Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's
definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hello, friends, welcome back. I am so excited to be here with you guys today. Back on the business Journey podcast. In today's episode, we're talking all about how I use story brand in my business. And if you're not familiar with what story brand is, don't worry, I'll get into all of that. But first, I wanted to let you know about a free class that I have just for you guys, that I think it's going to be really helpful for you this spring as we're getting into true spring season, which is so exciting. weather is warming up and people are coming out of hibernation ready to get photos done. I have a class for you guys, that is all about posing effectively, it's called the keys to effective family posing say goodbye to awkward and stiff. So if you feel like posing is one of those things, it's like a weak link in your business. You feel awkward posing your clients, you feel like your clients look awkward and stiff. This class I know is gonna be really helpful for you to kind of get outside of your own head and learn, like truly learn how to pose well, I feel like so often as photographers, we tend to kind of neglect posing like, of course, we, you know, we learned about business, and we learned about shooting and all this stuff. But we kind of forget to learn about posing, because we think it's one of those things that if we just wing it, it'll become natural at some point, I highly suggest not winging it, this class is going to be super helpful for you. It's completely free. We have it linked in the show notes. Or you can go to Rebecca rice photo.com/posing-class to sign up today. Alright, friends. So let's get into the nitty gritty of this episode. So I mentioned that we're talking all about how I use story brand in my business. So if you're not familiar, I'm referring to a book by Donald Miller called Building a story brand, which if you've never read it, I highly suggest giving it a read. It's one of those books that is really in my top, I used to save my top five, but now I've got a big top five list. So for sure, in my top 10 business books that I mean, honestly, I reread this book every year, because it's one of those that I just gained so much from every single time, the whole basis of what Donald Miller walks through is this idea that our marketing should be treated as a story. And our ideal client is the main character, they are the hero of the story. And so you know, in the book, he walks through how to craft your brand messaging, or you know the words that copy that you use whenever you're advertising to be around you this story, okay, so you craft a story where your ideal client is the main character, the hero of the story. And you're able to really clearly craft your brand messaging around that. So I want to kind of walk you guys through what the kind of basic outline of the story brand is, you can consider this like the Cliff's Notes version. So as I'm talking through, if you're like, oh, I want to dive deeper into this, get the book. I mean, I'm telling you, it's gonna be such a great read for you. But I'll kind of give you like the baseline overview of story brand. And then I'll get into how to like how I implement that in my business. So with story brand, there's actually a website and we'll link it in the show notes. But in case you want to type it in, it's my story brand.com, you're able to create what's called a brand script that basically it's a scripts that you're able to use in your marketing and like to be able to refer back to when crafting your messaging. So it's great because this tool is free, and you can create like several versions of a brand script. I suggest if you serve like a handful of really, really different types of clientele, then you may want a brand script for each type. For example, if you serve families, and weddings, that would be like two different clienteles or seniors and newborns, like your messaging is obviously going to be really different between those two. So in that case, I would do two different brand scripts. But if you're talking like you know families and maternity, you can kind of lump it into one so you can decide how many you want to create. Start with one and then kind of go from there. So on this brand script, Donald Miller does a great job in this tool to walk you through each piece. And there's a corresponding video with each piece. So you can like get even more in depth of what to put where. But basically, it's kind of like a worksheet. And so I'm gonna walk you through each step and kind of how to craft this. And then we'll talk about how to use it. So the very first piece in your story brand, your brand script, is you start with the main character, always. So we're defining what does your ideal client want when it comes to photography, describe your main character, the hero of the story. From there, you have the character, and that character has a problem. So we we move on to identifying the problem. And Donald Miller has this split into four different types. So we have the villain, every good story has a hero and a villain. And so we need to define the villain for our clients. This is a root cause of our clients problems. Okay. And it helps to kind of personify that. So for example, maybe the villain of your client story is a lack of time, right? A lack of time is the villain that is just creating so many problems for them, you know, and there's other parts of the problem, like the external problem, what do they have to deal with? Okay, externally, they never get photos done. Because they they don't have time, right? The villain is the lack of time, externally, they feel like they don't have time to get photos done, then there's the internal problem. How is this villain making your clients feel? So the villain is lack of time? How does your ideal client feel about that? Maybe they feel like their memories are slipping away. Maybe they feel like there's just so much to do and not enough hours in the day they feel overwhelmed, they feel