
  6. 1:03:07 The success or 7. The failure

Connect with Adam:

Links mentioned:

Episode #028 Full Transcription

Josh 0:17
What’s up, everybody? Welcome to Episode 28. Wow, are you in for a treat with this episode? I gotta be honest, I think all episodes to this point have been very valuable. There’s not one episode I’ve done in the podcast so far that I feel like is a dud. I think some have more action points and certain levels of value than others. But this one is up there. This is absolutely one of the most valuable, practical and actionable episodes I’ve done to this point. And the reason being is because we’re going to talk about how to boost your sales. Not only that, we’re going to talk about how to boost your sales through the lens of a story. And before I introduce my guests and talk about what this episode is about, let me tell you a quick story.

Josh 1:02
Back in the summer of 2019, I was doing a coaching call with one of my students shout out Clinton. And he recommended a book he recommended a book called Building a story brand by Donald Miller. Some of you have probably already read it so you know exactly what’s coming. But this book literally changed my life. It literally changed the lens, I view sales and marketing through and I’ve applied it to both of my businesses, my web design, business, and more importantly, my core sales. So when you guys see a lot of my course pages and my site adjusts, I’ll kill all the things I’ve learned in this book are all over the site. And I will tell you this book, and this framework that we’re going to look at has literally changed my life, it’s increased my conversions tenfold. And it’s really helped boost my sales because this lays out an entire seven point sales framework and marketing framework that you can apply to your business right now, in for this talk to kind of go through what this book is all about.

Josh 1:59
I brought in one of my own web design students, Adam Wills, who is a freelance web designer based in Colorado, he has a website called sursum creatives. And he’s also a certified story brand coach, which means that he went through some extensive training that this the author of this book provides, and it’s kind of a two in one, he offers his coaching to help with businesses who are trying to clarify their message and boost their sales. But that coincides perfectly with his web design business. And since he’s a certified coach, I wanted to bring him on and talk about this framework. Because again, it’s a seven point framework that we go through, we go through each step in this episode, and we talk in depth about each step. And then at the end, I actually lay out a way that you can combine all these steps together in your front page of your website, or that you can apply to all of your client sites too. So this is not only going to help you with your website and your web design business, but it’s going to help you when you’re designing sites for your clients as well. And you can actually utilize everything we talked about.

Josh 2:58
And you could potentially become more valuable by selling a lot of these services and helping your clients with their messaging, and content and sales funnels and things like that. So I am extremely excited to see how this one helps you out. Hey, before we dive in, this one is brought to you by my web design business course Adam actually came through my business course. And that’s how we got connected, although, as you’ll find out in the episode, he’s he’s heard about me and watched a lot of my tutorials long before that, but we finally got connected through that. And it’s been a pleasure to seeing him grow his business. And I want to help you do the same. And we’ll do that through my web design business course. Actually, if you click the link below in the show notes for this page, to my business course you’ll see Adams testimonial, he left a video testimonial, where he kind of shares his insights on some of the biggest impacts that the course helps him with his business because I show you the ins and outs of what I do in my business with invoicing proposals. I give you templates and everything that’s helped me grow my web design business, and I want to help you do the same.

Josh 3:54
One thing I wanted to mention real quick before this episode kicks off is that Adam did have a couple of little Wi Fi problems during the beginning part of this episode. So you may hear just a couple sentences that got cut off, but his connection got much better all the way through. So just wanted to give you a heads up on that if you hear something funky. It only happens a couple times. And you’re good to go. So without further ado, guys. Wow, man, I’m just pumped up for you guys in this one, you are going to get so much value from this. Enjoy my talk with Adam wills about how to boost your sales through the lens of a story. We’re going to use the seven point building a story brand framework. Enjoy. Adam, welcome to the show, man. Great to have you on.

Adam 4:37
Yeah, thanks for having me, Josh. It’s a it’s an honor to be on your show as a longtime mentee.

Josh 4:46
How it’s great to have you on man. Yeah, it was is good to hear kind of how you discovered me and it’s been awesome to hear that. My work so far has had an impact on you and your business. And you came I think we officially got connected when you came through my business course. And as I’ve learned more about your business and what you’re up to, one thing I’m really interested in that you’re doing and and I wanted to talk about is the fact that you are a certified story brand coach. And for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a, it’s, it’s based off a book that I have right here. For those watching on video. It’s called Building a story brand.

Josh 5:24
And it’s essentially a framework for selling through a story. And so what we’re going to talk about in this episode is we’re going to kind of talk about the framework through this book and hear some about your you know, what you offer as a coach, Adam, but also what I’ve learned, because I’ve this has changed my marketing strategy tenfold. It’s completely reworked my mind, on how I market for both of my businesses for my courses, but also for design. So in this episode, we’re going to talk about how you guys as web designers can boost your sales by selling through a story. So before we get into that, Adam, why don’t you just tell everybody a little bit about yourself, what you do, where you are, and a little bit about maybe how you got involved as a coach for story brand?

Adam 6:06
Yeah. So as of late, I think I’ve decided I’m going to start introducing myself as a quarantine specialist and social distancing consultant. I, I just kind of find it funny when all this COVID stuff started happening. I’m like, Well, wait a second. Quarantine is my daily life. Like, that’s the same thing that I do already.

Josh 6:28
I know, I know, right? I tell people all the time, people are asking, like, how are holding up, I’m like, nothing is really different for us at all. Like aside from going out on date nights and seeing family, we have a newborn, so we’ve been quarantined for months already.

Adam 6:40
I just thought maybe that was a good niche to start marketing. And you know, I can speak from experience and help people understand how to quarantine better. But anyway, I so yeah, I own my own digital marketing agency. We primarily focus in web design, and then message marketing. So we help clients clarify their messaging and their marketing. So that it’s crystal clear. And we use like you mentioned the story brand framework. I’ve been building websites since the late 90s. I started, I built my first website in Angel Fire, which actually is still around, I found last week, I was having this same conversation with somebody. And he’s like, I’ve never heard of Angel Fire. And so I went looked it up, and it still exists, you can still use it. It’s horrible. It looks hideous. And it’s all like 90 cents a month. But it’s it’s there.

Josh 7:36
Is it like HTML, like block kind of code or like what I believe Yeah, I don’t even know what that would look like?

Adam 7:44
Pretty much all HTML, but you drop like little blocks in two different places. And yeah, I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in there. But But yeah, so I started started building websites and my grandpa’s office and his computer when I was in high school. And then started building in GeoCities, and whatnot. But I actually didn’t start my my business full scale until about a year and a half, two years ago. And prior to that, I was just doing some freelancing on the side, and then decided it was time for me to step into it full time. And we’ve done nothing but grow over that period of time. So it’s it’s been really exciting.

Josh 8:30
That’s awesome, man. And so how did you before we went live? We were talking about how your role as a story brand coach perfectly intertwines with your web design business. But how did that come about? Did you read the book and decide maybe, you know, you could be a coach, or what did that look like?

Adam 8:49
Yeah, so funny story about that. I, my CPA or accountant, actually enlightened me about story brands. So she just have you ever heard a story brand? And I’m like, no, what is it? So she tells me a little bit and she says, You got to read the book. I just got done reading it. And it really opened my eyes to some of the issues with my own marketing. I’m like, okay, so I went and picked up the book. I read it, actually, I think I got the audio book first. And I listened to that. I was like, Oh, this is awesome. So then I got the book, and I read it completely opened my eyes. Like I was just like, after reading that it became so obvious to me that there were so many things that I was doing wrong. And I’m like, okay, if I’m doing these things wrong, and yet my business is still successful. Imagine how much more successful it could be if I do these things, right.

Josh 9:46
And so that’s the exact thought I had when I went through it too. Yeah.

Adam 9:50
Yeah. So I went back and read the book a third time. And then I started dabbling in I you know, I looked, I went on their website and was looking at some of the courses that They offered, and I took their online course. And that was even more eye opening for me. And it’s just been a constant process of me fine tuning my own marketing. Myself, you know what if this works for me, this could really work for my clients. And so I started kind of toying around with it. And some of my clients, I would say, Hey, before we get started on your project, read this book, and they would read the book, and then we talk about it. And we would talk about some of the ideas, and we’d start sort of implementing those things. And so I was kind of acting as a story brand certified guide, even though I wasn’t certified, because I was kind of coaching people through it already and my understanding of it.

Josh 10:49
So you are getting into this, you are getting into the messaging and the content with clients before we even started the design.

Adam 10:57
Yeah, because it really opened my eyes and just how to be a better web designer, because, um, as web designers like we were taught, or we go out, and we look for and learn all of these really great principles on how to build a beautiful website and how to make it functional and do the things that we want it to do. But we don’t, we don’t learn anything about what actually should be on it in order to captivate people, and get them ultimately to convert from being a visitor to a customer. And I feel like that’s almost I felt like, once I opened my eyes to that, I was like, I’m kind of doing my clients a disservice here. And I want to be that web guy that they can come to and know that not only am I going to build them a beautiful website that functions, but it’s also going to tell their story, get their message across the way it needs to, so that people come to their website.

