Storybrand Marketing Framework Certified Storybrand Guide

A Certified Storybrand Guide and marketing to help your Clarify Your Message.


Using the Storybrand Marketing Framework and a Certified Storybrand Guide you can clarify your message.

Design and construction is complex. While technical professionals excel in the hard skills of architecture, engineering, and construction, they often struggle with the human communication skills that include speaking and writing. “An idea can have value in itself,” says Kevin Byrne, associate professor of history at Gustavus Adolphus College, “but its usefulness diminishes to the extent that you can’t articulate it to someone else.” And Marketing and Business Development professionals search for proven strategies and best practices to improve their skills to win work and build awareness for their firms.

Companies and organizations that rely on the training expertise of practicing industry veterans motivate teams to apply new skills that lead to stronger companies and more confident professionals.

Everest Marketing Services provides tailored training programs for marketing/business development and technical professionals.

An Accomplished Trainer & Speaker

Having presented to more than 250 audiences in the past 30+ years, Barbara connects with audiences and provides engaging, interactive learning experiences. Audiences include Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) chapter, regional, and national programs. In addition, she has taught workshops for numerous design and construction associations (ACEC, AIA, AGC, PSMJ, ENR, NAWIC, SWE, WTS, APWA, AzTA, ASHE/ASCE, Business Development Guild), and in college classrooms and online. She is a Past President of SMPS, Fellow and Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), and is a Trustee for the SMPS Foundation.

In 2022, she was recognized by SMPS as the Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award recipient, the Society’s highest honor for leadership and exemplary service in research, leadership, education, communications, and innovation.

Current Topics

This is a general list that can be adapted to company or organizational preferences. 

For A/E/C firms, marketing is more than just a proposal and a cool website or Facebook ad. And now, business development involves a variety of activities—and various staff. No matter the size or setup of your firm, it’s time to take a look at your marketing and BD game plan. And a roadmap is just what you need to help transform your firm’s into a well-oiled machine.

This introductory module provides the big picture of marketing and business development in the A/E/C industries. We’ll dig into the definitions of marketing and business development and explore how they apply to any firm. In addition, we’ll show how the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Domains of Practice serve as pillars of an effective marketing program.

A good plan is necessarily agile, and this roadmap will help you plan, allocate resources, develop budgets, and measure performance.

Learning Objectives
• Apply the SMPS definitions of marketing and business development for all types of firms
• Sequence the three steps of business development and summarize how the SMPS Domains of Practice impact firm success
• Apply the framework to all types of firms, so marketers and business developers are equipped with the tools and resources that help transform business through marketing leadership.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, technical staff (all levels)

Clarity wins. Confusion loses.
Keep their attention.
It’s all about survival and conserving energy.

If you’re like most architecture, engineering, or construction marketing/business development professionals, you’re frustrated that developing your company’s story is one of the hardest tasks on your long to-do list. If you knew what to do differently, you would—but you don’t, and so you feel stuck. Meanwhile, your revenue is lagging. Technical colleagues are confused. Your hit rate isn’t budging. And worst of all, you feel discouraged. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. In this workshop, Everest Marketing Services President, Barbara Shuck shares storytelling, aka “narrative,” principles and examples proven to engage clients, prospects, and colleagues. Attendees will walk away knowing how to capture your audience’s attention and compel them to respond.

Learning Objectives
1. Share experiences with A/E/C communications and storytelling.
2. Identify storytelling elements that organize information, so audiences listen and engage.
3. Use storytelling steps to improve readability and memorability of A/E/C marketing pieces, including websites, proposals, brochures, and other communications that impact business development and marketing.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, technical staff (all levels

Architectural, engineering and construction companies are facing unprecedented challenges in 2023. Infrastructure budgets are shrinking, safety in the workplace is critical, private projects are pushing for even faster schedules and tighter budgets, competition to win work is fierce, and there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty among team members. Professional skills are being tested every day, and leadership is the skill most needed– and least understood– among professionals in every corner of the built environment.

Everyone knows that leadership is the defining characteristic of successful professionals. Vision is the defining characteristic of a successful business strategy. But, two questions remain:
1. Do you need to understand leadership before you can create a vision?
2. Or do you need a vision before you become a leader?

