The 6 Storyselling Archetypes

Storytelling is the oldest of all art forms. Dating back across eons, indigenous tribes roaming the globe kept the flames of their culture and history burning brightly from generation to generation through the magic and wisdom of storytelling. Through the centuries, storytelling was considered a sacred ceremony in most cultures, and storytellers were honoured as wise and knowledgeable. Today storytelling remains the key to unlocking experiences, emotions and knowledge.

Why Storytelling is key for your brand and profile.

In recent decades the world has experienced deep societal changes, most notably social media remapping our business landscape. Yet, one thing remains at the heart of business - the stories. Storytelling has not only survived, its thriving as the most relevant and authentic expression in social platforms for people to share their experiences.

Understanding the power of persuasion through storytelling is now the new art form.

People are 22 times more likely to remember a fact that’s been wrapped in a story, shares cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner. Why? Because stories allow developing a deeper connection with the audience. It triggers emotions and ignites the imagination of the listeners. It helps people visualise and experience the feelings and see themselves in the story.

By telling a story, people provide insights into their lives to listeners. It’s no different with a brand. We can try to convey the attributes of a brand in a customer’s mind, but to have our brand deeply seated in their hearts, we use storytelling.

Through stories, brands, and the people behind them, share their deepest motivations, their fears, triumphs and “why” that others are compelled by - and relate to. They make your brand, and you, human.  

For some, Storytelling is an innate ability from the moment they string their first words together. If that’s not you, never fear. To bring your brand story, or profile, to life, simply follow the archetypal story pattern of the Hero’s Journey where the ‘hero’ goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and returns changed or transformed.

The four vital layers for your Hero’s Journey are:

  1. What was before?
  2. What was your Call to Adventure?
  3. What was that Journey?
  4. What is your New Norm or Victory State?

These 4 key components entice your audience to be on your journey at a level of deep inward emotion rather than appealing just to their intellect.

What journey have you had, and how do you Storysell those experience so others can be moved by them?  

Another driving force to lodge your message in the hearts of others is to leverage Archetypes. Archetypes were a concept introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed they were models of people, behaviours, or personalities - or inborn tendencies that play a role in influencing all human behaviour.

The world's most successful brands tap in this psychological perspective to position their brands with pinpoint clarity through human insights and instincts.

6 Storyselling Archetypes

When Storytelling has an injection of human reality to sell a concept, product or service, through experience, it becomes powered as Storyselling. We’ve uncovered the top Storytelling Archetypes to inspire your own story to ignite your brand.  

There’s something innate in us as human beings that responds to stories.
That’s why story and storytelling is such a powerful tool for building a company or personal brand.
Glen Carlson - Dent Podcast EP.70 Build Your Story Brand with Nicole Hatherly


  1. The Comeback

I was at the brink, but I found a way back. Now I’m in a better situation and I have got insights.”

Many can deeply relate to this archetype, making it an accessible and  effective tool in conveying a brand’s message. Great examples of these are Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins. Their journeys were filled with pure grit, determination, setbacks, and ah-ha moments. Just like Glen Carlson’s example on the Dent Podcast, “The fact is, Superman would be a pretty boring story if it wasn’t for Kryptonite.”

  1. The Transformation

“I was ordinary, I had an issue. I found a solution to change or heal myself. Now I’m transformed.”

Those who survived an issue like a health setback, sought an alternative to usual treatment, or found a way through - and are thriving are the Transformation archetype. A journey filled with research, lack of support, experiments, scepticism, wins, and setbacks reach the point you’re now transformed and help others do the same. Think Louise Hay (Hay House), or closer to home with Sarah Wilson (IQS).

  1. The Discovery

“I found this incredible discovery and it changed my perspective”.

Simon Sinek and Prof. Muhammad Yunus (founder of microfinance) are just some of the well-known thought leaders that personify the Discovery Archetype. Their journeys were filled with curiosity, experimentation, knowledge sharing, and most importantly enlightenment. These sage individuals discovered something remarkable while doing their day to day activity that changed their perspective and the course of their life. They are driven by the notion that everyone has to know, so we can all be better together.

  1. The Mastery

“I’ve worked deeply for in my area of expertise for many years and I have mastered my art.”

The Mastery Archetype is a persona that is often associated with successful athletes and Business experts like Nadine Champion and Tim Ferris. This brand persona embodies a journey filled with study/training, focus, repetition, research, wins, breakthroughs and celebration. Brands guided by this archetype are masters in their field and sharing their expertise.