Josh 11:54
Before we dive into the framework here, Adam and actually talk about each one of these points that we’re going to lay out, do you craft the content and marketing side of your services as like a different product? Like do you is it a different line item that you add into your invoices and proposals? Or do you kind of view it all as just one big package for web design in general.

Adam 12:17
So both kind of, um, I have the option really, the way I market it is, is its own standalone, product or service, if you will. But during my conversations with those clients or prospective clients, if I gauge from them that they are interested in, they know right then and there that they’re going to want to redesign their website, I’ll tell them, hey, I can put together a custom package for you. That will include a new website, and it’ll get you a bit of a discount versus if you did this all a car. And so it’s it’s kind of both. But I set it up primarily as its own separate standalone thing, because what I include in some of those packages, those coaching packages, is a wireframe of the homepage. So once we, once I coach them through the story, brand seven part framework, and we come up with what we call their brand script, which is really just their overall message. I then take that brand script and I can turn it into a wireframe and say, Okay, here’s your wireframe for your homepage, you can take this to any web designer, and show it to them, and they’ll know how to implement it. Or we can do it for you would you be interested in in a proposal for a website?

Josh 13:34
Nice. And that’s one reason I was really excited to talk about this with you. Because there’s this episode is kind of twofold. For freelance web designers, you’re going to learn how to sell your services through a story for your business. But you can also take this and apply it to your own clients. And you can really become more valuable if you are getting into the content and messaging and marketing with your services with clients as well. So this is a really, really important topic. And something I think is going to be super valuable because I wish I would have taken this much more seriously back in the day, just like you said how the book kind of impacted you and you’re like, oh my gosh, you felt kind of like bad, because you may have designed a pretty site.

Josh 14:15
But if if the content is not there, and you didn’t know how to structure the messaging, even with content that was provided by a client, yeah, you might, you might make a beautiful site, but it may not convert like it should, which is what this is all about. Like said it’s all about getting people from being in possession of a lead to a customer, someone who actually is buying the service and paying the money. So let’s dive right into it, man. This, this book goes into a story based framework. Why not if you can just outline what that framework is. And then maybe we’ll go through each point here to talk about how we can apply it to our businesses.

Adam 14:50
Yeah, absolutely. And so, like I mentioned earlier, it’s a seven part framework and so and, and no surprise here, the seven part framework is in and of itself, also a narrative. So we couldn’t, couldn’t have it not be a narrative by itself, right. So that that framework is that you start with every story starts with a character or a hero, more specifically. So a hero, who has a problem, meets a guide that understands their fears or their problems, then gives them a plan that calls them to action, and ends in either success or failure. So those are the seven parts.

Josh 15:34
Awesome. Yeah. And it’s, it’s huge. One of the biggest points right there that I want to make sure we hit on is that you as the web designer are not the hero, you are the guide. And I’m sure we’ll talk about this, but the you’re the hero is the customer, the client, that framework it just I’m getting chills right now thinking about it, because I read it last summer, and it just reworked my whole mentality. And I actually I’m not sure if you if you kind of saw this with my course, product pages, Adam, but I use this framework for my business course. And I’m using it on my other ones now. So I don’t know if you could tell. But okay, okay, cuz I, I looked at my course pages. And originally, like the few courses that I released before my business course, I realized that I made myself look like the hero. I was like, Look what I’ve done, I sold my maintenance plan, mee, mee, mee, mee, mee. And then as soon as I read this, I realized Holy crap, I need to which it wasn’t my intention to do that. But I just did not a market. Like we’re web designers. We’re not marked. Well, we are marketers whether we realize it or not, but like you said, it’s really we’re focused on the design stuff, whereas this, this side of things are just as important.

Josh 16:40
And yeah, we worked it to where I realized, okay, the person interested in my course, they are the hero, I addressed their problems, just because I had their problems just a few years ago, you know, this is these are the things that I wish I had back in the day, I’m there guide, I’ve been there, I’ve learned the hard way, I’m going to save you time, you can learn what I’ve learned here, my resources, walk them through the path. And then the outcome is, you know, in the business course, since having a successful web design business, and then there’s the results, there’s the result of the one thing we could probably hit on too is the the internal things of like, what would happen if you don’t you know, if you didn’t have a successful business, or if you just kept on doing the same thing over and over and over for years, which is what I did. So yeah, I was just curious if you saw my course page and thought, I wonder if you read the book. So it’s probably wasn’t a surprise that I the first lesson in the course I mentioned a bunch of books to check out and storebrand was number one,

Adam 17:35
it stood out to me. And that’s one of the things that was was a big change. For me in every step along this process between the first time I listened to the audio book, through every time that I read the book through the online course and then through finally going and becoming a certified guide going to Nashville and spending a week there to be trained in this framework.

Adam 17:58
When I left Nashville, it was like, you know how you hear people say, the people that learn how to read in their adult life that never knew how to read before that they say, oh my gosh, it was like the world opened up to me, like a veil was lifted from my eyes and everything made sense. And the world started to speak to me in a different way. That was how this journey through story brand was, for me. I was like, I can’t look at a website, I can’t look at a billboard, I can’t look at a commercial the same way anymore. It just stands out to me. And I can tell when a particular company is using a story brand framework or even just a narrative based framework in general, because there are other iterations of it out there. It just stands out to you, you know.

Josh 18:41
Yeah. And you know, marketing is just really a we’re gonna dive into this first point here. But I think the one thing I want to say before we do is that marketing can be very confusing, mainly because there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just kind of what might work and what doesn’t. And then often, we as business owners, we’re so stuck in our own business that it’s very hard to simply say what we do or why we do it, what our services are like, when I start writing out Facebook ads and things. It’s like, before I know that I’ve got like a small book written and I’m like, Oh my gosh, how I need to condense this into an ad, you know, like a quick ad. Same thing for my course pages. So yeah, with that said, let’s help some people do better with sales by using this framework. Let’s dive right into number one. What does that look like with identifying because identifying the hero would be number one, right?

Adam 19:32
Yes, absolutely. I mean, every every story. I mean, think of the last movie you watched. Every story starts off with the hero, right? That’s the first character that we meet, we always meet the hero first. And we have to first before we can figure out how to market to our customers, especially the ones that we ideally want to work with. We have to know who they are. First, we have to identify them. We have to We have to put ourselves in their mind, where do they live? What? Where do they hang out? Whether that’s in real space or virtual space? You know, what is it that defines that hero, that character.

Adam 20:14
And so it’s really that’s, that is the first step. And it’s the most important one of all. And most importantly, what we need to identify in that first step, as we figure out who our hero is, what is it that they want. And this is kind of a bonus outside of the seven part framework. And that’s identity transformation. And we can talk a little bit more about that at the end, too. But human beings, we’re just wired in a way that we we always are seeking to be better tomorrow than we are today, we’re seeking to be something different, we want to be different than what we are right now. And that’s an aspirational identity is what we call that. And so if we can identify what our heroes aspirational identity is, the rest of this framework falls into place pretty easy, because we know what it is that they want, who they want to be, we just need to help them get there.

Josh 21:11
So as from a perspective of a freelance web designer, it would be like knowing your demographic, your ideal clients, right? Like, knowing Okay, a small business has a terrible website. And you know, they want to be the ones who are proud of their website, looking at some of their pain points. And that could go into the identity thing, too. It’s like a small business that doesn’t want to send any traffic to their site, because it’s so bad. Well, this is something that will literally make a website and I hate to sound cheesy or corny, but it can literally change a business owners life, if they have a website they’re proud of. Yeah, yeah, it should be the hub where all their traffic goes. So. So that’s great.

Josh 21:50
And again, as a web designer, knowing that the hero is your potential clients, knowing what their challenges are, what their struggles are, doesn’t matter what industry they’re in. In particular, it could be any industry. But what I found in my experiences is that a lot of my clients all had the same issues. They had a terrible website, they didn’t want to drive traffic to it, they knew it was hurting sales, they knew they wanted to have something they could be proud of, and be represented by, and they knew they needed something that was going to be built for the long haul. So those were kind of the identifiers for me, at least that I found.

Adam 22:23
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, um, there’s, like, we do a lot of work with real estate agents. Okay, so that’s, that’s a big part of, of our agency and who we work with. That’s kind of fallen out a little bit over the last couple of weeks is a small Coronavirus thing is gone. But you know, I mean, the just to put an example to the the aspirational identity there, and how we identify who are our customer is that we’re trying to target our hero is they want, they want to be a leader in their market. So if they’re a realtor in Orlando, Florida, for example, you know, they want to be the leader in that market, they want to be known as the person that gets the best listings, sells the most properties makes the best commissions. That’s their aspirational identity. And so once we identify that everything else falls into place, and how we market to that particular potential customer.

