Did you know that your business is beloved by the gods? No? Well, I’m about to explain why, and it has everything to do with archetypes.
If you’ve been watching the blog for a while you’ll know that I talk about archetypes quite a lot and what they have to do with branding, how you can use them in your business and how powerful they are. Archetypes can be so useful in business. They can give you an amazingly strong brand, an original identity and it can really help you supercharge your business. They can also really focus your marketing efforts, whether that’s content marketing or any other kind of marketing. And today, I just want to talk a bit about exactly how you can use archetypes to get that laser focus in your marketing.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you will have heard of the phrase “ideal client.” If you’re new and you don’t really know what that means I’m just going to explain it very quickly….
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Why You Need To Know Your Ideal Client…
When it comes to marketing there are two ways of approaching it. It’s what’s known as the “spray and pray” method, which basically involves you blasting out your marketing message to … pretty much everybody … and praying that some of them are interested. Then there’s the method that involves using what is known as your “ideal client.” Now, your ideal client is the person that you would most like to spend your time working with or for, or the person that you would ideally be selling your products and services to. You basically want to think of your ideal client as an avatar for all the people that you want to attract to your business and all the people that you want to reach with your marketing message.
Your Ideal Clients are the people who absolutely love you and what you do. They are the people who really want your exact zone of genius. The very specific thing that you do, that nobody else does like you. Now you may have a unique product, you may have a completely bespoke method, you might have something that people have never seen before. It doesn’t matter. You’re not relying on the fact that they already know who you are and already know that they want things done the way you do them. What you want is the people that need a particular problem-solving that you solve perfectly.
My ideal clients all have the same problem. They need to blog for their business and they either don’t know how, don’t have time or just don’t want to do it. And I come along and do it for them. I also teach people how to do it for themselves. So that’s the problem that all of my ideal clients share, they need help with their blogging.
The problem that you solve might be very different. You could have a service that you’re selling, you could have a product you’re selling but whatever it is you’re selling, there will be a way to look at it from that perspective. From the perspective of … there is a problem and you can fix it. Your ideal client is a bit more than just a group of people who share a common problem. They are also the people that you really love working with.
Using Your Ideal Client In Your Marketing…
Knowing who your ideal client is, allows you to target your marketing efforts. So rather than using the “spray and pray” technique where you just hope to God that there’s somebody out there that wants what you’re selling, you use the information that you have about your ideal client. You use the profile that you have of that specific person to really target your marketing. So, for example, if you were running an advertising campaign on Facebook or any social media or Google or anything like that, there are demographics that you can use to target your efforts to specific people.
If you knew that you wanted to work with men between the ages of 30 and 50, you could target just that age bracket and that gender. If you knew that you wanted people who were specifically interested in … I don’t know, say … knitting, you could put knitting in as the particular interest and their vote would go directly to people interested in that particular thing. So, the more detail you have about your ideal client, the more specific you can get in your marketing efforts. And the more effective your marketing will be.
This applies to content marketing as well as advertising and other forms of marketing. When you’re writing a blog post or a social media post or you’re creating any kind of content, you’re creating videos like this one … if you have in mind your ideal client and who you are pitching it to and you create it so that it’s something that would interest them as much as possible, then it doesn’t matter that there will be lots of people who aren’t interested in what you’ve written or what you’ve recorded or what you are putting out there, because you don’t care about them. The only people you’re trying to interest are your ideal client, and the more tailored your content is to your ideal client, the easier they will find it.
Business Brand Archetypes
I’ve spoken before about archetypes and how they could be used to refine your brand identity. But today I want to talk about how you can use archetypes to really nail your ideal client.
Not literally … that came out wrong.
If you haven’t caught my previous blogs on storytelling and the use of archetypes in creating a strong brand identity, make sure you check those out. In order for your brand to have a really strong identity, you need to create an image that reflects the hopes and dreams and the ideals of your ideal customers, your ideal clients. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to use archetypes. It is really difficult to find your voice as an entrepreneur or a small business owner and differentiate yourself from the crowd and stand out.
Character And Plot Archetypes
Archetypes are a really easy way of getting a laser focus on exactly who you’re targeting and refining that voice to make sure that everything you do, everything you say. All of your marketing efforts, content or otherwise, are specifically targeted at the people you want to reach. So there are two types of archetypes that I use in The Divine Blogging Design which is my signature blogging method. There are plot archetypes which I’ve spoken about briefly in another blog, and there are also character archetypes.
