7 Steps to Creating a Compelling Story


We recently teamed up with Erin Berman from Blackbeard Studios, a digital marketing agency based out of San Francisco, to host a Storytelling workshop. Erin has helped dozens of startups learn how to share their story through her service as a storyteller and mentor at VCs and accelerator programs.

The goal of the workshop was to get introduced to the fundamentals of brand storytelling and learn how to leverage your company’s messaging to create cohesive and effective content for building your brand. Erin posed the question, “Every company has a story. What’s yours?”

Every time you pitch, tell someone about your company or even introduce yourself, you’re telling a story. There are 7 steps for creating a compelling story because let’s face it everyone wants to hear a good story.

7 Steps to Building a Story:

  1. Characters – your target audience
  2. Challenges – problem or pain point

  3. Motivation-  what is your best outcome?

  4. Setting – connect the dots

  5. Obstacles – what is your path to achieving your desired outcome?

  6. Climax – the rescue (just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse)

  7. Closing – what was the resolution? Did you clearly solve it?

We relayed each step of the process to how each character customer relates to the story your company and/or brand is telling them.

First, it starts with a trigger, something that causes an initial connection between the customer and with your brand. This “trigger” creates a projection of your company narrative which in turn creates a “memory” for your customer. At this point, you’ll either induce some sort of good feeling for your customer, or they’ll forget about you. People don’t remember what you told them, they remember how you made them feel. If you can’t make your customer feel strongly about your brand it’s highly unlikely they will remember you and move on.  

So how do you create good feels for your customer when they think about your company?

One of the ways you can induce your customer to have strong feelings toward your brand is by helping your customers feel like a hero.

How to make your customer feel like a hero

  • Pose a problem – their pain point  
  • Give validation – show them their problem matters
  • Convey the emotion and impact in a memorable setting
  • Provide the perfect solution – your product
  • Showcase your product benefits (remember feelings not features, no one remembers features)
  • Connect the dots – create an easy way for them to be a customer

Everyone wants to feel like the hero. It’s a good feeling. And if you can get your customers to “feel good” about your brand they’ll not only remember you, they’ll be more likely to recommend you. It’s only when you can make your customer feel like a hero that you’ve truly won them over.


Helpful Customer Hero Cheat Sheet

Your Protagonist  = Hero = Consumer

For any brand story, the protagonist is the customer and we want them to participate in our story.


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