  1. The Customer’s Shoes

“I had a need. I couldn’t find a solution, so I created one.”

There is no better example of the Customer’s Shoes Archetype than Richard Branson, the man behind one of the most successful airline companies that ever existed. Branson changed the course of the airline industry, when stuck in Porto Rico and forced to find his own solution - and in doing so realised it was a universal problem he solved for. The Customer’s Shoes archetype embodies a situation with a gap and someone who creates a viable solution.

This Archetype’s journey is filled with risk, determination, investment, research, setback and success and eventually sharing the breakthrough solution with others.

  1. The Insider Secrets

“I can tell what really goes on behind the doors in this industry.”

The Insider Secrets is commonly used in beauty, travel, real estate, and food industries. Those leveraging this archetype are successful through insider knowledge and tips. The journey is filled with tricks, tips, advancement, industry understanding, scepticism, and wins. Many social influencers are guided by this archetype as they share behind the scenes glimpses and insider secrets to help others succeed.

By Storyselling your audience is instantly at a depth with you. They see themselves in your story and become a part of it. Storyselling is what connects people to humanity. By harnessing this, you’ll be guided to position your brand story in a way that is as unique as you are. As Simon Sinek shares, “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.”



Nicole Hatherly is a leading Brand and Profile Strategist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer and podcast producer. For over 25 years she has delivered award-winning strategies for iconic and international brands.

As Founder and Director of Brand True North, Nicole works with business leaders, thought leaders, founders and entrepreneurs to position their brands for maximum impact and their personal brands and profiles for high credibility and trust to deliver invaluable media exposure and prestigious business awards.

How to Market Yourself Like a Product

How to Market Yourself Like a Product

“I’ll have what she’s having!”

We’ve all experienced it, seeing an endless line of people waiting for days just to get their hands on the newest gadget, hours to experience the latest restaurant or over-investing to get their daily fix of coffee.

And we’ve all wondered “why the wait, the inconvenience – the bother?”

When we dig into what ‘they’ve got’ and how it moves people to do whatever it takes to ‘buy’ -the answer is as simple as it is complex – effective brand positioning, a valued offering and clever marketing.


How to Market Yourself Like a Product


Brand positioning and marketing exists at the insatiable intersection of art, science and human behaviour. Leading brands globally in this exciting area for over 25 years, I know effective marketing is a critical driver for any successful brand to thrive. In fact, studies suggest most companies invest a significant portion of time, money and people in marketing their brands and products.

A recent survey conducted by CMO on the top 3,000 for-profit companies in the US, found that average marketing budgets experienced a spike in growth last year, and are set to increase further to 2020.

Spend in Social Media Marketing has also seen a rapid increase in 2018 due to social platforms‘levelling the playing field’ in spreading brand awareness. It’s predicted social media marketing spend will increase to 66% over the next 5 years to 2023.


How to Market Yourself Like a Product


Marketing isn’t a destination. It’s a continuously evolving process. Through the decades, the world has been swept up in the rise and fall of various marketing strategies and campaigns.

A powerful marketing strategy can be the silver bullet to brand success.

One immortal example of this is Apple’s Mac vs PC campaign, featuring a series of quirky and funny conversations between a PC and a Mac, catapulted it as one of the most successful product marketing campaigns in history. It supercharged Apple’s sales and drove the stock price up 79%.

Marketing Strategies for Personal Brands and Thought Leader Profiles.

Historically marketing strategies have advertised, promoted and sold tangible products and
valuable services for decades. Yet it’s only in the last handful of years, we’ve seen the surge of
marketing strategies used to promote personal brands and profiles.

So, is it possible to successfully market yourself just like a product or service positioning your
personal brand for maximum impact?


As a Brand Strategist specialising in personal brand and thought leader profiles, I know we’re just seeing the tip of the personal brand iceberg in leveraging marketing frameworks, and the
personal brand mecca LinkedIn, to promote your most valuable product in the market – YOU.

Ultimately, people trust people. People buy from people. People invest in people. It’s human
nature and leveraging this just is simply smart ‘business’.

So, where to start? Working with hundreds of personal brands and key people of influence to
clarify and communicate their value with confidence for cut through, here are my top 5 expert
steps to effectively market yourself as a product – and you can’t skip any for ultimate

1. Know your True North – your ultimate ‘why’.

Take a moment. Ask yourself

  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What’s the unique value I offer?
  • Who values what I’m passionate about and excel in?
  • What problem do I solve, and who do I solve this for?
  • What ‘business’ am I in, and why?

