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7 Steps to Simplify Content Planning with the Hero’s Journey

Have you lost some sleep - and maybe some of your sanity - worrying about creating that pristine marketing presence everyone says you have to have to make it in your business? 

A woman looking foggy with her hands on her head in confusion.

You're not alone. 

It’s the curse of the small business owner. Hundreds just like you grapple continuously with how to stand out and be noticed.

“Hey world, I’m here, and I can help,” is the message. Content planning is the game. 

Learning to play that game is a bit of a nightmare that never ends.

Who do you listen to? Which wind of change do you follow?

What if I told you that you could stop stressing right now? 

What if I told you there's one step that will simplify everything, stop the voices nattering at you in your head…and bring back the peace?

It’s all about story. Ever heard of the the Hero's Journey? Using this one tool as a framework for understanding your business can transform your marketing.

It isn't just theory; it's a practical, step-by-step adventure into the heart of what makes your business unique.

Ready to see what I mean?  

Let’s go.

The Customer Hero’s Story Begins…

A girl wearing a backpack standing on rocks in between 2 rock faces.
Your Customer Hero's is on a Journey.

Once there was a young entrepreneur, Jordan, whose dream was to revolutionize the world of eco-friendly fashion. Her journey, as with any Hero, was teeming with twists, doubts, and revelations.

Think of this as her "story".

Step 1: Join Your Customer Hero In Their Ordinary World

woman with her back to the camera looking at a computer thoughtfully
Your Customer Hero's World

Jordan's world was a small, cluttered studio apartment in the heart of a bustling city, surrounded by fabric swatches and sketches. 

Her dream was bold – to create a fashion brand that was as stylish as it was sustainable. 

But the path was foggy; the fashion industry a confounding maze with many dead ends. 

Her challenges? Limited resources, fierce competition, and a need for more guidance.

Marketing Moment:

The Passion Part: Do you see the pain here? Can you feel the desire, the fear, the challenge?

The Pen Part: This becomes your “pain” talking points in your content. It’s essential to sincerely identify and care about the struggle your person is facing. Your words will either draw him toward you or serve as a hollow sales pitch that pushes him away.

Step 2: Help Your Customer Hero Sense A Call to Adventure

a man standing at a distance in between 2 cliffs looking toward the sun going down.
Your Customer needs help. He's drawn toward a solution.

One day, while scrolling through her social media feed, Jordan stumbled upon an ad. 

It was a digital marketing service specializing in launching eco-friendly brands. The ad spoke of transformation, of taking small brands to big stages. 

It was a beacon of hope, a call to an adventure that promised to change the course of her business. 

Her heart raced; this was the opportunity she had been waiting for.

Marketing Moment:

The Passion Part: Transformation. Leaving pain behind. The promise of realizing a dream. Do you believe in your product? Can it relieve the suffering, provide a solution, and open up doors that seem to be locked?

The Pen Part: Do your words - even in social media posts - paint compelling pictures of how your product is the answer to end their suffering, whatever that suffering is?

Step 3: Acknowledge Your Customer Hero’s Doubts

young black woman thinking, hands clasped in front of her face.
You Customer Hero has doubts.

But with the excitement came a tide of doubt 

Was her brand ready for such a leap? 

Could she afford it? 

What if it all went south? 

Jordan was torn. She had heard stories of ventures that soared and others that plummeted. The risk of failure loomed large, casting a shadow over the glimmer of potential success.

The Passion Part: Feel the hesitation? First, the surge of excitement. Then, the realization of the risk. The cost involved. Here is where you step in as the wise Guide. You understand and even encourage that sense of caution.

The Pen Part: The doubts are real. Acknowledge them. Your words should respect their reality check.

Step 4: Show Up As Your Customer Hero’s Mentor

two hands reaching out to each other, fingers barely touching.
You are the Guide in your Customer Hero's story.

Just as she was about to dismiss the idea, an email notification chimed. It was from Alex, the founder of the digital marketing service. 

Alex had seen her work and was impressed. He reached out, offering to chat about her brand's potential. 

In their first call, Alex listened. He didn't just hear her words; he understood her vision, passion, and fears. 

He shared stories of other eco-friendly brands he had helped, guiding them through similar journeys.

Jordan felt a surge of confidence. Here was her mentor, her guide in this adventure.

The Passion Part: Your person needs reassurance. Not persuasion. An email. A phone call. Genuine listening and sharing stories of the success of others. This is about building relationships. Jordan felt heard, seen and cared for, the foundation of trust.

The Pen Part: Your person is the hero in the story - a hero who has a dream or is on a quest for a solution. Your words are the catalysts of empathy and understanding.

