Who Is Your Hero? (S1E2)

In this episode learn about why understanding your ideal customer (your Hero) is so fundamental in today's marketplace. You will learn how to define and get to know your Hero. This episode will give you insight on tools you can use to better understand your Hero. Learn how to cut through the noise and speak directly to your Hero.

Guest: Samuel P.N. Cook and Patrick Ney
Date Added: Dec 23, 2017 3:47:15 PM
Length: 41 min

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Podcast moments that will matter to you:

Who is and isn't you Hero?

How to focus more on your customer: “You” language vs “we”/” I” language while telling stories

Becoming a mentor for your avatar

How to pick an avatar for your product

What makes an ideal customer?

How to transition from one avatar to many avatars

Becoming better at marketing by determining your Hero's needs


Key points you will learn in this episode:

  • Why defining your Hero is integral to your business.
  • How to determine your Hero.
  • How to talk effectively to your Hero.
  • How to be a mentor instead of a Hero in your avatar's journey.
  • How to transition your company from serving one avatar to many avatars.
  • How to create empathy maps to better understand your Hero's needs.


Paddy: [00:00:15] Welcome back to the StoryMatters podcast with your host, Patrick Ney and Sam Cook.

Sam: [00:00:21] Paddy, great to be back. Looking forward to bringing us down from the clouds a little bit into some practical storytelling.

Paddy: [00:00:28] Yeah, what we talked about last, we had Hitler flying through the clouds. We had Paddy's shirt, we had Greek and Roman revolutions, and the fall of empires in the last episode. Today's going to be not quite as dramatic, I think, but super meaningful. It's one of my favorite classes from offering free masterclass on storytelling in the digital age. So Sam, who is your hero? That's the title of today's podcast. And why is that? Give us some context of today's podcast. What are we going to cover?

Sam: [00:00:55] We'll just, this is something that I cover, you know, first of all, to put this all in context, the next three lessons I really want to get more down into some of the exercises and things that we do in our in our StoryMatters strategy workshop. Whether we're working with a private client to build their funnel, or coaching our annual coaching program. This is where it all starts.

[00:01:21] If you don't do this kind of work, you are not going to be successful in marketing. You certainly won't be successful if you do not do this work. It all comes down to execution at the end of the day, but if you don't do this work you really just kind of leave yourself no chance.

[00:01:38] Almost all errors in marketing come back to the episode we're talking about today, which is, who is your hero? Who are you trying to influence? And if you don't get really clear on this and not just understand who they are, but, you know, from a let's say a statistical perspective, or who they are generally, who your best design helps, but also most importantly, what's the story they're living what are their hopes and dreams- what do they really want?

Then you stand a good chance of designing a product that no one wants. Or if you design a product that no one wants or if you design a product that people do want, not telling them the story they need to believe in order to invest in that product or service you have.

So it really all comes back to, this is I think the most important thing that we do. The first thing that we do in the StoryMatters workshop, it all starts with your hero and when I say who is your hero.

[00:02:34] Let me start with who your hero is not, or who the hero is not, as a business owner or as an influencer. You are not the hero. You are not the person that people want to be when they grow up. You're not the person that should portray to people that they want to be like you.

One of my greatest pet peeves about people who teach marketing is they think that you want to be them and they think that by taking pictures in front of helicopters or private jets, that they may, or may not own, and probably don't, and beach houses and rented Ferrari's and all these videos that, that, that it's really about them and their story.

[00:03:13] And if you would only just watch their video course then you're going to be like them. I just can't stand that and I think that's dishonest. I mean the ones who are really good and can afford the helicopters, there's only a few of those people in the world, because it takes a lot of time and effort and mastery to get really good at this stuff.

They know it's not easy and they know that one video course is not going to make you rich. So that's- that's one of my pet peeves and one of the things that I like to emphasize to people is don't try and be the hero in the story even if you teach in marketing. Like- like I happened to be teaching storytelling, I know that people don't want me in their life, they want their own life and they want their own hopes and dreams.