Your clarity in the above – is your True North. Once you nail this, everything else radiates from this grounded ‘truth’. This is the remarkable and solid foundations – the blueprint for your personal brand.

Your personal brand’s True North​ is your compass point to confidently move forward from, refer to when exploring and return to when you’re off course.

My initial step when working with any brand is to focus on the essential positioning of the brand by deeply exploring the questions above – in micro detail and embedding the True North back in brand narrative, team and operations.

It’s no different when exploring the essence of personal brand to position a person for maximum impact.

Your brand positioning is how you affect the way someone thinks and feels...positively.

As famously quoted by world-renowned thought leader Simon Sinek,

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

How to Market Yourself Like a Product


2. Captivate your audience through Storyselling

Your next step in marketing yourself as a product is to captivate your audience with a compelling story of your True North, or your ‘why’.

People are drawn to stories as they ignite our imagination, help visualise and experience our world through feelings and adventure. Your story invites others in, to become a part of your narrative, so make it relatable so they can be one with your journey.

Jerome Bruner, an influential name in the field of Psychology, profoundly noted that people are 22 x more likely to remember a fact that’s been told in a story, making storytelling a powerful personal brand marketing tool. It ensures you’re memorable in the senses and emotions of your audience – so aim for left and right brain activation!


How to Market Yourself Like a Product

When storytelling has an injection of human reality to sell a concept, product or service, through experience, it becomes powered as Storyselling.


To lodge your message deep in the hearts and emotions of your audience, you’ll find it valuable to identify your personal storyselling archetypes. I’ve created the top Storytelling Archetypes to inspire your own story to ignite your brand.


There’s something innate in us as human beings that responds to stories. That’s why story and storytelling is such a powerful tool for building a company or personal brand. 

Glen Carlson – Dent Podcast EP.70 Build Your Story Brand with Nicole Hatherly

  1. The Comeback
  2. The Transformation
  3. The Discovery
  4. The Mastery
  5. The Customer’s Shoes
  6. The Insider Secrets

Storyselling is what connects people to humanity. By harnessing this, you’ll be guided to position your brand story in a way that is as unique as you are.


3. Position yourself for maximum impact

Now you have your Personal Brand blueprint in your True North, your powerful Storyselling, and your audience is all aboard in your journey – your next step is to position yourself for maximum impact using the invaluable question “What’s in it for them?”.

This personal brand positioning step is your architecture.

When strategically developing a brand, many people get stuck here and feel like they’re in an endless pit of quicksand. This ‘how long is a piece of string’ stage is notorious for causing angst and frustration for brand owners, but with the ideal strategy and plan, this stage can be positive, fruitful and lead to great outcomes.

Below is my simple 3 step strategy for creating your personal brand architecture:

  1. Consistently use your blueprint – True North and Storyselling
  2. Draft your Personal Brand profile with a focus on your audience and the value they ‘get’.Essentially, this is your ‘promise’.
  3. Build your Personal Brand thought leadership content as now you have their attention with your ‘promise’, you need to confidently deliver the proof of your promise. This is the equivalent to a brand selling their products and services.


How to Market Yourself Like a Product


Your personal brand profile

Be clear when writing your personal brand profile, or narrative, and craft it in terms of impact for your audience.

Rather than listing what you’ve done, delivered, studied, slayed and nailed - focus on what I call‘WIIFM’ (what’s in it for me?) from your audience’s perspective. Also, weed your “I” garden and re-write as many sentences starting with “I” as possible.

Rather than saying “I have spent 25 years in marketing, advertising, communications and digital delivering strategies for brands to position themselves in market”, try “With over 25years of experience in marketing, advertising, communications and digital, I offer deep value in delivering award-winning strategies that position brands for maximum impact”. Boom.

Your personal brand thought leadership content

Building your thought leadership content can be as simple as knowing what type of articles you'll share to your audience in LinkedIn or Facebook relative to the value you add.

It can move into a full content strategy for social media, a book deal, your keynote and panel topics and media commentary.

Once you have your personal brand and thought leadership positioning and strategy – time for step 4.


4. Create compelling collateral

The deepest challenge in marketing yourself as a product is selling something that’s not tangible, it’s basically like selling air.

So, how do you do it? The answer is by making the intangible into tangible through compelling personal brand collateral.

Traditional brand collateral, according to Lorraine Carter is the “collection of media used to promote the brand and support the sales and marketing of a product or service. It’s the tangible evidence of the brand, designed congruent with the brand's core values and personality.”


