I (Matt) am reading a fascinating book, Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller.
The overall strategy he shares is powerful and can be applied broadly, including, even, our personal lives. To illustrate, let me share the principles he uses – principles that can fit not just companies but also not for profits, ministries, families, marriages and even the way we see our own life.
Principle #1: The Customer is the Hero, Not Your Brand – I love this as it reminds me that my life needs to be about others, not me. When I live this principle –at work and in my personal relationships, I am living a very powerful truth – life is about serving/loving the other. Let’s make that other person we’re with the hero, whether our spouse, children, friends or work colleagues.
Principle #2: Provide Solutions to Internal Problems, not External Ones – Outward circumstances impacting our customers and our personal relationships are just that – superficial. Beneath those circumstances are the real factors influencing behavior: things like fear, love, desire. As we work to understand those factors in those we love, we are tapping into the real issues that they need to be solved.
Principle #3: Be A Guide – Our customers and our family/friends are not looking to us to swoop in and “solve” their problems. Remember, per Principle #1 above, they are the hero of their story, not us. What they want from us is a guide, someone to provide wisdom, direction and encouragement.
Principle #4: Customers Will Especially Trust a Guide Who Has a Plan – Our customers and our family/friends will especially trust us if we help them develop a plan, an approach to solving their problem. Make them part of that planning – so that they can take ownership of it.
Principle #5: Customers Do Not Take Action Unless They Are Challenged To – We humans need to be challenged to act – so challenge those you love with the actions they need to take – but do it with charity, clarity and conviction.
Principle #6: Customers are Trying to Avoid a Tragic Ending – Make sure you show your customer/family/friend the implications of NOT taking action…avoiding a “tragedy” is a powerful motivator to action.
Principle #7: Never Assume People Understand How Your Brand Can Change Their Lives – Tell Them – This is a reminder to share your heart – to truly communicate. Tell your customer/family member/friend WHY you are wanting to help them. The old adage applies here, “people don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.”
I encourage you to buy the book and visit the website – you’ll find some great insights to living a life of purpose, joy and passion – a life that serves others and gives you great fulfillment!