Every Story Needs a Hero

Deciding who to make the hero is one of the hardest decisions to make. We’re all the hero of our own life story, right? Right.  Except if you’re telling a story with an audience or desired outcome in mind, its best to make your audience the hero. Because if you’re audience can see themselves in the story, then you have nothing to sell (and that’s  a good thing!). The hero is the central character of any story, and often the narrative is constructed or told through their perspective.

Traditional consumer advertising, usually frames the customer as the hero of the story. Whether we’re talking laundry detergent or a fancy new sport car, if people can envision themselves in the story you’re telling, it’s easy for them to buy into your message.

Of course, it gets a lot more complicated. I recently wrote an article exploring these hero issues from the perspective of nonprofit causes. You can read the article here, and also read the transcript or listen to a teleclass I did on the topic for Network for Good (just scroll to the bottom of the page after clicking on either of the last two links).

8 thoughts on “Every Story Needs a Hero”

  1. Great point Michael! This encourages me to look further into my story.

    I have a question.

    I am about to launch my blogsite where I will begin to brand myself.

    Here is my question.

    Would you agree that is is a good idea to write my “About Page” from a 1st person perspective where I can write myself into my audiences lives? For example, My story now takes you into my life and walks you through the steps of wanting pretty much what every human desires (freedom) to, through trial and error, obtaining a higher degree of it.

    So the point where I write about wanting freedom would be the part where I write myself into my audiences lives and when I get to the point of obtainment and win, this is where they win too.

    Like That?

    Cheers, Michael!

    Thanks in advance,

    Azstrel

    1. Thanks for asking the really hard question, Azstrel!

      If you have the courage to do so, I encourage you to write from the 1st person. Especially in your case, a blog that’s intended to represents you. 3rd person just puts up a wall. Especially when we know a real person lurks beneath. I’m reminded of the increasing habit of some aspiring people of importance to refer to themselves in the “3rd person” (e.g. The Situation on Jersey Shore). Ha!

      Now, writing yourself into your audience lives…that’s a tricky one. Just remember that while you’re writing about “you”, the goal should be to share things about yourself that either (1) others can self-identify with (e.g. it’s relevant to them), or (2) will appreciate because it’s a unique reflection of who you are, and you’re inviting them to feel closer and connected to you. It gets tricky, because when we write about ourselves, it’s easy to get a bit self-involved. I’m guilty of this too. You’ll see lots of the content and voice on this site continue to evolve in the coming weeks. That’s exactly the transition I am in.

      Send me what you put together for your about page, and I’d be happy to comment.

  2. Great point Michael! This encourages me to look further into my story.

    I have a question.

    I am about to launch my blogsite where I will begin to brand myself.

    Here is my question.

    Would you agree that is is a good idea to write my “About Page” from a 1st person perspective where I can write myself into my audiences lives? For example, My story now takes you into my life and walks you through the steps of wanting pretty much what every human desires (freedom) to, through trial and error, obtaining a higher degree of it.

    So the point where I write about wanting freedom would be the part where I write myself into my audiences lives and when I get to the point of obtainment and win, this is where they win too.

    Like That?

    Cheers, Michael!

    Thanks in advance,

    Azstrel

    1. Thanks for asking the really hard question, Azstrel!

      If you have the courage to do so, I encourage you to write from the 1st person. Especially in your case, a blog that’s intended to represents you. 3rd person just puts up a wall. Especially when we know a real person lurks beneath. I’m reminded of the increasing habit of some aspiring people of importance to refer to themselves in the “3rd person” (e.g. The Situation on Jersey Shore). Ha!

      Now, writing yourself into your audience lives…that’s a tricky one. Just remember that while you’re writing about “you”, the goal should be to share things about yourself that either (1) others can self-identify with (e.g. it’s relevant to them), or (2) will appreciate because it’s a unique reflection of who you are, and you’re inviting them to feel closer and connected to you. It gets tricky, because when we write about ourselves, it’s easy to get a bit self-involved. I’m guilty of this too. You’ll see lots of the content and voice on this site continue to evolve in the coming weeks. That’s exactly the transition I am in.

      Send me what you put together for your about page, and I’d be happy to comment.

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