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As we’ve learned, we are not the hero in our brand story but the guide. But what makes a guide likable, reliable, and trust-worthy?

There 2 main characteristics that make a guide a guide:

Empathy & Authority

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When Luke Skywalker meets Yoda, he encounters the perfect guide. Yoda is the lovable character who understands Luke’s dilemma and empathetically coaches him to use the force. This empathy would go nowhere were it not for Yoda‘s authority as a Jedi himself. Yoda understands Luke’s dilemma and has mastered the skills Luke must develop if he is going to win the day. The guide must have this one-two punch of empathy and authority in order to advance hero and the story. These are the characteristics the hero is looking for, and when they sense them, they know they found their perfect guide.

When we empathize with our customer’s dilemma, we create a bond of trust. People trust those who understand them and they trust brands that understand them too. Empathetic statement start with words like, “We understand how it feels to…”or “Nobody should have to experience…” or “Like you, we are frustrated by…” etc.

However, empathy is more than just sentimental slogans. Real empathy means letting customers know we see them as we see ourselves. Customers look for brands they have something in common with. Remember, the human brain likes to conserve energy, so when a customer realizes they have a lot in common with the brand, they fill in all the unknown nuances with trust.


When a customer realizes they have a lot in common with the brand, they fill in all the unknown nuances with trust.


As for the authority aspect, nobody likes a know-it-all and nobody wants to be preached at. Brands that flaunt their expertise over the masses turn people off. Because of this reason, some marketing experts say we shouldn’t express authority at all; that what people want is a brand that puts their arm around their customer’s shoulder and walks alongside them as equal. But this isn’t completely true.

When I talk about authority, I’m really talking about competence. When looking for a guide, a hero trusts somebody who knows what they’re doing. The guide doesn’t have to be perfect, but they do need to have serious experience helping other heroes win the day. (Read How We Can Express Our Authority Without Being Braggy & Turning Our Audience Off to learn more.)

Take a step back and look at how you’re coming across to your audience.

1: Are you positioning yourself as the guide and allowing them to step into their hero role?

2: Are you communicating to them that you understand where they’re at/what they’re feeling and have the experience and know-how to help them solve their problem?

Ensure your brand and website do their job to catch your dream customer’s eye, increase leads, hit new income goals, and take your business to a whole new level. Leave it to the pros. Take the first step towards your dream life!

Utilize These 2 Mental Triggers To Get Your Customers To Recognize You As The Guide They’ve Been Looking For

Business Advice, Story Strategy

JENNA ROTHWEIN

Rothwein Design credits StoryBrand and Donald Miller with acquiring the knowledge of branding and marketing, and the strategy of storytelling used within these areas. I encourage you all to check out his podcast here, his website here, and purchase his book here. Rothwein Design is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with StoryBrand.

Where Did i learn all this awesome knowledge from?

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