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Episode 095: Marketing Guiding Statements (Part 5): How to Write Your Small Business’s Story Pitch


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Over the last few episodes of our Marketing Guiding Statements series, we’ve been talking about the importance of developing your Marketing Guiding Statements before starting on your marketing strategy. This is because without clear messaging you won’t be able to connect with your ideal customers, hold their attention, or get them to want to do business with you.

When you jump right into posting to social media, developing a website, or creating reels before developing your Marketing Guiding Statements and clarifying your message—you end up wasting a lot of time and money on things that just don’t work.

This is why today, we’re covering the fifth area you need in your Marketing Guiding Statements—how to write your small business’s story pitch.

 

What is a story pitch and how can it influence your marketing strategy?

In the publishing world, before a book is written in full, the author goes to a publisher to present their “story pitch”—a concise description of what a story is about, who the story is for, and why it will sell.

A story pitch can do the same thing for your small business.

As we discussed in the last marketing guiding statements episode on one liners, we as small business owners are really bad at explaining what we do, why we do it, and why it matters. Oftentimes, when someone asks about our businesses, we start rattling off services as opposed to telling people how we can solve their problems.

However, we don’t want to bore people with information, we want to captivate them—especially in our marketing materials and on our website.

This is where your story pitch comes in.

Your story pitch goes beyond the one liner to create a full storyline that will engage your audience and show them why they should work with you. Unlike your one liner, your story pitch will likely be a few paragraphs long and can be used in long-form content such as your website, overview brochures or videos, and presentations.

 

How do you use a story pitch to engage your customers?

You may not be an author pitching your latest book, but as a small business owner, you need to be pitching your business. Creating a story pitch can be very helpful as it gives you a concise storyline that engages potential customers by empathizing with them, giving them a plan of action, and finally showing them what success can look like.

As the name suggests, you want your story pitch to follow the basic guidelines of a story. Your overall structure should look something like this:

  • Start with the problem.
  • Make it worse.
  • Express empathy.
  • Describe the solution.
  • Show the positive outcome.
  • And finally, state your why.

This may seem a little overwhelming, but you don’t have to start from scratch. If you’ve been following along in our Marketing Guiding Statements mini course, you already have all the elements needed to write a story pitch!

 

Let’s walk through an example.

To further explain the storyline structure, let’s use Treefrog as an example. Our story pitch is:

“Most small business owners and leaders aren’t sure where to start when it comes to marketing their businesses—nor do they have time to manage a marketing strategy themselves. As a result, their employees, finances, and business growth suffer.

At Treefrog Marketing, we understand these struggles firsthand, because we are small business owners ourselves. As a result, we’ve created science-based marketing systems that help small businesses save time and increase profits so that they can finally breathe and feel confident in their marketing efforts. We do this because small business owners and leaders work hard and deserve to have thriving businesses and lives outside the office.”

Now that you’ve read our story pitch, let’s break down each element.

 

State a Problem

“Most small business owners and leaders aren’t sure where to start when it comes to marketing their businesses—nor do they have time to manage a marketing strategy themselves.”

First, we have the problem. At Treefrog, one of our ideal customer avatars is small business owners who struggle with finding time to do everything they need to do—both at work and at home. Therefore, our problem talks directly to this audience and lays out the struggle they are facing.

 

Make it Worse

“As a result, their employees, finances, and business growth suffer.”

Second, we’re making the problem that we just described a little worse by laying out what will happen if they let this problem continue to fester. This isn’t designed to fearmonger people. Instead, it’s a way to help people understand and relate to the situation.

 

Express Empathy

“At Treefrog Marketing, we understand these struggles firsthand, because we are small business owners ourselves.”

It’s important to remember that the hero of your story is played by your customers—not your business. Instead, you should position yourself as the guide of the story—the one who helps the hero solve his or her problems.

We’ve learned from following a story-based framework that a good guide always shows empathy before jumping in and telling the hero what they need to do. In the empathy portion of the statement, we’re telling our ideal customers, “We know what it’s like to be in your shoes.”

 

Provide a Solution

“As a result, we’ve created science-based marketing systems that help small businesses save time and increase profits so that (Outcome) they can finally breathe and feel confident in their marketing efforts.”

After establishing empathy, we get to come in as the guide with a plan and a description of what will happen if our ideal customers followed that plan. This portion gives a solution to our customers’ problems and helps them see a way out of their chaos.

 

State Your “Why”

“Because, small business owners and leaders work hard and deserve to have thriving businesses and lives outside the office.”

The final portion of our story pitch talks about why we do what we do. People make buying decisions based first on emotion and then back up those decisions with facts—and you’ve already set the stage for this in the previous sections of your story pitch. But your “why” brings it all together. As you read Treefrog’s “why,” you see that we’re looking to get our ideal customers to say, “Yes, that’s what I want, too.”

 

By following the story logic of your story pitch, you’ll be able to capture people’s attention while helping them understand that you are the one who can help solve their problem and what their lives could be like if they followed your advice.

This episode is part five of our seven-part series that walks you through exactly how to write your Guiding Statements. We’ve been releasing these episodes one-by-one weekly. If you’d like early access to upcoming episodes and even more help with your Marketing Guiding Statements, take our FREE mini course: “The First Step to Effective Marketing for Small Businesses: Writing Your Marketing Guiding Statements”!

This free marketing strategy course includes seven lessons and a PDF download that walks you through every step of writing your Marketing Guiding Statements with examples. At the end of this course, you’ll have the messaging and talking points you need to write effective web copy, social media posts, ads, email campaigns, and copy for any and all of your marketing efforts. In other words, you’ll know exactly what to say to convert your prospective ideal customers into paying customers!

 


If you’re ready for your marketing to actually work, take the Marketing Guiding Statements mini course now!


 

Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

 

Writing Your Marketing Guiding Statements. 7 videos to help you clarify your messaging so that your marketing will actually work!

 


 

The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.

You can find The Priority Pursuit Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

 


 

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Marketing Guiding Statements (Part 5): How to Write Your Small Business’s Story Pitch

 

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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