Josh 23:29
Gotcha. And I’m sure we’ll talk about this when we close everything up at the end. But the tricky thing about all this is how to actually put this into a webpage or to a flyer or to a social media ad post. So the cool thing about this is you can lay out the big points, right, and then you could use it in a variety of different marketing materials.

Adam 23:48
Yeah, yep. Yeah. I mean, once you once you actually put this framework together, you have essentially seven distinct marketing messages that you can use all over the place.

Josh 24:01
Awesome. Awesome. So okay, so number one is to identify the character, the hero, which should be your potential customer, what’s number two? Let’s dive into that one.

Adam 24:10
So number two is the problem. And I would actually say this is the most important part of this framework. The problem is so important because if again, we’re going to talk movies here. If you don’t have a problem to solve, it’s not an interesting movie, right? I mean, you’re not you’re not captivating. Anyone to be part of that story. If you think of. If we have a movie where there’s a bomb, and the hero has to defuse the bomb, and 15 minutes into the movie, we the audience find out that the bombs not real there’s no longer any problem. We’re not going to hang around watch that movie because well, doesn’t matter anymore. Whether he diffuses the ball, right?

Adam 24:58
This is a thing that a lot of people find difficult because we don’t like to talk about problems, like it just doesn’t feel good to us to talk about problems. And there’s also something I think innately in the back of our mind, when we’re trying to obtain customers, we, we think that if we talk about their problems, we’re going to scare them away. And that’s just not true. Because when they come to your website, they want to know that you understand them. And if you can’t identify that they have a problem they’re trying to solve with your product or service, then you’ve already lost them, and they’re gonna go somewhere else, because they’re just like, okay, they don’t understand me, they don’t know what my problem is that I’m trying to solve. So how can I possibly believe they have the solution?

Josh 25:50
That’s a great point. And the if you identify the problems, or the pain points or challenges, whatever term you want to use there, that can really be like you said, the most important thing that can be like the grabber that gets somebody to say, like, Oh, crap, yeah, my website is terrible. Yeah, I’m embarrassed, I don’t want to drive any traffic to it. Like, those are the things that can make somebody interested in hearing more.

Adam 26:12
Yeah. And we, we, uh, we try to break that that part of it down to when we’re identifying what the problem is, there’s three parts to that there’s an external and internal and a philosophical problem. And the the thing that’s important to know there is, even though we want to identify what the external problem is, the external problem is not our moneymaker in our marketing, because people don’t actually seek out to purchase products or services to solve external problems. They’re actually looking to solve an internal or philosophical problem.

Adam 26:48
So if my drain is plugged, and I’m looking for a plumber, yes, in in practice, I’m trying to solve the external problem that my drain is plugged. But really what I’m looking for somebody that understands that I’m really frustrated by this, because I’ve been pouring all kinds of drainage down there. And it’s not clearing it out. I can’t seem to figure out how to clear it myself. And I’m really agitated because my wife thinks I ought to be able to do this on my own, and I can’t get it done. And now we’re, we can’t get our dishes clean. It’s impacting our day to day life. So what I’m really looking for is somebody that understands that, so that I can solve the internal problem of I’m frustrated about this, and it’s making me feel anxious. Right, gotcha. And it shouldn’t have to be that way. That’s the that’s the philosophical problem I’m trying to solve.

Josh 27:39
Yeah. And it’s interesting, because you wouldn’t think about those tie. Like you wouldn’t think about anything that’s philosophical or internal when it comes to just websites, but it is because it’s business and businesses, the most personal and most life impacting thing people are going to go through. So a good website is literally Yeah, like that can change somebodies everything, everything from mentality to, you know, emotional state, if, you know, a business’s being impacted, because they’re bad website, you know, a good marketing message to help drive sales is going to change everything for them. So I think that’s huge. That’s great.

Josh 28:14
So the problem, the pain points, the challenges, as web designers, it’s probably pretty easy to figure out basically, wherever you were a few years ago with your website, or if you have businesses that you know, it just looks terrible. Again, it’s not converting, it’s not representational of their product or service. Those are great pain points to, to kind of highlight. And that would lead to number three, right? Which I forget what number three is. That’s the guide, the guide, okay. Okay, so hero, the problem? And then did you have anything else you wanted to mention for the problem, pain point part?

Adam 28:47
The last thing I’ll say is just to remember, just like the bomb, that that doesn’t actually need to be diffused. We can’t stop talking about our customers problems. As soon as we stop talking about them, they forget that we understand them. And they’re no longer motivated to solve the problem. So this can be overdone. You have to be careful. But you have to continually agitate and poke at that pain point. Throughout not only your website, but your your email marketing, your social media marketing, you have to continue to probe that problem and remind them that you understand what that problem is.

Josh 29:27
That’s good. That’s great. All right. Now, here’s a big one. So number three, the guide that is us as the web designer, how should we come across? What are some ways that we can come across like the expert like the authority like the guide here? Yeah.

Adam 29:44
Easy. So there’s two, two answers to that very simple empathy and authority. Those are the ways that you come across as the guide and in before we dive really too deep into that, let’s talk about because we kind of set it on the front end You’re not the hero, you’re the guy. But why? Why do you have to be the guide and not the hero of the story? Well, here’s the thing. There can never be two heroes in any story. Think about any movie you watched where there’s more than one hero, they typically doesn’t work very well, those aren’t the movies that do well at the box office. And the problem when there’s more than one hero, ultimately, the customer, whether they realize it or not, it’s kind of a subconscious thing.

Adam 30:29
When they come into your narrative, they know that they’re the hero, they’re showing up as the hero. And if they see you also portraying yourself as the hero, their immediate responses, hey, there can’t be two heroes here. What’s the problem? Right, and so you’ve probably heard a fight or flight before, that’s exactly what happens is they go, there’s another hero in the story, I want to be the hero. And now I’m either gonna fight you to be the hero, or I’m just gonna go run the other direction. So that’s why it’s so important to be the guide.

Josh 31:04
Yeah, it’s funny because in the book, the the author Donald talks about the majority of movies that have this framework, and because at first I started reading the book, I was like, Whoa, I could see how that would work in the business world, but I didn’t really see how it would relate to entertainment or movies. But now, I cannot watch a movie without thinking about this. Whether it’s Star Wars, or whether it’s Lord of the Rings, like just those two examples with the idea of a character that has the struggle those problems, those pain points, whether internal or external. And then they have a guide to help them look at Star Wars. It’s Luke Skywalker. And who is his guide, Obi Wan? Look, Lord of the Rings. You got Frodo? Where’s the problem? Who’s his guide? Gandalf?

Josh 31:46
Even like we were watching Legally Blonde, I think they mentioned that the book to like Ellie woods, the character of Legally Blonde one of my wife’s favorite movies, she has the problem. But then she also has a guide, the Luke or Odin will not Oh, awesome. But his brothers character or whatever, like he’s kind of her guide. So literally, yeah, you’re right. Like all movies, at least ones that do pretty well do seem to have that framework. And it’s interesting. You mentioned the whole two character thing. We just watched Mad Max and I love that movie, still.

Josh 32:13
But they essentially have two characters in that movie, the new Mad Max, and I didn’t do as well in the box office. And I think that could potentially be a big part of it. Like there’s characters that you kind of have, it’s like, well, who, what’s one to identify with when they’re both kind of tugging at each other? Which is very, very interesting. So yeah, it’s so true man, and all stories and all movies. It seems like that formula definitely rings true, because you identify with that character who, you know, you’re kind of along the ride with them. And that’s where us, you know, we need to be the guide, again, that are helping, they’re helping our clients, so they feel every step of this process.

Adam 32:51
Yeah, and I mean, and here’s the other problem, too. Let’s talk about those two movies, because those are two really good examples, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. Think about who the heroes are Luke Skywalker and Frodo, when we first meet both of those characters. They’re confused, they’re weak, they don’t know, they lack a sense of direction and understanding, they have no idea what to do. Right. And that’s really pretty typical of any story that we see when we first meet the hero. And so this is a this is a big paradigm shift here. But the hero is always the weakest character in the story. And so you’re trying to be the hero, you’re actually trying to portray yourself as the weakest character in the story. And that’s really not how we want to present ourselves, our customers.

Josh 33:39
Yeah, cuz the customer is the one who’s weak and confused. All they know is I’ve got a terrible site. Well, I have no idea even where to start. I don’t know how to design like they, that’s a great analogy. They are at that point. So they need someone to to solve their problems, says a guide.

