Just today I came across a Ted talk from Dorie Clark, one of my favorite business authors. I particularly liked her book Entrepreneurial You. Dorie is clearly a thought leader and an Educator archetype. Of course, Dorie (like most people in the world), is completely unaware of my framework of marketing archetypes.
However, as I apply this framework, I see most successful business owners, who engage in consistent marketing, fit extremely well into one archetype or another.
Owning A Cat: A Personal Story Or A Purposeful Business Story?
As usual, Dorie’s talk was original and down to earth. She talked about why we’re really busy. She noted that being busy can come from trying to do something we have no idea how to do (“increase sales by 30%) or spend time in meetings and emails. Being busy can reinforce a feeling of being “in demand” in one’s field.
But she also noted that being busy can become an escape. As an example, she shared a personal story. She’d lived with her cat, Gideon, for 17 years. When the cat died, she didn’t want to go home. She spent two years traveling because she just didn’t want to spend time in her apartment that seemed empty without the cat.
So how does this story support Dorie Clark’s personal brand?
(1) Dorie didn’t tell her story to build closeness with her followers. Consistent with her Educator archetype, she wanted to clarify an important point. Being busy can be an escape.
(2) Dorie has become extremely well-known and respected in her field (living proof that a celebrity doesn’t always activate a Celebrity archetype). I don’t think the story makes her seem especially vulnerable to criticism, except from a few insensitive souls who can’t understand why anyone would mourn a pet and might dismiss her as a crazy cat lady.
Even if it did, a ‘“higher status” person will be more likable when they share personal information, compared to “lower status” persons. I discuss this in several of my course on copywriting with storytelling
(3) The story is immensely relatable. Anyone who’s lost a pet – or on a larger scale, a spouse or relative or close friend – can relate. As Dorie noted, it’s “better than crack” but ultimately not sustainable. She could as easily tell a story about a friend or even a public figure.
As an Educator archetype, Dorie uses her story to create an “aha” moment for her listeners. She doesn’t end with “how-to” tips. She’s giving us a new way to think about being busy.
With an Educator, those “how-to” tips are optional. If Dorie Clark were following a Role Model archetype, she would go on to share how she learned from her experience and transformed her life. If she were a Celebrity she’d have dwelt on the pain of loss, the joy of recovery, and most likely an appreciation for being able to fly around the world in first class cabins and luxury hotels.
Do you have a story you’d like me to analyze? Send it to my contact page.