Be the Guide, Not the Hero

Be The Guide, Not the Hero Image

A fatal mistake that brands often make, especially young brands who believe they need to prove themselves, is they position themselves as the hero instead of the guide. In stories, the audience will tune out if the hero solves their own problem because they know if the character could solve their own problem, they wouldn’t have gotten into trouble in the first place. The audience is smarter than we think. Using a guide in storytelling or in your brand encourages the hero and equips them to win. 

You’ve seen the guide in every great story you have read, watched, or listened to. In Mel Brooks’s Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Charlie was “guided” by Willy Wonka and was awarded the factory because he passed the morality test of returning the everlasting gobstopper while the other children could not get past their own selfish behavior. 

How to Position Yourself and Your Brand 

Once you start positioning your brand as the guide you will see an increase in customer engagement and satisfaction. Take a look at your websites, email blasts, elevator pitches, and digital ads and filter through those messages. You might realize that they have been facing the wrong direction. Don’t plaster your face everywhere and make sure to give advice. Simply turning your focus on the customer and offering them a heroic role is enough to change the way you talk about and even do business. 

Empathy and Authority 

There are two things you must communicate to position your brand as the guide, empathy, and authority. As a guide, you must have a precise one-two punch of empathy and authority. 

When you empathize with your customers' dilemma, you create a bond of trust. Your customer will trust you if they understand you. Some empathetic statements start with words like, “Nobody should have to experience…” or “Like you, we are frustrated by…” Once you have identified your customer’s initial problem you simply have to let them know that you understand and would like to help them find a solution. Let your customers know that you see them as you see yourself. 

Brands that are selfish turn people off. You want to be the brand that puts your arm around your customer's shoulder and walk alongside them as an equal. When we talk about authority we mean competence. Your customer will trust you if you know what you are doing. You don’t necessarily have to be perfect, but you do need to have serious experience helping your customer resolve their problem. Below are four easy and great ways to demonstrate authority in your marketing: 

Testimonials: Let others do the talking. Post a few testimonials on your website or social media from satisfied customers. 

Statistics: How many satisfied home buyers have you helped? Add a simple statement in your marketing material to let others know.

Awards: If you have won awards for your work as an agent include small logos or indications of these awards at the bottom of your page. 

Logos: If you work closely with a specific escrow or mortgage company, place logos of these businesses on your page. Your customers want to know that you have helped other businesses overcome similar challenges. 

Once you can express empathy and demonstrate authority, you can position your brand as the guide that your customer has been looking for.