April 27, 2022

490: Building a Story Brand and Using the Right Strategies (with Morgan Bonwell)

490: Building a Story Brand and Using the Right Strategies (with Morgan Bonwell)
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On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, I'm joined by Morgan Bonwell (Founder, Right Strategies) to discuss the importance of building a storybrand to help candidates and campaigns effectively meet their constituents where they're at on the issues they care about.


"So, the story brand framework, steps follow the basic concept of a hero meeting a guide. First, the customer has a problem that needs solved. And they're introduced to a guide. And that guide gives them a plan or a solution, and calls them to action, where they either achieved success, and how they can ultimately avoid failure.


So in the book, it talks about using this method in business and marketing your product.


But as I started to develop this concept, while implemented, implementing it in my own business, I was like, wow, candidates could really use this." 



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Brian Nichols  0:00  
One. Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy Wednesday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on of course, another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, we're going back to talking about SM strategy specifically focusing on the world of campaign strategy bringing the successful tools that work in the world of business to the world of campaign politics, talking about not just good strategies, the right strategies. Morgan Barnwell Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Morgan Bonwell  0:50  
Thank you so much for having me, Brian. The concept of your show is incredible. Teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. That's gold,

Brian Nichols  1:02  
we try we try we're trying to make the the conversation a little bit different because I don't know about you, I saw this meme, it was the captain america meme. And it's it was a me four years ago, or whatever it is, you know, I would argue about politics and then me now, it's him saying I don't think I will. And that that's me, I think we're seeing right now your average person is also tired of the fighting. They're tired of the arguments. They're looking for real, tangible solutions. And let's address the elephant in the room. They're out there, the solutions are right there before us. But unfortunately, I think more often than not, what we see is that we get stuck in trying to talk about how great we are the features and benefits side of thing versus what are we doing in terms of solving people's problems? And you've been doing this specifically through trying to help candidates address their constituents and meet their target markets? Yes, where they're at on the issues they care about, and actually win elections. And you've been doing that now for a while. So how about this? Let's have you do a quick introduction here to The Brian Nichols Show audience your past and what led you to be the founder of right strategies.

Morgan Bonwell  2:13  
Yeah, Brian, thank you so much. I found a dry strategies in January of this year, because there were so many first time candidates running for office. And just like you said, they're new candidates who are solution driven. They're not typical. Washington politicians, they're not people who have been around for a while they they have a mission, and they want to help their their districts. So I found that they have this problem of not knowing where to start. So they've got that heart that mission vision, but no tools to help them. And so right strategies, focus is on empowering conservatives with the tools and resources they need to run for office, share their vision, and most importantly, when, like you said, I've been doing this for a while I've worked in campaigns, I worked at the statehouse, here in Iowa, and at a leading conservative vendor. I went to the University of Northern Iowa. I'm an Iowa girl first in the nation caucus state. We'll be teaching our two little ones that information early on. But yeah, I'm just I'm I'm so happy to be on this side and working for this mission.

Brian Nichols  3:34  
It's refreshing to hear the approach to politics in this way. Especially when you look at how the national the global conversation has really deteriorated into just outright tribalism in many cases. And right now, you you mentioned, there has been an influx of, dare I say just normal people who are looking to make a difference who are looking to make a change. And I don't know about you, I didn't I was just talking about this back a few weeks ago, actually was a week ago, excuse me, on the show, this has a feeling of the Tea Party movement, kind of that circa 2009. Were 2010 It was the floodgates opened. And I I kind of feel that right now. But we need candidates to not just be right on the issues. And it's important. We need them to be good on those issues. But we need them to be able to articulate those issues and make it matter to your average person. So let's kind of start here, Morgan. And I think this would be the great, you know, where your average person is at. And that is what are the top issues that we should be talking about right now? What are you advising clients who are running as candidates to be focusing on? Obviously, it's gonna be specific on their areas, but do you see any recurring themes that are going across the board?

