The 5 Elements Of Your Core Story

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Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

john-jantschIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing a solo show on creating your core messaging, and I walk through how to create your core story script.

Key Takeaway:

The development of your core messaging and your story is imperative to your overall marketing strategy. You can attract even more ideal customers through the story that you know they are telling themselves and by crafting your story that makes it clear how you can help them solve their problems. In this episode, I’m covering my exact 5 part framework that can help you develop your core story script.

Topics I cover:

  • [1:54] Why people want us to tell a story about the problem we can solve for them
  • [2:53] Breaking down the core story script
  • [3:18] The uses of your core story
  • [4:50 Defining the problem that exists today
  • [7:51] Example of how to explain the outside forces driving that problem
  • [8:32] Painting the picture of the reader’s world without the problem
  • [10:41] Explaining the solution that exists today
  • [10:47] Creating a firm call to action
  • [11:06] Recap of the five elements of your core story script
  • [11:32] How to brainstorm and begin writing your script
  • [13:39] How the Ultimate Marketing Engine can help you with this entire process

Resources I Mention:

More About The Certified Marketing Manager Program Powered By Duct Tape Marketing:

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John Jantsch (00:00): Today's episode is brought to you in part by Success Story, hosted by Scott D Clary and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Success story is one of the most successful, useful podcasts in the world. They feature Q and a sessions with successful business leaders, keynote presentations and conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship. A recent episode had Terry Jones, the CEO of Travelocity and the chairman of of Talking all about disrupting existing industries with technologies so much for us to, to think about and learn in that episode. So listen to Success Story podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:55): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and I'm doing another solo show. I know I've been doing a lot of these lately, but I get such great feedback and let's face it. I have a lot. I wanna say all right today. I want to not tell you a story. I wanna tell you about story all this month. I'm recording these in January of 2022. I'm talking about strategy. A lot of things that get seen as tactics need to have strategy behind them. So when I talk about core messaging and today I'm gonna talk about your core story. Ultimately, these play out, I suppose, as tactics when you use them, but the development of them and why you develop them. What you actually say in these to me is clearly strategy. So today I wanna talk about something.

John Jantsch (01:41): I call your core story script. So, you know, anybody who's listened to me talk, know that I talk about the idea of solving problems that people don't want, what we sell. They don't want us to tell a story about what we sell. They want to tell a story about them. They want us to tell a story about the problem that we solve for them. Now, the idea of storytelling, it's certainly not new. I, I've probably been talking about it in some fashion for 20 years. And, and at that point, maybe the idea was a little new. Now there's entire sections in bookstores on storytelling in business, or, or certainly in marketing, uh, you've even got, you know, the whole story brand and the, you know, the Jo Joe Campbell myth and star wars story formula inside of, of the hero's journey. I mean, these are all things that are thrown around and, and I just think they're kind of trendy ways of saying people don't care what we sell.

John Jantsch (02:34): They want their problem solved. So if you know the true problem that you solve for your client, then it's a matter of actually using a story to lead them to the logical conclusion that that, that you're at. So, all right, let's talk about the core story, uh, script, and maybe kind of break it down a little bit. Uh workshoppy if you've bought the ultimate marketing engine, by the way, some of what I talk about, some of the tools, uh, actually come with the book. So if you, uh, head on over to the ultimate marketing or you buy the book inside the book, you're gonna see a link to a resource site where any of the tools that I talk about in the book, you're, you're actually gonna be able to use, but course story's gonna have a lot of uses. I think a great place is a video on your homepage, certainly is a presentation in, in some sort of at an industry trade show or in an email in a, in a welcome sequence.

John Jantsch (03:29): For example, for new subscribers, it's just a great way to introduce yourself in every type of situation it'll have lengths. There'll be times when it's more appropriate to you, give more detail and other times where you're really just almost giving a talking logo. You'll find more about that in my first book, duct tape marketing, but here's the framework you're first gonna define the problem that exists today. Then you're gonna explain the outside forces, driving the problem, see a lot of the problems that our clients have. It's not really their F fault necessarily. There's a lot of things lined up against them. There's the enemy out there against them. Then you're gonna paint the picture of what the reader or listener's world would be like. Maybe just get them to imagine if I could get rid of this problem. What would that mean to me? Next step is you're going to explain that, Hey, you know what a solution does exist today.