Adam 33:56
So now, conversely, we think about Gandalf and Obi Wan. And who were they? Well, both of them had really kind of been they’ve been there, done that, right. So they were able to say that was their authority part of it. I’ve done this before I’ve been here before I know how I’m going to teach you. I can teach you the ways I can teach you how to be the hero I can teach you how to rain the day. And and that’s how we use authority in this part of the framework is by by being able to demonstrate that we’ve done this before we we’ve helped other customers with the same problem before and that’s a really great place to bring in case studies and things like that and say testimonials is this Yeah, this is our authority. Empathy is really just us expressing that we understand the problem that they’re facing and how it makes them feel. And that’s that’s pretty straightforward. I don’t think it takes a whole lot of explanation to understand how to do that. But you have to make sure that you actually do because if Yeah, and

Josh 34:59
it’s Yeah, I found myself in my career as a freelance web designer, I would always do that unintentionally. And I wasn’t aware of this, but I would do it in meetings, I would say like, Oh, I totally understand it can be really confusing, you have no idea what to do, you know, you don’t have an eye for design. But I’ll help you out to that. So unintentionally, I was doing part of this framework. But where I failed in a lot of ways was I did not have it in the verbiage on my website.

Josh 35:25
And even with my courses. Now, as like we talked about earlier, I’m currently revamping the rest of my older course pages. But I have a section that I literally say, meet your guide, and I per course, I list out the fact that I am empathetic to each one of the problems in these courses. Like for my business course, I am very understanding of struggling as a freelance web designer and having feast and famine and wanting to build your business but not knowing how. And so that’s the empathy part. But then, as I’ve been doing it for over a decade now, that’s the authority. So I basically, as you probably found out by, you know, reading the course pages I come in with, I’ve been there, I’ve now I’m scaling it at six figures consistently. And I’ve learned like the most important things that I want to teach you. So you can avoid that. And you can have the same result.

Adam 36:14
But imagine if you didn’t express that, why would why would anybody be motivated, if the solution that they’re looking for is, I’m struggling in my business, either because the processes aren’t in place, or, you know, I don’t know enough about how to how to use a website maintenance plan to bring me recurring revenue. And that’s the problem they’re trying to solve. And you didn’t express to them that you also had done this on your own before and did it successfully. And we’re earning a six figure income, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t look to you as somebody who’s authoritative, and able to actually help them. And so we have to make sure that people understand that we can help them we have the authority, we have the knowledge, we have the ability to do it.

Josh 37:00
That’s a great point. And I think that’s where a lot of people who say, like folks who come out of the gate and they say I want to be a motivational speaker, I feel like that’s really common. A lot of people want to be a motivational speaker. Well, it’s like, what do you motivate? Like, what have you done? What’s the challenge? Like, you know, just pumping somebody up is not enough. Same thing with clients, like you can’t just get clients excited about a new website. There’s a lot more layers, there’s many more layers that need to be addressed with this. So I think that’s a huge point.

Adam 37:29
Yeah. And you, you mentioned how you, you’re constantly trying to refine everything, I would encourage you, like, don’t don’t feel intimidated by that. I’m there. It’s always a process of refining. You know, I’m still refining things. Like you said, I took your business course. And I implemented a bunch of that stuff. And I’m going back through it again, because I know that there’s some things I didn’t fully implement the way I need to. And so I mean, it’s, I feel like..

Josh 37:57
It is a dense, it’s a dense course to man, there’s a lot, there’s a lot.

Adam 38:01
I just feel like it’s it’s a typical problem that people in our industry have is we’re perfectionists and, and that’s okay, we want to get things done, right. But we also have to recognize and understand that it’s a process and not everything, you’re never going to get to a point where everything is perfect the way it is, and then be able to put it on autopilot. If you do that, you’re going to fail, you have to constantly be refining and fine tuning and adjusting things. And I’m still doing that even now with storebrand. And I’m a certified guide, and I’m still fine tuning. In fact, I’ll give you a secret here. I’m actually working on a complete rebrand right now with the new logo and color palette and everything. And working on my messaging. And I actually contracted another guy to help me with it because there’s that curse of knowledge that I’m inside my own business. I needed somebody outside looking in to help me too. Yeah.

Josh 38:59
What a great man. That’s a great mind. It’s absolutely okay. It’s an awesome mindset to have even though Yeah, you. It’s like hiring a professional web designer to help you as a professional web designer, like sometimes it is. You know, I found that with Jonathan, my lead designer, a lot of times I’ll turn to Him for stuff, I could figure it out. But how valuable is it to get another set of eyes on something? And I do the same thing now with a growing network of designers. Yeah, a lot of times you can hire somebody just like you that has a different mindset with things or maybe not a different mindset, but just different experience to bring to the table or a different set of eyes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s great. And, you know, you know, as the guide, that’s the thing. It’s like, it’s so easy to get stuck into your own world. Like you said, the gift of knowledge is kind of a curse.

Josh 39:45
And you You hit the nail on the head, man, that’s the biggest struggle for all web designers is majority of us are perfectionist, and we want it to be perfect. But here’s another earth shattering secret that I didn’t learn until years into my business. And that is that you No website is ever 100% done. It is literally just like you said, it’s an ongoing thing. And I really struggled with that, because I would fine tune stuff to death, most things clients wouldn’t care about. I was paying so much extra time. I mean, the amount of hours I’ve wasted on tweaking little teeny CSS things that made no difference whatsoever. I mean, sometimes it’s good to be really detailed.

Josh 40:24
But at some point, you just got to launch. The thing is, I feel like as long as you get a website, 95% there, go for it go for you’ll figure the little things after that. And I tell that to clients, too, because some of my clients struggle with that. They’re like, they’re looking over things. I’m like, listen, that is not like, you don’t need to worry about that right now. We can adjust that after it’s live. We do not need to delay this process, which kills cash flow, which is a whole nother topic.

Josh 40:49
But yeah, that’s huge. You know, it’s just nothing is ever 100% done, you get it damn good enough. And then you can refine it as you go. That’s that is honestly one of the biggest things that has helped me stay successful with producing a lot of content is like, Yeah, could that video or that tutorial be a little bit better? Yeah, but as long as I feel really good about it, that’s good enough. Get it out? Yep, yep, I really got it. So what does that lead to? Then after you’re the guide? You know, we’ve identified the character, the hero, which is our clients, the main problems, we figured out that, you know, we’re empathetic, we’re the authority. What does that lead to next?

Adam 41:23
Yeah. So, Frodo, met Gandalf. And what did Gandalf give him? The very first thing he did was gave him a plan, right? The plan is the next step in this seven part framework. The plan is important. For this reason, you can have gone through all this right now, you might have nailed exactly who your hero is exactly what they want, exactly what their problems are. And you’ve demonstrated empathy and authority and put position yourself in the guide as the guide. But your customer still isn’t going to buy from you because they don’t know how they’re like, Okay, yep. All right, this guy gets me he knows what my problems are. He sounds like he has the solution. Okay, now what, what do I do? Like what is? What does it look like to work with you? And again, we have to keep things simple here.

Adam 42:15
And here’s the reason why story based or narrative break based marketing works is because there’s so much noise out there in the marketplace right now. People are bombarded with over 3000 marketing messages a day, that there’s just confusion, right? People want plain and simple. Tell me what does it look like if I’m going to work with you. And we always recommend three steps is ideal. You want to break whatever it is your process is, from start to finish, down to three simple steps. You can make it for if you have to. But any more than that, and you’ve lost people. So three or four steps, fill out, you know, fill out the questionnaire, get your personal quote, or proposal, then build your website and be successful. Right? That’s that’s a three step process. People want a vision of what it looks like to walk with you is the guide from the beginning to the end.

Josh 43:15
And I found that to be huge when talking with clients. And then as I’ve kind of my in transit, my business site, I have, there’s so much we need to do on that I just haven’t had time to work on it. But I have laid some of this in place, particularly when it comes to the process and the plan. You don’t think you haven’t been through my web design process course. Right, Adam? No, I have not just. That one is a 50 step process. But it’s for web designers. And it’s very in depth. However, I have five categories. All of those 50 Steps reside in the five categories. But the what I tell my clients is that our process is a three step process. Basically, I boil everything down and on my maintenance studios site and on my what I call my Getting Started page, right when a client starts because they want to know what the process is like they’re terrified of like, what do I do, which is why we need to train our clients. I talked about this in the business course really empowering our clients during the Content Collection and onboarding phase.

Josh 44:14
But what I tell my clients, as you know, as I we do a three step design process, it’s plan and design. And then number two is build and develop. And then number three is revise and launch the three easy steps clients get it. They don’t need to know what goes into coding with CSS, or troubleshooting or getting into the nitty gritty of what’s involved with sending a site to Google Search Console and optimizing for SEO like those are things we can worry about. And I think that’s where a lot of businesses struggle, is they talk about all that stuff that’s just completely foreign to clients, particularly as web designers. A lot of web designers will throw out web design lingo. And I remember when I when I first heard about Divi I was subcontracted for a local ad cut like a marketing company and They invited me on on a conference call with one of their web designers who talked with a potential client.

Josh 45:05
And this dude was really smart, highly skilled developer. But that was a big problem in the sales process, because he was talking with this lead. And he was talking about flash versus html5 and all this stuff. And the client was just like, I don’t even know what you’re saying right now, you know. So that’s where having a very simplified planning process is huge. And I think, yeah, there’s power in threes, I often do a lot of things in threes, design wise, just call them structure and everything. And that’s a great point, make your process a three step very easy understand. And the design process can be different from the onboarding or quote, process, like you said, it might be submit this questionnaire will get the details, then we do a proposal or however, you know, that would lay out.

