The most important character in any business story is your reader.

In this story that's you, but in your story that will be your customers or prospective customers, nobody else matters.

Whether you are writing a short AdWords script or a business proposal, your customer or prospect must be the hero of your story.

Even if it’s a case study, a demonstration or a testimonial, you must write any content in such a way that your reader can identify with the central character of your story.

That they can see themselves in the actual subject’s shoes.

That they can see themselves taking the hero’s actions and achieving the hero’s results.

Naturally, those results must be something that your reader greatly desires.

Why YOU is so Powerful

One of the simplest and most effective ways to make the reader the hero of your business story is simply to use the word "You".

When you do that, something magical happens that is more than just a change of words.

By replacing any egotistical words in your content such as “We, Me, or I” with “You”, the customer’s focus shifts from your business to their business.

That is from what you want, to what your customer wants.

Your reader feels they are the centre of attention; that you are talking to them and helping them get to where they want to go.

The use of the word “You” will demand that you change the focus of your content from what you sell  - We sell this and we offer that and we have this solution – to what’s the future you are helping your customer build.

What is the adventure that they want to go on?

This will also create a subtle but powerful shift in your own thinking

You will start to think more strategically about what you can do for your customer.

That alone will change your whole marketing perspective.

For it’s only when you start talking about what great things a customer can achieve if they use your product that the conversation becomes more interesting.

What are they going to be able to create by using your products?

That’s a much more powerful conversation, as it creates a much more valuable outcome for the customer.

So your story becomes a higher value story, enabling you to charge and justify a premium.

It’s always more exciting when someone takes an interest in you and what you want.

On the other hand...

Bad Wolf Marketing

Are you viewing your customers as prey?

Trying to get to them before they get to Granny's house?

Are you huffing and puffing trying to blow your customer's defences down?

So much marketing material today is obsessed with having the business just get what the business wants.

It's a backwards approach.

It's made the wolf the hero.

The goal is to get its paws on the goodies, your money.

That’s why so much marketing makes your skin crawl.

No matter how great you think you are and your products are, when you go for a commitment (money) at the end of it there isn't going to be any happy ever after ending.

Sadly most business stories are of the huffing and puffing kind, as is a lot of marketing content.

Think about the last time you were at a party or networking event and the person you just met never stopped talking about themselves.

Let’s not waste time talking about you, let’s talk about me and how awesome I am.

Yeuch, but the majority of advertising and marketing is exactly like that trying to blow you into submission.

So how do you turn that around?

Are You the Hero?

Do you see yourself taking heroic actions and getting the rewards you desire?

Now that's a powerful and exciting story.

It’s the basis of all great stories.

As I said earlier, one of the easiest and basic ways to turn the story around is by using the word “You”.

For example if we rephrase this sentence from a previous section:

That they can see themselves taking the hero’s actions and achieving the hero’s results.

to

You see yourself taking heroic actions and getting the rewards that you desire.

You can hear instantly how powerful it becomes.

That’s because the focus is solely on you.

It’s an incredibly effective technique, but one ignored by 90 percent of marketers and advertisers.

So if you use this in your business content, you will be ahead of 90% of your competitors.

Make the customer the centre of the story; make the outcome, the reward they get, of value to them.

Always remember that when you’re writing or reviewing any marketing material.

Even in testimonials. Even though it’s another person telling their story about what they got, any new customer should be able to identify with their story and say, “Yeah that’s what I want.”

The testimonial is not for the previous customer, it is not for your business, it is for your next prospective customer.

The same applies to case studies. Its purpose is not to demonstrate how great you were at solving a past client’s problem. It is to show the prospective client that you can solve their problem. That you have a method of operating that is going to benefit them.

The same goes for any content you create for marketing purposes.

Who Is You?

Before you write anything, of course, you should do your research.

Find out who you are writing for.

They might not quite be what you expect.

You must find out what they are interested in, what motivates them, what they want to achieve (desire), what issues they are grappling with, what language they use.

Research is a topic for another day, but you will need to build a complete a picture (persona) of who your customer is and what they want.

After all, your customer is the most important character in any business story you tell.

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