“I hear you. Let me answer your questions. Let me show you the way.”

Step 5: Lead, Don’t Push Your Customer Hero Across The Threshold

Two young women wearing backpacks. One is leading the other on a hike between two cliffs.
You are the Guide. Lead your Customer Hero through solving their problem.

With Alex's encouragement and a detailed plan, Jordan decided to take the plunge. There was a plan. She had steps to follow.

She invested in the digital marketing service, marking the start of a new chapter. It was a leap of faith, a step into the unknown, but it felt right with Alex by her side

The journey ahead was daunting. However, Jordan no longer felt alone.

The Passion Part: Do you see the influence of the Guide here? Not only does he care, he also has a clear step-by-step plan. Investing hard-earned cash into a solution is scary, no matter how appealing the solution is. Be there for your client with a simple pathway.

 The Pen Part: In content planning, use your words to describe your plan in the simplest ways possible. Three steps only. Three simple steps that demonstrate how to work with you.

Step 6: Understand Your Customer Hero’s Tests, Allies, and Enemies

A man and a woman with backpacks on, high above a lake on rocks. High fiving eachi other.
You are the Guide who cares about your Customer Hero's success

The road was anything but smooth. 

There were days of triumph – her website traffic surged, her social media following grew, and orders started trickling in. 

But there were also trials – unexpected expenses, technical glitches, and fierce competitors. Alex stood by her, navigating each challenge with a calm and strategic approach. 

He introduced her to allies – graphic designers, content creators, and SEO experts. Together, they countered every enemy, be it a budget constraint or a marketing hurdle.

As Jordan's brand began to gain traction, her confidence grew. She was no longer the uncertain entrepreneur in a small studio apartment. 

She had evolved, her brand alongside her. 

Her products were now not just items of fashion but symbols of a movement, a testament to the power of sustainable style.

The Passion Part: Stay with your person through the process, not just after the payment exchanges hands. Create an experience, not just a solution.

The Pen Part: Relax and engage your people through your content.  Be open about the pain and describe the steps to your solution. Work at those steps to give them an effortless simplicity. Show them you’ve been there. You are their Guide.

Step 7: Be the Transformation Your Customer Hero Longs For

woman in a group, watching a parade, flags around them, cheering someone on
When Your Customer Hero crosses the finish line, they'll remember you cheering them on...

In Alex, Jordan found more than a service provider; she found a partner in her quest, a fellow traveller on her Hero's Journey. An impossible challenge had transformed into a series of conquered milestones.

Jordan's journey was a story of a dream that found its wings, of a brand that carved its niche, and of a young entrepreneur who, against all odds, became a beacon in the world of eco-friendly fashion.

As her brand continued to grow, Jordan knew this was just the beginning.

With Alex and her newfound allies, she was ready for whatever lay ahead. 

The Passion Part: Imagine the impact of your solution changing lives. Stop and let that sink in. You’d be making a difference.

The Pen Part: Content planning is about believing so profoundly in your product that you continually paint pictures of the new future it can create. Choose 3 or 4 pillars that become themes, simplifying the problem, solution and outcome. 

Encourage, teach and find new ways to describe your belief.

Your Journey  Alongside The Customer Hero is a Journey of Trust

Two adults looking at a computer, restaurant owners, happy about what they see.
Marketing is building relationships - one Hero at a time.

Content planning walks along a path parallel to the Hero's Journey and turns the daunting world of marketing into an epic adventure - for you and for them. 

You are the Guide. The mentor. Yoda to Luke Skywalker. 

Embrace the heart inside you to lead others.

With the Hero's Journey as your map, you're not just content planning or selling a service; you're crafting a story that resonates with your audience's deepest desires and challenges.

Don’t overthink it. See the simplicity of that story.

The Passion Part:

  • Draw a diagram that looks like a journey. 

  • Use an “X” at the beginning of the path and a stick figure to represent your Customer Hero. What pain are they experiencing? What do they wish for?

  • Add footsteps leading your Customer Hero forward to meet you, their Mentor. “I get it. I’ve been where you are," you say.

  • What three simple steps do you walk them through to help them solve their problem?

  • Draw a smile on your stick figure’s face as they find what they’re looking for. 

This simple exercise sparks a vision of the Big Picture for your marketing. Let it inspire you and guide you. Be creative! Have fun with it!

The Pen Part: In every message, include the parts of the story. The pain, your empathy, your solution and the steps you have to lead them into a different experience of life.

Content is your tool. You can change the world. One Hero at a time. 


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