Becoming a StoryBrand Guide was one of the best decisions I ever made. I just wish there were some things I knew back when I made the decision.
If you are thinking of becoming a StoryBrand Guide, I'd love to help you make your decision so you can evaluate what is best for you in your particular situation. Here are some of my answers to the questions I get the most:
1. What have you found is the best way to get clients?
Getting new leads ultimately comes from your ability to sell your services. In the past months, I've gotten leads from friends, Facebook posts/ads, and even landed one of my best-paying clients from chatting with someone at a birthday party for a two-year-old.
You have to be confident in who you are and what you offer. The guide training can help you with some tools, but it can only do so much. You have to be able to market yourself, make pitches (all the time) and develop trust with people.
Thankfully, this can be learned as you go. You learn quickly what works, what doesn't and how to read someone.
Applying the StoryBrand framework to your own business is the first and very important part of the journey. You have to create a one-liner, elevator pitch and clear description of the problems you are solving as a consultant.
2. Do any leads come from clarifyyourmessage.com?
While clarifyyourmessage.com is helpful for leads, it cannot be your only source for leads. In fact, I get less from there all the time. The StoryBrand crew gives some tips to make sure you have a strong bio (nice picture, well-written bio, clear benefits, etc.) but having a great personal website that talks about what you do are key.
It is my prediction that as more and more guides are trained; it will be even harder to get leads - not impossible - just harder. That is the beauty of capitalism and competition. You will not be handed clients anymore. You have to work hard for them as many people shop for guides - and rightly so - not all guides are created equal. Some do very poor work. It's just the nature of the beast. Don Miller and his team can only do so much in the four days they have with the guides.
Be encouraged that leads do come - but you can't build your business model around them.
3. In an email, it was described how guides can charge for services and listed the options: wireframe a website, write a lead-generating pdf, write an email campaign, generate a marketing assessment, act as a consultant, perform a marketing strategy session, and have coaching calls. I am wondering if one of these is the “bread and butter” or “go-to” as a guide or if it is a combination of all?
To me, the Brandscript is the best entry-level service to get clients working with you. The cost is not too steep and the reward is huge. After a two-hour Brandscript session, I often have clients say, "Wow, I've never seen anything like this before."
Once people have their foot in the door with you, they are much more likely to buy again. So I recommend selling the Brandscript and then give them all the above-listed options that will boost their marketing.
Because the Brandscript is so foundational and makes resource creating so much easier, I make it a policy to always do a Brandscript first - even if they claim they have already done it.
4. What are some action steps to take to complete BEFORE I get to the workshop?
Start thinking about what kind of consulting you would like to do. Most people take their existing skills (like web design, video, coaching, or something else and try to leverage that). By this point, you likely know what you are strong and weak at.
I would think through that and then start working towards building out your business as you go through the sessions. You will get breaks throughout the day, times to bounce ideas off other would-be guides, supervisors to discuss ideas with, and then lots of time at night.
I highly recommend working on your website as you go as it will be your most important marketing tool. You don't need to know coding to build a site these days - I sure don't!
Find a platform like Squarespace, Wix, Landingi (my first choice but not without its limitations), or Wordpress. You can sign up for a free trial of any of them to try it out for a while and see what you like. It is good to have a working understand of each in my experience.
5. What do I need to do during the workshop to benefit the most?
If you want, you can watch some of the video training that they provide you with a link for. The more you learn beforehand, the more you can think through everything just a little deeper.
Also, do as much as you can to figure out what web platform you like.
Consider buying a domain from GoDaddy or Hover with either your name or company name would be helpful so you can be ready to go once the course is done.
Watch what other guides have on their website and rip off (spin to make it your own) as much as possible.
Start building momentum on Facebook about what you are doing. Document your preparation, your journey to Nashville and what you are learning. This will build hype about your new job with your friends who may want to work with you when you are back.
6. Are there people that I need to have a working relationship with to better serve clients? Such as a web designer or illustrator?
There are so many resources out there you can access. Every question can be answered by Google or Youtube. If you ever want to sub-contract some workout, there are always guides out there that want the business with a diverse collection of talents.
There is also Fiverr for design and finding one coach that you trust that will give you their number is important.
While in Nashville, you will meet a bunch of Guides. The hope is that you can connect with a couple of them more deeply and hold each other accountable to your goals.
7. Is there a tool or service or app that has been beneficial to your business?
Quickbooks has been awesome for bookkeeping.
Proposify is fantastic for creating proposals.
The Guide Slack channel is always helpful.
I build all my landing pages on Landingi. They are a well kept secret in my mind.
8. Is there something I am not asking about that I should be thinking about at this point?
A couple questions to consider:
How long will I give myself to replace my income?
Replacing your income from your previous job should be your first goal. Work hard to keep your head above water and learn as much as you can in the first year. The few success stories that clear six figures in the first six months does not represent the majority of guides.
How much grace am I willing to extend myself?
You will learn a ton in the first months and then in the first year. Give yourself grace because you will make lots of mistakes. There is always more money out there to make. Keep your head up, learn to laugh at yourself and stay positive.
What am I willing to say "no" to?
You don't have to pursue every partnership. There are some clients you just don't want. Stay away from the cheap ones. They will give you so many headaches. Life is too short and they will take up your time so you cannot go and get the better paying, fun clients.
9. What other books should I read that will help me as a guide?
There are so many books out there that will help. Here are three:
How to Write Copy that Sells - Ray Edwards (they give you this as a gift)
Getting Naked - Patrick Lencioni (a book about life as a consultant)
Pitch Anything - Oren Klaff (a must read for anyone in sales - I'm so glad this was recommended to me early on).
That's it! Got more questions? Give me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you. Like I said, I needed this help. I'm happy to provide that now for others.