Morgan Bonwell  4:56  
Yeah, absolutely. I think school choice Ice and anything to do with educating our youth right now is big. I know in Iowa, our governor was pushing this ESA bill. And then and then critical race theory, obviously we don't want the radicals on one side indoctrinating our youth, you know, I've got two little ones. And a few of my candidates have little ones that they they want to send to school and know that they are going to learn, you know, what, every generation before them has learned. Science, Math, you know, reading, writing. The other thing is fighting inflation. The gas prices, everything is ridiculous right now, baby formula you can't find on the shelves. We're struggling to, you know, make enough to afford the the necessary items. And that's not the America that we know. If you're working hard. You You do what is best for you and your family and, and really provide like, we need to do better. So that is those are the issues that I think candidates should really be heading on right now. And that's what the people care about.

Brian Nichols  6:15  
Yeah. Now, the first one, here's the first pushback you'll get. Let's see what your your thoughts are. That's culture war. That's the school choice issue CRT. I mean, when you bridge the CRT, I guess that's where the cultural war argument would come in school choice. Obviously, he's much more policy and we're seeing the winds that are happening there with Cordy Angeles, but the CRT conversation that kind of goes towards the what's happening with Ron DeSantis, down in Florida right now, do you see that maybe being a bridge to forest for some certain people? Or do you see as a true winning issue?

Morgan Bonwell  6:48  
I mean, with so I work primarily with Iowa candidates right now. Right now, it is a hot topic. I think, obviously, you've got the left and the right fighting on this and kind of playing party politics in some way. But it is, it's so important for us to be using our taxpayer dollars, which go to education to be teaching our kids i i really don't I don't see anyone specifically paying to be taught these items. So I don't know I hate I. I mean, I'm a big DeSantis fan. So I don't disagree with what he's doing.

Brian Nichols  7:32  
Let's talk about inflation. Inflation obviously, is something that people see not only in terms of their savings, their money just not going as far but you know, every time they go to the gas station, the numbers right there in front of them the sticker shock from the gas. So let's let's talk about and also the grocery store, by the way, like you go to the grocery store, you filled a little buggy, and it's like a fourth phone it's still 100 bucks and you're like wait, what when that happened? Let's talk about that. Right like inflation is hitting people hard. What are you seeing in terms of having that conversation to how are you how are you effectively engaged in the conversation right now?

Morgan Bonwell  8:09  
Yeah, so as as a conservative we we believe and lower taxes so we have to alleviate that burden for our taxpayers right now. So you know, presenting the problem and then giving the solution of alleviating some taxes can overall tell a voter how how they could either come out on top after election day and maybe get some financial financial security in a way or you know go to the left and have our taxes raised and record high inflation and keep going this route so and that kind of ties into what I really would love to talk to you about in in the book that I read it's it's fantastic for you know, showing who who are targeting and then how you how you form that message around it

Brian Nichols  9:07  
go right into it, please Morgan fire away. Yeah.

Morgan Bonwell  9:10  
Yeah, so I wanted to share this concept because it works in both business and campaigns. A while back I read a marketing book that completely changed my mindset on determining the customer's needs challenges motivation for buying

Brian Nichols  9:27  
those books the best by the way, when you get a book and it just like hit you like that,

Morgan Bonwell  9:31  
I couldn't I was so happy that I read this because I saw where I was going wrong beforehand.

Brian Nichols  9:38  
I've read probably like not kidding close to probably 60 or so sales books in the past few years. And like over let's see, yeah, over my shoulder here. Those are those are the the keepers right here like those are the ones that are like the gold and that is you know, it's a good book when you sit there highlighter in hand which I mean, I just coincidentally have to have right Hear, because I literally will go through and I'll highlight a book, I'll dog your book to death. So I didn't mean her up. But I just know, when you get a book like that, it feels so good to know like, Oh, this is a game changer.

Morgan Bonwell  10:11  
Yes, yes. Do you take notes too? Or do you just highlight or

Brian Nichols  10:15  
so I usually what I'll do is I'll highlight first, and then I'll do a reread where I'll take notes separately on a Google Docs app where I'll use the voice to text. So then I'll just kind of like, you know, page 129 thought, and then I'll just commentate. Or if I'll use my transcription service, I use otter, and I will I'll just kind of talk through the book and my notes. Either way works because you'll get the the transcription which is really, really nice. But ya know, there's there's a lot of different ways I'll go through just I need to diverse though read it and digest it first, and then get the chance to go back. And then kind of add my my thoughts and commentary.

