Doing the Legwork - Building Your Own Proprietary Process
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In part one of this two-part series, I talked about what a proprietary process is, what it can do for your business, and listed some examples of an ideal time to use one. In this week’s episode, I’m going to take you through the process of actually building one. So if you didn’t listen to part one, I suggest you do that now.
If you already did, let’s begin this three-step journey of building one of your own.
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Kyle Gray: (00:37)
Hello. My name is Kyle Gray, and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. This is part two of the, as of right now, two-part series on building a proprietary process. In the last episode, I talked a little bit about what a proprietary process is, what it does for your business, and some examples of when and how you could use it.
Kyle Gray: (01:00)
This episode, we’re going to talk about building one. This is something that I love to do. I regularly coach people on building a process just like this, and so I wanted to do the podcast a little bit differently. I’m going to walk you through a proprietary process template. It’s a set of slides that I have up in Google Slides that works like a worksheet and helps you craft your proprietary process.
Kyle Gray: (01:28)
This isn’t going to be like your average podcast where you can listen while working out, or doing other activities, or driving. I recommend having the proprietary process template either on your screen while you’re listening to this or you can print them out if that works better for you. I’m going to walk through the template slide by slide and explain what I would do and how I would recommend you start filling this out.
Kyle Gray: (01:56)
This will also differ from normal podcasts because this isn’t something you’re going to listen to from start to finish and just be done with it. I think it’s something I would recommend budgeting some time to pause, to reflect, to work in your worksheets, work on the questions and the ideas, and then continue as you progress through the template. You can also repeat this episode and try it again for several different processes that you’re creating or maybe for different products or services that you have in your business.
Kyle Gray: (02:28)
You can go to thestoryengine.co/processtemplate to download your own proprietary process template, and you can make as many copies as you want. Or you can find a link to download this template at thestoryengine.co/podcast and look for the show notes for this episode. And if you are new to Google Docs or Google Slides on how they work, you’re going to want to make sure to click file, make a copy, and make a copy of the entire presentation so that you’ll be able to edit your own and keep it for the future.
Kyle Gray: (03:06)
Okay. So now I’ve assumed that you’ve downloaded your template. So if you haven’t already and want to follow along in this process, please go ahead and download it. This template is broken up into three different parts. First, we’re going to figure out your key outcome. What is that big thing that you want to promise? That’s going to help us build the name of our process and a concise statement that explains the problem you solve that you’ll be able to use everywhere. Next, we’re going to create the success path, the one, two, three steps that you need to take to get the results that you promise in the awesome headline we just came up with. Then in step three, we’re going to look at and explore and prepare key stories. What are the key stories that we can tell to overcome objections or differentiate ourselves so I get people excited and envisioning success as we are explaining our success path?
Kyle Gray: (04:07)
Also, keep an eye out for the speaker notes sections of each slide. They contain additional instructions, information, and examples that will help you fill out and brainstorm information on your own proprietary process template. On Google Slides, these speaker notes appear directly beneath the slide.
Kyle Gray: (04:28)
So on slides one and two, we have the cover sheet and the introduction, which I have just introduced and explained to you. So we’re going to move on and begin our work on slide three, which is titled The Outcome You Promise. On this slide, we are going to brainstorm at least five possible desired outcomes. What are the things that you ultimately promise you’re going to get if they enroll in your coaching, if they purchase one of your products if they sign up for your services? The trick is not to focus on what you will do as the entrepreneur, or the expert, or the service provider to create the result, which is what we often end up doing. We want to talk about what they will experience once we have completed our work, once they have followed our process. What does that look like? What are they going to get? How is their life going to be better?
Kyle Gray: (05:27)
You also want to do your best to keep this in the language of the customer. What words are they using to describe the problem that they’re experiencing and the results and things that they want? There’s usually, and unfortunately, a big difference between how an expert describes the ultimate result or outcome they promise and what a client or a potential client thinks about when they are describing the exact same thing.
Kyle Gray: (06:00)
So here’s a couple of good examples. Effortlessly lose that last 10 pounds to fit into your favorite jeans again. It’s something that people can visualize and experience just by hearing the example of that good outcome. Create an automated sales system that converts leads into customers while you sleep. The while you sleep in there is such a nice touch because it just makes it feel like the work is getting done and there’s big things happening even while I’m relaxing. Very exciting. Or help six-figure business owners scale up to seven figures while working less. Again, providing a big promise and even adding in a little bit of an extra bonus there while working less. You can add that little extra bonus statement on the bottom to maybe overcome a big objection. What are they really afraid of happening? Like a six-figure scaling up to seven might think that they have to work more all the time. So by saying while working less, you really intrigue and inspire them.
Kyle Gray: (07:02)
Somebody who’s maybe more of a life coach or a mindset coach might say go from self-sabotage to unstoppable in your relationships, or your business, or your fitness, whatever the case may be, or the specialty of the coach. Another one could feel 10 years younger without expensive surgery. This is nice, and simple, and, again, easy to picture, and is commonly described by people who might be in need of a health coach.
