A SaaS Marketing Example: Finding Your Heroes

How do you find an audience for your SaaS product?

Are you in this postion?

  • You created a tool for yourself that you would like to share with the world.
  • You didn’t validate the idea first.
  • You aren’t sure which niche may be the most interested in your tool.
  • You want to move forward positioning your tool in a market.

One option is to target multiple audiences. Then, test the response of each market to see where your tool is most effective.

To get started, let’s consider a real life example of this idea and see if it can help you brainstorm your own audience and your own story.

A StoryBrand Brandscript Example

RevenueRabbit.app is a tool I created to engage with my business finances. As a parent, I taught my young children about saving money using small boxes to store and prioritize their spending. Finally, I could foresee how this form of ‘bucket/envelope budgeting’ could be useful for personal finance, too.

Thus, I have three audiences to consider:

  • Small business
  • Parenting/Teaching
  • Personal Finance

To make this exercise more fun, I chose to create a “StoryBrand BrandScript” as described in the book, “Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller. To summarize, I am writing a story in which my customer is the hero. The goal of this exercise is to find my heroes, or customers. So, let’s dive into the 7-Part Storybrand Brandscript Framework and how it applies to RevenueRabbit.app.

A Character

To develop your character, we consider the needs of your story hero. Whenever possible, you should be considering the needs of your customer and avoid telling your own SaaS story. So in the case of Revenue Rabbit, we appeal to the desire to profit for business owners, to improve student skills for teachers and parents, and to proritize spending for personal tracking.

Has A Problem

In your story, what is the dilema your character is facing? This can target a villian which is foiling your hero in some way. For our Revenue Rabbit example, business owners could be battling money loss or waste, parents and teachers could be battling to get the attention of their students, and personal finance enthusiasts may be battling to control spending.

Keep in mind problems can be both internal and external to your character. Internal problems concern emotions, feelings, and the psychological concerns of your character. Revenue Rabbit heroes may be fighting finance tracking drugery, overwhelming teaching demands, and the pressure to pay bills. Externally, they may want to implement open finances to share with the world, improve their children’s test scores, or buy a new house.

And Meets A Guide

How do we help the hero of you story? Two ways to position yourself as a guide involve empathy and authority. To empathize with the hero’s problems give them confidence you understand them and can help. Try completing sentences starting with “We care about”, “Like you, we want”, or “We understand”. To increase your authority as a guide, consider referencing respected publications or using testimonials from other customers.

Who Gives Them A Plan

Next, we need to setup a roadmap to success for your hero. Three flavors of roadmap include pre-purchase, post-purchase, and general agreements.
For a pre-purchase plan, we may offer a free version to help the hero follow their road to financial improvement. For a post-purchase plan, we can remind our hero of all the perks they will experience or offer a lifetime plan in exchange for a testimonial. Finally, the goal of the agreement plan is to reduce any fears our hero and customer may have moving forward. For example, cancel free for a full refund anytime.

And Calls Them To Action

A hero needs to take action to become great and save the day. So, we offer them two forms of action, transitional and direct. Transactional calls to action are often smaller free steps that give something of value to your hero. Transactional calls to action point your hero in the direction of a happy ending but in a less straighforward way. For example, giving your hero a finance related video, a teaching guide, or information in a blog post are forms of tranactional calls to action. Giving free transitional content encourages your hero to take direct action through the the rule of reciprocity. The rule of reciprocity, is a social norm where if someone does something for you, you then feel obligated to return the favor. The direct call to action is more straightforward. The heroes' goal is to take direct action which is a clear path to their success. An example of a direct call to action is the Revenue Rabbit ‘Subscribe Now’ button which starts the hero’s journey to the full featured version of Revenue Rabbit.

That Helps Them Avoid Failure

Sometimes a hero needs a litte help to acheive their victory. A gentle reminder of the stakes of failing may help them. For example, Revenue Rabbit guide may remind entrepenuers that only 2 in 5 businesses are profitable. Also, visions of impulse spending, excessive consumerism, and the cycle of poverty are possible failure scenarios that may lead potential Revenue Rabbit customers to consider the service.

And Ends In Success

Congratulations, your hero has reached the happy ending of their story. Now focus on their journey before your brand and after your brand. How has your hero transformed? What do they have? What are they feeling? Has their status improved? For example, the entrepenur who uses Revenue Rabbit started out concerned about their finances. They were too overwhelmed and motivated to get started. After using the RevenueRabbit.app they are experiencing profitable, thoughtful spending and saving.

Your StoryBrand Brandscript: How can you use it?

Your StoryBrand Brandscript can be used to create the content for your website, your email campaigns, or really anytime you pitch your SaaS service. Marketing of any type can benefit from using StoryBrand the 7-Part Framework to get clear on your heroes needs and how to help them reach a happy ending.

Need details?

This post was inspired by two books. First, “Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller outlines the StoryBrand 7-Part framework in great detail. Secondly, “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning So Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It”, by April Dunford opened my eyes to product positioning and the concept that SaaS products may serve multiple audiences. Consider reading these books for more ideas.


To follow my Revenue Rabbit build/learn-in-public journey, check out my blog post, Revenue Rabbit: My First Indie Product’s Backstory.

Or follow me on twitter, @ardith_falkner.

Wishing you many happy endings…


Featured Photo by King Lip on Unsplash