I generally advise people to use both in their business to identify the plot archetype of their brand as a whole and to identify the specific character archetype of their ideal client. In some cases you don’t need both. In some cases one of them is essentially both of them. But most of the time it’s very helpful to have both even if you focus more on one than you do on the other.
The Twelve Character Archetypes
Character archetypes go back to the theories of Carl Jung who was a psychologist and he really was the first person to come up with the archetype concept. He originally outlined four and later expanded it to include 12. And the theory is essentially that, all people, in all cultures, in all societies, all over the world … at their core, are psychologically one of these 12 archetypes. So this is not to say that everybody in the world is the same. It does indicate that everybody has one of the very few major influences in their personality, which dictates what they care most about, what motivates them and the kind of things that they are most interested in … that they find to be most important.
Archetypes In Film…
So the easiest way to explain this is to think about films. Have you ever wondered why so many films have essentially the same characters in them? Why are there so many rugged, handsome, swashbuckling action heroes with a seriously tortured past? Or so many dippy, silly, romantic types who trip over their own feet and could never do anything right? Why are there so many daydreamers who are just lost in their own world and can’t stay in reality?
When you actually analyse characters in films and novels, literature, poetry, going all the way back to the oldest stories that we have … mythology, you will find that all the characters are essentially the same character but with the details changed, the places they’re in changed, the story that they’re in changed. Psychologically though, they share a lot in common. You can be the same archetype as another person and be a totally different person to them but still have core similarities.
Character Archetypes And Your Ideal Client…
So, your motives might be the same, your beliefs might be the same, your world view might be the same, your rationales for things might be the same … so whether you’re a logical thinker or a more abstract thinker or an “away with the fairies” thinker, things like that. But the reason archetypes are so so powerful in business, is because they allow you to build an extremely detailed profile of your ideal client, which is entirely based on psychology.
I know this sounds a bit woo woo and kind of kooky, but it’s actually very solidly based in psychological research. So anybody that’s ever tried to define their ideal client before has likely read through checklists and downloaded guides and watched videos like this one and probably gone through something along the alliance of a series of questions to answer like age, gender etc.
It’s really difficult to pin down the exact details of your ideal client beyond the obvious.
Asking The Complicated Questions…
It’s easy to say, “Well, I want to work with women.” It’s easy to say, “Well, really I’d prefer to work with women around my age so maybe 20 to 40.”
It’s easy to say, “They all live in England” or “They all live in Britain” or “They all live in America” or “They all live in Australia” because you know what country you’re in and you know what country. You know what area is local to you and how far from your local location you can work with people. So if you’re online, location isn’t always an issue at all; your target audience can be worldwide. If you’re a local business that relies on people in a 10 or 15-mile radius, that’s really specific. But they are easy questions to answer because it really is a case of logistics more than anything else.
Whether you want to work with men or women is either going to be a case of personal preference so you may just prefer one or the other or it’s going to be limited by the product or service that you’re selling.
If you are, for example, selling tampons, you’re not going to market them to men because men will not need them. The more difficult questions are the ones that run to motivation, to the psychology of your ideal client … the reason behind the things that they do. And on a more personal level, things like how they relate to other people, how they view friendships, how they experience the world. These are really quite complicated questions.
Why I Use Archetypes…
Archetypes are the core of my content marketing and corporate storytelling techniques. I built both of these methodologies around archetypes because they are so so powerful. When I was first starting out in business, I did a lot of work researching marketing, working with various different coaches, learning all about business and the best ways of marketing your products, your services and of creating content. And one of the things I found was firstly that everybody told me I needed to know who my ideal client was. And secondly, most people asking me about my ideal client suggested that I pick a visual representation of the ideal client I had in mind. It might be a photograph, a drawing, or something else, but it was essentially the notion that your ideal client should have an Avatar.
Archetypes go all the way back to the earliest forms of stories … mythology. And the one thing that mythology is absolutely rife with, are gods and goddesses. Now I really love my mythology, I’ve studied it a lot. So it was a bit of a no-brainer really when trying to figure out what avatars I should use to represent the 12 item archetypes, that I should use the gods. In order to help you understand them and really kind of visualise them and to connect with one of them and figure out who is the archetype of your brand, what I’ve done is I’ve associated each of these artefacts with a related god and goddess.
