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Three steps to discover your hero so that you can begin crafting your story

Ryan Mallory


Jan. 3, 2021

In the previous article, we talked about why your business needs to have a story and why your story needs to have a hero, better known as your customer or client. Through your story, your hero will struggle through adversity and will eventually overcome life’s challenges through the product or service you’re selling. Before we begin writing your story, we need to gather some character information about your customers. So let’s get started.

Step One: Research your customer’s persona.

In the story creation process, your primary goal is to focus on who your customer is. To complete this step, we need to establish a customer persona. A customer persona is a fictional representation of your customer segment or audience member related to your company’s brand, product, or service. 

Here is a list of five categories used to help you define your customer’s persona.

1. Background and demographics

What is your customer’s gender, age, race, marital status, household size and makeup, education, employment, disability, location, and approximate household income?

2. Needs

What does your customer need that relates to your product or service? What is the one item or service they could have today that would improve their life?

3. Hobbies

What does your customer do with their spare time? Do they go out to eat? Do they travel, or watch Netflix? Do they play board games with the family, or tool around on the Internet?

4. Barriers

What keeps your customers up at night? What bothers them? What are some day-to-day problems they face? What are their headaches or concerns?

5. Goals

What are your customers’ aspirations, or what are their dreams? What is their purpose(s) or objective(s) in life that gets them out of bed and ready to go? Do they have a plan?

Some of you might be thinking, how do I know my customers’ needs, hobbies, barriers, and goals? It’s simple — you ask them. Call up a customer or client, or see them in person, and ask some of the questions listed above. Have a casual conversation — they love talking about themselves — and begin to use that information to form your customer persona. If you have a B2C product, come up with a survey through Google Forms and ask your customers these same types of questions. Consider promoting your survey via social media. Maybe you offer your customers an incentive for taking the survey.

Step Two: Assemble your information — give your customer a name.

Once you have your information, place the answers in an Excel or Word document to see if you can find a pattern to your answers. And here’s the fun part: take those answers and give them a name, maybe “Lydia the design-minded passionate entrepreneur,” or “John the overworked die-hard weekend golfer.” Pick a name that best represents your answers. 

Step Three: Create a visual representation of your customer.

The final step in forming your customer persona is to go to Google and see if you can find an image or two that represent your customer persona. Perhaps it’s a photo collage, or maybe it’s a series of photos that represent your customer’s persona.

And just like that, you have your customer persona, a.k.a. your story’s hero. You have priceless information about your target customer. You know their needs, hobbies, barriers, and goals — all perfect elements to form that riveting marketing story.