Morgan Bonwell  10:57  
Well, I'd be interested, I would buy your commentary for those books. Well, yeah, so I don't know. Have you heard of building a story brand?

Brian Nichols  11:09  
No, I haven't had the chance to read this this gem yet. Tell me more. Okay.

Morgan Bonwell  11:13  
Yeah, so it's by Donald Miller. And it lays out a framework that I use to start right strategies. But I've also implemented into messaging for my candidates. So the story brand framework, steps follow the basic concept of a hero meeting a guide. So first, the customer has a problem that needs solved. And they're introduced to a guide. And that guide gives them a plan or a solution, and calls them to action, where they either achieved success, and how they can ultimately avoid failure. So in the book, it talks about using this method in business and marketing your product. But as I started to develop this concept, while implemented, implementing it in my own business, I was like, wow, candidates could really use this. Because instead of saying vote for Morgan, she's the best thing ever. And, uh, you know, I love her. I'd say your children are being taught critical race theory and liberal ideology in school. So this is our, this is our problem. I want to help that you're the guide. When elected this June, I plan to sit down with parents like you and draft legislation that bans CRT in classrooms. So your plan, and then if you agree that liberal ideals should be thrown at should not be thrown at your child in the classroom. Please get out and vote for me this June. So your call to action. And we can't let the radical left continue to indoctrinate our youth and spread hate and division in schools. And that is just what will happen if we don't stop them. So this is how the voter can ultimately avoid failure. And what will happen if they don't so I think it shows a prospective voter that they're they are the one initiating change, which is true because candidates come and go but the the issues kind of stay and new problems arise.

Brian Nichols  13:26  
This is like a hybrid of the hero's journey and, and in marketing your pain agitate solve. That's kind of what this feels like. And, and it works because those are two of the most effective means to not only get people to have their their curiosity piqued, and to actually get someone to to see the problem before them and then see a tangible outcome. But when you incorporate the hero's journey, and you incorporate that story around it now you're you're humanizing it now you're making it more real. You know, you're here I'll give a secret sales tip I use this every single time I have a prospect I'll send out a little like what to expect overview and it's, you know, in this case, like a six steps, here's what the the buying process looks like. And I reason I do that is because I want there to be a visual representation of what they are to expect as we're going through this process together. But at the same point in time, I'm, I'm making it hyper personal to them. And you can I mean, this is the best part too. It doesn't have to necessarily be you sit down, and you're devoting hours to doing this. I mean, you can have templates that are specific to your ideal customer personas to your specific verticals that you work with frequently. You can have those different templates in place, and then it's just a matter of finessing a little bit here in there. And just you know cleaning it up a little bit. So I say all that because what you're outlining is not only something that we know works, but we see work every single day, in many different ways through both the storytelling but also, through the idea of using that pain agitate unsolved. So it just makes sense to bridge those two worlds together. Just make it one kind of a super, super secret power superpower. We'll go with that.

Morgan Bonwell  15:24  
Yeah, I love it. And actually what to expect overview I mean, people tell you what they'll do in 3060 100 days while in office. So they're kind of they're kind of doing a what to expect overview and campaigning anyways, it just, I don't think people see it as correlating the two as as well as it could be transferable? I guess?

Brian Nichols  15:48  
Well, it's tough to because there's an r and a D next to the people's name. So there's instantly that that emotional attachment. So let me ask you this, because this is this is the tough part, right? How do we transcend what we're seeing right now, with regards to if you have someone within our next surname, there's either hyper support, hyper toxicity, or just general apathy? I mean, are we at a point where we need to get past like party politics to avoid the tribal partisan feeling? And more talk about what we're talking about here? Like, what are the actual solutions that we're bringing to the table? Or is this just the nature of the beast?