Gender Bending: The Duel Nature Of Archetypes
I say god and goddess because the one thing I do, which is slightly different to how most people teach archetypes, is I like to look at the male and female aspects separately. There are several reasons for this. The main one is that my area of study is gender so I know quite a lot about gender and how your gender affects what you do and how societal attitudes towards gender affect how you are perceived and how you perceive other people. This is all to do with psychology and what makes people tick. And it’s really important when you’re looking at your ideal client, to consider their gender as part of the whole.
How Men And Women Think…
I mean that as more than just saying, “Well, I prefer to work with women.” “I prefer to work with men.” “I don’t like who I work with, I’ll work with both.”
That’s fine, but whoever you decide you want to work with, whether it’s one, the other or both, you still need to understand how they think specifically. I’ll probably get yelled at by certain people for this but men and women do think differently. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other, at all. It’s just that they are different biologically, physically … men and women are different. Our brain chemistry is different, our psychological makeup is different and the manner in which we perceive things and react to things is different.
That doesn’t mean that all men think the same and all women think the same but generally speaking, if you take a man and a woman and you stick them in exactly the same situation, there will be elements to their reactions to that situation governed purely by their gender and one of two things, their perception of what their gender should be and should act like. And society’s perception of what their gender should be and should look like.
There are certain behaviours that are considered to be ladylike or unladylike. And if you are a person who views yourself as ladylike, either because you like to be seen that way or because you think that’s the appropriate way for you to act or just because you naturally act that way, you will govern your responses to things based on those parameters. So if you are a ladylike lady, you will always act in a ladylike manner unless there is absolutely no other choice. Because gender goes a lot deeper than whether you are biologically one or the other.
For that reason I present to my archetypes with both a male and female aspect. Think of it as two sides of one coin. It’s important for you to understand the whole. So you need to understand both the god and goddess aspect of your archetype even if … this is really important here … even if you only work with one gender.
Two Sides, One Coin: The Male And Female In All Of Us…
Even if you only work with females, you still need to understand both sides because some women, psychologically speaking, are more masculine than they are feminine and vice versa and also, we all have both sides in ourselves so even if we are female we still have a masculine side to our personality. So it’s not as cut and dry as saying women act like women and men act like men, that’s just absolute policy. It just doesn’t work like that. You need to understand both sides of the coin. Even if you know that the coin is always always flipped one way around, so one side is always dominant. So, for example, for most women their female side is dominant but they do have masculine traits. 12 archetypes … one god, one goddess for each archetype … two sides, one coin and you need to understand both sides.
The Patron Deities Of Your Business…
Think of it this way. Your business has a patron god and goddess. And every single thing that you do in your business needs to be filtered through that god and goddess. If you can tailor all your efforts as offerings to those particular deities, then they will repay you with their blessings. So I did not in any way mean that literally. You don’t have to be religious for this to work.
You don’t actually have to worship any of the deities in question. Even though it’s called The Divine Blogging Design this isn’t actually a religious thing in any way, shape or form. You don’t actually have to believe in these gods or worship these gods or do anything even slightly religious or spiritual in order to make this work. Think of them as avatars. That’s all they are. They are representations that make it really easy for you to connect with your ideal client. For you to figure out exactly who they are, what makes them tick and for you to tailor all of your marketing and business efforts to that very specific personality profile.
The Basics Of Character Archetypes…
I’m going to go through all the archetypes in a lot more detail in later blogs and give you specific profiles for each one and I’m going to do those two separate videos. I’m going to give you all the gods in one and then all the goddesses in another so that you can see the differences between the two. The reason I’m splitting it that way is because generally speaking, people find it easier to connect with one or the other.
People usually relate more strongly to, or can see their business more strongly in, either the male or female aspect of an archetype. So by dividing them like that and listening to them as all the male versions and then all the female versions, it’s a lot easier to pick out the one that’s right for you. Once you know what your archetype is, you can then go on the flip side and look at the opposite gender. But for today I’m just giving you a really brief rundown of the twelve archetypes.
Archetypes are grouped based on the core motivation of each archetype. You may already know what the main motivation of your ideal client is, in which case you can just look straight at the archetypes with that motivation or you may not be sure, in which case it’s a good idea to just listen to them all and see which one jumps out at you.
Character Archetype Motivation: Belonging
This is a type of personality that really likes to feel like they belong, as if they’re part of a group or a community or a wider whole.
