The final step in the StoryBrand framework is possibly the most often overlooked- failure.
Well, it might not be the most overlooked, but it definitely is the one most creatives don’t want to address because for some reason they feel like it’s sleazy to bring up what will happen if people don’t solve their problem.
But sometimes addressing what’s at stake if your clients don’t fix their situation is exactly the catalyst they need to take action.
Like Katniss Everdeen.
You’d have a fancy home in Victor’s Village.
You’d go to all the fabulous parties on your victory tour.
You’d be adored by the entire nation.
You’d be completely taken care of- you’d never have to work again.
Yeah- Katniss didn’t care about any of that. Painting a picture of success, while enticing, gave her no real motivation to win.
Who would be there to take care of her sister?
That’s the real reason Katniss won- she knew that if she died, her sister would be alone. Too much was at stake for her to not win.
And sometimes that’s the most powerful message of all that you can have on your website.
Now I’m not talking about fear mongering. I’m talking about genuinely addressing what’s at stake out of compassion for your clients.
Worried that you might be laying on the failure messaging to much? Here are three tips to show what’s at stake while remaining a strong guide.
The key to staying ethical with failure messaging is to not make this about how great you are.
Don’t make this a, “Hire me or this horrible thing will happen to you because I’m the only one that’s capable of solving the problem.”
That’s where the sleaze comes in.
Take our business, for example. We offer the works- branding, web design, copy, and sales funnels.
Yes, there are other branding and website designers out there, but we haven’t positioned ourselves as the only show in town.
Extra Credit: We actually took most of the failure copy directly from a client testimonial. The more you can reflect exactly what your ideal clients are up against, the more your copy will hit home.
One of our clients, Marlene Oliphant, future-proofs baby boomers homes.
She simply asks, “Do you really want to wait until your 80 to make sure your home will support you?”
Failure messaging should not be a huge part of your website, just a small part.
You need to lightly agitate the problem. Rub a bit of salt in the wound. And then move on.
If you dwell on the negative for too long, people will be turned off.
Now some of us provide services where a lot is at stake if the problem isn’t addressed immediately.
Lawyers, health coaches, accountant.
I’m also going to add in anything to do with weddings. Because so many things can go wrong.
But for many creatives, failure messaging isn’t going to come as easily because what you provide isn’t curing cancer.
This is where the philosophical problem can be your best friend.
I’m going to give you a handy sentence frame.
All you need to do is add in your failure message and you’ve taken care of two parts of the StoryBrand framework at once.
If you work with business owners, here’s a sentence frame for you.
Boom! See how easy adding a wee bit of failure can be?
You won’t be sleazy, you won’t be too salesy, and who knows? It might be just what website visitors need to hear to motivate them to work with you!