It’s Time For You To Be The Hero
Being the hero of your own story helps others identify what your content can do for them, associate with you, and for everyone to win.
This goes against a lot of what you read where you’re urged to ‘make your customer the hero.’ You’ve doubtlessly seen articles where the emphasis is on walking in the same shoes as your customer, rather than ever putting the focus on yourself.
This article looks at why putting the emphasis on you as the champion, but not in a way that’s heavy with self-gratification, helps to engage others and builds your credibility. The end result is that everyone does well. People become informed, introductions are made, people reach out to one other and you are at the epicentre, helping and supporting.
It is the work you produce that gives you credit, makes you accountable and a reputable person/company to do business with.
If you want to read another ‘make the customer the hero’ mantra, then this article is not for you.
What Does It Mean If You Are The Hero?
If you are the hero this means others acknowledge the thought and dedication you put in. What you create is for them. It’s you who puts the hours in, trying to figure things out, becoming a voice that stands up to be heard and dedicates time to producing good work.
It doesn’t mean that you’re always pushing your narrative though, sometimes it’s more important to engage with connections and just be in the moment with others.
If you identify yourself as the hero it doesn’t mean you’re interrupting and coercing people nor does it mean that every message you share is about you or your company, and it certainly doesn’t mean you share work that adds nothing to someone else’s week.
Being the hero means you respect yourself enough to want to be recognised for the work you create and the message you stand for. It’s a responsibility you take on board, the payback from which eventually comes back to you in the form of having more of your ideal type of customer and raising your own profile.
How The Path Of The Hero Is Similar To Yours
When you step forward and produce a narrative where you stand for something you believe in and attract others to get behind you, your journey follows a similar path to that many hero-type characters take.
It starts with an everyday person.
The hero is always introduced as a regular person dealing with things that are grounded in reality. Over time, they change and even more rewardingly, share the wisdom they’re acquiring. The Hulk was a socially withdrawn physicist, Harry Potter was a schoolboy, and Deadpool had a terminal disease.
A bit like you? No one is ever thrust into the world by thinking they are going to write, video or produce audio. There’s always a shaky start with that first piece of content that doesn’t look, sound or read like you.
It makes sense to have that sense of trepidation when you take the risk and choose to show up, be present and create rather than hiding behind an impersonal logo (a logo is not an invincibility shield any more!).
Everything starts from a calling.
Peter Parker was bitten by a spider, Luke Skywalker discovered a message from Princess Leia. What’s going on is that something happens to change the course of the original trajectory.
A bit like you? What starts as just selling and marketing your products and services can then start to take shape as you find something in or about your industry that you believe in, want to develop or where you recognise that an adjustment could be made to a norm or a way of doing things that has been around for many years. This lies at the intersection between how you make money and what you believe in.
They become noted for being great at one thing.
From having X-ray vision, shapeshifting, flying, invisibility to telepathy, the world gets to know heroes through the strengths they possess.
A bit like you? It becomes easier for others to find you when you start off within a space that gathers people around and you deliver within that medium. This makes it easier for people to know you as you deliver good work in one space. What starts as writing can easily move to podcasts, video and live events.
Allies come on board.
When the hero finds others to journey and fight alongside them, they tackle the problems they come up against together. From Han Solo and Chewbacca to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, no one operates alone.
A bit like you? Doing everything yourself can be an uphill task. In finding your allies and cheerleaders, people that can help you out, you recognise that having other people beside you on the journey makes it even more rewarding and means everyone can do well.
Bigger problems need to be solved over time.
Rather than life being a breeze and taking advantage of the superpowers heroes possess, there are always further hurdles to be overcome.
A bit like you? What starts off as a simple way of sharing your message becomes, with greater investment and a growing audience, something that develops and presents ever-evolving challenges that need to be tackled. For instance, You Are The Media’s live events were introduced in 2016, driven by a growing subscription base that created a community and rising engagement within that community.
Become a better person, all the better to share your wisdom.
Starting out as an everyday person, the more friends who supported and adventures that were experienced, the hero always returns changed, with a different outlook on life.
A bit like you? From where you started, to the journey you’re currently on, creating, sharing and driving forward with your narrative – the longer you show up for, the better you become at what you’re doing and serving others.
Why It’s Time For You To Stand Up And Be The Hero
Here are some hero-status traits to embrace through which people can recognise you as someone with the guts and sense of responsibility to stand for something.
You can become a hero when:
You demonstrate to others that you are someone worth listening too.
This is by sharing an ongoing perspective where you pick up on themes that not everyone else in your marketplace is looking at. This isn’t about a Q&A with a new member of staff, but leading with intent on the things that you believe in, that have a valid role within your industry.
You continually ask questions that support you and your audience.
Living in this time of uncertainty, it’s ok to admit you don’t have the answers and to say ‘I don’t know‘ Sharing your thinking, including your uncertainty, and what you’re doing about it, in plain sight of your audience helps build trust.
You prove you have done the work.
Just conveying anecdotal “evidence” doesn’t work, it’s important to dig deep and do the work and chart the journey yourself. That way you can show your findings. If you can show your own interpretation and share with others how things have progressed, it makes your perspective convincing and persuasive in the eyes of others.
You enlist allies.
The more people who are on side with you, the greater the opportunity for everyone to win. What happens is that ideas are shared, but you lead the way and provide people with a space where they feel included. The reward for creating a group and others feeling a part of it is that they will feel comfortable repeatedly returning to it. This is vital if you want to create something that has longevity. Read this article where I explain more click here.
You are doing more than you realise.
It is important to be there for others, it’s about being friendly, being attentive and there to support and guide. This is beyond the immediate remit of what you do and how you make a financial return, and lies in how responsive you are to others. For instance, I enjoy replying to people who send me an email. Sometimes something sparked by an email can become an article (here’s proof for you). It feels good to be noted as a person who is there when others need you (it’s how you become noted in your industry).
You know there are opportunities to continually explore.
The worst thing you can do is rest on your laurels. You have to be prepared to be continually moving the needle. For instance, one thing that I had to learn quickly during the coronavirus lockdown was how to make live video work.
The You Are The Media Lunch Club Online may not have even happened if I decided to ride this storm out and reintroduce activity as it had been previously, when things finally became more settled again. Showing you have the guts to explore new opportunities can pay off particularly when others see you doing it and come to recognise that you’re not going to be letting them down.
Joseph Campbell introduced the idea of the hero’s journey in 1949 and said, “You can get a lot of work done if you stay with it and are excited and it’s play instead of work.”
Creating can’t just be about the need to fill space with posts, but having a sense of responsibility for others. This is about showing a fighting spirit, learning and becoming knowledgeable over time.
Whilst there should always be emphasis on giving the customer/client the opportunity to see themselves as the stars of your narrative, in a period of uncertainty those same people look to find leadership in the people they follow.
Stepping forward and being upfront about the role you play and the support you garner means that you receive the credit and acknowledgment due. You may not have looked for it, but you can be the hero of your own story.