How to Make Your Reader the Hero of Every Story

How to Make Your Reader the Hero of Every Story

Have you ever talked with someone who makes every part of the conversation about them, regardless of the topic?

You: “Did I tell you Bigfoot came to our front door last week disguised as a pizza delivery guy?”

Them: “Really? So let me tell you about my promotion…”

We’ve all been there.

It’s as if the other person is talking to themselves. They’d carry on with their narcissistic convo even if you walked away.

The same goes for writing. Emails, landing pages or sales pages — all need to make your customer the hero.

Not you.

Not your product.

Your reader.

You’re there to guide them to make the right decision for them.

You’re the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker as he begins his journey to become a Jedi Knight.

The minute you make it about yourself, they’ll lose interest.

In fact, you have exactly 50 milliseconds to capture your reader’s attention, according to research from The Journal of Behavior and Information Technology.

The study was based on people viewing a webpage. But I can’t imagine it’s much different for any online page. 

We’re all looking for a reason to stay.

Or bounce.

So how do we do this? Great question.

For one, your reader must see themselves at the core of every story you tell. 

Every sentence should feature them either moving towards achieving their goal, achieving that goal or basking in the afterglow of having achieved it.

Of course, your solution may be the means to the end – as a fire truck brings the firemen to the fire.

For example, if you sell a health or fitness product, the product is the “guide” to help them reach their goal. 

Ultimately, THEY are the hero. 

(If this idea intrigues you, I highly recommend the book, Building a Story Brand, by Donald Miller.)

Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers suggests using the following format to help you hone in on ways to make your reader the hero (which she calls Superman):

Create four columns with the labels: 

  1. Clark Kent
  2. Feature
  3. Superman
  4. Those Saved

Next, fill in as follows:

  • Clark Kent: Describe the “before” state your reader is in – their challenge
  • Feature (product or service): What is the feature and describe its function
  • Superman: Describe the amazing outcome your reader will achieve during or after using the feature
  • Those Saved: describe the broader benefit your reader will realize for her community, workplace, family, etc. 

This practice will enable you to stop writing about yourself. And your offer. Your solution becomes the guide or sidekick, where it belongs.

Here’s an example for my business:

  • Clark Kent: People who write emails or web pages that doesn’t convert. They’re frustrated at putting out emails that get no response. Products aren’t selling. Potential customers aren’t signing up.
  • Feature: My copywriting services help boost conversions and opt-ins with high-converting copy.
  • Superman: Clients experience more sales, better engagement, better leads and overall boosts business. 
  • Those Saved: High converting copy contributes to increased income, eases the stress of spinning one’s wheels without getting anywhere, and better overall life satisfaction. And people who buy from you (the customer) benefits from your services, improving their lives, which brings you joy.

So now you know why you’re my hero.

Now make sure YOUR reader is the hero of your copy.

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to Use Humor to Lift Conversions

How to Use Future Pacing in Your Copy to Inspire Action

6 Ways to Boost Website Conversions

Till next time,


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