And my life as I live it is, I think, really relevant to them. The only thing I think can- can be helpful to them, to our audience if you're listening to this, is- is helping you understand yourself, where your great challenges are in terms of scaling your business, which is probably why you listen to this.

[00:04:12] Is marketing standing in the way of you and great success in business? And then how you can learn the things you need to learn and tell yourself a better story to inspire yourself to do those things is really, I think, my role in all of this.

Paddy: [00:04:28] It's a great thing that Sam taught when I first met him at the Google Campus free series of marketing he did, go and have a look at some communications that you've done recently; a press release, your website copy, an advert that you've written, and just see how many times you write the word we and how many times you write the word "you." And nine times out of 10 companies are "we we we we" focused.

Sam: [00:04:51] Or I. Even- even worse, it's the founder versus, like you know, for example, when I do have to write "I" or "we" in communications, the choice should always be “we” because James Cook Media or my team is way more than just me and my- my, you know, a lot of the great ideas that we have and execute don't come from me. So it's certainly not I. I think almost never you want to say I.

And we is way less preferable than starting your sentence with you. And that's one of the big editing things we do in our e-mails and Facebook ads, is how do we turn everything to be about- how do we make the subject of the sentence "our hero" versus "ourselves." We're not perfect on it, but that's the goal.

Sam: [00:05:42] Yo Paddy, before we- before we move on to the specifics on how to do hero, just want to make one last point. Step- step out a little bit from your own shoes as a business owner, as a marketer. Think about your favorite book. Think about your favorite work of literature. Your favorite movie.

[00:06:04] And the reason that movie- I mean when I was growing up my dad introduced me to this book, "Power of One", and it was a story about a young kid from South Africa, big dreams and had this persistence within him about, you know, following his dreams and really going after things and was very methodical, but also quite fancical, I guess you could say. And fanciful in terms of his, what he believed was possible.

And- and [00:06:28] this was really a book that so inspired me and resonated with me when I was little that I read it every summer. I even wrote an essay about it in college when I applied for the Rhodes Scholarship, using this as like a metaphor for how I thought about life.

[00:06:43] And I remember I recently told my girlfriend about my favorite book and she asked me to describe the character and I described the character and she said, "That that sounds a lot like you." And it just made me laugh because every woman you meet can tell you, like what "Sex and the City" character they are.

They look at that movie and that TV show. You know, my girlfriend certainly can, or you know a lot of women I meet is it's very interesting question, like what "Sex and the City" character are you. They tell you like this one you know, okay well if you have any idea about the show, which I don't have a lot, but I know enough to know what the character's predominant characteristics are.

You instantly know, like, a lot about that person. And the same thing about "Star Wars". I mean I loved, growing up, Han Solo and just, you know, when you watched that movie you think, oh yeah I would be like that. This is how I would be in that situation. I'd be cool. I'd, you know, shoot the bad guys, I'd get the girl or whatever.

And [00:07:36] that is when movies become best sellers and cultural phenomenons, is when people absolutely lose themselves in the movie and become that character. And what you have to think about and marketing is people don't want to lose themselves and become you, as the founder. They don't want to become your product to your company.

They want to become the better version of themselves. And I always give the classic analogy in "Star Wars", people don't want you to be their Luke Skywalker. They don't want you to be their hero. They want you, and if you've if you've ever seen the movie "Star Wars", he had a mentor named Yoda.

[00:08:18] They want to be Luke Skywalker and they want you to be Yoda. Your role as a business owner, as a product owner, as a coach, a consultant, or whatever you happen to be, is to give people the inspiration, the subtle nudges, the help, the courage to follow that path that, and we'll talk about this a lot more in the next episode, the ‘Hero's Journey’ if you will.

But [00:08:39] your role is to not be their hero but to be their mentor and the guide. And this is the whole point of today's talk is teaching you how to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and understand who they are, what their characteristics are, what their deepest hopes and fears and dreams are, and then what the story is as they are living.

[00:09:00] And that's really the heart of understanding is it comes down to one thing, which is empathy. Not sympathy, not saying oh that's bad, but, like, I feel your pain. Like Bill Clinton, the American president, was classic. When he said, "I feel your pain" you actually believed him, even if you disagree with him politically. Like, the guy had massive empathy which made him a fantastic politician. And you know, it was able to connect with people. That's really the number one thing. That's the whole point of today's episode.

