80 – Sell Your Story, Not Your Product | Feat. Mark Evans

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Our brains are wired for story. That’s the reason you, a founder who is doing a crowdfunding campaign – have got to learn how to sell your story, not your product. On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, Khierstyn chats with Mark Evans, a brand storyteller who helps startups craft and distribute their company stories to great effect. You’ll learn a lot about what a brand story is, how to craft one, and how to get the story out in a way that others will share it.

What does it mean to “sell your story?”

Every company, every product has a story. It’s the story behind what you’re doing that people will engage with. You can’t just talk about the great features your product has, you’ve got to let people know the reason behind it and how it will benefit them in the day to day life they lead. Mark Evans is on this episode of the podcast to share how you can learn to sell your story rather than selling the product. He’s got great insight from his career as a writer and startup advisor. You’d pay a lot of money to get this kind of advice one-on-one, so take advantage of this opportunity to hear Khierstyn pick Mark’s brain.

Having a great product is not the key to success. The product experience is what matters.

There are many incredibly useful and innovative products that never make it in the marketplace. In many cases, the lack of success is because the ones running the marketing campaign didn’t understand that the great features of the product are NOT what sell products. Potential buyers are looking for what the product will DO for them. In other words, how will buying the product enrich their experience? If you want to learn how to amplify the product experience so that your product launch or crowdfunding campaign doesn’t fail, you need to hear this conversation with Mark Evans, brand storyteller.

Your brand story will morph over time, and that’s a good thing.

Nobody creates an amazing product with their product or brand story fully formed. It’s an iterative process that grows over time. That’s because you, the founder will grow in your own understanding of what the product is, what it does, and how it helps people. And… the testimonials you receive from buyers along the way will help you see the benefits of your product in ways you haven’t seen before. So keep at it, notice what people are saying, and recraft your story every chance you get in order to connect with more and more people. This episode with Mark Evans gives you more suggestions like that, so be sure you listen.

Use your brand story to attract influencers and media for greater exposure.

Every founder who starts a crowdfunding campaign wants to get as many eyes on their launch as possible. One of the ways that has proven effective for many successful campaigns is to get the attention of media figures and other influencers who could help you promote the launch. But it’s not so easy to do so if you’ve never done it before. That’s why Mark Evans is Khierstyn’s guest on this episode of the podcast. He’s got lots of tips for how you can genuinely connect with bloggers, media outlets, and podcasters about your product – and to do so in a way that gets responses. You’ll want to hear this!

Outline of This Episode

[1:41] Who IS Mark Evans?
[3:53] How Mark got interested in startups and VC funding.
[7:51] The first startup Mark was involved in: Right product, wrong time.
[9:53] How a company can be too product focused and not enough customer focused.
[11:50] Does your product or company have a story?
[17:15] The differences Mark sees between the stories of early stage startups and older companies.
[19:02] Tips for founders about building their story.
[25:19] How stories are used to attract people who will spread the story.
[27:55] Suggestions for how you can make your story appealing to an influencer.
[33:00] Know the kind of marketing you want to do.

Resources & People Mentioned

BOOK: Storytelling for Startups
www.BackerKit.com – use “uncut” at checkout

BIG THANK YOU to our Sponsors


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Comment List

  • Chun Yu 08 / 02 / 2017 Reply

    It is very true. Features will not increase the sales. We need to develop products that are simple to use. Features cost $$$ and time. Do the customers care about product packed with lots of features? I think not. My microwave oven has lots of features. But I only use the “time” feature.
    Also, Story driven marketing – We need to put our story to resonate with the audiences. Our product is to fix my problem, however, if I have the problem, you should have it as well. The difference is that I am actively looking for a solution, but you are doing nothing.

    • Khierstyn 10 / 02 / 2017 Reply

      I love your attitude! Simple is the best way forward.

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