Are You the Hero or the Guide for Your Customer?
Have you ever considered just what role you play in your customers story? Are your intentions to sweep in like a knight in shining armor or be the Yoda to their Luke and guide them on the path to becoming the Jedi Master you know they can one day become. No wrong answers here, but you may be swayed one way over the other by the time you reach the bottom.
No matter who you are, how old you may be or where you come from, you have without a doubt watched a movie once this month or at the very least once in your lifetime. With that said, think back to some of your favorite movies. Some of mine include Star Wars, The Hunger Games, Moneyball, quite literally anything Marvel or DC, the Fast franchise, any Rocky movie, and so on. Each of these movies has one key element in common, they tell a story, fictitious or not, good or bad. And with any story, they all have a Hero, a Villian, and many other supporting characters. But more importantly, is every good story there is a Guide.
Arguably, the Guide is the most important part of any story. They may often be the most loved character overtime, only to be ripped away from the audience at a moments notice. Without the Guide, the Hero honesty may not understand what they are truly capable of, or even know how to overcome the challenges of a Villain until the Guide shows them or prepares them on how to do just that.
The Hero is the main character, or a collection of main characters depending on the movie. The Guide is someone that assists the Hero, and aligns them to a singular goal or focus to overcome the Villain. And, the Villain is someone who has brought harm or conflict to the Hero. Ultimately, the Hero must overcome several challenges in order to defeat the Villain as the outcome could be instrumental.
So, again, who do you think you are? The Hero or the Guide? You honestly do not believe you are the Villian, do you?
Here is an example of a Hero, Guide and Villain encounter.
Our Hero is Katniss Everdeen. The guide is Haymitch Abernathy. And lastly, the Villain is President Coriolanus Snow, or more specifically the the tyrannical government called the Capitol. In order for Katniss to prevent her sister Primrose from being entered into the twisted fight-to-the-death tournament that is aired nationally, she volunteers as tribute in her place to represent District 12 in the upcoming Hunger Games.
In order for Katniss to survive, she is assigned Haymitch, a liquor-loving and brash winner of a previous Hunger Games tournament. As her mentor, he assists her by preparing her on how to survive on the inside by winning the favor of sponsors on the outside to obtain resources to fight or defend with, thus increasing her chances of winning.
So, how does this work? Katniss, our hero, requires the assistance of her guide, Haymitch, to survive the Hunger Games tournament hosted by the Capitol. Could our hero have survived all on her own with a bow and arrow? Sure, but with the assistance of her guide Haymitch, she began to understand just what was needed in order to truly survive not only in the Hunger Games tournament but also better equip her for handling other real life scenarios. With the help of Haymitch, she survives the Hunger Games and lives to see another day. District 12 celebrates her success, and later plays a much larger role because of Haymitch and how she overcame her first bout in the tournament.
Not entirely clear? Try this.
A hero has a problem and at some point meets a guide, who provides them a plan and calls them to action. This plan is to assist them to overcome failure and help them achieve success.
Katniss has a problem, her sister being chosen for the Hunger Games and volunteers in her place, thus having to survive until the very end while also remaining herself as best as she can in the process. She meets Haymitch, a previous victor who is from District 12. He instructs her to step out of her comfort zone and gain public favor in the form of sponsors and is later forced to compete against others in a fight-to-the-death competition. The outcome? She either lives, and District 12 rejoices or she dies and District 12 is destroyed.
With just this one example, who do you believe you are? I am assuming that since the beginning, you thought of yourself as the Hero. If so, do you still believe that you are?
In the case of a Hero, they are often fine at first, but later discover some form of conflict and require someone such as a Guide or Mentor to assist them in overcoming something to be happy or find a happy ending.
So, think of your customer as the Hero, and yourself as the Guide. Might feel a bit awkward at first, but if you really give it some serious thought it makes complete sense. As the Guide, it is your responsibility to assist the Hero, your client or customer, to overcome their hardship or conflict with the product or services you have to offer them. Your services or products are the plan that will call them to action and guide them away from failure and towards success.
Real life example now.