How to Market Yourself Like a Product


Investing in well thought-out and professionally crafted personal brand collateral is key.

It attracts your ideal audience, offers them a way to follow you and positions you as an influential and trustworthy expert, a valuable resource, and an industry thought leader.

From a compelling LinkedIn profile and “About Us” page on your business website – where you're front and centre of the story – to a personal brand focused website, social media profiles, thought leadership blog posts, a speakers’ kit, media kit and press releases – it’s imperative to bring your personal brand to life with the tangible evidence designed with your blueprint and architecture in mind.


5. Deliver on your personal brand promise

None of the above is as valuable as this final – and ongoing – step in delivering your personal brand promise. As Simon Sinek’s shares, in his best-selling book Start with Why,


“Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down.”


How to Market Yourself Like a Product


Effectively positioning yourself is the initial milestone to successfully marketing yourself as a product.

Once you’ve made a promise and established trust between you and your audience, it’s vital to maintain this relationship by delivering your brand’s promise consistently, by staying true to your ‘why’ and keeping it alive.

YOU are the most exciting project you’ll ever work on. Make it matter. Make your impact and share your legacy for generations to come.

The key is to start now. There’s never been a more exciting time to ride the wave of personal brand and positioning YOU for maximum impact.

If you need help or support, my Thought Leader and Profile True North program is a perfect place to start. Email to book in a 30min chat anywhere in the world to tailor the program for you.



Nicole Hatherly

Nicole Hatherly is a leading Brand and Profile Strategist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer and podcast producer, offering over 25 years’ experience delivering award-winning strategies for iconic and international brands.

As Founder and Director of Brand True North, she works with business leaders, thought leaders, founders and entrepreneurs to position their brands for maximum impact and their personal brands and profiles for high credibility and trust to deliver invaluable media exposure and prestigious business awards.

Living A Quadrant Life

Living a Quadrant II Life

Let’s start with a quick quiz:

It’s a tough one, or maybe not.

A is the most urgent one, but so is C – just in case someone needs something first thing.

B isn’t urgent and can be left out of the equation for a while. D is easiest, quickest and, let’s face it, what we’d most want to do.

We tend to prioritise tasks based on urgency, but what about important tasks?

There is a HUGE difference between URGENT and IMPORTANT and this simple concept holds the master-key to changing your life dramatically – forever

In his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains most people are driven by the concept of urgency, but to drive positive change in our lives, we need to reorganise the way we spend our time; based on the concept of importance – not urgency

In essence, every activity we do can be put in one of four quadrants:

I.    Urgent and important

A: Type out the agenda for the 11am meeting you set up last week

II.    Not urgent and important

B: Start the productivity report due in 3 weeks

III.    Urgent and not important

C: Scan your emails and respond to urgent ones

IV.    Not urgent and not important

D: Quickly surf the net, get gossip, news headlines sport results 

The type of activities within these quadrants look like this:

Most people strive in Quadrants III and IV (C and D in our quiz) but effective, proactive and highly successful people thrive in Quadrant II (B in our quiz – and the least likely choice). This is why Quadrant II is called the Quadrant of Quality & Personal Leadership.

Ask yourself – “What is the one thing I could do on a regular basis that would make a tremendous positive difference in my life? Chances are it's a Quadrant II activity.

In his great blog post Hurry, Seth Godin summed up how focusing on important issues in business can fundamentally underpin the success of an organisation.

Urgent issues are easy to address. They are the ones that get everyone in the room for the final go-ahead. They are the ones we need to decide on right now, before it’s too late. Smart organizations ignore the urgent. Smart organizations understand that important issues are the ones to deal with. If you focus on the important stuff, the urgent will take care of itself.

The key to being effective is to:

  • Focus mostly on Quadrant II (important) tasks to prevent things sliding into Quadrant I (urgent).
  • In the first quiz, If I’d set up a meeting last week, sending the agenda would have been in Quadrant II and done before it was urgent.
  • Avoid office distractions.
  • Stay out of Quadrants III and IV – and that's not easy.

A study by Basex found office distractions take up 2.1 hours of the average day – a whopping 28% – with workers taking an average of five minutes to recover from each interruption and return to their original tasks.

Still another study found a group of workers interrupted by e-mail and telephones scored lower on an IQ test than a test group that had smoked marijuana.

I’ll leave you with this final Seth Godin wisdom:

The most important idea of all is this one: You will succeed in the face of change when you make the difficult decisions first.

Enjoy your new Quadrant II life!