Adam 45:50
And this is maybe a little bit of a rabbit trail, and it’s kind of a, a psychology thing. But the reason why we do that, and I’m just as guilty, and I still find myself doing this sometimes, and I have to stop myself. The reason we do that when we start talking to our clients about html5 and JavaScript, and you know, CSS, and we start mentioning these things, really, the reason for that is because we don’t understand how to express authority as the guide the right way. We’re trying to make ourselves sound smart, we’re trying to, we’re trying to, to express to our client that we know all these things about designing a website, we’ll make ourselves sound smart and competent. But really all we’re doing is confusing the crap out of them. And that’s not the appropriate way or effective way to demonstrate authority. The way to demonstrate authority is through examples of how you’ve helped other people before through case studies and testimonials. That’s the stuff that makes sense to them. They don’t give a crap what JavaScript is.

Josh 46:50
Yeah. And when in doubt, just tell clients advanced custom code, advanced custom code, those are my three words. And then my clients look like a deer in the headlight. They’re like, Oh, that sounds okay. It sounds like you’re worth the money. advanced custom code. I say, like, you know, if you want to do this, we can do it, or we can train you, but you’re gonna have to do some advanced custom code. And they’re like, oh, no, you guys. Yep. Just will sign your maintenance plan. You guys take care of it. It’s a sales pitch. And so.

Adam 47:16
I made that mistake one time talking about schema markup with a client. And I’m like, You know what, I, I know how to talk to Google. Oh, okay. That makes sense.

Josh 47:26
Yeah. To make make Google happy, again, go into the three make Google happy, advanced custom code. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome, man. So okay, so come up with that plan, that that process, and what does that lead us into next.

Adam 47:37
You have to call them to action. So again, remember, our hero is weak, and they’re confused. They’re still not going to do business with you at this point, even though you’ve done all these other things up to this point, because now they’re left going, okay. Now I understand what it looks like through the process. But what do you want me to do now? Like, what is it that I have to do to do business with you? And so this is the big single biggest thing I see as a common error that people make, especially on their website. Because I I’ll do free website audits for people. So if they, it’s part of one of my marketing funnels that I offer a free website audit.

Adam 48:18
And if I do that, I just it’s a five minute video. So I’ll just I’ll record myself going through their website, talking about different things. And the single biggest thing I see and I like to joke with people, I say, will you give me a 10% market share in your business, if I can double your income with one thing today? And they’re like, Well, yeah, of course. And so the big, big thing is you need to have a direct call to action. And that button for that direct call to action needs to be in the top right corner of your website. That’s what we call the cash register.

Adam 48:55
The way if you’ve ever used hot jar before, you probably know this, the way people navigate through your website, they scan, and it’s like a Z pattern. So they start at the top left, and they go across the top, and then they come down across like a z to the bottom, and then back across. Well, that button being in the top right is where people expect it to be. They know to look for it there. It’s like the cash register at Walmart. If Walmart decided to start putting their cash registers in the stockroom, nobody would know how to buy anything, everybody would just be walking around the store confused.

Josh 49:32
You know, and that’s I love that you pointed out the Z because I talked about that pattern in my website design course. And one thing I mentioned in that just as kind of a free lesson for everybody is we look at websites just like we read which is not right to left, it’s left to right. So you go left to right, the music down to the left, left to right Zig down to the left. So yeah, huge for conversions and having a button on the top right. Ideally, very rarely, like I need to implement that myself. Say what’s tough. And maybe we could talk about this as I have a few different call to actions. Whereas most businesses, we like to identify one main call to action. And that may be get a quote or Call now, or contact us or sign up.

Josh 50:15
Sometimes if they are to, like you mentioned realtors, sometimes with to call to actions because Realtors generally have two main customers, they have sellers and buyers. So sometimes we’ll revamp the the Call to Action section a little bit. But the premise and the idea of reading left to right is huge. It can also be really big for a lot of content, like a lot of people will just write like five paragraphs on their page. And then it takes what three or four scrolls to get through all that content. A webpage is not a book, you can’t do that. So what I recommend is that people align things in a Z pattern. So image on the left text on the right, and then text on the left image on the right follow like Desi pattern, which, which is really huge. But yeah, having that call to action, you know, I just had a thought I don’t want to I don’t want to let it escape me. The idea of the cash register or like Walmart or something, I always recommend having your main call to action on your website, right in the beginning and your hero image set or your hero section and and also in the footer.

Josh 51:16
And it’s just like walking into Walmart you are, let’s use targets, I don’t we don’t really shop at Walmart much anymore, we got to target. So target, you walk in, you see the red, you see the register. So it’s kind of like seeing the call to action, you go to a website, you see, get a quote. So you want you get the stuff, you get the information, then you come back out. And then you see that again, you can walk out but you’re gonna walk past that call to action again, that in this case, the cash register. And it’s just like a website. That’s why I like to have the main call to action, be front and center very clear what they should do. And then they go through this entire framework of content. And then they get to the bottom of the page, what’s their, there’s the main call to action again. And I think that’s a really important framework to follow. Just because I didn’t do that for years. i To your point, it was like I told everyone how great our services were. And we had testimonials. But I never had a clear call to action. My first couple website designs never had a button. It was just information. So no wonder I didn’t do great starting out. I made just enough to get by. But yeah, like there is no strong call to action to say, Do this sign up. Yeah.

Adam 52:19
Well, and to go back to your target example, when you first walk in the store, and you see that cash register there, the call to action. The other reason that’s really important is because as soon as you walk in the store, before you’ve even identified, whether you’re interested in buying anything or not, you already know exactly where to go, when you do find something you bought want to buy.

Adam 52:41
So that’s that’s the important thing. So same concept applies your website, when somebody comes to your website, they’re trying to get a feel for what you’re about who you are, what your products and services are, and whether they want to work with you or not. If you put that direct call to action right there at the top, they already know within the first three seconds of opening your webpage, this is where the cash register is. So if I like what I see here, and I want to buy something, that’s where I need to go. Right? So we’re telling them right at the front end, this is where to go to work with me go there go to this spot. And then I actually suggest that you sprinkle that direct call to action throughout your your website. That may or may not necessarily be in every section. But but certainly you want to sprinkle it throughout, and so on, there’s actually there’s two types of calls to action that we we recommend people use. And that’s a direct call to action, and a transitional call to action.

Josh 53:39
I was just gonna ask about that. I wanted to make sure recovered that. Yeah, maybe explain what the differences between those two.

Adam 53:45
Yeah. So your direct call to action is just that. It has to be it has to be very direct, it is the ultimate thing that you want somebody to do when they come to your website. So if that for you, if it’s an e commerce Store, and that’s the buy something. That’s your direct call to action.

Josh 54:04
Shop, shop now versus people saying because what well, I’ve found what’s really popular, excuse me, as people say like, learn more, or get more info. We find out more the week. Yeah, those are like, that’s fine. If you want to go to a blog post, if they want to learn more. But if you want to sell something it needs to be by now shop. Yeah. And so a quote.

Josh 54:24
If we were to like, let’s use an example here, my direct call to action. Let’s say I’m dating a pretty lady, my direct call to action is Will you marry me? I mean, that’s ultimately what I want to happen. Right? And so I mean, maybe that’s maybe everybody’s a little bit different, ultimately. But it’s also really, folks.

Adam 54:45
For the sake of this conversation. That’s the ultimate goal is I want this girl to marry me. So that’s my direct call to action. Well, if I if I say on the first date, will you marry me? Chances are I’m going to get a note right But if my call to action is weak, like you said, a lot of people use learn more get started. Well imagine if I say to this girl on my first date, and ladies try to put yourselves in this shoe that you know, are listening to the show. If I say to you want to learn more, want to get started, like, oh, that’s, that’s really creepy for one. Yeah, it’s also really unclear, like, what do I mean by that? Like, what is? What does it mean to get started or learn?

Josh 55:31
Good point, that’s a great.

Adam 55:33
Um, I can mean a lot of different things. And so being clear, you know, I’m sure gonna get slapped. If I say learn more or get started. If I say, will you marry me, I probably won’t get slapped, I might just get a funny response of what no, like, we just went on our first date, right. So now that’s where the transitional call to action comes in. Because people can come to your website, and they can be interested in what you have to offer and how you’ve, you know, taken them through this framework, but they might not be ready to do business with you yet, they might not be ready to actually buy from you yet. And so, in order to keep those people around and continue to nurture them, so that they are ready to do business with you, we need a transitional call to action. So that’s, you know, will you go on another date with me?

Josh 56:26
Is the analogy like request a quo or request a consultation, or something like that, that takes them to the next step. But doesn’t mean they’re necessarily buying right now. But it seems like that’s a little more assertive than learn more.

