We walk you through 9 fantastic websites that do a great job at applying the principles of Storybrand to their website. We’ll tell you what we love and what principles you should follow when working on your website.
Chances are you've come across Donald Miller's book Building a StoryBrand, and are convinced a StoryBrand website is what your business needs. Good news! We agree with you. The most effective website is a website that communicates a clear message. The StoryBrand framework, hands down is the best way to communicate to your ideal customer, so your website becomes the money-generating machine you always hoped it could be.
This post will outline the StoryBrand framework and show you 9 StoryBrand website examples, why we love them, and the StoryBrand principles they follow.
For a quick recap, StoryBrand teaches marketers to follow 7 elements of storytelling. Each of these elements are foundational message pillars when mapping out copy for your website wireframe.
Every story begins with a character who wants something. When you define something your customer wants, you invite them into a very compelling story.
Ask: What do my customers want as it relates to my brand? Is my brand known for one thing it offers?
The only reason people are calling you, going to your website, or walking into your retail store is that they have a problem, and they need you to solve that problem. It's crucial to define the problem your customers are trying to resolve.
Ask: Have you clearly defined the problem your brand solves?
Many businesses position themselves as the hero of the story. This is a losing formula for success. Instead, position your clients as the hero and your brand as the guide to help them win the day. If you understand this principle, you'll change every aspect of how you do business.
Ask: Are you positioning yourself as the guide?
When you give your customers a plan, it communicates their path to success, helping them visualize the process you intend to take them on as a guide. A plan should always be as simple as possible with a limit of 3 or 4 steps.
Ask: Do you have a simple plan that makes it easy for your customers to do business with you?
Without communicating a clear call to action, customers won't take action. As the guide in your customer's story, you must communicate clearly what they need to do if they intend to be successful.
Ask: Do you have a clear call to action?
Heroes are motivated to act because they are trying to avoid an unfortunate ending. In fact, studies show that people are most likely to act because they want to prevent a bad outcome vs. acting because of gaining a positive result.
Ask: Have you communicated what's at stake to your customers? What are the negative consequences of not doing business with you?
You must communicate how your products or services positively affect your customers' lives. You want to compel people into living a better story. If you don't tell people what their lives could look like, they will not do business with you.
Ask: How can you help your customer envision success after doing business with you?
This is the 7-Part StoryBrand Framework summarized!
This 7 Part Framework is what we call a BrandScript. To see how to create a BrandScript take a look at StoryBrand BrandScript Example for Executive and Life Coaches.
Now let's dive into 9 StoryBrand Website examples we love.
HomeSure Lending is what its name communicates, a lending company for someone looking to buy a home. Particularly in this industry, it would be easy for a company to dive into numbers, figures, and selling rates. What we love is that they don't do that.
When the page loads, you see a happy family with a very customer-centric message, "Purchase with confidence. Refinance with ease."
Sure lending rates matter, but what matters more is your potential customers see their story right in front of their eyes. They'll be more willing to talk about the lending process if HomeSure Lending identifies and enters into the story they are living.
Additionally, we love the smiling faces of this family and the clear and simple headline "Simple Mortgage Guidance."
We chose this site because they break a recommended rule of StoryBrand to have only one call to action button. This site actually displays 2 calls to action, "Schedule a Pick-Up" and "Talk to a Courier Expert." But they do the two of these so well, avoiding confusion for the website visitor.
First, both buttons are clearly different, so don't compete with each other. The red "Schedule a Pick-Up" button grabs the attention first and removes any confusion on what needs to happen if I need to ship an item.
However, SCS Delivery has identified that many of its website visitors might need questions answered. So instead of hiding that in a link in the footer or navbar, they decided it was essential to also make this a prominent button all over the website.
We love it because they successfully pulled off 2 calls to action and made sure they didn't compete with one another.
On that note, we'd recommend 99% of the time only using one clear call to action button. But in this case, SCS successfully made two work for them.
HIP Entertainment pulls off one-of-a-kind events for those looking to break free from what everyone else is doing. We love their site because they do a fantastic job identifying their customer's problems.
Partway down their homepage, you see this section:
"You want a unique entertainment experience… the problem is:
You see in this list that Hip Entertainment taps into emotions. This is what StoryBrand describes as an internal problem. Internal problems are powerful because they speak directly to the inner struggles that keep those prospective clients awake at night.
Visually they display this section on their page wonderfully and communicate the real pains involved with each of these problems.
Identifying and calling out the fundamental problems of your customers creates an instant connection because customers want to know you "get them" and understand what they are going through before they ever consider you as a solution.
We love this entire website however the one thing we'd love to point out is how well they describe success throughout the website.
Just look at the section on the homepage that we like to call the value stack.
"A bright future begins with a beautiful smile.
