Don’t be their hero, be their mentor instead. Help your customers see through the storm, showing them the path to overcoming their problems.

Whether you are building your brand, putting together a presentation, or even just making friends, you don’t want to make the mistake of positioning yourself as the hero in somebody else’s story.

We Are All Looking For A Mentor

Either professionally or personally, you have dreams, goals, and aspirations of some kind.

As you try to achieve them, you encounter challenges that stop you from moving forward.

Well, this is the same for everybody you come in contact with.

And like you, your customers are also searching for a solution that will help them get to the next level.

That’s how and why they ended up in front of you.

So when you position yourself as a hero, instead of becoming somebody they can look up to, you actually become a threat.

But, if you position yourself as a mentor, that means your services are the tools your customers need to solve their problems (See Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller).

Don’t Be Their Hero

Always remember, it’s never about you. You can’t make your story about you because your audience is not there for you but, for themselves.

When you watch a video on YouTube about Steve Jobs, you don’t watch it because of him, but because of what you can learn from him and how that can help you move forward.

It’s the same for your customers, they come to your door because they have a problem that needs solving and they believe you may have the solution.

So when you are talking about your award-winning solution or all the revenue you achieved last quarter or your revolutionary technology, your audience is just asking themselves, does this help me solve my problem?

From your side, you may be trying to show you have the resources to deliver a great service but, that’s not how it comes across.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t talk about yourself. What it means is that you need to change the way you talk about your own journey.

Imagine you go to Apple’s website and their copy just talks about how they are the first trillion dollar company in the world, with the coolest people, and with the coolest headquarters, etc.

It just wouldn’t work, yet many of us do it on a daily basis in our marketing materials, in our social media, in our interactions with prospects, friends, etc.

Becoming The Mentor

When you become your audience’s mentor, they come up to you looking for advice, tools, and solutions to help them overcome their problems.

In order to this, you need to shift the rules of engagement.

Starting by your ego and pride. You need to put the two of them in a little imaginary box, and then take that box and put it in your pocket.

This will help you avoid bragging and making the conversation about yourself.

Second, you got to listen to your customer but, don’t listen to respond, rather, strive to listen to understand, that is empathetic listening.

Go beyond what they are saying and instead look to understand the feelings behind those words (See Habit #5 from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey).

As they talk to you, understand their story, the problem they are trying to solve and why? Where is it that they want to go and why does it matter to them? Why does it matter to the world!?

So now that you know where they want to go, where are they stuck, and what they need to do to keep moving forward, it’s time to tell them how they can overcome this obstacle.

Notice I don’t say tell them about your product or company, but instead, show them how they can get over their challenge.

They will understand by default that the solution is your product.

Building A Stronger Brand

To bring it all together keep it simple by focusing on 3 things.

Show your customers you understand their problem, show them how they can solve it, and lastly, show them the impact of overcoming the problem.

And when you do, use your own story, services, and purpose (See Simon Sinek – Golden Circles).

Everything you say must be designed to help your customer find themselves in your story, see how your products help them and how they will move forward by using your tool.

Going back to Apple, take a look at how they do it. The way they talk about themselves is by showing people just like you chasing their goals, suddenly they experience the problem, for which they solve by using Apple products and finally, what happens after they succeed.

So next time you are about to tell your story, put yourself in your client’s shoes, figure out the aspirations, challenges, and why is it important they overcome them.

Look into your story and find the spots where they overlap, use that content to mentor them through to success.

Also, I would love to hear your thoughts about the Hero and Mentor approach to brand building, feel free to share them below.

If you know of somebody who can benefit from reading this post, do them and me a favor by sending it to them.

Thank you for making all the way down here.

Wish you great success in your journey ahead.

Storytelling Basics

In every story there is a hero, they are the protagonist of the story.

He/she has a great life, then something happens that changes that reality and now the hero must embark on a journey to fix the problem so things can go back to normal.

Want more info on the topic? Just Google – Joseph Campbell – The Hero’s Journey


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