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Hero or Guide2864

BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
Heard a thought-provoking distinction from Donald Miller while he was being interviewed about his book, "Building a Storybrand".

He talked about the choice we have between being the Hero with our clients/readers or being the Guide. His idea is that the client wants to be the Hero. The story is really about them and their quest to be the Hero and they are seeking the help of Guides as THEY find solutions.

But often the salespeople/consultants/authors position themselves to be the Hero, saving the day with their ideas/products/services.

The distinction between roles can be subtle. A person can have the best interests of the client/reader in mind and yet still act in the role of the hero.

Curious to learn what you see as the differences in those two roles and which role you assume in your work...
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

You make a great point.

Ar the heart of content marketing is telling a story or teaching our clients how to tell a story that leaves them (our clients) as heroes to their would be client.

I had a client who got a testimony to the effect - your product was just what Inwas looking for.

This means the client bought a present for someone she wanted to give the product to.

My client was a hero to the shopper. The shopper became a hero to the person she bought the product for.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user


I've had some difficulty in finding the right term to encapsulate what I do. My friends and associates often refer to me as guru or wizard -- where my online persona "the wiz" comes from -- while I have more often billed myself as a mentor or guide on the client's journey of success (I see success as a journey, not a destination).

Do you have a link to the interview you reference?
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BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
The discussion about hero/guide begins around 6:10 in the podcast.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user

Thank you for sharing this. I'm looking forward to listening to it.

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Member tienny private msg quote post Address this user
@belew Do you mean that your client and you are the heroes? Does it mean there are two heroes?

@BKatt Thanks for the podcast.
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Member Jonnner private msg quote post Address this user

I agree that clients want to be the hero. They want to have a guide who they feel treats their ideas with respect. This is not hard to achieve .... except, sometimes when you need to nudge them in a different direction. I work with Hitech Startup CEOs; so this happens.

I do not need to be a hero. But it is nice when the client remembers that you provided useful help. After they become successful, some want to forget that.
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BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
@Jonner Good thoughts. And true in my experience as well. Gratitude from clients is nice, especially when seeking referrals after a job well done!

@tienny You asked this question to Bill, and I am looking forward to hearing his answer as well. Your question inspired further clarification of my thoughts:

A hero approaches a client with the posture that she or he is the star of the show who from a pedestal of superior knowledge, is showering wisdom down upon a less knowledgeable client. By following the hero's recommendations, the client's success validates the hero's standing. (I use that description not to convey condescension, but rather the vertical position between the elevated hero and the client below)

A guide walks side by side with the client. The guide uses the knowledge and experience of having traveled further down the road on that specific topic to empower clients on their quest to be heroes. The guide enables clients to reach their objectives and possibly travel far beyond the knowledge and experience of the guide.

Another way of expressing it: the guide enters the story of the client in a supporting role of the client's quest to be a hero, rather than thinking of the client as another example of why the consultant/author is the hero. It is a subtle distinction in mindset.

So my answer to your question is that there are not two heroes.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user

Hey! Glad to see you back.
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