Articles from Three Cats Marketing

The Role You Were Born to Play

Everybody is the hero of their own story. That includes your customers – in their own minds, they’re the hero of their life’s story. So if your customer is the hero, what does that make you?

Well, according to marketing expert Donald Miller in Building a StoryBrand, your role is to be the guide.

This is a bit of a paradigm shift for a lot of people, perhaps because we too often think of a “hero” as coming to the rescue. We all love heroes in that sense. However, in story structure, the term hero is used slightly differently.

In storytelling, the hero is a weak character who has a problem. That sounds counterintuitive, but think about Luke Skywalker in Star Wars – if Liuke could defeat the evil Empire all by himself, what would he need Yoda for?

The guide, on the other hand, is always a strong character, whose role is to help the hero win the day. They’re the man (or woman, or dog, or whatever) with the plan. The guide knows how to solve the hero’s problem. In Star Wars, Luke has several guides to help him – but the most obvious is the wise Yoda. It’s Yoda who tells Luke how to use the force and destroy the Death Star.

Let’s be honest: if your customers are the heroes, then they’re definitely not looking for another hero (who has a problem as well). They want someone who understands their problem – maybe because they’ve been there themselves – and who has the skills, knowledge, or products to help them solve their problem.

That’s why, when you’re marketing your products or services, you want to position yourself not as the hero of the story, but as the guide. You’re “guiding” the hero into a solution.

The guide has two things going for him or her. First, he has empathy with the hero's plight. As the old saying goes, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. When you show that you understand your customer's problem, they resonate with you. That builds a bit of trust.

In addition to empathy, the guide has authority. He or she not only understands what the hero is feeling, he or she also knows how to resolve the problem. Imagine if, in Star Wars, Luke came to Yoda and said he wanted to become a Jedi Knight... and Yoda said, "That's great! Wish I knew how to to that!" Not only would Luke not become a Jedi and the Death Star still exist... but you'd probably stop watching the movie right then and there.

So, if you're going to avoid committing those "random acts of marketing," remember to play the guide, and let the customer be the hero.

This Month's Free Resource

"Leaders are learners," one of my mentors once said. "Stop learning, and you lose the priviledge off leadership." This month, I want to recommend a great podcast that will make a huge difference in your business. It's called Growth Mode and is hosted by Donnie Boivin, the CEO of Success Champions Networking. Every week, Donnie brings on guests with real-life experience and know-how in solving the business challenges you're facing. This podcast is more than a learning experience—it's an invitation to grow alongside a seasoned entrepreneur in the thick of the action.


Paul Srch

Paul Srch

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Too many businesses commit random acts of marketing - make sure your message is clear and your marketing stands out so your business gets heard through the noise!