If you’ve never heard of the hero’s journey then this article will show you why you need one to attract new clients.
Today cynicism is a status symbol. People don’t trust facts. They are inundated with information. They want to believe. They want to have faith in you that you can do what you promise to do.
Only story can do that. Especially the “hero’s journey” story.
Don’t believe me?
Then why do so millions of people around the world still follow religious leaders?
Do you know what Moses (from the Old Testament) and Jesus (from the New Testament) had in common?
Both have a story that follows the hero’s journey template.
And that is no accident.
And because everyone is on their own hero’s journey the stories of Moses and Jesus resonate strongly.
What’s more, every movie that touches you deeply does so because of its hero’s journey story line.
What is the best teacher?
What is the second-best teacher?
Story, because it simulates experience.
Then why do millions read fiction and or watch movies or soap operas?
Did you know that fiction outsells non-fiction by 500 to 1?
The truth is all of these stories avoid telling facts.
Facts are not as powerful as feelings. Feelings can completely destroy facts.
And that should be the rule of thumb when you’re talking about your business and what you do for your clients.
Most business owners struggle to get any real traction in their business.
And without traction it’s hard, if not impossible to move your business forward at the speed you’d like to go.
Whether you know it or not you’re in the “you incorporated” business.
That means you either swim in the sea of sameness or stand out like a beacon attracting the right types of clients to your business.
That reminds me of the Stuart Frances joke. “When I was 12 years old I fractured my spine. When I was 18 years old I crushed three of my vertebrae.
Anyway, that’s my back story.”
But seriously, standing out from the crowd starts with your backstory.
Which is another way of saying, your hero’s journey story.
However, that’s only the start.
To get traction you need stories. Not just any story, but stories that sell.
At least 20 of them.
You want to be able to “pull out” the right story at the right time to the right people.
Each story is designed to make your intended audience to think a certain way about you, believe what you’re saying to them, and take the action you want them to take.
These stories help you become a “charismatic character” that attracts great clients to you.
When you look at all the top marketers online today, they are all charismatic characters.
Here are just a few examples.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. You don’t need to be an extrovert… your stories are all you need to become a charismatic character.
And when you do, you attract clients rather than having to chase them.
Once you assemble your stories from your business history. you can use them…
- One to one.
- One to many (in person or online)
- On your home page
- Your about you page
- Your blog posts
- Social media sites
- Your emails
- Over the phone
- And more…
Before all of the lockdowns I went to the Digital Taunton meeting. Wow, what an experience. They get it. There’s one guy (Shane) who is the charismatic character that holds it all together.
It’s not a business club, or a networking event, it’s a community. He’s already using the ideas I want to show you when we speak.
By the way, I didn’t tell you there was 113 people at that local event. Almost unheard of for any normal business club. Now get this – there was even a waiting list.
Imagine if you could attract clients whenever you wanted.
Becoming a charismatic character.
The only thing that makes your marketing campaign work is that people really believe you’re the one for them. And you are doing the right things for the right reasons.
Using the analogy that business is like war then your ultimate weapon is story because it enables you to blast through all resistance.
“Storytelling is like mind reading.” Said Stephen King.
“I’m putting my beliefs straight into your mind with no resistance from you.”
Stories persuade, influence, and get people to change their beliefs. Especially when told by a charismatic character.
Being a charismatic character is all about becoming the “go to guy” in your marketplace. Your goal is to dominate you market and be thought of as the only viable choice.
You’ll use your hero’s journey story together with other stories like your “miracle” stories. The “what you’ve done for other clients” stories.
You begin by crafting your hero’s journey story because ALL of your marketing messages stem from your unique character and your origin story.
You’ll be seen as congruent, authentic, and influential.
You need to develop your hero’s journey story first.
You’ll want a one-minute, three-minute and a five-minute version depending on the situation you’re communicating in.
You must have a smorgasbord of stories. These include:
Teaching stories (your parables).
Miracles (stunning skills you are known for).
‘Why you are here stories.’ (Stories that show what’s in it for you.)
‘Who you are’ stories. (In this group of stories that have four subsets, a time you shined, a time you blew it, what you learned from a mentor, and what insights you gained from a film).
“I know what you’re thinking stories.” (Overcoming objections.)
Inciting incident stories.
Loss and redemption stories.
Before and after stories.
Likeable things you’ve done stories.
You will need 20 well-crafted stories and when you have them you will discover each story can be repurposed many times.
You’ll file your stories by point you want to make for easy reference.
