When you’re integrating with other people and are on track to become an influencer in the world today, you must refine your story and establish your persona as a character that people can relate to and is likable. So, how do you develop your likable character?
While I caution against celebrity, we can look at some who have gotten this part down pat, and that’s why we love people like Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Aniston, Ed Sheeran, Ellen DeGeneres, LeBron James, Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Tyra Banks, Dave Chappelle, Oprah Winfrey, Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, George Clooney, and Lady Gaga. They have done the work of developing their likable character and sticking to it. We feel like we know them, who they are, and can even anticipate how they might respond in certain circumstances.
As you already know, you only have a limited amount of time to expose yourself to others. You already have your elevator pitch and 90-second Life Story. Now we’re going to the next level and you’re going to craft your likable character.
This will answer the question: Who Are You? In a big way.
You are going to create a story about yourself, not unlike you might about a character in your book, and once you’ve done this, you must stick to your script. You might be modifying your elevator pitch and 90-minute story to fit your likable character.
This is your backstory. Basically, where you’ve come from and how you’ve become the persona that you are today.
This is a process that can change over time, but today, we are going to get you to settle into this persona that you are going to prepare for yourself today. When you get challenged in an interview or online, take a second to review before you respond to a question or circumstance and think, according to your story,
“What would I do?”
The “I” in the identity that you create for yourself today. Keeping your exposure consistent to your likable character is worth so much and this consistency helps to solidify your connection to your new clients and friends.
This will also help you identify the voice, vocabulary, and tone of what you will say and how you will say it in blogs, books, interviews, and media.
To connect to your customer avatar, it would be helpful to be able to say, “I used to be just like you.”
I first learned about the likable character from Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, then Frank Kern, and now Russell Brunson seems to have picked up the gauntlet in his book, Dot com Secrets, and is helping entrepreneurs embrace this tried-and-true method of creating a likable character.
To get you going here is step-by-step layout that will help you develop your likable character.
This is where you relate a personal story that expresses how you, the hero of your story, were able to get from where you were to where you are today. This is the element that attaches you to your potential clients and friends that includes the “I was just like you,” piece. This story should inspire others and give them hope that they can have a better life by following you.
Find ways to relate key experiences and lessons you have learned throughout your hero’s story by creating mini-lessons or story-like parables that you can easily tell your audience and they can easily understand and connect with what you are trying to relate. This will give them ways to better retain the key elements, and it will make it easier for them to tell others. Your parables should be based on your experience, and priceless insights, that helped you overcome challenges that you faced. Telling these stories will help your people achieve the results they desire faster and easier.
Share Your Weaknesses
Make sure that you convey plenty of examples of you not being perfect. Confidently relating your character flaws will help people identify with you. Why? Because they aren’t perfect either. Your openness, honesty, transparency, and vulnerability will draw people who also share similar weaknesses to you, and it makes you appear more trustworthy.
This is counterintuitive for most people because they do not want to put their weaknesses out front but remember that the big picture is your being able to connect and relate to your audience, so the more vulnerable you are willing to be the more connection and influence you will be able to have while identifying with your people.
Black and White
You must find ways to polarize elements of your story that either attracts or offends people. I am a super tolerant person, so this is the hardest part of the process for me. The most effective stories have massive polarization.
The upside is that the people who agree with your never-say-die this-is-the-way-it-is like-it-or-not point of view, will immediately love you and what you’re saying. The downside to being black and white is that people who disagree with such a singular perspective will hate you, and many of them will aggressively oppose you online. Don’t take it personally.
Again, you must be more focused on being able to help as many people as possible with the least amount of effort. Your message can be far more powerful, and you’ll be able to help more people by being black and white, so be willing to endure (and ignore) the naysayers while you’re reaching for your highest good.
To create your own persona, pick one of the four basic identities to represent who you are to your audience.
1 The Leader
The leader is the type of person who gathers a group of people and encourages them to believe or think a certain way and can encourage them to influence others likewise.
2 The Adventurer
The adventurer is an explorative trendsetter who is bold enough to try new things in his or her space. Seeing things from unconventional perspectives and creating counter-intuitive strategies that are extremely effective when implemented. The adventurer helps create results, customer satisfaction, and success creatively.
3 The Reporter
This is the inquisitive seeker of truth who seeks out professionals in the field who can share their stories from their perspective. Sharing this information with your audience makes you a trusted and valuable source of information.
Your audience feels that they need the data that you are providing to help them achieve their goals or have a better life.
4 The Reluctant Hero
Maybe you’re a very private person, reserved and shy, but you’re so moved by your particular area of expertise that, even though you were resistant, you could not refuse the call to action to help others for the greater good.
You have strong feelings about your mission, and they are so compelling that they will see you past your inability to feel ultimately confident about going about the work necessary to help others who really need what you have to offer.
Pick a Story Theme
A story theme will be the framework for how you will relate your message to your audience in the best way possible. Your story may include data, but your story theme will communicate a particular feeling that your audience can easily identify with. This is the space where you will include details of your persona.
1 Loss and Redemption
This is the rags-to-riches theme, where you relate your story of transformation. You were at this lower state of being and had resigned yourself to living out this mediocre lifestyle or even resigned yourself to a life of trauma and abuse but look at you now. You are in a far better place, and you can help others achieve the same.
2 Us vs. Them
This is the premise from which movements are made as like-minded people ban together in opposition to preconceived ideas, situations, circumstances, or people in powerful positions, in an effort to make a stand and take the high road. This highly polarizing framework is very effective in influencing others to take action independently as they build confidence as a group.
3 Before and After
This was me before my massive transformation, this is me now. This is how I did it. You can do this, too.
4 It’s a Miracle!
These results would have never been realized had it not been for this miraculous discovery that made it all possible. Note that the its-a-miracle strategy is best portrayed by a persona who shares a particular pain point with the audience which has been overcome thanks to the “miracle.”
5 Secret Exposed
The desired result, whatever it is, is easily obtained “once you know the secret.” The Leader persona is often the best presenter for the secret(s)-exposed framework.
Supporting Your Credibility
No matter what you are presenting or how you try to present it, you will need methods to support your credibility. Of course, the first order of business is to be recognized as the,
Undeniable Expert in Your Field
If you’ve done the work to become the expert in your field, then when people look you up, they will feel more confident in aligning with your message and/or mission. Even so, there is little more impactful than,
The impact of social proof of your impact on the lives of others is irresistible and compelling. If you can get people to sing your praises for what you do on social media, this will propel what you are trying to accomplish greatly.