Paddy: [00:09:37] I'm just sitting here desperate to find out what-what character Sam is- is in "Sex And The City" and I haven't been able to concentrate on any of it.

Sam: [00:09:45] Well all right. Well, I'm not going to tell you that, but I will say in "Star Wars" I always liked Harrison Ford. My favorite book, if you want to learn a lot about me, go read the book by Bryce Courtenay called "Power of One" and that's who I wanted to be when I was little and I think a model lot of my thoughts and actions off if.

Paddy: [00:10:03] I'm actually terrified to read that book.

Sam: [00:10:06] Don't don't do it unless you're ready to be scared and inspired at the same time so.

Paddy: [00:10:12] OK. The obvious question Sam, how do we now do this?

Sam: [00:10:16] OK, well that's- that's really the heart of marketing, is the strategy and stepping into determining who your hero is. And there's really three steps, three main steps that we take people through in our marketing training and in our strategy workshop. It's an entire day process, I'm going to try to condense that in about 30 minutes here.

[00:10:42] But it's- it's an entire day process and the first thing is, the first rule I say is if you speak to everyone, you speak to nobody. And this is very very powerful because most business owners think that their products are perfect for everyone out there and that that they could help everyone. And that may be true, but I like to say, you know we have this big long worksheet.

There's actually a great free tool out there which a lot of people have never sat down and clearly defined who their ideal client is, they just happen to attract people if they've been successful making sales, if they're not making sales they've never thought about it, so they're- just it's kind of like a shotgun blast.

[00:11:19] But- but the really successful businesses really have a very clear idea of this question. If I were to have a stadium full of a thousand people, or an auditorium full of a thousand people, what would these people need to have in common?

[00:11:40] What characteristics they need to have in common, such that after hearing this story that I'm telling them about how they can live a better life, that 999 of them would walk out of the auditorium by investing in your product or service and investing in a better future for themselves?

That's really the question. So you could speak to both, um you know, the first- the first key thing is if you're in B2C, are you speaking to a man or woman? If you're in B2B, are you speaking to a large business, small business. I mean, such a huge difference between a corporation versus a small medium enterprise in terms of purchasing decisions. Same thing men or women?

Is your language going to be a little bit more masculine, not to exclude women, but just be a little bit more type-A or depending on what type of men you're speaking to.

[00:12:25] If you had 100 men and 100 women, who would be more likely to buy? And you should know this. In fact, very quickly running some ads on Google or Facebook you can get these statistics, like who's more responsive to your offer?

And if you don't know intuitively, you can test it. But generally, business owners know this, you know going in. And then the next question, I mean, there's a whole series of questions. We have a big long worksheet where we go through this.

[00:12:49] Another classic one is an age difference in the purchaser. I mean, what, a 25-year-old male and a 35 or 45-year-old male is completely different. Ask a woman who's been married for 20 years, like is this the same man that you married?

And completely different in terms of their, you know, men in terms of their thinking and typically men you know take a little bit more longer to mature and to grow up and and hopefully a man at 40, 45 is thinking more about growth and contribution and giving back to the next generation, or at least if you do your ideal client work that- that might be who you are, you really want to work with, versus men in their early 20s.

And we actually were working with a company that was a software development company and they-they had some young startup founder in London in mind who was in his late 20s. And we started going through defining this person and then after we went to the next exercise, which is the empathy map, which I'll go through in a minute.

They're like, I hate this person, I don't want to deal with this person and they completely switched after like half a day of work who ideal client was, because new as a software development company that had only a limited amount of time and resources and they might as well work with, like, an ideal client that they're better suited for temperamentally.

[00:14:14] So pick the 45-year-old male who's married, versus single, has a family, has a doctor, has medical background. Get super specific, and the entire mood of the room changed when they switched the avatar.

And a lot of times business owners find themselves when they do this exercise, which again we do, and in great detail in our workshop, is- is understanding that, wow, I as a business owner am in a relationship with this person and I've got the right person, I'm happy serving them or I've been serving this kind of person, but boy I'd like to serve a different one.

