Have you ever heard of The Hero’s Journey?
Well, you are on one right now, and so is every single one of your Ideal Individuals. We aren’t all in the same place on the journey, but we are all trying to reach a Greater Future. Understanding where your customers are on that journey, and building your brand’s Inspirational Story around meeting them where they are today, is the key to helping them overcome their obstacles to buy. No matter what business you are in, your Ideal Individuals will be stirred to act, when they recognize The Hero’s Journey in your brand’s Inspirational Story. When your brand tells a good story, you stir within your ideal individuals, a desire to live into the greater future that your brand is promising to provide. The secret to good storytelling lies within the construct of The Hero’s Journey.
We are all, even in this very moment, at some stage of our own Hero’s Journey. This is the secret to good storytelling because it’s an inescapable, universal truth for all beings. The Hero’s Journey never ends. Once one journey is completed, the next journey begins. When you understand the arc of your own Hero’s Journey, and you tell your story honestly, vulnerably exposing every crack in human frailty, and openly expressing every resistance in your own human nature, you inspire your ideal individual to recognize where they are in their own Hero’s Journey.
Inspiring your ideal individuals to get honest about their where they are on the path to a greater future, brings them peace of mind. It lets them know they aren’t alone, and that it isn’t too late. Others who walked this path before them, met with the same trials and challenges, stumbled over the same obstacles, struggled with moments of doubt and fear, and they still made it through. A good story ignites a fire in the heart that says, “If the hero in this story can face the same struggles and challenges as I do, and still persevere, still come out the other side victorious, transformed, renewed…than so can I.”
We don’t trust perfect people, because we know perfect people don’t exist. The “professional voice”, the “corporate elite” has been dying out since the 80’s. To reach today’s consumers, make your brand story human, and trustworthy. Tell your story truthfully, and your brand will be trusted by the people you inspire. There is no peace without speaking our truth, yet so few brands do. Your brand’s story told truthfully, frees the truth hiding under the tongues of everyone who hears you. Everyone. How’s that for target marketing?
Your ideal individual, armed with the experience, strength, and hope shared through your brand’s story, will be compelled by an ancient pull to live into their own story, and seek out their own amazing results by joining your brand.
We are all conditioned to lean in when a good story is being told. It’s ingrained in us from a very young age. When we are so new to life, our main source of information is listening to the experience of those who came before us. We listen to a compelling story like our lives may one day depend on it. We take the words of a story, and within our minds, give them vibrant shape and form. We place ourselves in the middle of the action. We imagine the colors vividly. We taste the bitter and the sweet along the way. Our hearts rise and fall as we follow along, inside our own minds. This is what makes storytelling so memorable.
We are all on our own Hero’s Journey. A good story can reach anybody. No matter what business you are in, your ideal individuals will relate and be stirred to act, when they hear the Hero’s Journey in your brand’s story.
So what exactly is The Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey is a concept that is best explained by writer Joseph Campbell, who broke it down into 12 observable story beats/It’s not only the story arc of every hero ever written, but it’s also the story arc for every journey of self-discovery and personal transformation ever lived. The 12 story beats of the Hero’s Journey are the shining achievement of Joseph Campbell’s writing career and the mandate, the mantra, the mechanisms of Pixar’s writing teams…Disney just bought Pixar for 7 BILLION DOLLARS. You can’t place a cap on the value of inspiration. That’s the power of great storytelling.
The Immortal Truth is that all great storytelling is the Hero’s Journey because we are all living the same story beats of that journey. Every one of us is on the same journey, old, young, rich, poor, stubborn, spiritual, ignorant or enlightened. Those brands wise enough to see the hero’s journey in everything they do, in the “good” or “bad” things they’ve faced, can relate masterfully with anyone.
The Blueprints For Your Brand’s Inspiration Story:
Offer Them An Experience that Transforms Reality.
How has your reality been forever transformed as a result of your Hero’s Journey of building your brand? You are the mentor. You’ve walked the path and now you are returning to the village, with the secret ingredient, the magic elixir, the master key. Let them see what rewards you’ve reaped, what transformations you’ve made, from having taken your brand’s hero journey.
Share Honestly About the Risks and Challenges You Had to Overcome to Reach a Transformation.
The first stage of The Hero’s Journey is the Call to Action. Your ideal individuals will hear that call to action when your brand offers them an experience that transforms reality. The first thoughts in the hero’s mind, once they’ve heard their Call to Action, are thoughts of possibility. “Maybe this transformation can be true for me too…” The first thoughts are filled with hope. The second stage of The Hero’s Journey is Refusing the Call, meaning the immediate next thoughts after the hopeful are filled with the “ Yeah, buts…”
In branding these “yeah…buts” are the obstacles to buy. “But I’m too old, too young, not strong enough, too busy, don’t have enough money, don’t have enough energy…” This is a natural part of the process, and this is where your brand steps in as the mentor in you ideal individual’s Inspiration Story. As vulnerabilities arise in your ideal individual’s minds about whether or not they can successfully live into their own Inspiration Story through your brand, you can bring them peace of mind by offering them the vulnerable side of your own Inspiration Story.
The benefit of having carved the path first, to have stumbled and crawled, is you get to bring your experience back to the village and share how they can get the transformation more easily, because you’ve already braved the unknown abyss and returned victorious.
Show them how your brand can help them receive the transformation faster and more easily because of your experience.
The third step in The Hero’s Journey, as it was laid out by Joseph Campbell, is Answering The Call, and it’s where your brand plays the most vital role of mentor to your ideal individual. In the beginning of the journey, we see the hero’s human side. The desire for something more, or better, or greater. The fear of change, the unknown, of failure, or disappointment; the obstacles created in the mind to try and protect us from danger by never stepping outside our comfort zones…this is where your brand steps in and says, “You Were Made For This.” “I know this transformation is possible for you, because I did it myself.” And most importantly, “Now that I’ve returned, I know a few handy shortcuts, and my experience, this brand, will give you an advantage.”
Your experience with building your brand from an Inspiration Story arc will serve as the mentorship, the proof, the inspiration for your ideal individuals to Answer The Call of their own Hero’s journey with your brand. Today, I present you with a Call to Action to use The Blueprints to outline your brand’s Inspiration Story. Start by reflecting on what was your pivotal moment, the moment you decided that the world needed your idea, your brand, to help them transform some aspect of their reality; the moment when you took the risk and became willing to brave the unknown, come what may, so that your brand might make it’s contribution for the greater good.
Make your customers the hero of your brand’s Inspiration Story, but never forget that you are always the hero in your own personal journey. And every step of the way, no matter what may await you on your path, always remember to Love What You Do, And Love How You Do It.