You’ll need a keynote speech that includes your hero’s journey story. This is a 20-minute special speech you will give when you want to convince people you’re their best choice.
Once you have this speech you can use it anywhere you can give a 20-minute talk.
You will also repurpose it into a Video Sales Letter that you can drive traffic to when you want to supplement your speeches with a passive income stream.
You’ll need your dogma – your rules and philosophy.
Like golfers, you’ll have your own “Insider Language.”
Making people feel like they belong. Affinity is a powerful motivator to stay with you over the long-term.
Your hero’s journey story starter.
1. Ordinary World: This step refers to the hero’s normal life at the start of the story before the adventure begins.
2. Call to Adventure: The hero is faced with something that makes him begin his adventure. This might be a problem or a challenge he needs to overcome.
3. Refusal of the Call: The hero tries to refuse the adventure because he is afraid or has low self-esteem.
4. Meeting with the Mentor: The hero meets someone who can give her timely and profound advice and ready her for the journey ahead.
5. Crossing the First Threshold: The hero leaves his ordinary world for the first time and crosses the threshold into adventure.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies: The hero learns the rules of his new world. During this time, he endures tests of strength of will, meets friends, and comes face to face with the enemy.
7. Approach: Setbacks occur, sometimes causing the hero to try a new approach or adopt new ideas.
8. Ordeal: The hero experiences a major hurdle or obstacle, such as a life-or-death crisis.
9. Reward: After surviving death, the hero earns his reward or accomplishes his goal.
10. The Road Back: The hero begins his journey back to his ordinary life.
11. Resurrection Hero – The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned.
12. Return with Elixir: The hero brings his knowledge or the “elixir” back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.
During your hero’s journey story show your Struggles: The pain you endured. The ups and downs you went through.
Then reveal how you got your aha moment. The point in your hero’s journey story where you made a breakthrough and from that point forward you could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Next tell how you overcame adversity and achieved your desired outcome.
Think of this as your “here’s how I went from being really rubbish at this thing” (I was once where you are now) “to becoming great” (which is why you’re watching/listening to me now.
Remember get in some difficulty when things went really bad for you so that you create empathy.
Your reader has to care about what happens to you.
They must like you and bond with you, so they REALLY believe your hero’s journey story.
Your story is like passive persuasion. In your message show that you have really earned the right to talk to them.
Paint a crystal-clear picture that you have found the answer to your problem (which is the same problem your prospect has).
Here’s an example from my hero’s journey.
“Get me new business or you’re fired!”
Up until that point, my boss and I had a good relationship.
But now he was getting pressure from his directors who wanted rid of me because there were no sales.
The fact they didn’t like me made it worse.
What will I tell my wife? How will I feed our family? Then there’s the mortgage and all the other expenses of living.
How had it come to this?
Six months ago, I was selling burglar alarms door-to-door and I was easily making £600.00 a week.
But I gave that up because I was invited by my new boss to start a new division of his waste disposal company.
Yes, I was officially in charge of getting rid of other people’s trash.
“Since I’ve had no training will you pay for me to go to a marketing seminar in London?” I asked.
“is that going to get us new business?”
“Yes, most certainly.” I replied, fingers crossed behind my back.
Most of the seminar didn’t apply to our business, so out of desperation I showed the seminar leader the letter I wrote to introduce our ‘amazing’ waste disposal services.
“Can you help me improve this letter?” I asked.
He looked at me, then at my letter, then back at me.
I knew right then he knew how desperate I was.
After what seemed like five minutes he said, “Are you serious? This will never work because it’s all about you and your company and not about them.”
Needless to say, I felt about two feet tall.
“Man, you’ve gotta change every ‘I,’ ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ to ‘you,’ ‘to you’ and ‘yours,’ otherwise this letter is like a shit sandwich without the bread.
There’s gotta be a five to one ratio. You talk about them and their problems five times as much as you talk about you and what you do.
You got that?”
“Yes, thank you, appreciated.”
As a result, on the train back I rewrote my letter.
The next day I sent out 20 letters to the companies who had slammed their door in my face.
And guess what?
The next day nothing happened.
The day after that, still nothing.
By day three I was quietly panicking inside.
Just then my boss came out of his office and headed straight for me.
That’s it, I’m out of a job, I thought.
I jumped at the buzzing sound.
It was my internal phone. I picked it up and the office manager said, “it’s a call for you.”
Five minutes later, I’d just booked an appointment to see the head of the chemical department at Lilly Industries.
At that time, they were the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
That £600 order was my first sale.
