Jeremy McLean, StoryBrand Marketer, New Brunswick

31 OCTOBER 2018


It’s pretty evident that almost all stories start with a problem or some type of conflict. Every cop show we’ve ever watched typically starts out with a crime scene. Every great book has an amazing first chapter that dives right into some type of scenario that defines the “problem”. It’s the hook that all get’s us engaged. Translate this into business terms and we ask ourselves, “what is the problem we are solving?” If you haven’t asked yourself that, then your messaging is not clear to your customers. In turn, you are losing potential sales.


The main reason why we need to define the problem first is to bring potential customers in to see if they have interest. No one likes a pushy salesman that tries to get us to buy right away. I can’t remember the last time someone speaking highly of the telemarketer they were talking to today. At Valley Marketing, we take the genuine and authentic approach where you tell people the problem you are solving, and if they can relate, they either read on or inquire for more information. To do this, the message must be clear, and for most businesses, it’s not.

“When we define the elements of a story as it relates to our brand, we create a map customers can follow to engage our products and services.”

– Donald Miller

You wouldn’t believe how many companies think they have a clear message to their customer base where in reality it’s only clear to the people working at the company. If you’re creating your own messaging without asking the public if it makes sense to them, then you’re missing the target. When people inside your company identify the “problem” you are solving, then start crafting the message, that message will most likely make sense to them since they are sooooo close to the product or service. Of course it would, you live and breathe it everyday. But, that’s not who you are selling to. It needs to be so clear that Joe Blow off the street completely understands the problem you are solving and what you offer in just 1 sentence.

Sean McGrath Portrait Photographer


Take our first line on our homepage for an example:



Once you read this, and it’s the only piece of text you can read when you visit the site, you know right away if you’re our target audience. If you’re a busy business owner that is busy and wants to bring in new customers, then let’s dive deeper. The interest is immediately there. 

A big part of Donald Miller’s Storybrand Framework, which I feel works if done correctly, is starting with a character that has a problem. The character is the business owner in our case and the problem is they don’t have time to market and brand their business.

We will dive deeper into the Storybrand framework another time, but I do want you to understand that it’s not so evident what the answer is until someone who works on this every day points it out to you. Sometimes as business owners its tough to see things from an outward perspective, which is what your potential customers have.


1 on 1 sessions

Are you in the position where due to cost you need to do your marketing on your own but need some advice? We offer 1 on 1 marketing sessions that go over topics on the StoryBrand framework and anything related to marketing your business online. We would love to hear from you!

If you’d like to read more about the Storybrand framework, you can visit their website or even join in on the podcast.

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