Build your story with this framework

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Newsletter

Using the popular StoryBrand framework, we can craft a powerful narrative for any industry, politics included. Why? Because it focuses on the “customer,” not the individual or business.

StoryBrand uses a seven-part framework. 

  1. Character
  2. Problem
  3. Guide
  4. Plan
  5. Call to Action
  6. Success
  7. Failure (consequences)

Character

The protagonist. The main character is the focal point of the story. The character is typically an individual or group; it can also be an industry. In politics, the character is voters or constituents. The key to understanding the character is to not only know who the character is but, more importantly, you need to know what they want.

Problem

Problems have three layers; external, internal, and philosophical. External problems are ones you can “see.” Most people will agree with external problems.

Internal problems are emotional. External problems create them because they make us feel a certain way. 95% of purchases/decisions are made based on emotional problems, and I’d suggest the percentage is higher when it comes to politics. 

Note: Preying too much on internal emotions leads to fear-mongering. Unfortunately, this tactic is used by politicians everywhere, some to a greater degree than others, to motivate people to vote. When the internal emotion becomes associated with “do this or else, ” we cross over into fear-mongering.

Philosophical problems are deep-seated beliefs we carry with us. Think right vs. wrong, Republicans vs. Democrats. Philosophical beliefs fuel our internal emotions, often blindly. 

Guide

The person or group that can help you overcome your external problems. In politics, the guide is typically the person running for office. 

Plan

A three-step process to overcome your problems. The number three is strategic and based on The Rule of Three, which says as humans, we find it easier to remember three things than any other number; think three little pigs, stop-drop-roll, Goldilocks and the three bears. 

Call to Action

As it sounds, it’s what you need to do to initiate the plan.

Success

Defines the goals you will achieve if you follow the guide, take the right actions, and follow the plan.

Failure

Failure in the narrative happens if you ignore the guide, do not take the right actions or follow the plan.

Ok. The stage is set; let’s apply this to the controversial topic of politics. We’ll start with the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party

Character

The voter. They want equal rights, women’s rights, and social programs.

Problem

External. Lack of full equal rights under the law for LBGTQ+ communities. No federal protection of Abortion rights. Social programs are restrictive and not applied equally to all.

Internal. Frustration and anger that the current system is failing them and their communities

Philosophical. Everyone is equal and deserves access to the same opportunities and programs regardless of financial status or class standing.

Guide

The politician. In this case, President Biden.

Plan 

In politics, the plan is two-fold; talking points and an actual plan. Politicians who stick with the Rule of Three for their talking points have greater success than those who try to be everything to everybody. So find the three talking points the voters care about, the ones that stoke internal emotions, and politicians can hammer those home repeatedly. 

Talking Points: Federal protections for the LBGTQ+ communities. Restore federal abortion protection. Expand the social safety net for underserved communities.

Plan:  Go Vote. Pass Laws. Equal protections for everyone.

Call to Action

Get out and vote.

Success

Provide protections for the LBGTQ+ community. Restore federal abortion protections. Expand social programs, so everyone has equal opportunities under the law, which will make America greater.

Failure

Rights for the LBGTQ+ community will disappear. Women’s rights will continue to be taken away. Social programs that people rely on today will slowly evaporate and weaken America.

Republican politicians

Character

The voter. They want adherence to the Constitution. Fiscal responsibility. Less Federal government oversight. 

Problem

External. Losing rights defined by the Constitution. Increased taxes for social programs. New government programs and oversight into their private lives.

Internal. Frustration and anger that the current system is being used against them to take away their rights and money. 

Philosophical. The government should stay out of our private lives, and people should get what they earn, not what’s handed to them. 

Guide

The politician. In this case, Donald Trump.

Plan 

Talking Points: Your rights under the Constitution are being taken away. The federal government shouldn’t meddle in people’s lives. Expanding social programs will raise taxes, increase the national debt, and weaken America.

Plan:  Go Vote. Pass Laws. Reinstate our rights under the Constitution.

Call to Action

Get out and vote.

Success

Restore our Constitutional rights. Lower taxes by eliminating pointless government programs. Keeping the government out of our everyday lives will make America greater.

Failure

Accelerated loss of our rights under the Constitution. Higher taxes to pay for more social programs. More government oversight into our lives will make America weaker.

A few things to point out.

You probably felt a twinge of unease or agreement when reading the narratives above. That’s normal. It’s your internal emotions coming to the surface, and it’s what makes for a great story. Those feelings are what politicians are aiming to connect to their message.

Tip: Find your character’s emotional connections, and you’ll connect with them quicker.

 Notice I stayed with the Rule of Three throughout. Politicians go awry when they try to take on everything all the time. While they think this makes them sound more credible, the effect is the opposite; they come across as scattered and unfocused. 

Tip: Find the three things that matter the most to your character and hammer them home.

 Follow this framework in your copy, and you’ll see your engagement and sales increase.

Whenever you’re ready, here are three ways I can help.

1. Brand Messaging OS: For solo founders and organizations to bring clarity, focus, and alignment between your offer, messaging, and systems so everything about your brand connects and everyone speaks the same language with confidence and clarity. 

2. Personal Brand OS: For founders and individuals who want to get recognized for their expertise by building their personal brands. This program will take you from unrecognized to unmatched in your area of expertise. 

3. LinkedIn Made Simple: For founders, organizations, and teams looking to up their game on LinkedIn to fill your pipeline with the leads your competitors are taking from you today. When you’re ready to stop wondering about LinkedIn and instead start using it as a lead gen tool.

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