John Jantsch (04:24): See, now that we have linked, now that we've defined the problem, now that we've made them understand that we understand we get them. Now you are going to actually get the invitation to say really, okay, how could I fix that? And then it's really a matter of, kind of the last element is to say, would you like that fixed, you know, the call action, uh, piece. All right, so let's break down each element. What is it? Five elements. Uh, we'll kind of talk a little bit about, give you some examples, uh, give you some ways to think about it. So the first one define the problem. Now, if you've done any research, if you've interviewed your clients, if you've looked at your Google reviews, you're probably gonna start seeing some of the things that people actually say about what, what your business does. And again, another plug for the book in the ultimate marketing, there's a whole chapter on how to define what that problem is.

John Jantsch (05:12): But for example, to me, or in my world, uh, as a marketing consultant, one of the biggest problems that I solve is that marketing is, or at least seems complex and it's changing every day. I mean, there's everybody trying to sell a piece of the puzzle. So that idea that is nearly impossible to know, you know, where to go, what return to get, who to trust. There's, you know, how do you have confidence in what everything you're doing in a lot of ways, me selling marketing strategy is not what I do. What I do is sell clarity and confidence and, uh, control in a lot of ways. And so understanding that allows me to then explain the outside forces, draw me driving the problem, right? It's not their fault.

John Jantsch (05:56): And now word from our sponsor: Wix E-commerce the industry leading e-commerce platform with future ready, customizable, robust solutions for merchants who mean business Wix e-commerce is the complete solution for entrepreneurs, omnichannel, retailers, and brands who wish to launch, run and scale their online stores successfully go to today and join over 700,000 active stores selling worldwide with w e-commerce in, in screenwriting talk, which a lot of this kind of idea of story.

John Jantsch (06:33): In fact, I, I recommend if, if you pick up some screen green writing books, uh, get kind of the formula down for some of these elements, um, you know, you might talk about revealing the forces of evil beyond their control that are conspiring to keep them in the dark. So I know that's kind of goofy when you think about it, but I think we need to help prospects and ideal customers realize that they're actually actually is an antagonist at play. Uh, again, for my agency, clients, that antagonist is often the fact that they did not get into business to be marketers yet right off the bat. They learned that nothing happens until they acquire customers. So marketing became job one, and they don't really like it. So many business owners hope to abdicate their market, getting to anyone that promises results. I mean, that's really why they get in trouble so often, even if they don't understand what those results are, how they're achieved, how they'd be measured.

John Jantsch (07:26): Now, this approach always causes problems. I hate to pick on SEO people, but I seem to do it all the time because SEO people add sales rep, web designers, social media experts, LinkedIn requests, automation, gurus buying for your, a business. I mean, these are the forces at evil, in many cases. And so talking about that, so in a way in this core story where people are like, yeah, that's right, that that actually is happening to me too. So explaining look, when you got into business to do what you love, what you were trained for, then you quickly found out that marketing, what you love was more complicated than just putting up a website. But with the advent of one new marketing platform after another, who can keep up, let alone know whom to trust, to guide you through the maze of marketing jargon and tactic of the week. So that was me being in my telling story voice. So that's the idea of, of really kind of explaining the, the antagonists. It, it helps it helps the reader go. Yeah, that's what I'm experiencing too. Now that you've got them really bummed out, or at least listening, then you get to go to paint the picture of the reader's world without the problem. I mean, this is your chance to describe what life would be like for your ideal customer. If they only understood how to make the problems go away.

John Jantsch (08:45): So if you know who your ideal customer is, and again, that's something that we cover in pretty much everything I've written, but if you know who your ideal customer is, you know, what their dreams are, you know, what their, their demons are, you know, what their desires are because you've worked with them. You've heard them talk about these time and time again. Then you can actually talk about, you know, what would it be like if that, you know, went away? So, so I'll give you an absurd example. Imagine logging into your email on Monday morning to find multiple requests for information and two signed agreements for new projects by noon, your marketing coordinator presents you with next month's editorial themes and promotional ideas. When you check your email later that day, you find a report from your marketing consultant that shows you've received 13 new glowing reviews, and that not only is your organic traffic up again, but also the conversion rate on your ads has doubled compared to this period last year, there's plenty of work left to do today, but now you've got a couple hours of uninterrupted time to work on that plan for a new client before Le for heading home to have dinner with the family.

