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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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Okay, so this is written by the same author as Building a Story Brand, which is a wildly popular book that focuses on the consumer/client being the hero of the story. Donald Miller says that all too often businesses position themselves as the hero, instead of allowing their customer play that role. Instead, the business’s job is to be the “guide” and, therefore, making itself the expert on the topic that has the solution to the hero’s problem. This is an extremely simplified synopsis of this large 7-part framework for marketing, but it gives a basic idea of the rationale behind it.
Thankfully, Building a Story Brand is not required reading for Marketing Made Simple to make sense. It can stand on its own and is a very quick read (only 184 pages, but with lots of photos and examples).
Let me first give you an overview of Marketing Made Simple. Miller must really love “frameworks” because he splits this book into an actionable framework as well. I am going to list the general pieces of the framework, along with a brief description of each piece here:
One-liner. According to Miller, a one-liner is “a concise statement you can use to clearly explain what you offer.” He gives the example of a movie one-liner in Hollywood. That’s the one shot you get with a customer to pique that curiosity.
Website wireframe. The website wireframe is an entire layout for a one-page website. It has nine sub-sections: header, stakes, value proposition, guide, plan, explanatory paragraph, video, price choices, and junk drawer. For an in-depth description of each of these sub-sections, you will have to read the book (I can’t give it all away!). As someone who is in a service-based industry with multiple “niches,” as I am sure many of you are as well, this didn’t seem as helpful. Instead, it seemed more like a stand alone sales page for a single product and/or service. However, overall, the book and its strategy made me feel like it was geared towards product-based businesses as opposed to service-based businesses, like photography.
Lead Generator. This is a document or some sort of other valuable resource that you can give in exchange for a potential client’s email address. There are many different types of lead generators ranging from a video to a PDF to a challenge or a quiz. The main goals for a lead generator is to prove yourself/business as an expert/authority and solve a problem for your client. In my experience, it is best for the problem you solve to have a clear solution that can show quick results.
Nurture sequence. A nurture sequence is a sequence of emails that gains the trust of the client/potential client. The intention is not to sale, but to establish yourself/business as an authority.
Sales Campaign. A sales campaign is a sequence of emails intended to sell your product/service. Miller gives a specific sequence with prompts to create a sales campaign for your business.
Finally, he gives a quick plan to implement this marketing framework into your business. This is mainly geared toward larger businesses, but he does translate what that process might look like as a solopreneur as well.
So now that we have the content covered, let me tell you some of my main takeaways. I love that Miller gives very specific, actionable tasks to quickly increase your marketing power.
Each time I read a new book, I do my best to pick out three small actionable tasks to implement immediately. This book was full of those, and I loved that part of it! But now to my critiques…
This was a quick read that had some really actionable takeaway tasks…but overall, it was not my favorite, and there are a few reasons why that is:
If you are looking for a quick marketing read as a product-based business owner, this book is going to be great for you, especially if you’re struggling to create a consistent funnel to your business. I would recommend this book for anyone that fits that description and is in the first 1-3 years of their business.
The actionable tasks are great and I would recommend doing some of those listed above if you’re a service-based business. Overall, however, this was not my favorite business marketing read.
If you liked this review, check out a few others:
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