Morgan Bonwell  16:34  
I think with President Trump being elected in 2016, we saw a big shift and focus on the issues. Because we did see a lot of Democrats turn Republican independents kind of lean that way. But I think honestly, most of America is probably in that middle middle ground. So if we sit here, and we talk about the issues and what's important, I think we could really make a difference in and, you know, kind of sway people to our side, if we're not just saying, you know, go right, go left, if we say, Hey, we're having issues in our schools. Let's Let's vote on that this year, let's fix that. And then, and then maybe, you know, you get someone a little less conservative or a little more conservative, but ultimately, I think, you buy something because you need a picture frame on a wall you buy, you buy a nail, you buy a hammer, we're having problems in our schools, so let's vote for someone who can fix that right now. And in the future, maybe we have an issue about something else. But I think I think you're right that we could play a little less party politics but I'll just say strong conservative here.

Brian Nichols  17:55  
That's not a bad thing be bold in your convictions. I was up at a it was a business owners conference in Wisconsin. And it was I was talking about cybersecurity solutions had no intention in talking about really anything overly political whatsoever. But you know, by reputation precedes me in some regards when people search you know, who's who the speakers and they find me the business, you know, cybersecurity side, then they sign find me, the political side, obviously, there's, there's a conversation that will, you know, inevitably take place. And one of the gentlemen came up he said, you know, what do you do when you have customers who maybe aren't the same politics as you and I said, you know, what, honestly, like, I really haven't had that be an issue because at the end of the day, if I am authentically me, and they see that I'm okay with that and they see that I'm also being authentic throughout the the entire sales process, then they're much more open to trusting me and to build that relationship to build that real rapport. It's funny. I just cut an email literally like an hour and a half ago from one of my favorite customers not just because he's a great guy and we get along great but also because I can guarantee like once a quarter he has one deal that will come in at least you know, a quarter that's going to be something you know, whether it's a new little internet connection turn up or or what have you. He and I are probably as far opposite in the political spectrum as we could possibly be. And he even said that one time he had messaged me, he said, you know, Brian, I saw that you you had your your one podcast you shared you know, I don't really agree with the the Liberty stuff, but you know, you're you're a great guy. I think it's great. You're doing it Have fun, you know, enjoy and that that's different, right? Because that's you're transcending that political conversation. And I mean, I don't know about you, Morgan, but I see it every single day people are like, they're demanding for something different. They're demanding for the conversation to change. I mean, you saw all this with you saw this with the I think it really after the 2020 election really slapped back in Virginia with Northam. You know, just just getting wall up there. And that I and I was by young by the by the way for those playing along in the home game. But I think that right there kind of was like a wake up call like the play time is over like people are so done with the bullying the the just constant berating the culture war, it's exhausting. And it's not a matter of maybe fighting the culture word knots matter of standing up and fighting back. And I think a lot of folks weren't prepared and maybe haven't expected or haven't witnessed what it's like for the more you know, don't hurt people don't take people's stuff side of things. You know, that's a little bumper sticker here, folks might go ahead and get that the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash shot by the way. But I mean, now you're seeing the Hey, don't hurt people don't take their stuff. But now all sudden, they're punching back. And I think that right there is maybe a little bit where we're having a different conversation, people are seeing it a little bit different of a way because they're tired of the way it has been. Where are you you just are. You're on eggshells constantly. It's exhausting.

Morgan Bonwell  21:20  
It is it is when you when you go out or like you said you you have this political thing. And then you've got your, your other IT business. Yeah, you know, when when I go somewhere, and I tell individuals that I am a political business owner, they usually want to ask what side I'm on. So I'm a little bit skeptical when I'm receiving a service to tell them I want to get you know, good food, and I want to get a good massage. But you know, the problem is, is you just never know if that is going to be the outcome. And I wish we could get past that.