This archetype is more often called the The Everyman, and I think that is probably a better description for it, but I don’t like using it because it suggests that it’s a boys club and only applies to men, which is not the case at all. The Orphan is basically the girl-next-door type. Down-to-earth, regular guy or girl who has their feet firmly on the ground and is really relatable to everybody. They get along with everybody. They don’t make waves, and for branding they’re seen as being honest and dependable. Brands like IKEA, KFC, Kit-Kat … things like that. They’re all Orphan brands.
These are really fun-loving brands, brands that are all about entertainment and making people laugh so things like YouTube, Ben & Jerry’s, Budweiser, these are all Jester brands.
This Archetype is usually called The Lover, but again I don’t like using that particular name because it has romantic connotations, which aren’t necessarily the case. The Enchantress is really an Idealist or Dreamer. As a brand they’re all about sensual pleasure and glamour. Brands like Chanel, Cadbury’s, Häagen-Dazs, Bailey’s … I’m trying to think of a car … Alfa Romeo. They’re all enchantress brands.
Character Archetype Motivation: Stability, Control And Order
So the second group of archetypes is all about stability, control and order. These are people that likes things to be a certain way … a place for everything, everything in its place. They are really all about creating a life that’s stable.
Now creator brands are all about unlocking your creative potential. It’s a brand for dreamers and artists and so on. Creative brands are ones like Adobe, Crayola, Lego. Anything that has to do with creativity and putting your vision out of there into the world in an actual tangible form.
Sometimes called The Caregiver or The Mother, this archetype is one for the parents, nurses, doctor, Saints. And a Nurturer business is all about offering safety and reassurance and protection to their customers so Nurturer brands are things like Fairy Liquid, Johnson & Johnson … the baby shampoo, Heinz … anything that’s about keeping you safe and secure, they are Nurturer brands.
This is a leader brand … it’s all about power and ruling. Ruler brands present a really shiny, polished, perfect image. They are power brands. They’re all about control and influence. So brands like American Express, Microsoft, British Airways, Mercedes Benz … these are all power brands, these are all Ruler brands.
Character Archetype Motivation: Risk, Achievement And Change
The third group is all about risk, achievement and change…
You’re all going to be intimately familiar with this archetype whether you realise or not and that is. Hero Brands or Warrior Brands are all about superiority and quality. Think Nike and Snickers … you know … “Get Some Nuts”. They’re both hero brands.
Now magician brands are all about transformation. They’re all about change for the better and really kind of visionary sort of achievement. So Red Bull is a good example of this. “Red Bull Gives You Wings” and Lynx, “The Lynx Effect” … Absolute Vodka, that’s another good one. These are all magician brands. They’re all about the notion that your product and service can transform your client’s life in some fundamental way.
The last one in this group is probably my favourite of all of them. We all love Rebel of the gods, don’t we? So The Rebel is sometimes also called The Revolutionary or The Outlaw. Rebel brands are all about being alternative, being different. They’re all about breaking from the norm and getting away from mainstream, hundrum life. Good examples of this are Harley-Davidson, Levi’s, and Diesel. Virgin is also another good example of a Rebel brand.
Character Archetype Motivation: Freedom And Learning
So the final group of archetypes is all about freedom and learning…
The Seeker is all about adventure and new experiences and exploring the world. So Explorer brands are all about helping their clients to experience the world. They’re about exploring the world in new and interesting ways. Corona is a good example of this, so’s Coors Beer. Lonely Planet, the guidebooks, are a good example. Johnnie Walker is another great example. So they’re all about exploration and finding new experiences.
If you’re wondering, the archetype of The Write Copy Girl is The Sage. So if you’re watching this and enjoying it and wondering who you are, you are probably a Sage. The Sage is all about knowledge. It’s sometimes called The Teacher or The Scholar. Good examples of this brand are National Geographic Channel, Google, and the BBC. Most news sites are Sage brands, as is Audi. So The Sage is always seeking truth and wisdom. So Sage brands are really all about teaching new things.
Innocent brands are, as you would imagine from the name, all about innocence. Innocent brands tend to present themselves as being quite simple, but also very pure and also very trustworthy. So good examples of this are Dove, Coca-Cola, and Nintendo.
That was obviously a really brief run-through of the twelve archetypes. They are a lot more complicated than that. I will be going into detail with them in later blogs. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss those. If you’ve enjoyed this blog, or if you have questions or comments do please let me know. Like it, share it, spread it around and I’ll be back next week…