And this is a very clarifying moment for you to decide who am I in business with, whom am I helping? Do- am I happy helping them? Or can I switch my target audience to a different one?

And sometimes even decide when he does the exercise, I'm in the wrong business like I have nothing I could offer these people and I'm not really satisfied working with these people in the first place.

Paddy: [00:15:10] So you used the word ideal customer earlier on, and you touched on this, I want to clarify one hundred percent because it's a very common question.

Our ideal customer is the one we like the most? The one who pays the most? The one who's most likely to buy? Or the majority of customers that we've served today?

Sam: [00:15:26] Well, it could be a combination of all these things and it's just like a sliding scale, it's almost like a point system. But I like to say as a Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

[00:15:36] First of all, who are you qualified to help, like, that's the baseline. Like, do you have a solution that is worthwhile for this person. And if you don't then you need to either look at your avatar or your product and what business you're in.

[00:15:49] One of the classic things that I hear some internet marketers teaching is will go into Google find out what market needs to be served and then develop a business around them. [8.6] I'm like, no. Like what makes you an expert in this obscure niche just because Google told you that there's economic opportunity there.

[00:16:05] Because I guarantee the person that's passionate about that and has a story to tell around that, and has really thought through that problem is going to eat your lunch. And they'll find your competition's global. So the first thing is, like, what do you really have a great talent towards delivering?

[00:16:22] Like, are you qualified to help this person? You know, I've been studying online marketing and executing it for 12 years and it wasn't until last year I felt like, I think I've got something to say and people should pay for this.

[00:16:46] So it's been a journey of my own, my own mind to get to that point. The other thing that you need to look at I think is, do you get something, are you growing doing this? So one thing is are you qualified to help it, but you know maybe it's boring for you.

Maybe you're not totally fulfilled. Is helping this person contributing to your growth? Is it intellectually satisfying? And then, I think beyond that, one of the questions is, like you know, are you the best in the world at this, like what makes you better than all the other solutions, do you have unique expertise or skill set in this? That- that's the next thing.

[00:17:25] And then finally, I would ask you the same question, like, would you pay to hang out with this person? Because, you know, ultimately when you start a business, let's face it, most businesses never make a lot of money, if at some at all.

And it takes five to seven years to get a business off the ground make it saleable, it can take even more time. And you are getting into a long-term relationship with a set of people, that's your avatar, and business is a relationship.

It's a relationship between your you and your customers and your communication with them in your service of them through your product and then their feedback and their complaints and all that stuff.

[00:18:01] Is it worth it? Do you love speaking to these people when they have a problem with your product? Yes, of course, those are painful moments, but do you feel fulfilled, like, at the highest level? And, I mean, at the bottom line the first question really comes back to do you have a solution worth paying for, you need to pay the bills.

And [00:18:17] sometimes you can't, especially when you're starting out, have everything ideal but at least know where you're marching towards. So if I have to serve a few kind of customers that aren't totally ideal, what do I need to do to get to that point? And do I have a plan for that, on how-how am I going to, you know, get to that point? And that and that's something I'm constantly working on in our own business, our private coaching groups.

[00:18:39] I'm realizing that while I've served many business owners and people in it, the best people to be in that private coaching groups, that I found got the most out of it, are business owners who love marketing so much that if they make their current business successful maybe they'll go into marketing consulting or become, like you know, they have the space in their business partnership to only do the marketing and really dive deep into it.

Or a marketing agency owner or a marketing professional, I love having them in our private coaching group because that's, like, who I think I can really add the most value to and it's worth it, and they just learn that from running our annual coaching program, the Story Guild, for a while. That's kind of the sweet spot for us.

Paddy: [00:19:23] Okay, so what if I'm in a situation where I kind of maybe think that I don't like my customer very much, but I've been working with that customer for so long and one time business is oriented around the customer? So, but that I feel that it's impossible to step back from that. And the reason why I'm asking the question is actually that was the challenge we face in previous business.

