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Using The Power of Story To Build Powerful Software Products

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Your product or service tells a story.

It either tells one that’s clear and coherent, highlighting the challenges you’re most ready to solve for your ideal customer…

Or it confuses them.

The story you’re telling depends on whether you’re being thoughtful in the process, or building it blindly.  

And the difference between the two has a massive impact on your prospect’s ability to buy from you.

Years ago I was visiting some friends at Twitter and I had the privilege of learning this lesson first hand from one of the best growth guys out there: Josh Ellman (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter).

His process was clear… ask yourself:

“What does this communicate to our customer about the problem it solves, the value they’ll get, and is it for them?”

At the time he was revamping Twitter’s sign-up process to help activate more customers after their first time using it.

That conversation sent me down a path of studying the best onboarding experience for SaaS products and creating the Product Story framework.

This is how you build powerful products.

In this week’s video I deconstruct each path.

You’ll learn the key elements that drive results, and how to line them up so you can connect with your customers quicker.

After reading a ton of books, speaking with some of the best product minds out there, and testing the strategies on my own companies, I now break it down into 3 core areas of the product:

  1. The Homepage: This page requires a strong “Hook”… it’s the statement that answers the “What is this?” question, followed by the “Promise”, it answers the “How do you do that?” question.
  2. Onboarding: These pages really act as the setup… they are the minimum required steps that you ask of your customer to ensure you have what it’ll take to WOW them. It also matters the order you put them in, and the information you ask for to help reinforce your product’s positioning (i.e. The Story) that they’re building in their mind.
  3. Core Value: This is the specific result a customer will get that makes them think “crap, that’s awesome”. Every great product has it. You might have it, but it’s buried, and only a small % of your users have seen it. The key is to front-load this in the experience for all new users. Some call it the “Must Have” experience.

Watch the video to get a deeper sense of how the complete story is told, and how each piece plays a critical part.

After working with thousands of startups over the years, I’ve come to believe that some of the biggest growth comes from refining their product story.

The fun part is, it doesn’t take much work.

It could be as simple as changing the language on your homepage, or re-ordering your onboarding experience…

… but once it clicks, growth occurs.

Got specific questions about your product?

Post them below in the comments and I’ll answer them soon… I’d love to help you create a story that reinforces the innovation you’re building.

Remember, it’s an iterative process…

… so keep testing till you get there.


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