My A/E/C experience indicates that a fundamental role of a leader is to create and inform the organization’s vision. Based on that vision, the work of a leader is to assure that the vision is achieved. With that understanding, I organized this presentation to address vision first, then leadership. However, keep in mind that both are intricately joined and answering which came first is to a degree the age-old “chicken and egg” dilemma.

I’m co-authoring a book with Craig Park, Assoc. AIA, FSMPS, The Architecture of Vision, to be published in 2023. In doing the research, we sent out a survey to more than 100 people directly and through LinkedIn, and conducted in-depth interviews with 18 A/E/C industry leaders. From their input and our research, we compiled theories, anecdotes, and best practices to help professionals define and refine their personal vision and leadership attributes, so they can apply them to work situations to advance careers and support their company’s vision. 

My goal for this presentation– and for our book– is to help attendees better understand issues of vision and leadership — framed by the themes of innovation, inspiration, and integrity — facing leaders everywhere. I will share the understanding, tools, and insights to help apply these concepts to personal professional development to help achieve goals to become and succeed as a visionary leaders.

Learning Objectives
1. Assess personal experiences and ideas about leadership as an A/E/C professional.
1. Examine 18 leadership traits that build strong A/E/C leaders.
2. Create a personal and professional leadership path using the traits and skills that will be discussed.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, technical staff, all types of staff in the A/E/C industry

This session has been given to audiences that included client agency staff, who were very participative and appreciative of the content. Perhaps it would be interesting to invite a client for the leadership content.

From entry to beginning to senior levels of experience, we all are challenged with how to manage our careers and achieve our goals and aspirations. In this interactive workshop, professionals will learn 67 Leadership Characteristics and 5 Pillars of Leadership necessary for enhanced career success. From the initial identification of traits to an interactive discussion and exercises about effective ways to hone these characteristics, attendees will benefit from a new perspective and leave with valuable insight and a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm. This session promises to deliver a thoughtful analysis of Leadership Characteristics that will improve chances for promotions and career advancement. This content is geared to all types of marketers and business developers – even firm principals and future leaders– and everywhere in between!

This session includes a valuable worksheet that sparks attendee engagement, personal reflection, and professional action-planning.

Learning Objectives
1. Offer observations about career activities that lead to achieving goals and satisfy aspirations.
2. Identify fundamental characteristics and pillars of leadership necessary for success.
3. Examine essential leadership traits and methods to hone them.
4. Create energy and enthusiasm for leadership development.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, firm principals and executives, technical staff leaders

This session has been given to audiences that included client agency staff, who were very participative and appreciative of the content. Perhaps it would be interesting to invite a client for the leadership content.

Many marketers and business developers love the thrill of the hunt—for project wins, that is. And then, the Solicitation or Request for Proposal lands in the inbox. There’s a lot at stake to develop a winning proposal. The deadline is fast approaching, and what are you supposed to explain in the Understanding and Approach? Proposal writing makes even experienced marketers and business developers feel overwhelmed with finding compelling “why us” and “why not them” content. Sometimes the task seems unbelievably daunting.

Effective proposals are easy to read, well-organized, and more than anything, very persuasive. In this program, attendees will gain practical and relevant skills to produce strong content that is well-written and stands out from the crowd. We will evaluate six persuasive writing strategies that help marketing and technical professionals. We will inspect examples, uncover writing formulas, and see how a one-liner statement captures the reader’s attention and sparks memorability. With new-found insights, your next proposal is bound to bring home the bacon.

Learning Objectives
3. Offer observations about writing challenges for A/E/C practitioners.
4. Examine writing strategies in the areas of strategy, persuasion, and readability.
5. Practice writing strategies that simplify complex information and build reader interest and confidence.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, technical staff

This session has been given to audiences that included client agency staff, who were very participative and appreciative of the content. Perhaps it would be interesting to invite a client for their insights and dialogue.

Effective business communication is well-organized and easy to read so it meets the writer’s purpose and the reader’s expectations. In this workshop, learners will gain practical and relevant skills that produce technical written communications that inform readers in emails, reports, letters, etc.

This session focuses on writing skills for technical staff and includes relevant writing strategies, including focus on audience, simplifying writing, and improving readability. The content includes feedback from public sector clients about organization and clarity of technical content.

Learning Objectives
1. Offer current technical writing challenges and insights so learning will apply to technical staff at all levels of their career.
2. Apply technical writing best practices to reports, emails, and technical documents.
3. Create technical documents that are clear and result in more wins outcomes and professional success.