Kyle Gray: (07:31)
Okay, so take some time, give this a pause, and write out five possible desired outcomes. Then, spend a little bit of time ranking them in terms of what your customer is looking for, maybe what you know. Or maybe you could spend some time, go on Facebook and do a poll to your ideal customers if you have contact with them and ask them to rate on a desirability score of one to five which of these are the most desirable and which of them are the least. Maybe one or two will surface, but let’s see if we can pick out the best one of them all.
Kyle Gray: (08:06)
Once you have your outcomes written out, brainstormed, and scored, we are ready to go on to the next slide. All right. We are on to slide four, and this is one of my favorite parts, actually coming up with the name for the process. The trick here is to distill that outcome you promise down to a nice, crisp, two-to-three- or maybe three-to-five-word title if possible of the result that you’re going to create for them, and that’s the name of your process. Now, you might be feeling like, “Well, how am I going to get it down that much? There are too many things in here.” If you can just distill it down to that one single-core thing, in the next section below, we’ll do a short explanation of the outcome, which will help us kind of expand on that statement and give it a little bit more while leaving our name crisp and fresh.
Kyle Gray: (08:53)
So for my example in the slides, I put the lightspeed bestseller, which I would name as a process to get your book created and published in 90 days or less and go to bestseller on Amazon. I’ve heard similar authors, coaches, and course companies make similar promises, and I thought that that was a good example to kind of try and picture what a great title can look like.
Kyle Gray: (09:24)
Next, we’re going to write out a short explanation of the outcome. This combines things like knowledge of our target customers. Who is it? How can we describe them? Is it overworked moms? Is it burnt out CEOs? Is it competitive triathletes? Is it young professional women who are about to get married and want to make sure they look awesome on their wedding day? The closer you can get to describing who you are looking for, and their problem, and the emotional experience of their problem, the better that this explanation is going to be.
Kyle Gray: (10:01)
Then, the desired outcome. That’s what we worked on in the last slide. So you can add in the best outcome you mentioned without a big pain they don’t want or faster and easier than they imagined. And again, this is the little bonus on the end that you want to add to overcome a big objection or make the deal seem even sweeter, so things like without expensive medication or surgery, or in 90 days or less, or without having to overhaul your whole business or your whole life, or in less than 30 minutes a day. Adding something like this to the end of your outcome is going to hook their attention. So take some time now to come up with a good name and a good short explanation of your outcome. Pause it. Then, when you unpause, we will move on to slide five.
Kyle Gray: (10:56)
All right. We are on to part two of the template. Now we are moving on to the success path. We have our good name and our description, and now we are going to write out the steps that our ideal customer will take to get that result. I currently have three boxes to describe each step. You can go up to five. I wouldn’t recommend going much more above five, and I honestly really prefer three. It’s just the easiest to remember. It’s easy to digest information in sets of three, and it’s going to keep things simple for you when you are organizing these ideas as well.
Kyle Gray: (11:33)
If you’re thinking, “Oh, there’s just so many more than three things, three core things that I do. There are many different things,” you can just select the highlight, the ones that are the biggest, create the biggest milestones, or are the most different about you, or are very closely tied with your personal story and your personal beliefs, but we want to cut it down. Again, I’m not suggesting that you change anything you do in your area of expertise. I’m just suggesting we change how we communicate about it.
Kyle Gray: (12:06)
The very nice thing about having a success path like this is it removes a lot of the uncertainty that comes with wondering what’s going to happen when somebody works with you. They know what’s coming next, and they have a clear idea of where they’re going, and they know where to look to see their progress. It allows people to envision all of the different steps and them being successful on this, which builds trust and courage to invest in you and invest in your process.
Kyle Gray: (12:36)
Just like I recommend in the overall name and description of your process, each of these steps should be results-oriented. So let me give you some examples of what I mean by that. For a lot of different services, agencies, or coaches, there is a certain amount of assessment that happens upfront to determine what kind of work needs to be done. If you’re a marketing agency, you might want to check their Google Analytics, their current email software, and see how everything is performing and what the current numbers are in order to determine a quote for your copywriting. Or if you’re a health coach, you might want to run some different blood tests to help discover what’s unbalanced about their hormones and how you can best help them.
Kyle Gray: (13:23)
Now, we’re not going to say, “Step one, go into Google Analytics or do blood tests.” That is prescriptive of what’s going to happen. We want to be descriptive of what was going to happen afterward. And in this case, it’s going to be clarity. As soon as we do these tests, we get this data, we’re going to have clarity on what the best steps to move forward and we’re going to personalize it to you. So Create Your Clarity Roadmap could be a name for a really good step.
Kyle Gray: (13:57)
Now, some of you might be thinking, “Kyle, my process or how I work with my clients isn’t a linear one, two, three steps. There are lots of different components to what I do, but I never do it in the same order with my client.” And to that, I would recommend instead of creating a success path, you have the key pillars to your success. So replace the word step with pillar, at least for now. What are the core concepts, the core ideas that you build on and work from? And allow people to picture where am I in this process, what am I working on, and see the bigger picture through the process of the different pillars of success.
