Finding Your Characters: 7 People for Powerful Stories

Once you understand your product as a real life living breathing person, it will open you up to seeing your business as a player in the story of life. Your product will not help everyone's story, there are some stories that do not need you, and their are some that love you. Think through the following characters, make this a fun exercise if you want!

1. Find your cheerleader: 

If you've been in business long enough, you may find out that some people just jump for joy for your product. FIND THEM FIRST and give them an opportunity to be in your video or figure out why they like you.  

Ask yourself: 

Who loves me and needs my product/service? Why?

Specify interests, age, and sex. The more information you have the better. Who would you imagine representing your product? If your product were a person, how would he or she act, move, dance, sing. What would they wear, where do they live, what's their job, where do they go for fun? 

2. Find your villain: 

Usually you have an enemy afoot. They don't have to wear scary masks or anything - they just don't use your product directly and may even be in competition with it.

Ask yourself:
Who hates, doesn't believe in, has no need for, and/or is in direct competition with your product?

It's unfortunate to think such a person exists, but knowing this character will keep you from marketing to the wrong crowd. It may even give you some leverage to make light of the fact that they hate you so much.

DISCLAIMER: Keep your integrity, fight for what is right... but don't play dirty. At any given time, your enemy could change into any of these other characters in a split second - and who knows who their friends are. So play nice and be the good guys.

REMEMBER: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

3. Find their friends:

 Figure out who these people hang out with... The cheerleader will usually attract some jocks, and the heckler will do his best to find his minions. Figure out who these characters are and get to know them. You will learn a great deal about what motivates your biggest fans. 

Ask yourself: Who is the best friend of my cheerleader? Who is the best friend of my enemy? Is my enemy trying to become friends with my cheerleader? How can I save my cheerleader from harm!?

If you don't feel like you're saving or helping others from a bad guy, you may not be making much of a difference. It's dramatic, yes, but this is where your passion is - and this is what you will need to reach these folks. A lot of passion. 

4. Find their mentors: 

Now we have a solid cast of characters, now let's find our Mr. Miyagi, our coaches, our thought leaders. These are the people who are shaping culture. Find the musicians, the filmmakers, the designers *ahem* who know how to capture the attention of a wide range of people.  

Ask yourself: Who do these people listen to? Where are their values? Are they found in church, at home, or at school? Do they look up to a certain celebrity or prescribe to a particular charity organization? Who do they feel (in a matter of authority) is qualified to speak into their life?

5. Find their love interest:  

I've seen so many companies make a (freebie) mistake and give their whole business away. Sometimes gifts don't really do the same as a written thank you note to your customers, or taking time to visit them at their office, greeting them with a hug or a high five or offering to help them by doing something for them. The more you use these ways of loving your customer the more you will learn about them.

Ask yourself: To and from whom do our characters give or receive the following? What about you? 

1. an affirming word
2. an act of service
3. quality time
4. physical touch
5.  gifts 

If you're interested in more about these 5 Love Languages, definitely check it our and take the test here

6. Find their family: 

Taylor Swift did this with her fans before she released her pop album. She went around to her fan's homes and payed her new music. This kind of personal touch goes a long way. Find those cheerleaders and really establish a relationship with them. They will be there every game win or lose.

These customers ARE your family. Treat them like that and love them back the same way: No bribes or special treatment necessary, just unconditional love and a desire to know them by name. To them, this is a priceless treasure that will warm their hearts their whole lives. 


Ask yourself

  • What kind of family does you cheerleader have?
  • Are their parents happily married, are their siblings superstars or black sheep - older or younger?
  • Are they a big family or small.
  • How do they celebrate their time together?
  • Do they play puzzles, go to sporting events, go out to eat, or read books? What kind? And why?
  • Imagine what this scene looks like. Having trouble? Maybe go and visit one day. 

7. Your identity in Christ: 

Let all these characters shed light on your identity - they will give you clues as to where you stand in the story world. And all the while they will give you clues, it's ultimately your decision. I personally believe that my identity isn't my own, that it is in Christ - and I am made in the image and likeness of a perfect God. This doesn't mean that I AM perfect, but my higher self is.

The eternal part of me is perfect and the finite self is in the process of being perfected. The finite self will never make it.

In fact, I assume that by the end of my life I will have a longer list of imperfections than perfections. What I do know, is that when I focus on my identity in Christ, it's much easier to see how much room I have to grow.

This is the plot line - that you grow in love for God and for fellow man. The money won't go with you, so find those people who need you and do all you can to love them - even those who hate your guts. 

Ask yourSELF: Who am I? What kind of cheerleader would go crazy for me? What do I look like, act like, dance like, sound like? What influencers out there represent my beliefs?

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