I worked in where we didn't really like our ideal customer. We felt so wedded to that person, and we knew them really well. It wasn't hard to identify their hopes and dreams but we just didn't actually like them. And that caused a huge amount of problems for us, but it felt impossible to walk away from that.

Sam: [00:19:58] Yeah. And that's- that's really the real challenge of business, ideal versus practical. I would, I always advise business owners based on what's going on, don't- don't break. Don't kill the golden goose don't kill the thing that's feeding your company. But do you need to continue reinvesting and optimizing that marketing set that is doing that.

And maybe you can segment that part of your business over and say we're going to hold what we've got or we're going to optimize a little bit, but let me, let me try repositioning and building a new funnel or marketing avenue for that ideal customer, we'd love to serve and can add more value too. Then just hold what you've got.

[00:20:39] Learn, always apply. I mean obviously those are people too and you're helping them. You want to, you know, take yourself and be more empathetic and improve your marketing, your services for them, but optimize that, try and get a little bit more money and freedom to invest in the new marketing channel, to build up that ideal client set. Because I know this, and I know from experience, that you're not always going to get your ideal customer and only work with them.

[00:21:06] But I found this also through our funnel, is it-  is the people that are coming our workshops now, the last workshop we had was so cohesive and so the same mindset in Warsaw that, like, they bonded, it was such a close group and it was because they'd been shaped by our four free video series and the sale sequence, that we really attracted who we portrayed out there, who we wanted to help, so build a better funnel, tell a better story that resonates and it all goes back to this work.

If you visualize and really step into the shoes of your ideal client and build a funnel that speaks to them, and they will find you. You might have to build a funnel for your old ideal client that's paying the bills and help them find you and serve them better which might give you more money or more time to focus on a new funnel.

[00:21:50] But if you can understand this process and really connect with your ideal client that you'd love to serve, that you can add the most value to you the best in the world help, you will attract them. And I've just seen that through experience and it's- it's really powerful.

Paddy: [00:22:05] Okay so if I'm a small business or an agency owner and I've got actually multiple customers, let's say different locations, couple different age groups, etc., should I focus on one ideal, or can I handle multiple ideal personas?

Sam: [00:22:20] Well that's the beauty of this and this is something that I've learned and I say if you speak to everyone you speak to nobody, but there is a certain point where you can only speak to a certain amount of people before you've exhausted that. Let me give a quick example of Facebook.

[00:22:34] Facebook started in 2004, and Mark Zuckerberg when he launched it was only for Harvard students. It was only for Harvard students you couldn't join it unless you were a Harvard student.

I mean you had to have a Harvard ID. And then he gets 100 percent of the campus to sign up for Facebook. Then he decides, oh where do I expand next? I go out to, uh he went out to all the Ivy League schools, which are like 13 schools in Northeast. They're in the same class, and I guess, you will, Harvard same league. And he gets all of them signed up.

[00:23:01] Then he decides, OK I'm going to do all colleges in the United States. Then he goes down to high school. What's in the younger kids. He got high school students, it's a cool place to hang out. The next big decision is I'm going to let adults in. Oh my gosh. Adults are going to ruin Facebook. Let mothers and grandmothers in and he did, they did it in such a way you know this is beyond the scope of this podcast.

[00:23:23] But you know where they managed to create a platform that served everyone by really, you know, doing this kind of like beach head type strategy or in the military that inkblots strategy in counterinsurgency, where you pacify one area or one market completely and make them raving fans. And then the allure of that product grows and then you create this demand cycle where people are going to want to get in.

[00:23:45] So that's the way to think about it is you can have multiple different avatars. We have four avatars in our business we're about to split it out into more and we try and speak to them all differently. Often different products create different services for them. But start with one of your best. And if you have multiple and you find yourself having multiple, instead of trying to speak to all of them and really speak to none of them, you can create, and using this formula "Ask method" which is a very popular marketing book, you can segment your existing customers and find out what are the big four or five buckets that people have buying from me, what are the common things.

And I remember I was doing this in a business coach client last year and we made buckets for his clients you know business owners at different levels, you know, just starting out versus established, trying to scale versus ones that are super successful and wanted more.