Kyle Gray: (14:39)
A financial planner or maybe even certain kinds of legal attorneys or coaches may be able to say things, like protect your wealth or your income, or go through your books and make sure everything’s lined up, is like creating wealth. So take some time to write out your three to five steps of your success path or key pillars to success, and then we can move on to the next section.
Kyle Gray: (15:10)
All right. We are into our key story checklist now, the third part of the template. You’re going to notice that slides seven through nine are all the same. What I want you to do with each of those slides is add in the steps or pillars to your process to each one. And if you have more steps, make copies of those slides so that you have enough for each one. Then, for each of these slides, you can brainstorm some key stories to tell that will enhance each of those steps in the process and will help you with teaching and explaining the value of each of those steps.
Kyle Gray: (15:50)
So, there are five stories. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself. You don’t need to have five stories for each step in your process to make it work. I would recommend having one or two of these stories within each of the steps of your process, but make sure you try to have as many of these different key stories in your entire presentation or throughout your entire process as possible.
Kyle Gray: (16:18)
The first is something that you’re saying that nobody else is saying. Having a story about everybody’s telling you about this, but I’m saying that, or everybody’s thinking about it like this, but you’re thinking about it wrong, look at it like this, and explaining your beliefs around that is a good way to separate yourself from your competition. So look around for something contrarian in what you’re doing to teach about or speak about.
Kyle Gray: (16:45)
One that I commonly use is many people I’ve worked with think you can only be successful in marketing if you have a big social media following. But I believe you can have a successful marketing campaign without any social media, and here’s how I did it. It’s a contrarian statement that goes against what a lot of people believe and think about what’s possible in business these days.
Kyle Gray: (17:07)
The next story is a success story of a client who used this step or overcame a big objection related to this step. One of my coaching clients, Bill, doubled his sales by making this one small change to a keynote speech. By sharing success stories like this within your process and when you’re describing the steps of your process, you allow people to visualize what it’s like to work with you and be successful with you.
Kyle Gray: (17:36)
The next story is a way to create urgency. Is there any information that you can give the audience that will encourage them to take action now? Human nature makes us want to wait. But if you can show us a real natural way to create urgency, not something like buy now or the price goes up on Tuesday or I’m in a group coaching program and there are only six seats and I definitely won’t take seven. It needs to be something like for a CPA or tax person could say, “There’s only a limited window of opportunity. If you don’t get this in by April 15th, then there’s only so much we can do.”
Kyle Gray: (18:17)
Another good one for people who work in marketing could be the cost of doing nothing. Yeah, many people thought they wanted to work with me and they didn’t do anything. Then they came back to me six months later and they realized they had left thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions on the table. This creates a sense that I don’t want to be missing out on anything. I don’t want to be leaving money on the table. So that can create urgency.
Kyle Gray: (18:45)
Next is a quick win. What’s something easy that you can teach that will allow people to envision making a simple change in their business, in their behaviors, in what they’re doing and experiencing a better result? Here’s one simple food that you can add to your diet for better energy all day long.
Kyle Gray: (19:03)
And the final key story is you want to have good stories that address the needs of both beginners and experts. If you can have a balance where you can give good, useful advice to beginners that they can take action on and get results right away but still demonstrate your expertise by really giving the things that somebody who has been in the field for a long time would be impressed with or see like, “Wow, this is definitely an advanced thing. These guys know what they’re doing.” So take your time and add your steps to the key story slides and pick out and brainstorm one to two key stories for each of the steps that you can use to enhance and teach them. Pause and then we will conclude the episode after you’re done.
Kyle Gray: (19:53)
All right. Well done. I want to tell you how we can start turning this process and these key stories into sales. Describing your process in sales pages and email automation are very powerful ways to enhance your copywriting and get people visualizing success with you in your writing. A proprietary process also makes for an amazing presentation or webinar. It helps give you a framework to walk through your sales calls and enrollment calls for your programs, and it gives you a good model to follow and to categorize what you discuss on social media and what you talk about. Use your process and your key stories as inspiration for content to create.
Kyle Gray: (20:38)
I also understand that coming up with a lot of these stories and good names on your own can be challenging. So if you’d like some extra help or support, I do have a program called The Storytelling Mastery Series. As of the recording of this podcast, it’s something we are going to launch in late March. You’ll be able to work with me in a group coaching format on this very template to help you come up with your key stories and your key steps to your processes along with. And we’re going to be doing a lot more in addition to that. So if you’d like a little bit more information on that group coaching program, when it’s launching, and what the investment is, you can go to thestoryengine.co/mastery, and I hope to see you in The Storytelling Mastery Series.
Kyle Gray: (21:32)
Thank you so much for checking this out. This is a very different episode. I haven’t tried episodes like this before, but I would love to know what you thought about it. If you ended up writing out a proprietary process template, feel free to send it over to me. I’d love to see what you put together and what you’ve thought of it. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.