John Jantsch (09:50): All right. So sounds kind of magical, doesn't it? And that may be a really stupid example for, for your business. But the idea is to, to get somebody to see, gosh, what could my business, what could my life be without chaos, if that's really what they're experiencing, if that's really the problem that you're solving. So I know that example is over the top, but I think for the business owner, keeping struggling really to up, uh, to figure it all out and, and to reign in some sort of control, it actually sounds implausible. In fact, they, they can't imagine how they would get there. They wanna get there, but they can't imagine how they would get there. And that's kind of the point because now you get to say, well, would you like to know how to get there? It actually can happen. So those are the elements.

John Jantsch (10:41): Obviously, then you wanna talk about your solution. This is the part you probably get. All right, this is the part. Most people get. You wanna talk about your solution. You want to have a firm called action. Here is what you need to do to make that problem go away. So think about those elements that I just described, the five elements of, of the core story script. Maybe make an outline with those five I'll I'll I'll repeat 'em if you wanna grab a pen and hopefully you can do that. You're not driving down the highway, define the problem that exists today. Explain the outside forces, driving the problem. It's not your fault. Paint the picture of the reader's world in the future. Without that problem, explain the solution that exists today and then call the reader to action. So take out a blank piece of paper, write those five things down the, write those five elements down, give yourself some writing space between them, and then start to brainstorm about what would go in that story.

John Jantsch (11:39): Now it doesn't have to be a work of pros you're you, you you're welcome to struggle around and stumble around in this, but, but just get, get, start getting some of these statements, these phrases down it'll come as you start telling people as you record a video, as you need to tighten it up, but don't worry about that right now. Just blow it all out on onto a page or onto a document on, on a computer and just get it started, get, get the things coming out. If you've done some interviews with clients, maybe you've actually got some ideas of them saying what it is that you do of them saying how their world has been better. I mean, there's nothing better than, than somebody being able to say I have 69% increase in leads or 37%, uh, increase in revenue. I mean, that can actually go into painting the picture of what it could look like, uh, for somebody else.

John Jantsch (12:34): Now there's a heck of a lot of ways you can use this core story. You know, obviously for many people, it's gonna be the first thing that starts to establish some level of trust, but you certainly can use it, share bits of it really pretty much anywhere that you, that you put content. It could actually, you can take elements of it and use it for you. Email subject line. You can take elements and write entire blog posts about them. You can make this story 10 pages long and then cut it back to, you know, half a page for when you're just trying to put it into a document or trying to put it into, uh, uh, a webpage. So hopefully that helps with another element of your marketing strategy. Because again, this is a piece that you are going to use strategically to tell people.

John Jantsch (13:19): So when people ask you what you do for a living, you can actually define the problem for your ideal customer for making their world better. You can, you can say the whole thing in an elevator speech, typical elevator speech, uh, form, but you wanna make sure that you are using these elements. All right. So, as I said, this is, uh, straight out of the ultimate marketing engine. My latest book, five steps to ridiculously consistent growth of if this little nugget, this little 15 minutes that we spent together seems valuable to you. Then go get that book because I've built an entire workshop around every single one of these elements. And you get all the tools and forms. That's All right, this is John signing off. Love to hear from you. Tell me, uh, what your favorite episode is. It's just [email protected]. Take care.

John Jantsch (14:14): All right. That wraps up in the other episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. I wanna thank you so much for tuning in. Feel free to share this show. Feel free to give us reviews. You know, we love those things. Also, did you know that we had created training, marketing training for your team? If you've got employees, if you've got a staff member that wants to learn a marketing system, how to install the, that marketing system in your business, check it out. It's called the certified marketing manager program from duct tape marketing. You can find it at and just scroll down a little and find that tab that says training for your team.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, Wix, and AgoraPulse.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.



Wix is the industry-leading eCommerce platform with a  future-ready, customizable robust solution for merchants who mean business. Wix eCommerce is the complete solution for entrepreneurs, omnichannel retailers, and brands who wish to launch, run and scale their online stores successfully. Go to today and join over 700,000 active stores selling worldwide with Wix eCommerce.


HubSpot Podcast Network, Wix

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