[00:24:38] And more we just spoke to all of them differently and more personally. We doubled the conversion rate in the funnel. So if you have an existing client base just try and segment and bucket them all together. And if you don't start out with the one person you think that if you help, and this can be done with customer research, which most businesses don't have a budget for.

[00:25:00] You could just talk to a lot of people you just go intuitively based on what you feel and make a decision. Who do I want to help first, kind of like Mark Zuckerberg did at the beginning with Facebook and just go with it. And then if you find out you're wrong and you don't really like helping a person or they’re not responding to your product, either change your avatar, change your product. You know, you kind of figure it out. So you do want to have more than one avatar but start out at the beginning and if you can nail a funnel for one avatar then you can move on to create multiple avatars and this process is super powerful once you know how to speak to one person or one group of people in a very targeted way.

Paddy: [00:25:39] Okay, so it sounds pretty easy, to be honest. I know who my favorite customer is and who's got the most money and whether they're man or woman, so I've done all my work. Haven’t I?

Sam: [00:25:46] Yeah, I mean, all you've gone through are a hierarchy of needs where you have something of value to offer them, you've determined who you'd really love to help, who your best position to help you know what makes you the best person to help them in their current circumstances.

But [00:26:00] that's really the first step and that's actually just the first part of our strategy process when I think about the ideal client. The next step is is what I call the real superpower in terms of ideal client research or who is your hero?

[00:26:13] And most people never go beyond this first point of defining their avatar you know, let alone defining the multiple avatars they may be serving and making coherent personas around them, like the "Ask method" teaches you.

And that's really advanced stuff. Most people stop there. And that's where the starting point is because once you know who you're really trying to help the next point is you might know who they are superficially, you might have defined them, their demographics, whether they're urban or rural, what country they're in.

[00:26:50] But that doesn't really get to the heart of it. People are not statistics. People are not just some machine. People are emotions. People buy based on emotion and then they justify with logic. And this is really the power of understanding stories, stories are not logical.

They are emotional and they're based on fact. Hopefully, that's a good thing when you base stories on fact. But there are emotional expressions of a series of facts put together and we'll get into that a lot in the next episode.

And and the second exercise the most powerful exercise I take people through at our workshop is something I learned from a great mentor of mine and all my marketing, which is Andre Chaperone, and that's the power of empathy.

And [00:27:33] there's this specific exercise called the empathy map that actually grew out of the Silicon Valley tech design community. The great producers of technology for people have figured out that in order to truly design something brilliant or great like the iPhone or something that's going to be a mass market hit, you really have to understand people in their emotions, and what's driving them.

[00:28:01] Because people do not buy an iPhone for logical reasons. They buy it for totally irrational illogical reasons and then they justify based on the screen size and all these other things. And this is something that the Silicon Valley community has really embraced.

And then there's this great exercise called the empathy map and I actually was introduced to this through André Chaperone, who is a great email copywriter, and I was really really struggling with email copywriting and a friend of mine sent me this course- André Chaperone's course, "AutoResponder Madness".

I'll put it in the show notes because just André's explanation and lesson alone on the empathy map and doing your ideal client research is worth the price of that entire course, which is quite affordable for internet marketing standards. And André's courses are like textbook, I have all my private coaching students should know that.

[00:28:55] And he goes through this thing and the empathy map and once you sit down and go through this exercise and- and really write down and understand who your ideal client is, and not just who they are from a statistical standpoint, but what they're thinking and feeling, and what they're saying and doing and then really putting that on paper.

[00:29:18] Not just theoretical sitting around talking about, but getting crystal clear and put it on paper what they're doing. That becomes your communications playbook. Because if you know who someone is, you know, their greatest fear in businesses is say, going out of business or their greatest fear in personal relationships is failing again at a relationship.

[00:29:39] Everything you do should be focused on that big huge motivating thing, people either run away from pain, which is, unfortunately, the majority of people are running away from some kind of pain or in some cases, they're chasing something big, like some dream. Some great bright future that's better than what they have.

