I need a HERO.
What do you think of when you read that?
- Fictional characters, like Thor, spiderman, or Ironman 3 (the best hero and I will forever die on that hill)?
- Real life hero, like your mom, your High School track coach, or librarian?
- Or Bonnie Tyler hitting the high notes on the Shrek soundtrack?
✍puts *watch Shrek* on to-do list
I think of none of those things…
Well, I think of Robert Downey Jr. for a second, but then I scene cut ? in my mind to – the HERO’s journey.
If you’ve ever watched a drama or read an action novel, you’ve probably seen the Hero’s journey in action.
The Hero’s journey is a simple framework for making sure we write a compelling, binge-worthy story.
I mean, come on…
We love the underdog story.
We love the GOTCHA moment when the Villain is captured.
We love the kiss-the-girl-saved-the-world-nail-the-press-conference reward in the final moments of the movie.
But as much as love CONSUMING these stories. Sometimes, we suck at actually writing them.
So much content I see on the interweb makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out and delete all of the apps on my phone. Said a less dramatic way…it’s painfully boring.
If you feel like you’ve been trying like hell to make great content but your storytelling sounds a bit more like a 1st grader trying to recap their day at school instead of a Netflix Top 10 show…?♀️
Then your HERO story is probably lacking.
There’s a whole book that teaches you the Hero Story. And honestly, it’s probably better (and definitely more detailed) at explaining this than I’m about to.
But I’ll try so that you can start playing with the concept in your content and write more things people care about.
Also, btw, your client is the hero. Not you – even if you’re using yourself in the story. Let’s call her Alice. Now grab your popcorn and get to reading about her HERO journey.
ALICE, THE HERO
1. Ordinary World
Alice is a 9-5er who travels to NYC 1x/mo for work, loves going for everything bagels every Friday with her coworkers, and spends her Saturday mornings doing Hot Yoga with her friends.
2. Call To Adventure (adventure is a kind word for it here)
Her PMS symptoms keep getting worse and ruining the everyday rituals she loves – she’s taken 4 extra days off work already this year and some days she can barely leave the couch. She binges a lot of The Office, and getting to Yoga is a lot harder than it used to be.
3. Refusal Of The Call
She carries Midol everywhere and keeps a heating pad hidden at her desk, but she doesn’t yet realize she’s not forever doomed to having PMS symptoms. So she tries her best to ignore them.
4. Meeting The Mentor (aka YOU)
Then a friend tells her about YOU – a health practitioner who specializes in hormone health and helping women get rid of super painful PMS symptoms. She books a call.
5. Crossing The Threshold/Working Through the Resistance
Alice isn’t super comfortable with asking for support. After all, she’s never really had medical issues before, and most women have jaw-clenchingly painful periods, right? But she realized how much her pain holds her back when she had to skip her cousin’s baby shower over it, so she signs up to work with you.
6. The Mini Challenges/Reward
PMS pain isn’t the only unhappy signal her body’s been sending – it takes her hours to fall asleep, and she’d been holding onto more weight than normal.
She starts her work with you, and her sleep instantly improves, which increases her energy. It’s a bit of a yo-yo between loving the progress and also grieving some of the habits that used to bring her the most comfort (middle of-the-night snacking no more).
7. The Final Challenge
Alice has a cruise she booked with her new fiancé and her period is due right smack dab in the middle of the trip.
She’s super nervous about whether or not all of the work she’s been doing will actually make a difference…or wondering if she’ll be stuck on the ship during the one-stop she was most excited for – Grand Cayman.
She follows your advice and is determined to stay consistent with the practices – even though she’s craving some of her old habits.
8. The Victory
*drumroll plz* because…She has a pain-free period!! She feels great, her skin is clear, and she never once feels burnt out during the trip. Alice barely even thinks about her period while on the island, and it quickly becomes the best vacation she’s ever taken.
She’s done it, and she’s so proud of her progress.
9. Looking ahead at the changes
At this point, she’s rebuilt her lifestyle to better align with the happy signals her body is giving her, but she knows it won’t always be easy to stay consistent.
However, her mindset is much less “all-or-nothing” and much more “do the simple stuff I know works”.
As she plans her upcoming wedding, she continues to come back to the stress management techniques you gave her, and she does a check-up session a few weeks before the big day.
So this story was not quite as adventurous as Thor saving the planet Earth, but it is definitely more compelling than reading a bullet-pointed list of PMS symptoms.
And here’s the thing…you won’t use this entire framework in every piece of content. Please don’t, actually.
What you will do is expand on and play with each element of the journey throughout your content. Make it fun. Make it entertaining. Make it engaging.
And, if you’re writing testimonials in story style…use this format! Happy storytelling.