How to write copy that sells using the Donald Miller's StoryBrand

I had written earlier about how to use research to understand pains and problems of your customers.

Following that exercise, we need to piece together the messaging for websites and landing pages. 

The caveat for the messaging is that it needs to sell to the audience.

The question: Is there a tried and tested, proven framework for selling online?

I recently came across Donald Miller’s StoryBrand technique for creating and clarifying the sell message on websites.

Donald Miller has studied several hundreds of Hollywood Blockbusters. He has then essenced the success framework of the hit movies into a story telling framework.

He uses the formula to sell brands on the web. The trick is better clarity in messaging and all the ingredients needed for persuading the customer to buy now.

The 7-point framework Donald Miller outlines for an effective story goes something like this

  1. A Character usually the hero/ your customer

  2. With a problem/pain/ need

  3. Meets a Guide [the brand]

  4. Who gives the hero a plan [precise steps to achieve a goal]

  5. That calls them to action 

  6. That results in Tragedy [failure]

  7. or Comedy [success]

This is absolutely fascinating.

You can view the brand script framework on the StoryBrand website



Once you understand the pains and problems of your audience you can use the above framework to write the brandscript. 

Use StoryBrand principles for each audience you are targetting.

Michael Lukaszewski shares with us what he learnt at the StoryBrand Workshop with Donald Miller. This offers insights into how the StoryBrand works.

A simple search on Google Images for “brandscript” gives us some more details of the StoryBrand.

  1. The framework for writing a brandscript

  2. Several fleshed out brandscripts written for brands

Prior to using the brandscript framework, one of the techniques we used for writing web copy, was Ray Edward’s PASTOR rule. 

In fact, what we learnt is that if you mix some of the elements of PASTOR with Donald Miller’s brandscript, you will end up compelling copy.

Ray Edward's PASTOR stands for

P - your customer’s pain/ problem/ need

A - amplify the pain. You need to amplify to contrast and register the pain.

S - your story/ solution to the pain

T - transformation and testimony, social proof that reinforces the credibility of your communications

O - offer that could be a price offer

R - the response that you want from he customer

We have written several websites that follow the PASTOR framework and can swear that it works. 

  1. Writer Relocations

  2. Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa

  3. Writer Information

  4. HomeBound by Writer

Are websites using brandscript different from those using the PASTOR framework?

The key difference between the two is in the tragedy of the story. Donald Miller tells us that the tragedy creates the tension in the story. Without tragedy, there is no story. So tragedy is an integral part of story telling.

In terms of telling a story for a brand, the tragedy translates into:

  1. what would happen if you did not buy this brand?
  2. “what would happen if you put up with status quo?”.

If you see the examples of the StoryBrand website you will notice this:

  1. Story Brand

  2. Choose Exit Realty 

  3. Fly By Photo Booth 

  4. Nu Spine Chiropractic

  5. Life Water

  6. Beacon Wealth 

  7. Schultz Photo School

Where can you use the brandscript?

Use the brandscript as guides for creating:

  1. Website messaging

  2. Landing Pages for PPC, or FB Ads

  3. Messaging for Marketing Collaterals 

  4. Blog Posts

  5. Social Media Posts

How to brandscript messages to your customers?

The first bit here is to fill up the brandscript. 

The second, is to write the brand story using the brandscript and some logic.

With a few tries using the above examples, you can do this. 

But remember, the experts will be able to do it faster and with better sell. 

If you need help with writing the brandscript and your brand story message, write to Pigtail Pundits.

Are there proven frameworks that you use to sell effectively on the web?

We’re always looking to hone our craft. We would love to hear what your experiences with writing web copy are. Use the comments below to tell us.

May your garden teem and throng with customers

Pigtail Pundits essences the expertise from 700+ projects in 22 years on the web. Explore digital marketing services that hypnotically draw customers to your business.