Adam 56:42
Yeah, so it’s going to be different depending upon the industry. All right, everybody’s transitional and direct call to actions are going to be a little bit different. Typically, I recommend that your transitional call to action, be connected with your lead generator. So you know, if you’re doing website audits as a lead generator, or you know, maybe it’s a on demand pod, or an on demand webinar, or a class or, you know, any one of these things, your your lead generator ought to be something that people would spend anywhere from 20 to $100 for, but you’re going to give it to them for free in exchange for an email address. And that’s your transitional call to action is get our ebook, get our you know, free class, get our free website audit, that’s your transitional call to action is what these people are really looking for, that aren’t ready to go to your direct call to action. They want you to continue to demonstrate authority and empathy to them. And those lead generators, whether it’s through your your ebook, or your class or email marketing platform, that gives you the ability to continue to nurture them and share with them the empathy and authority that you have as the guy until they’re ready to click on that direct call that

Josh 58:08
that’s a good point. I’m actually kind of thinking through my tutorials right now, a lot of times I will promote my courses in my tutorials, I’ll say like, you know, if you want to learn more about Divi at my, my Divi beginners course, or my CSS course, but I’m working on like different, like you said, transitional cold actions or transitional trainings. That way, if somebody just finds me for the first time on YouTube, and they go through a five minute tutorial, yeah, maybe they’re not ready to spin 297 For my CSS course yet, but if I could have another option for them to take it to the next step further, that would definitely incline them more to be ready to do a sale to that next period.

Josh 58:44
And I actually think about this through the podcasting course, I went through Pat Flynn, who I follow now highly recommend. I saw a webinar, I heard him on a podcast, and then he had a free webinar that was an hour about podcasting. And then he offered a free cheat sheet download. And then that was the transition that got me to his course. And then I invested in the course. So that’s a great path that we could lay out for our clients as well. Whether it’s okay, they see your maybe they hear about you, they see your website, if you have any sort of free resource or free training that would really help build your authority, transition them into being ready to buy. Yeah, that’s a great, great path. Yeah, great way to go.

Adam 59:26
And really what what your transitional Call to Action kind of leads into is a discussion about sales funnel. And that’s a whole nother conversation. But sales funnels are a really integral part of the story brand framework as well. And really, the way the way we as guides define a sales funnel because there’s a lot of different like, you know, some people might call a sales funnel, you know, if you’re using WooCommerce and cart flows, you know, the upsells downsells, and one time offers and things like that. Yes, that’s a sales funnel, but that’s not the type of sales funnel that I’m talking about.

Adam 1:00:01
When we’re talking about a sales funnel, we’re talking about having a lead generator that leads to an email marketing campaign. And really right now with everything that’s going on with Coronavirus, and people being quarantined, and maybe work being a little bit a bit slow for people, this is the perfect, perfect time to build yourself a sales funnel. Because that nurture campaign, those emails just help you coax those people that were on the fence that, you know that day that you just went on that needed a second, third, fourth, fifth, whatever day in order to decide to marry you. It helps you coax that that relationship through to the point where they say, Yes.

Josh 1:00:44
Really good point, and even even event like during these times right now, even if it doesn’t result in an immediate sale, I think there’s a lot of power in producing that content, staying in the front of mind, and of people and then building that authority through this time so that when things do turn around you, you’re their guy or their gal, you’re that trusted person. That’s a very, very valuable point. You know, one thing I wanted to hit on real quick before I move to the next one, get started is a really popular call to action I see for web designers. But the problem with that, and you’ll probably I see you’re shaking your head.

Josh 1:01:17
So the problem with that is it’s like from the customer and what like you said, what the date? What am I getting myself into? Am I if I click get started, am I going to be invoiced? Am I going to be billed? Or like what is this, I changed my mind to just get a quote because that’s where we start. That’s my when people go to my site, it’s all about getting a quote, because we can’t you know, it’s not a product on my Josh Hall co site. Yeah, I want people to buy right there. I want them to buy a course. But But I do have other transitional call to actions before that, too. But yeah, to that point, it’s like, the client has no idea what get started mean? Does that mean get started with a conversation? Does that mean actually get started? Like, am I gonna go to an invoice page after this? Or am I going to get started and go to process? Like, I have no idea, you know what it’s gonna go to. So I think that’s huge, make it very clear what that call to action is.

Adam 1:02:07
Yeah, your your direct calls to action need to be aggressive, and pointed, needs to be very specific to what it is that you want them to do. And if you’re using get started, you may as well just put a question mark at the end of that. Because, like you said, it’s just confusing. Nobody knows what that means.

Josh 1:02:24
Yeah, you know, a lot of people I think in the book, it makes the, the reference of or the analogy of like, if you’re talking to a girl and you and you want to ask her out most marketing messages from companies now it sounds something like hey, do you like nice dinners? Oh, that’s cool. You know? It’s like, No, it’s not D like nice dinners. It’s Hey, well, you go to a nice dinner with me. You know, that was a great example. I think about young Josh trying to flirt with girls and just, you know, like, do you like music? Cool. Like, Well, great. Yeah. Okay. She’s walking away. No, it’s, yeah, make that call to action. Strong. And dating and and web design? Yeah. Yeah. So great. Number five call to action. And what does that lead us to next, Adam?

Adam 1:03:09
Yeah, so this, this is kind of a unique part of the framework, because we’ve already gone through five of the seven part framework, right. And at this point, it’s been all linear, right? It’s a direct from one to the next. Okay? At this point, there’s a branch and it splits off. Okay. And what we have to do at this point is we have to demonstrate to the hero, how working with us can either end in success, or if they don’t work with us, it ends in failure, right. So the story has to end in either success or failure. They have a decision to make at this point. And that’s why it splits off. And so we’ll talk about the success first. Because I think that’s the most straightforward, I think we already kind of get this right like that. That’s something, I think this is the part that we tend to skip to, without understanding really how this framework works, and what story based marketing is, and understanding that we’re the guy, not the hero, when we’re trying to present ourselves as the hero.

Adam 1:04:11
We’re doing what? We’re talking about the success, we’re really good at talking about the success. And so I think that’s straightforward. It’s pretty much just making sure that that person understands, if you work with me, here’s how you’re going to be successful, you’re going to, you know, I’m going to help you earn six figures, or we’re going to double your revenue, we’re going to increase your conversions, we’re going to, you know, whatever that may be, they need to see that picture of success. And if you can present that picture of success that directly responds to their aspirational identity that we talked about earlier. That’s a really, really, really successful, sick message of success, if that makes sense. You know, if again, going back to that realtor example, when I was talking about aspiration identity Earlier, the success is you’re going to be the leader in your market, everybody is going to recognize you as the best listing agent in your area. Those are the types of words we want to use in that example. Because again, it’s about them, it’s not about us, we want to give them a picture of what it looks like to be successful, and how they can be that person that they’re aspiring to be.

Josh 1:05:23
Gotcha. Now, so what six being talking about the results? Or how the story ends in success or failure? Is failure? Number seven, or is that a whole different point? Yes. Number seven, yep, gotcha. Soif you don’t, you know, if you neglect our services, this is what would happen. In the case of web design, you are going to continue on having poor conversion, selling less online content, you know, that kind of thing.

Adam 1:05:49
And this is, this is really tough for people, again, similar to agitating the pain points and the problem, because people again, they feel like oh, my gosh, if I, if I’m just talking about what their failure, then I’m going to scare him away. And again, it’s not it’s not true, because there has to be stakes. If there’s no stakes, to making the decision to work with you or not or buy from you, then they’re just not going to be motivated. To actually do business with you. You have to properly motivate them by showing them what the picture of success and failure is. Because if they fail, if they decide not to work with you, they’re going to be stuck in the same spot they’re at right now they’re going to still feel overwhelmed and frustrated and confused. They’re going to they’re going to they’re never going to earn the six figures that they want to their businesses is not going to succeed. And really, this again, goes back to that aspirational identity. It’s it’s about them being stuck in the same spot that they’re in right now.

Josh 1:06:53
That’s great. Yeah. And going back to like the movie analogy of Frodo decided not to take the ring, what would happen what’s at stake? Well, success would be Yeah, you know, destroying Mordor and getting all geek in on Geek and on everybody right now. You know, basically saving Middle Earth or failure is we’re all probably gonna die and get taken over. And same with Star Wars Luke either in in success and defeat the Empire or, or at least, you know, blow up a Death Star, or, you know, be stuck where he’s at? And who knows what’s gonna happen? Like, yeah, there’s, that’s, that’s a great idea to kind of pinpoint what could happen if you go this way? Or what could happen if you go that way. Particularly being stuck. I think being stuck is a great terminology for for web design clients.

Adam 1:07:37
Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I think if those that are able to actually do this and do it successfully, as far as identifying the failure, it’s a huge motivator for people. Again, you have to be careful, though, you can overdo it. Yeah, there is the option, the opportunity to overdo it and scare people away. But you, you can’t shy away from actually pointing it out.