Technical staff at all levels of experience, marketing and business development professionals, administrative staff

Even in the good ‘ole days, most architecture, engineering, and construction companies struggled to stand out from the competition. Today’s marketing and business development professionals, project executives, and seller-doers are facing intense pressure to win work during a global pandemic that’s boosted business uncertainty and busted face-to-face communication. While virtual meetings are not new to the A/E/C industry, today’s client meetings and project interviews require attention to different details, so teams make a positive virtual impact that results in selection success. This session shares proven strategies to optimize verbal and visual effectiveness so attendees will walk away knowing how to manage the media, messages and messengers that build memorable and winning virtual connections.

Learning Objectives
1. Avoid pitfalls that diminish your image with clients and prospects.
2. Design verbal and visual presence that separates you from the competition.
3. Integrate new ideas into your organization’s virtual meetings or interviews.

Marketing and business development professionals, firm technical staff, firm principals and executives, human resources staff

Every professional’s career has peaks, valleys and even hairpin curves. The summit journey can be difficult, challenging, invigorating, and rewarding. This session provides interactive learning, so everyone walks away more knowledgeable, insightful, and motivated to take crucial next steps. We will investigate how Awareness, Acceptance and Action impact career development, and each module will have an exercise for personal reflection and growth. Through insightful stories, compelling examples, and engaging group discussion, attendees will gain a better understanding of how these three A’s affect their career route and contribute to firm success. Each attendee will look at what’s behind and what’s ahead on their career journey and see how they prioritizes time, evaluate their current situation, and then act based on new perspective and insights. The speaker promises to deliver sound guidance and helpful resources that compel attendees to chart their leadership paths beyond this conference session.

Learning Objectives
1. Share career experiences to gain insight from shared achievements and challenges.
2. Explore a career journey mapping process to gain personal insights.
3. Practice concepts to develop career goal-setting strategies.
4. Create a career planning toolbox for ongoing professional satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

Marketing and Business Development professionals at all stages of their careers.

What do you do when you’re at the intersection of your values, your profession and your being? How do you respond when you hear something that shakes you to your core? This MAX (SMPS-style TED talk) session explores how a seasoned professional endured feedback from a boss that resulted in deep personal introspection and a new appreciation for the value of peer insights. Learn how summoning serenity, courage, and wisdom led to a new direction on living a passionate life with intention and purpose. We’ve all heard it before: “You’re just too passionate.” Now, hear the rest of the story. After the moving story, we will have a facilitated discussion with audience participation to dig a little deeper.

Learning Objectives
1. Assess career situations that created life-changing doubt, fear, and frustration.
2. Examine elements of passion can be barriers and opportunities for personal and career satisfaction.
3. Use a new set of insights to address current and future career challenges.

Marketing and Business Development professionals, technical staff, human resources staff

Upcoming Events

  • May 10, 2024

    SMPS AZ Mentoring Program - "Effective Messaging Before the Proposal"

  • May 29, 2024

    SMPS AZ CPSM Bootcamp - Domain #5 - Promotional Activity

  • June 8, 2024

    AIA Conference on Architecture & Design 2024, "An Architect's Framework for Leadership Success," Washington, DC

  • August 13, 2024

    SMPS Alabama - "Applying Storytelling to Proposals & Presentations"

What Attendees Say

The handouts and/or visual materials supported the information presented. What did you like best about this session? Barbara’s imagery.

I attended your back-to-back presentations at PWX, and I really enjoyed them. The content that you provided on marketing and proposal writing was exceptional, and you're an excellent presenter as well. I dragged our sales team to your presentation on proposal writing, and you inspired all four of us!... Thanks again for delivering the best two presentations that I attended at PWX, and our team looks forward to working with you!

Realistic advice—Great job!

AWESOME! Barbara’s story made me cry. Thank you for sharing your journey. I learned a lot.

This was a great session ‐ wish I could have stayed for the entire thing! I loved your use of examples. I have been writing for so many years and considered myself fairly proficient, but even I learned some tips. I applied some of it in my writing today in fact!

Barbara Shuck spoke to my essence!

Personal stories are very effective to teach & inspire!

Barbara Shuck’s presentation on learning from failure is a great lesson!