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14. The Main Character

We’ve already talked about how there are so many brands trying to grab your attention and yet so many don’t.

Why is that?

Is it because you don’t notice them?

Far from it. In fact, you notice most of them but you just don’t care.

Why?

Because they aren’t targeting you.

They are usually just targeting the generic version of you.

If you’re a black man are you going to notice all of the razor ads that seem to target all men (okay, usually chiseled white men) or are you going to pay attention to the brand that specifically talks to you?

Bevel

People pay attention to the brands that they feel are talking to them.

It makes sense because why would you waste your energy on something that doesn’t apply to you?

That’s why understanding your Hero within the storytelling framework is so important.

It’s also one of the hardest things to do in your Pocket Business because you want to talk to everybody.

I get it. I do it all of the time even now.

You will have this belief that you’re leaving money on the table but if you don’t take this approach then you’ll quickly realize that there isn’t even a table for you.

Over time, if you want your brand to expand and reach more Heroes it definitely can but you need to start with a specific Hero.

And you do that by identifying the hero of your story.

Identity

The first part of the storytelling framework is Identity.

You need to identify the hero of your story.

First and foremost, YOU are never the hero of your brand’s story. As much as you see people talk about an about page and how you should show your own struggle, you will never be the hero of your brand’s story.

It’s quite possible that you used to be the Hero. In fact, most people find that the person they are talking to is really a past version of themselves.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an about page or never talk about yourself.

I’m simply saying that your overall message isn’t supposed to be about you.

Why?

Because people don’t need you to interrupt their lives with your story. They are too busy trying to become a Hero of their own story.

Think about it. If your brand was all about your story then it would be the same as everyone else’s:

I created this brand to make money so please give me money.

So you must make them the Hero of your brand’s story. If you can do that then they are more likely to pay attention to you which in turn can lead to them trusting you.

However, that isn’t the end of the Identity part of the framework.

Simply telling yourself that you’ll make the audience the Hero isn’t enough. You need to better understand who you are talking to.

Psychographics

The old school way of marketing would dictate that you need to develop a customer persona that revolves around common demographics like race, gender, income level and education level.

But that’s the old way of thinking.

The new way of thinking revolves around psychographics.

Worldviews.

The 24-year old male in your audience can have the same problems that the 60-year old female in your audience might be having that you’re looking to solve.

When you break your audience up into simple demographics, you miss out on utilizing the emotional appeal of your brand.

You need to answer some simple questions when it comes to your audience:

  • What do they daydream about?
  • What do they fear?
  • Who do they look up to?
  • Who do they avoid?

There are other questions to ask but if you start from there you’ll see that the answers to these questions are probably very similar to the answers that you have for these questions.

You Are Them, Kinda

Before I used to think it was terrible that people assumed they were their audience, but that’s actually a good thing.

What gets people in trouble is that they assume their audience has the same knowledge to overcome whatever obstacles they themselves have already overcome.

For example, I run a number of what I consider to be successful businesses. I understand that my audience shares my same ambitions and fears so I start teaching them how to create sales funnels.

The problem is that 95% of them aren’t even at the point of creating sales funnels. I’ve skipped over 95% of my audience because they don’t have the pre-requisite knowledge yet needed to be at that point.

So I have to go back to the very beginning of the journey and help them along while still keeping those same ambitions and fears in mind.

Weak

Even though I keep using the term Hero, the person coming to you isn’t really a Hero yet. At least not in the way that we think about what a hero really is.

We tend to think of heroes as people that are filled with confidence and can overcome anything, but that’s not how great heroes start.

The great hero stories always start with someone that is weak or afraid or both.

They have no idea how they are going to overcome a certain obstacle.

They have no idea how they can become what they want to become.

The Hero has to go on a journey to get what they want (the Transformation). That’s what you’re helping with.

By the time you lead them through their journey they’ll have a revelation.

They’ve transformed.

Transformative

Remember how we talked about your brand being transformative?

If you can address the fears of your audience and remove those fears then that is part of being transformative.

If you can help them attain their ambitions then that is being transformative.

That’s the difference between someone that starts a blog and someone that builds a brand.

Once you’ve helped them transform into who they want to be, they’ll sit down and realize they are a completely different person.

How amazing is that?

Some people think it’s crazy how well self-help books do, but it shouldn’t be surprising at all. Human beings have something deep in their DNA that drives them to want to be better.

Better, in this case, doesn’t mean being nicer. It just means being better at something.

The brand that can help the people they interact with become who they want to be (better versions of themselves), wins.

Remember, people only buy improvement.

Aspirational

Sometimes people get too caught up in creating things that are inspirational to others. The problem with inspiration is that it is temporary.

Your hero has a new identity in mind. They may not consciously know this identity but it’s there. It is an aspirational identity. Something they aspire to be.

Great brands usually have great marketing that shows people what they can be. It makes people subconsciously think “I aspire to be that.

That’s why YouTube and Instagram are so powerful.

Because you can SEE what the person has become which leads you to start thinking about the person you want to become.

So when you find yourself wondering if a certain social media platform is useful for you and your brand, you should ask yourself if you can show your audience what they can become by interacting with your brand?