Josh 1:08:10
Now, do you? Have you seen success with adding step six and seven with success or failure in with a call to action? Because I’m experimenting with that right now? To where I might say, okay, at the end of the page, it’s like, if you’re ready to have a beautiful website that actually converts? Or are you going to be stuck where you’re at with a bad website that isn’t converting or something like that, then there’s the call to action? How do you feel about that, like kind of merging all that together? Because what I fear of having those under a call to action, that those are going to get overlooked? Or like if somebody goes to the bottom of webpage, there’s a nice big call to action section, I would like to have that success or failure option, ideally, in that section, or maybe around it.

Adam 1:08:53
Yeah, I mean, again, it’s gonna be dependent upon who the client is like, what the industry is, and that sort of thing. But typically, what I try to do is sprinkle the success and failure in with my messages about what their problem is. And like that’s, that’s where all mixing the failure part is, this is your problem. And you don’t want to be stuck here, the, you know, this, this is, this is what we want to get you out of, and then I sprinkle the success in with the empathy and the the plan and talking about how we can help. So I mean, there are there is a time to actually create a separate section that just spells that out, but it’s really dependent upon excuse me, exactly what the industry is, and how you’re trying to direct that message.

Josh 1:09:46
Yeah, yeah. And the cool thing about this is that these seven points because I’m sure a lot of people are listening to this or watching this and thinking, okay, these are great, but how can I implement this like you could do thing you could kind of highlight each one Have these separately and certain marketing, whether it’s email or whether it’s social media or whatever. But the idea of particularly a front page of a website, this is the exact framework that I have put together in a couple child themes in my courses. And then I’ve talked about my last couple courses.

Josh 1:10:16
But these are also the things that we’re putting involved, or we’re putting into play with our clients. Because again, this is universal stuff, even for our clients, like they have a service, they are the guide, you know, we’re the guide for designing their website, but then they are the guide for their clients. So what I’d like to do real quick, I’d like to review these. And then what I want to do is just give everybody an example of how you could make this into a front page. So number one, really quick, identify the hero. Number two is the problem, the pain points, the challenges, number three is the guide, that’s you. Number four is the plan or the process. Number five is your call to action. And then six and seven are kind of the story whether it’s going to end the success or failure.

Josh 1:10:57
So the way I see this, and the what I’ve been implementing for this as a front page, you can identify the hero the problem right away, right? In your hero image, it’s, you know, do in the case of web design, do you have a terrible website, or is your website costing you money, not making you money, something like that. And then it’s like, if you want a beautiful website that you’re proud of, then call to action again, which we’re going to again, going back to what we talked about earlier, having a call to action up front, then at the end, do we’re disregarding the menu right now I’m just talking about the the page. Yeah, so that’s number one, they figured out, okay, I look at this website, I’m the hero, I just found the challenges, the pain points I’m having, or you know, idea of kind of why I would go about this. And that’s the that’s the number one thing, when they scroll down, then you can go into the problem and the pain points a little more, you could go into what they’re feeling what they you know what they’re definitely going through. And I’ve done this with my course pages, every course is identify kind of the top six main pain points or so that you’re inevitably going to face.

Josh 1:11:57
And then it leads into the guy, that’s you. So then so the next section is, hey, this is me, or this is the company, we feel you we’ve been we’re at, we know the challenges that you’re facing. But we’ve helped so and so many clients through these challenges, and this is where you can add testimonials, reviews and social proof. And just talk about, again, using empathy and authority as number three to guide. And then number four is the plan. Okay? So it’s like, alright, feel this. Now, here’s the plan, here’s what we can do for you, we can build your new website, and this is our process, we design and layout the site, then we build and develop, then we revise and launch, that’s the process.

Josh 1:12:35
And then finally, it gets to the Call to Action section, which is again, what we just talked about, where we can merge a little bit about, you know, for example, what I would what I probably do in this case is say, Okay, if you’re ready to have a beautiful website that converts for you, you know, get a quote, or if you don’t, you’ll be stuck where maybe I wouldn’t say it like that. But what I might say is like so you know, at this point, you can either stay where you’re at, and hope your website, you know isn’t going to cost you more money. Or we can work together and we’ll build a beautiful site that converts, boom, get a quote. So there we go. That was I was just trying to, like, say an example of how we can utilize this framework, because it’s a lot, it can be very confusing. Would you have anything to add on that, though? Like how this can be actually implemented?

Adam 1:13:21
No, I mean, that I think that’s perfect, exactly the way you walk through that there’s, there’s one thing that I would fine tune in the way you laid that out. And that’s the, you know, you mentioned the guide portion, right, and presenting yourself as the guide through empathy and authority. And then going into some testimonials or case studies. Typically, what I like to do is position yourself as the guide first, and then demonstrate the plan. And then in the next section go into testimonials and case studies. And here’s the reason why. Because I know, I know that sounds a little goofy, because it sounds like you’re breaking it up a little bit. And you are but the reason for that is because we want to say okay, I’m the guy, I have empathy in authority. And here’s the reasons why. Here’s our plan. Here’s our three step plan for how we help you. The testimonials come after that because people want to see that your plan actually works. Okay, that’s good. You position the plan in front of them first. So they they comprehend what the plan is. And now they get social proof right underneath that, that your plan actually does work.

Josh 1:14:26
That’s great. And a great example of how you can use this and just kind of, you know, like you said kind of rework things in and around that same seven step process. That’s great. Really good point. Yeah. Because yeah, so a lot of people a lot of people it seems like they put testimonials below everything, but then it’s too late. It’s like or it’s too early if people are very Millennials or right up front like if you go to a site and is nothing but testimonials. It’s like wow, I don’t even know what this company does, you know, or why should work with them. So that’s great, man. That’s awesome.

Adam 1:14:58
And then my favorite, favorite Section when I work with clients through this framework, and we end up wireframing, a new website for them based upon it, my absolute favorite section is all the way at the bottom right before your footer. And that’s what I call the junk drawer. And the junk drawer is everything that you previously thought was really important on your homepage that now you’ve learned is no longer important. But if you really insist on having it on there, we put it in the junk drawer.

Josh 1:15:29
Gotcha. That’s great. That’s a great yeah, there. Yeah, the footer is a powerful place to have a lot of things that people can get to, but they don’t necessarily it’s hierarchal, it’s not the most important thing. And what do I want to say to oh, sorry, go ahead.

Josh 1:15:42
No, I’m sorry. I was just gonna say, Here’s the other thing about the junk drawer. One of the things that I always recommend we put down there. And this is a big paradigm shift for a lot of people too. Is your about page, your about us page. Yeah. And people are like, what, why that’s the third most visited page on your website. Yes, that is true. But you have to understand the reason why it’s the third most visited page on your website. The problem is, is that most of the times were so confusing in our messaging on our websites, that people are going to our about page because they’re like, surely this is going to tell me something that’s gonna make sense to me. So we have a tendency, we hear this statistic right of, well, my about page is the third most important page on my site. That means people want to hear all about me, they don’t trust me, they don’t like they go to your home to hear about when the wood they don’t want to hear about when the business is building was built by their grandpa or whatever.

Adam 1:16:43
They don’t care. The only reason why that’s your third most visited page is because people are trying to make sense out of everything else on your page, that doesn’t currently make any sense. And I don’t suggest you get rid of your about page because some people want to have that personal connection and understanding. Yeah, but you don’t put it in your header, it needs to go in your footer, because that’s a page that people know exists on almost every web site. And if they really want to find it, they will look for it.

Josh 1:17:12
Yeah. And you know, sometimes I’ve found that an about page can be really beneficial if there’s a story involved as far as like taking the empathy and authority to the next level, because your story could essentially lay out the empathy and authority. But the problem I see with a lot of businesses is they lay all that out on the front page. And it takes up a ton of real estate, for example. Last year, we did a site for a nonprofit. And I think you saw this in the course. They’re initially their design, their front page was basically their story. It had a couple of call to actions, but their story was like right under the hero image. And it was a big section about them, them them. Well. The problem was, yeah, talked about, you know what they do and why they do it. But it was, again, their story.

Josh 1:18:00
So the the customers weren’t relating to the website or getting the information or understanding like, what’s the main call to action here. So what we did is we just created a lead in and it was in that same section in the guide section as far as like, why what you know, what about the company, why we’re different, how we can help. And then there was just a lead in about the story. And then they could learn more about the story. So it was kind of a transitional call to action for them to learn more about the business or the nonprofit in this case if they wanted to. So yeah, great, great thing to keep in mind.

Adam 1:18:31
And your about page should really just be a continuation of the guide page in your, your the guide section, I should say your about page should be about your hero. And you just continuing to say, here’s why I have empathy and authority. And so really, you keep your your guide section on your homepage short. And you can create a link from there that goes to your about page if they want to learn more about you or the business. And so yeah, that’s my recommendation.