[00:29:59] But whatever it is it's usually better, it's always a better future. People invest in products or services when they believe it's going to give them a better future. In five minutes this coffee is going to make me more awake, so

I have to pay three euros for a cup of coffee. And you know, in 20 years I'm going to be a different person than I ever would have been without this. I'm going to pay for this master's in business education. Pay 100,000 to Harvard or 200,000 Harvard to go get my MBA. And that's basically investing in a better future.

You trust that service or that product to give you a better future whether it’s the next 10 minutes or the next 30 years of your life. So empathy is a great concept. But the empathy map brings it into like reality and it's- it's a hugely powerful exercise.

[00:30:48] In fact, Andre's course is a great one. Dave Gray, who is one of the creators of the empathy map, just published an updated version of it, a medium post about it. So it's a hugely powerful tool.

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to master understanding their ideal client at a deep level and really step into their shoes, which is the key to marketing studies empathy and this process because that's what we make all of our clients do before we work with them. And our coaching clients do it before they do any work on their marketing at all.

Paddy: [00:31:20] Okay so I mean I'm in B2B today and my persona just wants to sell more and yeah it might be Scott's problems with his wife or something but I don't see how that's relevant to what I need to tell my customers which is that I'm going to make more money. How could I use this information?

Sam: [00:31:37] Well, you are selling to business but people make decisions. People, people make purchasing decisions in business, so sometimes it's a business owner who, yes I mean, his business concerns probably outweighs personal concerns.

But understanding like, the typical business owner. Do they have commonalities in their relationship?

[00:31:57] Yes probably or otherwise wish they came home earlier. Probably all their kids wish you had more time for them. I mean that's just the reality of being a business owner.

[00:32:04] So being able to show business owners you understand what they're going through on a personal level. You know, yes focus your communications on their business problems, but those business problems generally create universal problems at home.

And if your typical business owners are 40 to 45-year-old males, has two kids at home who are young, or a wife who's essentially frustrated with him having not broken through yet and given the family what they need, or what she thinks they deserve based on all the time he's put in.

You can speak to that and you can completely set yourself apart from everyone else who ignores those emotions, that are created by the pressures of being a business owner. And in even a large company, a lot of times you're not so into the business decision maker.

You want to sell to the person who's going to sell you within their company. So we have a B2B persona worksheet that you know completely takes you down to the next level to B2B. So yes, company characteristics have their own power and the B2B communication, but-but understanding that ultimately your sounds an individual within that company who might need to sell it to his boss.

That just makes the problem way more complex you have to do a persona on the business. You have to do a persona on the entry level person who is going to be hooked by your market material. Then you have to do a persona on the decision maker. So it just gets more fun and creative when you get B2B actually than a simple B2C actually.

Paddy: [00:33:35] A lot of fun. I'm transitioning to a new ideal customer or persona, or for example, I'm just starting out in business and I don't feel like I really know my customer or can't answer these kind of questions.

Sam: [00:33:45] Well there's a couple of ways you can do it. You can do the "Ask method" survey where that's a great tool and if you don't have a list that can become challenging you need to just ask people if you can speak to them, go hang out with your ideal customer, go to networking meetings where they are.

But I actually like to say and I advise any client who's not, you know before you do any online marketing, do sales. And one of the things we do with a new coaching client who just launched a relationship product, is instead of trying to sell his product online we're offering a free call with him and he's selling them over the phone.

Because the best customer research is a sales call. Get on the phone and speak to your ideal client and sell them your product. And you can learn why they're buying or not buying based on you know their objections and their reasons they're giving you for not buying or why they buy.

And you know, on a sales call if you- if you take the focus of the call not on taking money from someone which is not very empathetic, but to deepening your understanding of your ideal client. So regardless of whether this person decides to give me money or invest in my product or service,

I'm going to seek to understand them and those like them better. That completely changes the dynamic of sales conversation. And they'll feel it. And actually, you'll get better results when your mindset is truly- how do I deepen my relationship, my empathy, for this person?

And people like them, so I can better serve them in the future. Regardless of whether they buy, that will actually result in more sales than, OK this person's good on the phone and if they don't give me money I’m going to be upset because I need the money, which is not very empathetic in the first place.

