Empathy Makes Authority Palatable

Gandalf+empathy.jpeg_ alt=_Gandalf empathy

You’ve spent your career building up your authority.

Awards. Prestigious customers. Impressive stats.

FAME AND GLORY!

But when building your brand, it can be tough to figure out how to highlight and share all that impressive credibility. Especially if you believe that your customer is the hero of the story.

The reality is, it's hard to build a brand with empathy and authority. 

(Pssst… They are, by the way. The Hero. Always position your customer as the Hero and your brand as the Guide. Check out Building a StoryBrand for more on this.)

According to the StoryBrand Framework, which we are HUGE fans of at Decoded Strategies, if you are going to position yourself as the Guide your customer is looking for, you need to exhibit two qualities:

Empathy and Authority. 

  • Empathy means: I’ve walked in your shoes. I care about you. I know what you’re up against.

  • Authority means: I actually have the track record and credibility to help. 

And as a brand, you need BOTH empathy and authority. 

For instance, if you’re all empathy, you’re gonna get friend-zoned by your customers, fast. They may like you, but they won’t trust you to help them. 

But if you’re all authority, you’ll slip into the hero role, and the story becomes all about you. 

And when that happens…

Best case scenario: you’re unrelatable

Worst case scenario: you’re unlikeable. 

We don’t like either of those scenarios for your brand. So that means, you’ve got to have empathy and authority in your brand messaging in order for customers to:

1. Relate with you, and, 

2. Trust you.

So now, back to my original question... How do you share all this great credibility you have with your customers? How do you build a brand with empathy and authority?

Answer: Add in some empathy first. 

If you’ve just had an article written about you that features your expertise on customer retention, don’t just say, “Hey, here’s an article written about me.” 

Instead say, “I know that in business, nothing hurts as bad as losing customers you worked so hard to win. Here’s an interview where I give some key tips to help your customers stick around for the long-run.”

Boom! Empathy + Authority = You, the Guide they’ve been looking for. 
Gandalf+the+Guide.png_ alt=_Gandalf the Guide

Here’s the deal - empathy is what makes authority palatable. It puts you in a position where customers are ready to hear about your credibility. So sprinkle in that empathy along with your authority, and watch your business grow. 

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