It’s an easy mistake to make.
Especially when you’ve got some of the biggest brands in the world doing it, too. (Take AT&T, for example.)
And there are SO many business coaches out there telling you you’re a rockstar. A phenomenaut.
In short, a hero.
That you’re The One the world’s been waiting for. Or at least the One-Who-Will-Create-Epic-Content — the kind which inspires readers to make big changes in their lives (thereby, saving the world).
And of course, you may very well be doing exactly that.
But I have some news for you…
In the storytelling that is the marketing of your business, you are NOT the hero.
Even if you’re doing amazingly epic things.
Look at this way: Your business is a story.
It has characters: A hero and at least one villain.
It has a mentor. Perhaps a side-kick, or two.
And it has its own landscape.
The hero of the story isn’t you. It’s your customer.
She’s the protagonist. The one with a mission that she’s working hard to accomplish.
And there’s a villain (or three) who keep getting in her way. (Do you know what/who they are?)
You, my dear, play the role of her mentor.
You’re Yoda to her Luke Skywalker. Glinda to her Dorothy. Morpheus to her Neo.
And yes, as the mentor, that means you were once the hero of your own story. (Your backstory needs to be told, but it should stay mostly on the About Page of your website.)
The bulk of your marketing needs to put the hero (your client) front and center.
How do you do that?
First: You get to know her — inside and out.
Gather your research into a profile (I like to call this the Heroic Character Sketch).
What are her quirks? Her back story? What was the inciting incident that turned her into a hero? (This is the spider-bite episode — the thing that set her on her path.)
How does she make decisions? What skills does she lack? Where does she hang out?
Write down everything you know about her (and continue to discover along the way).
Then, you craft stories (aka content) that feature snippets of her life.
This allow her to connect and identify with the messages you’re sharing.
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll even know which story type she relates to most.
This part is crucial: share your most empowering marketing messages with her.
(Not fear-based ones that play on her insecurities and make it look like you are her last and only hope.)
Show her how your tools and wisdom might assist her in her quest.
Don’t tell her that you’re going to swoop down and make everything a-ok.
(You’re not her mommy. You’re her mentor.)
And when she’s ready, she’ll take your advice.
In the end, her success is the result of her hard work. Not yours.
Your turn: Who do you see telling great marketing stories that feature their Heroic Clients? What questions do you have about how to implement? Share with us in the comments and let’s dive deeper.