And most business owners- and look I'm the worst at this, I've had to learn this, we struggle with empathy because we are caught up in our own ambitions and dreams and, you know, I'm guilty as charged and that like all business owners.

This is not something that comes naturally to a person who's crazy enough to start a business. It's not a rational decision to really start a business all the time and it's hard.

And it's it takes a bit of, let's say delusion on your part, to get into business and think you can be successful when the odds are so far against you.

Paddy: [00:36:07] You know I did this in my last business. I was running a content marketing campaign for content marketing strategy and I was new to the industry I was working in so the boss and I went and had four long lunches with our target audience. And it's amazing.

You know in a business you're saying I'm so wrapped up in pushing forward and pay the invoices deal with the H.R. problem, that it didn't- it never ceases to amaze me how sometimes you can spend very little time talking to customers about their life.

So yeah sure you deliver service, you hear a complaint, deal with that stuff, you know that standard stuff, but you spend very little time saying, how are you? What's actually on your plate right now?

And doing that for my last business was absolute, it really was extraordinary. Helped me to understand exactly what the challenges of that persona were. Now as I say, we didn't really like that persona very much of those luxuries right now.

And we had to deal with a whole bunch of problems relating from that. But if it hadn't been for those four lunches I didn't think I would have gotten anything off the ground from that person's.

Sam: [00:37:06] Yeah. Well and understanding that you're not in the right business, you're not in the right relationship, might be painful, but you know, saving the next seven years of your life.

And it's like not marrying the wrong person and not getting in the business, building a lifestyle that you need to support based on a relationship that's not serving you and not serving them because you're unhappy, they're unhappy.

That's so, this work is important and it's great to do it as soon as you can and if you've been in business for a while it’s never too late. Never too late to sit back take stock, who your business is with, how you can make that better, how you can make the relationship better, or change your relationship.

Paddy: [00:37:57] Okay so if you're now passionate about finding out who's a hero, what resources can you go and get. You've covered a couple of them, but if you could just summarise them, know what action should you take right now.

Sam: [00:38:06] Yeah, so this is something we do in our- again, I do this in a very methodical way with our private clients and our coaching clients. But you know there are a lot of good free tools out there you can use and do this and have a huge impact.

First of all, Hubspot has a persona builder. It's pretty basic, but you could expand on that and get more detail based on the questions they help you clarify. The empathy map, by Dave Gray as a free tool. You could go look at his latest medium post, read about it. There's some YouTube videos about how to create an empathy map.

On the paid side, Andres Chaperone's "Autoresponder Madness" is an amazing course not just on empathy maps, but a whole host of things on storytelling. I mean he's really one of my mentors, in the interview and later in the show and our mentor series.

But you know just those would be the main ones I'd recommend free and paid. And just get started. Like just asking yourself the hard questions. Who were you in a relationship with and put yourself in their shoes? Truly put yourself in your shoes. Do the work. Set yourself aside. Write it down. Get clear. And then once you've done that you can go the next step, which is figuring out how to help them write a better story for their life which is what we will be going over in the next lesson.

Paddy: [00:39:27] That's the subject of our next podcast, a little bit of homework for you and a little bit more homework.

If you feel like you've got some value from this podcast and you're enjoying this series, then you can help us by reviewing it on iTunes, reviewing it favorably of course, and sharing this as bringing this message with your friends, colleagues, and other business owners that you think might be interested. Sam what are we going to talk about in the next episode, let's cover that.

Sam: [00:39:50] Next episode where we actually finish talking about your hero. There's one last step that I do in the workshop, which is how to write your hero story and take all of this and make it real.

Talk about that exercise which is quite confronting and I think powerful. And then once you understand your hero story, how to rewrite it. And that's really the art of storytelling, is inspiring people to invest in a better story for their life.

And so go for the Hero's Journey construct and how that works, how to apply that marketing, and really, you know, move- move that theoretical construct into a very concrete way to think about your business. The offers that you give people, free and paid, that help move people into a better future.

Paddy: [00:40:42] Awesome, thanks very much, Sam. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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