Brian Nichols  22:05  
Me too. It says it's exhausting. I'm hoping we're gonna get there. I think I have a wild theory Morgan. And I think we're gonna see this over the next few days with not days, but maybe month or so. If everything transpires with Elon Musk purchasing Twitter the way he has, I think we're gonna find especially on Twitter, that a lot of the voices that are are fluffed up. And we're, I mean, Elon is even hinting at this, you look at like the New York Times and how they have I think it's 50,000,050 50 million followers. And I mean, their engagement is nothing, it's terrible. And it's obvious that there are there are fake followers, in social media, for sure. And I think we're going to find not only do a lot of the quote unquote, big voices on social media, not only have they been overly inflated by by Twitter, and maybe not intentionally, but has been allowed by Twitter, but then you go to the algorithm side, these voices have been amplified, more than they would justify if it was truly a neutral system. And then you're gonna see a lot of the voices on anything right of center, or dare I say, even just, you know, the more rational centrist person who was looking to engage in a conversation, that those voices have been stifled, those voices have been turned, turned down in the algorithms, and I've been shadow banned in many cases. And I think we're going to see that. And I think that will be an incredible breath of fresh air, because I think a lot of people are going to be validated, and the eternal gaslighting will come to an end because it's it has no choice but to

Morgan Bonwell  23:53  
exactly, exactly. And I think, I think it's already working. I have a friend that I worked with and in the Iowa Republican Party years and years ago, and he got off Twitter, and last night, he actually texted me and he said, I'm back. He said, like, I'm ready for free speech. And, and so I think Elon is doing a great thing there. And I'm kind of hoping that maybe it is going to be a good platform to spread political messaging. I mean, they've had a rough time, and I've kind of censored advertisements on that end. And you know, Facebook is hard to advertise on if you're conservative, at least. So it's kind of like you jumped through 20 hoops, and then give them your firstborn, and then maybe, maybe you'll be verified.

Brian Nichols  24:50  
If you're lucky. If you're lucky.

Morgan Bonwell  24:53  
Six weeks later, and you know, three of those weeks after the primary and you're in

Brian Nichols  25:01  
Morgan, people I'm sure are curious. They want to learn more. But first, I have to ask you so you mentioned most of your clients are in Iowa, do you service people outside of greater Iowa?

Morgan Bonwell  25:13  
Yes, yes, I do. So I have the campaign Development Series. And it is a training for first time candidates who really just don't know where to start or what they're doing. They've got that, that good heart and the mission. And I'm here to help them kind of walk through that process. So they can find that at WWW dot right hyphen, strategies.com. And it goes through eight modules from you know, announcement day to your election day, how to get your data, how to how to craft your messaging, how to budget what you should spend money on if you've got limited resources. But then for individuals who are needing other services, like general consulting or needing some help with their messaging, we do that as well. And we've got a few clients outside Iowa, but primarily Iowa for now. So I am looking for that next candidate that I can

Brian Nichols  26:17  
help tell us Okay, so who should be reaching out to you? What type of candidate Are you looking to help?

Morgan Bonwell  26:24  
Yeah, yeah. So right now school board, you know, logo, race to state house, your state senate is the area that right strategies is the most help for. Since we're looking at those first time candidates. Those are typically where individuals start out doing, doing work to help their district you know, you don't typically see someone just all of a sudden RUN FOR US Senate. And if they do, I'd love to be a first time resource. But I'm finding that those local levels are really where important changes happening and, and where, you know, as a conservative, I believe it should be happening as you know, it should be it should be local, so

Brian Nichols  27:11  
perfect. And what we'll do, we'll make it easy for you folks. We'll include all of the links there for right strategies, plus Morgan's bio in the show notes, all you have to do is go to your podcast catcher, and then click the artwork. It'll bring you right to Brian Nichols. show.com, where you can find today's episode the entire transcript of the episode and oh yeah, by the way, over 500 I couldn't believe it. 500 episodes in total, including guest appearances and bonuses over at The Brian Nichols Show. By the way. Did you know Morgan that you can go ahead and check out some of our awesome swag that will be leaving The Brian Nichols Show store over and proud libertarian soon we have our Joe Biden don't up bro swag that will be leaving soon. So make sure you head over there and catch it before it's gone. But with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off, your honor The Brian Nichols Show for Morgan Bowman from right strategies. We'll see you tomorrow.

Morgan Bonwell  28:04  
Thank you so much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Morgan BonwellProfile Photo

Morgan Bonwell


Morgan Bonwell is a wife, mother, and business owner. She founded Right Strategies in January 2022 after years of working on campaigns and at a leading conservative vendor firm. She is focused on empowering conservative candidates with the tools and resources they need to WIN on Election Day!