Josh 1:19:01
Yeah, I just I revamped my front page on Jace, just a little while ago. And what I did was I had a little section just talking because a lot of people want to know about me as the sensitive personal brand. But I was very careful not to overload the front page. So I basically just put a little paragraph with enough about me to show some empathy and some authority. But then again, there’s that link to learn more, if they want to view my full about page. So yeah, awesome, man. Well, wow, what a great framework. This is. I mean, this is a prerequisite. I feel like if you get into web design, you just have, I think you have to read this book building a story brand by Donald Miller. I’ll link in the show notes. Yeah, there’s a brand new one for marketing. Right.

Adam 1:19:44
Yeah. So they just released a new one. I think it was only just a week ago now. Yeah. I’m marketing made simple. And it’s written by Donald Miller and Dr. JJ so they kind of got together And really, it’s a continuation of building a story brand. And they go in a little bit deeper and actually give away a lot of the information that they give us in depth at the certified guide course. And so it’s an awesome book. I recommend that as well. And actually, have you ever have you ever a shooting? I can’t remember. Don’t make me think by Steve Krug. Have you ever read that?

Josh 1:20:24
I have that on my book list. Don’t make me think that’s a good one, too. Okay, I think I’m gonna order that guy. I’m definitely gonna order that one. So don’t make me think yeah, I’ll check that out. Which goes back to the whole stuff, confusing people. Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting this, I think the book is almost misleading, a little bit like it’s called Story brand. So when I heard about it, I thought that it might be like how to literally package your marketing and messaging in like a full story. But it really is this story framework. Is the sales frame. It’s a marketing framework, not necessarily. I mean, you can use it in a story like, like all the examples we talked about in movies, but it really is, again, it’s a sales framework that’s proven and it is absolutely worked. And but the cool thing is, is that you can intertwine a story.

Josh 1:21:12
And I think by default, this framework lends itself to creating a story. That’s what it seems to be really all about. You’re helping your clients create a new story. They are the hero that has a problem. They find you the guide, you give them plan, they understand that it’s either going to end in success or failure. And by golly, they’re going to move forward. That’s it. Yeah. Pam, seven points right there. Yep. And keep it simple. I so you often talk about how a lot of you find a lot of web designers have a similar background in music. And so I’m a saxophone player. I love jazz music. No kid. I used to have a guy that there ain’t nothing simple about that.

Adam 1:21:56
I used to take private lessons from a teacher years ago. And he always used to tell me kiss, keep it simple, stupid. And, and that applies here too. And I always think about that. I’m like, keep it simple, stupid. I mean, people, people don’t read web sites, they scan them, you got to get rid of all the nonsense. It’s on your site. People don’t want to read a bunch of texts, they want bullet points. They want steps. They want things that that are easy for them to scan. And that’s actually one of the one of the lessons out of Steve Krug’s book, don’t make me think is one of Krug’s golden rules is when when creating a website that’s usable, is a look at what you have on your website. Now eliminate half of the text that’s on it, and then take what’s left and eliminate half of that as well.

Josh 1:22:51
Yeah, it’s just simple. It’s great. Yeah, it’s totally great. Yeah, the music analogy is totally true. I know when I like in our my band’s first album, because I’m a metal drummer. So I would love to get intricate just like jazz. I actually find metal and jazz be very similar. They are I used to wonder metal to one of my, uh, do you like my sugar? Have you heard my sugar? Yeah, I have. So one of my favorite band, actually my favorite bands, my sugar. It’s basically jazz and metal. It’s brutal, heavy metal, but very intricate. And so when I started out in the music world, like all of our albums, my producer would constantly say like, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Josh 1:23:35
So like, stop doing a fill. Every time there’s a you know, like, let the music breathe, let there let let some of the other instruments take over, give it some room debris, you can do a fill, but do it sparingly and it’s the same idea with marketing. And it’s funny because as I listened back to our three albums that we produced as a band, the third album is a much more mature me as a drummer. If I were to do an album now it would probably be even less complex it would be very simple and to the point I would show flashes of skill and some double bass and some sweet you know little chops here and there but it would not be a drum solo for 10 tracks straight. Same idea. Same idea in marketing.

Adam 1:24:16
If you want to talk about good drummers the drummer I don’t remember his name from Fear Factory that guy yeah plays the double bass with a single pedal it’s incredible that what that guy can do.

Josh 1:24:28
Yes you forget is to actually saw them here in Columbus years ago. Yeah. Yeah, crazy stuff. Yeah, but same Yeah, the idea of you know, double bass is a lot like luck marketing just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Yeah. Yeah, good stuff. Awesome Animal Man. This has been a great conversation. Really appreciate your time. You are obviously you’ve shown your expertise with and your passion with story brand and what it’s meant to you and then what you’re doing with your business and I know it’s going to impact your clients. It’s been awesome man. As one of my students to see you, I know we really just got more recently connected or connected more recently, but it sounds like you’ve you joked before went live that I’ve been your friend for a little while now. Right?

Adam 1:25:11
Yeah, yeah, you’ve been my friend longer than, then I’ve been yours, that’s for sure.

Josh 1:25:17
Well, that’s awesome. Man. I, you know, that’s why I do this. And it’s really awesome to see what you’ve done so far. Even. You know, just I know, you just recently became a technically a certified story brand coach. And I think it’s genius, that you’re utilizing that within your business, a couple of my students are doing it too. I’ve seen a couple other students mentioned the book. And I think one of them is in coaching right now, to be a certified trainer. What a great like, that’s just such a valuable resource to add yourself to be a mark to help your clients with marketing. Because as we as you’re going to find out as web designers, it’s much more it’s more about helping clients grow their business, rather than just making a beautiful site. You got to be their partner. And this is a crucial part of it.

Adam 1:26:03
Yeah, yeah. If I could just leave, leave kind of a couple words of encouragement to everybody that’s listening. Because I know, right now, there’s a lot of uncertainty that everybody is experiencing, you know, regardless of where you are in the world. And I see in the Divi Facebook group, people are talking about how they’re losing work and losing clients. And I know it’s tough for everybody. Two things First of all, I just want to encourage everybody to to to under to know that this is a temporary thing. And and I sure think that once this is all said and done and over with things are gonna swing back again the other direction.

Josh 1:26:43
I think it’s gonna be huge. I think it’s gonna be full fledge when it comes back. Yeah,

Adam 1:26:47
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s also to say that there’s not a lack of opportunity. Right now. There’s just different opportunities. And so I’ve had to, and we’ve been really working hard that me and my team, the last couple of weeks, we’ve sort of pivoted our focus, right, I told you before real estate was big for us. But we’re really adjusting our focus on other things right now that we see a need for. And we’re busy right now. And it’s just because we were able to be flexible, and adjust what we’re doing. And I want to encourage you guys to do that, too. It’s not, it’s not like there aren’t opportunities, they’re just maybe not the same opportunities you’ve been focused on. But the opportunities are out there. And if you’re feeling like things are a little bit slow, right now, for you, this is a perfect time for you to clarify your own messaging, and, and get things right, using this framework. Take the time to do it so that when things do come back, you’re ready to rock and roll. And you can feel more confident about how you’re portraying yourself to your potential clients.

Josh 1:27:51
That’s a great final thought, man. Yeah, take this time to work on the business if you have a break from working in the business. Yeah, that is absolutely huge. Because it’s it’s important to use this time very intentionally. If you if web designers are finding themselves in a slow position, like you said, there are different opportunities doesn’t mean that all businesses ending right now. There’s just different opportunities. But inevitably, we have more time because everyone’s quarantines. So instead of going out here, but there’s more time to go through something like this, like said work on your business. I’ll echo that point as a final thought, man. Great, great final thought.

Adam 1:28:27
Take Josh’s courses. Awesome.

Josh 1:28:30
Yeah, well, like I said, Man, I really it was cool. When you reached out. I think you had you sent the photo of listening to a podcast where it was like the power of the Josh right. When you’re Yeah, the way the words the way the words lined out. So it’s been really cool to connect with you and to get to know you, man, and to see how far you’ve come. It’s where you’re right on the cusp of some really cool things that I’m so I’m pumped for you, man.

Adam 1:28:54
Yeah, thanks. It’s been. It’s been good having you as a mentor. So thanks for that. Even though you you didn’t necessarily know you were doing that kind of stuff. For me. I appreciate it.

Josh 1:29:04
I love it. Because I love it. Now, because I see numbers. I see numbers of people watching tutorials, listening, but I often don’t hear anything. So I welcome as much feedback as people want to send me. Reviews obviously, are huge podcast reviews. So yeah, anybody listen, if you want to let me know if it’s made an impact, let me know keeps me going. So Adam, thanks so much, man. This has been incredible. I’ll make sure everything we talked about are linked in the show notes, and check out them site out which will be linked below as well. And then obviously, you’re available to help with any story brand coaching, and I know you’re very giving with your time and consultations and stuff like that. So I’ll make sure to link that. But until next time, man, we’ll keep on marketing with this seven step framework, and I’m sure we’ll catch up soon.

Josh 1:29:44
All right, sounds good. Thanks, Josh. All right. Cheers, man.

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