An individual is seeking assistance losing weight and can’t find the right program or products to allow them to achieve what they want in a realistic timeframe. This person could be experiencing any number of health related issues, or just seeking an alternative and healthy lifestyle. After hours of browsing the web and talking with friends, you appear or popup in conversation. As the Guide, you have the opportunity to better understand what they want and tailor a program that meets their needs with or without supplemental aid. With the right and uniquely tailored program to meet their desired goals and outcome, they are inspired and called to act or move forward on this new weight loss journey that you assisted them with. Without your help, they could be helplessly browsing the web or trying every other yo-yo dieting trend, facing back-to-back failures and additional weight gain. However, with you as their guide, they can achieve success by discovering a better version of themselves through a program that works for their individual lifestyle.
A doughnut shop wants to introduce a brand new doughnut, something that cures hangovers at 6 AM after the bar crawl that may or may not be loaded with caffeine, b vitamins, electrolytes and whatever else to help recover from a night of binge drinking. However, they are not sure just how to create or even promote such a product to a potentially new crowd of customers. As the Guide, you may be a marketing firm or perhaps even a baker that can pull off such an amazing feat. In the case of the baker, you have the ultimate recipe or are capable of fabricating the desired edible and you would like to share it with the doughnut shop as well as train them so they can reproduce it on a whim to service their customers. With your recipe, they can now begin making special hangover recovery doughnuts to a potentially new line of customers and generate additional revenue, whereas without your help they may have missed out on a potential new line of customers.
One last example.
A family is seeking to locate a new furry friend to add to their household. However, even after hours of research, they are unsure as to where they can go to visit with a variety of pets that are truly in need of a loving home. With all of the shelter and adoption centers that can be found online, they all look the same and lack any details. But, with you as the Guide, your pet shelter has been running an ongoing promotion regarding easy and hassle free pet adoptions and provided your location and contact information in case anyone had questions. You even provided imagery, perhaps even a live-feed camera of all your pets and short bios about each to better establish an emotional connection between the pet in your facility and the human on the other side of the computer screen. With your promotion, this family sees all of the pets that appeal to them and is forced to take action by visiting your location over countless others to see them all in-person. With your help, this family may just have found the furry, four-legged companion they have been looking for. Not to mention that one of your rescues has also found a loving home. Without your promotion, this family may never have found your shelter, your hassle free adoption and may still even be browsing countless websites in a home without a friendly four-legged feline or canine.
With all that said, think about who you are now. Are you the Hero, or the Guide?
Maybe you learned something new, are open to new possibilities, or even looking into new ways to reach your customers under a new light. You may even better understand who they are and how to connect with them.
If you are having trouble, consider these three questions.
- What does the Hero (your customer) want?
- Who or what is opposing the Hero from getting what they want?
- What will the Hero’s life look like if they do or do not get what they want?
Three simple questions following a familiar story found in movies, books and otherwise. All of this and more is expanded on even further in the book that inspired this post, Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller.
However, if you are not interested in reading a new book and would like to explore new ways of reaching your customers then consider Jpetrous Creative Services. At JpCS we use the Story Brand methodology among several others for your web design and graphic design best practices.
If you find that your business or service is not reaching your customers online, and believe that your website is holding you back from achieving maximum potential due to poor messaging or even an outdated design, give us a call or set up a free consultation. Let us work as your Guide, and show you the true potential of what a successful website can look and act like. With our help, you too can see new levels of success with your website acting as the primary source of information or the one-stop shop to learn more about your business and services.
And, if you are interested in custom graphics for your website, printed advertisements, social media or something else, let us know! Our experience is Graphic Design is top-notch, covering all the bases to make sure you stand out in a crowded or saturated market of comparable professionals. We also offer Creative Retainer services, so if and when you need something completed by a reliable source, you know exactly who to contact to get the job done right the first time.
Every business deserves to stand out, however prices can often be intimidating. And, with a saturated market of other professionals in the same field of work, it can be challenging to stand out. JpCS offers all of your creative needs under one roof, that has been proven to be reliable, as well as affordable.