exhausted, right? And then the last piece of the problem is the philosophical piece. Why is it just plain wrong for your clients to be burdened by this problem? So as photographers sticking with this example of the lack of time, maybe the philosophical problem is, you know, it's just plain wrong, because their memories deserve to be captured. Right? That yes, life moves fast. And yes, they are so busy, and they're doing so much, they're working so hard, but even then their memories deserve to be captured. So you have your character who has a problem. And then it goes on to the third part, which is they meet a guide. So think about your favorite Disney movie or whatever, there's always a main character, there's always a villain, and then they meet some kind of guide that's going to take them across a journey, right, the Yoda, if you will, of the story. And so the guide would be you, you are the guide. So there's two pieces to this section. It's empathy. So what is it that you know, some kind of statement that says, I, you know, I understand where you're coming from, I feel that mom, so if we stick with our, you know, villain of lack of time, my statement of empathy can be, I'm there, I'm in the thick of it right now with you because I have, you know, two young kids, and they're growing so fast, and time just doesn't slow down. Right? So it's some kind of statement that you can make, it's usually like a one liner sentence that says, I relate to you. And then the other piece is the authority piece, how can you place yourself as the authority in this? So it's like, yes, I've been there. I feel what you feel. But I made the choice to get my own memories captured. And I wouldn't change it for the world, or I treasure those memories more than I ever thought I would something that says like, you know, I have the answer to the problem that you have, right? And that's what we want to communicate to our clients is that you as the photographer are the expert, you have the answer to the problem that they have. Okay, so your character has a problem and meets a guide. The fourth part is that guide who gives them a plan. So you get to kind of be in the driver's seat to show the map of what it is that your clients need to do to solve their problem, right? So you have your process, what are the three or four steps or however many steps that your clients need to take, that's going to lead them from I wish I had pictures done to booking with you. And this is going to look different for everybody because everybody's booking process is different. You know, maybe you have a consultation call, maybe you don't, maybe you have a conversation in DMS or whatever. So you're gonna kind of list out what steps kind of like a roadmap that your clients would need to take to be able to book a session with you. And you know, have that session go well, the other part of The plan is an agreement. This is something that it's an agreement that you can make with your potential clients to kind of alleviate their fears of doing business with you. So, you know, if in the past, they've worked with photographers who have ghosted on, or they spent this money, and they feel like, you know, it wasn't worth it, and they wasted their time and things like that maybe your agreement to stick with the time model is, I know that your time is valuable. And I honor your time, and I want to serve you the best that I can, you know, so
that your time is, I don't know, I'm like blanking here, basically, you're coming up with some kind of statement that you're letting them know that they don't have to worry about working with you that you are going to, you know, serve them the best of your ability, and you know, that, you know, their time is valuable, and you treat it as such. And so it doesn't have to be about time, your agreement can be about this type of service that they give, or you promise, they're gonna leave a raving fan, and they're gonna, you know, be more in love with their family than ever before, or whatever you want to promise them. So either way, you give them the process in the agreement, that's part of the plan. So back to the top, again, a character who has a problem and meets a guide, who gives them a plan number five is and calls them to action. So this is simple, you're just creating the call to action. What kind of action do you want somebody to take when they come across your messaging. So this is going to differ across your platforms, maybe it's, Hey, shoot me a DM, and let's chat about your next session. Or maybe it's fill out my contact form on my website. And I can send over a custom proposal or, you know, however you want that to be. So either way, having a call to action, tell them what to do, what steps you want them to take to be able to book with you. Once again, from the top, a character has a problem and meets a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action. And then this part is two part that ends in success, and helps them avoid failure. So the first part ends in success. Basically, here, you just list out what positive experiences your clients will have, by booking with you, what does the win look like? Right, they're gonna get a gallery of images they're going to love, they'll make memories with their family that they'll get to treasure forever, whatever that success looks like for them, and helps them avoid failure. What are the negative consequences that happens if they don't book a session with you right now, right? Time doesn't slow down, time will continue going by, if you don't take action now and finally capture those littles in the sweet season that they're in, it might just go by, like, it might just go right by you, or however you want to say that. But it's being really bold to say, Listen, you know, if you don't book and capture memories, man, like you're gonna miss out. And that's what we need our clients to feel. And I know, that could feel like, oh my gosh, I want to keep things positive over here. But listen, the beauty of the story brand, is we're telling a story. And that's part of the story that if they