Now that I’m a few chapters in after my review of Chapter 3, I think I could’ve done a better job there. I almost think I tried to preempt the entire book from the introduction of the SB7 Framework. If you’ve been part of the bookclub we hope you’ve been enjoying the journey with us. Chapter six builds on the previous one. Chapter Six: And Meets A Guide is unpacks the third component of the StoryBrand Framework. It builds on Chapter Five: Has A Problem. The premise of this chapter is obvious from the onset.
Things I ‘Struggled’ With
To make his point Don Miller makes references, which I don’t think everyone will be familiar with. I felt like he assumes readers (or listeners in the case of audiobooks) would be familiar with the storylines or share his understanding or viewpoint. If everyone had the required knowledge of Yoda or Gandalf that would be great. Of course, these are devices to help to understand.
Could he have used better stories/references or examples as illustrations? That could be up for debate.
And Meets A Guide
Unlike the introduction to the SB7 Framework, I find it more straight-to-the-point. It is about placing the customer (or your audience) as the hero and not yourself. The hero of the story is the focus of all communications. Everything is about how s/he can be helped.
What we do and communicate as an organization or church should be about how the hero can overcome his/her villain or problem. So, the customer is the hero and one of the things he needs is a guide to deal with her villain. Miller suggests two things that make for a great guide:
- Empathy and,
Empathy is a critical for building trust. “We understand you, your challenge and how it might be affecting you”. And authority is about making a case for competence on our part as guides.
Empathy is devoid of judgment and builds a bridge. Empathy is devoid of disdain. It is inviting. Great guides are empathetic. (Click to Tweet)
Miller warns that we should be careful in not making ourselves the heroes in our attempt to prove our competence. He suggests sharing a couple or so testimonials from customers happy with out service. And, with that, they mustn’t be over the top shout-outs.
Ultimately, people want to know that we know what we’re doing and that our focus is nothing but them and their success.
What This Means For The Church and Communicators
Not So Much About Ourselves
This is particularly important for churches. Sometimes churches spend so much time talking about themselves that we elevate ourselves above those we should be reaching. We should ourselves as ahead, instead of beside, as guides.
All ‘marketing’ and communications must put congregants and those exploring the Christian faith foremost. What do the phrases we use sound like to someone who has never set foot in a church building?
Stories (aka Testimonies)
Testimony would be a common term in a previous generation of christians. I’m not sure about presently. In the more recent times, we might call them stories of life change.
Reading about testimonials from customers reminded me about the importance of sharing stories of life change–testimonies. Have we, as the church forgotten the power of storytelling as a tool of introducing the world to Jesus?
We might want to revisit this. How are we doing this when we gather, on social media and other channels and platforms.
Jesus And His Message
Remember Jesus’ words, “…No one can come to the Father except through me…”? Perhaps this is something we need to remember to communicated as we teach about Jesus and His Message.
Besides how we communicate or reach our target audience, as a church, you might want to go through the StoryBrand process. Who are you as a church? How do you come across as guides to your community. Is it possible that some people are don’t want to get close to us because we’re focused on ourselves?
All in all, I found this chapter about our demeanour toward those we serve and or intend to reach. About being a guide. And, a guide empowers, comes alongside, educates and supports. For the sake of so many in our communities, may we be great ones.
How does this guide idea change the message you are promoting from your church and what do you see as the hardest parts of implementing this?