More confidence. Having a winning smile improves self-esteem, builds confidence, and improves attitudes.
More connections. When kids are no longer embarrassed by their smile, they make more friends.
More opportunities. People with healthy smiles are perceived by others as smarter and more competent."
WOW! This website copy is wonderful. As a parent, I'm hooked by the idea that Stark Smiles can improve the quality of life for my child. And what's even wilder is this section has zero pictures. However, the words themselves are powerful enough that pictures aren't needed. You can see images of the future clearly in your head.
If you took away the words of Bryan Sambat's site, you'd quite possibly think his business is a woodworking business. And this is why this accounting website is so brilliant. The images on Bryan's site represent the people he wants to work with: Growing Small Businesses.
So often, businesses go wrong by displaying images of themselves, their offices, their product, etc. None of these things are necessarily bad, but if you don't have actual customers in those photos, you drastically affect your audience's ability to connect with your business.
If you show images of you, show your customers interacting with your team or product. Make them the center point. What you do see is Bryan finally shows his face at the bottom of his website and on his about page. He knows that his role in the story is second to his customers' role in the story.
Judy Steele is a financial advisor who focuses on serving women. Throughout Judy's site, she does a fantastic job showing empathy by using kind and gentle language.
But in particular, look at the section that says, "Why Steele Financial Partners?"
"I know what it feels like to want financial options in the midst of pivotal life circumstances. Trying to figure out your finances on your own can leave you feeling anxious, and finding the right advisor can be frustrating. My promise to you is that you will always be treated the right way: You'll never be sold to. You'll always be a part of the process. Your voice will matter most."
I don't know about you, but reading this section makes me want to trust Judy to manage my money! I want all those qualities from my financial advisor. Why? Because she shows tremendous empathy.
Because she understands, I trust her. If you want people to trust you, express empathy!
First off, if you are a parent of a newborn, you'll instantly connect to the Helping Babies Sleep website. Dr. Sarah Mitchell nails the entire story that a parent lives when dealing with a baby who isn't sleeping. We love this entire website.
However, we want to draw your attention to a section on the page that we like to describe as the philosophical statement.
"Parenting is difficult enough already… Every parent deserves the advantage of a good night's sleep."
A powerful philosophical statement communicates to your customers that your brand will fight against injustice in their lives. These statements express what's wrong in the world and what you as a brand believes should be right.
Good philosophical statements use words like:
"It's just wrong…"
"You ought to…"
Sometimes it might even make sense to word your philosophical statement as a fundamental belief of our company. "We believe you deserve…"
Fight for your customers by communicating a strong philosophical statement.
Cristin Parker provides family coaching to help families experience more productive, satisfying, and meaningful relationships.
There's a lot to love about this site, but in particular, we want to draw attention to the testimonials displayed. In particular, look at this one:
"I struggled with fear that it was too late to have the relationship I wanted with my grown daughters. Cristin helped me take advantage of a trip with them to make it intentional and extremely meaningful. It was probably the pivot point in our family for decades to come."
What we love about this testimonial is the substance in it. It starts with a real struggle, goes into what Cristin did for the client, and ends with the successful outcome the client experienced. These essentially are the most basic components of a short story.
Sadly so many businesses have testimonials that are full of fluff saying nothing at all. Many websites say junk like "Cristin was so nice, and you should work with her." Ditch the testimonials that say nothing and ask your clients questions that give you what their life was before working with you, what you did, and the positive outcome they experienced.
Do this, and instantly your website visitors will identify with real people who are just like them, making them more likely to say yes to giving you their business.
Fusion Designed is an interior design company that creates clean and modern design spaces that support your well-being. Enjoy looking at the photos on this website!
But what we want to highlight on this site is the process plan that they named the "3-Step Design Process."
Then they show the 3 steps:
1. Get to know you meeting
2. Develop Design Blueprint
3. Project Execution.
Each of these steps has great descriptions telling what to expect at each stage of the process.
A process plan helps someone visualize what happens after they schedule a meeting with you. Even if they possibly know how business typically works, simply stating the process deposits the desired future steps into your website visitor's mind, thus making it way more likely they'll actually book a meeting with you.
If your business is complicated, then for sure you will want to communicate a 3 step plan that helps your customers know how easy you'll make things for them after they purchase.
We help businesses just like yours discover the words needed to reach more of their ideal customers. In fact, just today, we had a call with a client, and they said these words:
"If we had tried to write our own website copy, there's no way we could have pulled it off. The result would have been a cluttered mess. We needed the process you took us through to figure out what words were needed for our website."
If you are ready to get your website in the right place, we can help.
He's helped 100s of business leaders create a clear message for their brand. He also is trained by StoryBrand to facilitate private workshops, helping unite teams around their brand and marketing message.
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