don't book with you, what are they going to feel, and if we can really get into that emotion in your brand messaging, I'm telling you, you are going to book more clients, because clients are gonna relate to that. And they're gonna be like, No, I don't want to feel that I'm gonna go ahead and book the session, right. So the last piece after all of that, you know, meets the guide gives them a plan calls into action, it leads in success and helps them avoid failure. The last piece is the character transformation. So you take them from this to that, what was your client feeling like before they booked a session with you, uh, sticking with our example of time, and they were feeling like time was just slipping by them, that they were missing the sweet moments in this season to now they are confident that they're, they have memories to treasure forever, we have frozen time for them. We've bottled up those you know, sweet giggles whatever it is, that now they are able to possess. So that's like the whole basis of your brand script or using a creating a story brand. That once we have this done, and like I said, you can go to that link my story brand.com. And you can fill this out. Once you have a brand script written, then the magic happens because you're able to use this in all of your marketing pieces in any kind of messaging, whether it's your website, your Instagram, bio, your captions, emails that you send out any type of messaging that you have for your clients. By using this brand script, it does a couple things. One, it keeps your message consistent. So your clients are always hearing the same kind of thing, but to it puts your client as the hero of the story that instead of just Ah, oh book a session with me, here's what I offer, you're putting them in the story and you're painting a picture that is so much more powerful. That is, you know, drawing on emotions. And it's showing them that there is a better way than what they're experiencing now. And people will book with you when they find themselves as the the center of your story. And so it's super, super powerful here. So I want to challenge you with this brand script. First of all, I want you to fill it out. And then I want you to use this messaging as often as possible, because the beautiful thing is, once you have it filled out, you can pull directly from here, you can talk about the the villain, you don't have to say it's a villain, but you know, different thoughts that they have, or those that empathy statement and the authority statement and whatnot, you can use the pieces of this story, when you're talking about your sessions, or talking about your services or whatever, there's so much that you can pull from this. And so, like I said, you may have a different brand script for different parts of your business. For example, let's say you shoot families and weddings, you're going to talk to a bride, like the character in the story of a bride is going to be different than a mom of, you know, for kids, or whatever. And so you want to make sure that you have the appropriate brand scripts, but I feel like this is gonna be so helpful just in clarifying what it is that you need to say, because I feel like that's a common problem where you sit down, you're about to type in email, or write a post or something you're like, What do I say, hopefully, this brand script sort of gives you a starting place to be able to tell a story. And this is the story that you can just tell over and over and over and over. And it never gets old. Because everybody loves hearing a story about themselves and your clients are the hero, the character of this story. So go ahead and fill this out. And if you're interested in this whole concept, maybe pick up Donald Miller's book and read it for yourself because like I said, I give you like a Cliff's Notes version today. But the book is just packed with so much great stuff in there. And so I highly suggest reading it, it gives a lot more like clear examples and stuff. Um, it's not directly the book isn't about, you know, using it in a photography business, per se, but marketing and general investing in general, I think it'd be really, really helpful for you. So I mentioned a few brief places that you can use this, what I want you to do is I want you to seriously like comb through every page on your website, read the copy that you have right now, and see where you can infuse this brand script into your email copy on your homepage, maybe describing your ideal client from the character section. On the about page. Can you talk about the empathy and authority pieces? Like where can you talk about the problems that they're feeling? There's so many places that you can do that just on your website, but even on your Instagram, bio, and in your Facebook posts, and Instagram posts and whatnot, as many places as you can infuse story brand, just in all of your messaging across the board, even like emails as part of your client experience. So if you have automated emails, for example, maybe you send a questionnaire or client experience guide, or a final info email, like there are a few places in all of those emails that you can infuse this brand script, so pull from it, the more that you use it, the more cohesive your brand messaging is going to be. And that creates a stronger messaging for people to be able to book with you. So I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any questions about story brand in general, or building a brand script, I mean, feel free to find me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography, I would be happy to chat with you through it and see how I can help. Don't forget to pick up that book. If you want to dive deeper. It's going to be so helpful. I just I'm telling you my the way that I communicated in my business took a 180 shift after reading this book. It was that good. So I knew I wanted to record a podcast episode about it kind of peel back the curtain for you. So yeah, I hope that you enjoyed it. With that. I'll go ahead and close out and I'll see you back another time for another episode. Bye guys.