My second order came from International Speciality Chemicals. And that was for £33,000.
During the next seven months we made £101,000.
All from a one-page sales letter!
Surprisingly, my boss didn’t want to fire me anymore. In fact, he gave me a promotion.
“You’re now head of marketing.”
“Thank you, does that mean I get a raise?”
“Yup, double your salary!”
Flushed with success, it was my turn to invest in my copywriting education.
That month I became a Founder Circle Member of the American Writers and Artist Institute (AWAI).
My $6,000 investment was a lot back then, but I got access to the biggest copywriting library in the world.
And for the next five years every promotion I wrote made money for my boss.
I figured around three and a half million.
He was ecstatic.
But when he hired two non-executive directors I became the target of their hate.
“Too maverick.” One of them said.
“What is this direct response nonsense? Why can’t we use traditional marketing?” said the other.
My boss suddenly had amnesia, He’d totally forgotten I saved one division from going under.
Then I launched a brand-new division which became profitable within the first two months.
After that I got them the biggest contract ever. One they had been chasing for 25 years.
One foggy morning after it had taken me an hour to get to work, I was summoned to the office.
There sat my boss, either side of him perched the two new directors.
They were like vultures circling their prey.
“Unless business increases this month, we’re cutting your salary in half.” Said the bald one looking at me through thick rimmed glasses.
I sat for a moment like a slacked-jawed fool.
“No, you’re not.”
They all looked at each other in stunned silence, then back at me.
“Because I quit.”
Slamming the door behind me I knew right there and then it was time to start my own business.
A mail order company selling exceptional health products.
I was excited.
Oddly enough that didn’t go too well.
I lost £3,000 on an ad that didn’t work.
I was convinced it was a great product. It cured me of asthma and hay fever.
In my AWAI Founder Circle membership, I found it included a free ticket a three-day seminar.
I had to pay for my flight to Florida, and my hotel.
But I’m glad I went because that was where I found out about Kenrick Cleveland.
If you don’t know him, he’s one of the world’s top persuaders. He uses advanced NLP language patterns of persuasion.
This I had to learn.
I paid him $15,000 for a years’ worth of training.
At the end of that year, he invited me to write a promotion for him.
Part of the deal was getting another five years’ worth of training from him.
Everyone else paid $75,000 for the privilege, but not me.
Soon I began using his patterns of persuasion in my sales copy.
As you might guess I was an ‘overnight success.’
The first 12 months I made £97,000 profit.
That’s six times my money back in a year!
The following year I went from £8,000 a month to £24,000 a month.
That’s 19 times more than my original investment.
At last, I had graduated from “The University of Direct Mail.”
When I wrote my first book, “Influence Intelligence,” Christine Marlow (a world-class copywriter) asked if I would teach my system to her students.
I’ll get $5,000 per student with a guaranteed minimum of 10 students.
With dollar signs in my eyes, I agreed.
Here’s the scary part…
I only had two weeks to come up with an advanced version of Influence Intelligence.
No pressure then!
That forced me to use systems thinking.
With a system in place everyone should get the same result as you or even better.
However, there was a problem. When the course started I discovered one of the students was deaf. Christine asked If I could still teach him to write sales copy?
Frankly, I struggled at first, but then I thought, I’m a writer, why not put my writing skills to the test?
So, I taught him entirely through the written word.
Okay, I admit, I did use some sneaky little hypnotic patterns to drive the lessons home, so they became automatic.
I’ll bet you can guess what happened next…
He astounded me with his newfound ability to write high converting sales copy on his new website doubling his business within a month.
But that’s just part of the story…
I started using my new advanced version of my Influence Intelligence system in my own copy.
Well, believe it or not I soon sold over one million health products including…
- Aerobic Oxygen
- Colloidal Silver
- Detox foot patches
- And Resveratrol
But I want you to know something about me. I’m no one special. I don’t have any supernatural gifts or anything.
I actually really struggle with sales copywriting.
And that’s what I love about this system – I don’t have to worry about that anymore!
And that’s when it hit me.
I could use my “Influence Intelligence” system to write winning sales copy to sell anything from software to information products.
In fact, the first time I did a promotion for a software product was for Michael Dunlop’s’ “Pop-Up Domination.”
It was because of the phenomenal success of that promotion I met Michael’s father Barry Dunlop.
Barry is a master of SEO. His articles rank on the first page of Google.
And when Barry asked me if I would be willing to write an entry level copywriting course and give it away free to his subscribers at Income Diary, I jumped at the chance.
You can find it here.