Everyone loves a great character in a story. Whether it be a book, a movie or a TV series – good characters result in good stories. But have you ever thought about what character is best for your online video presence?

See, I strongly believe that as and entrepreneur or brand, in order for your marketing and brand communications to be effective it is important to have a clear idea of who you are. But don’t try to invent yourself, or attempt to communicate to your audience every little intricacy that makes you you (that deeper relationship comes later) Instead by embracing the idea of archetypes you’ll be able to instantly, and clearly communicate who you are and what you stand for by tapping in to our shared human experience.

Mr Jung himself

Swiss psychologist Carl S. Jung used the word “archetype” to refer to the recurring patterns found in universal stories, identifying the themes, symbols and imagery as part of the human psyche. Throughout history, many of the same characters appear in literature, religion, folklore and mythology again and again – hence the term character archetype. They are essentially a model for creating a certain type of character with which people are familiar.

The beauty of character archetypes is that they enable us to make quick connections with a character because we have experienced this type of character before. We feel instantly connected and with that comes a range of expectations we have in terms of that character. Dr. Carol Pearson puts it this way:  

“Archetypes provide the deep structure for human motivation and meaning. When we encounter them in art, literature, sacred texts, advertising —or in individuals or groups— they evoke deep feeling within us.”

By adopting a character archetype as part of your online video strategy you increase the ability for people to quickly make an emotional connection with who you are and what you do. Are you about fun, efficiency, wonder, exploration, care-giving? These can be picked up quickly by viewers when you are clear on this yourself.

Once you know your character archetype this will also give a clear direction to the type of video content you’ll want to produce. On one hand it will cement the staple type of content that you create, but on the other it will enable you to include content that adds a level of surprise, by occasionally creating “out-of-character” videos. Really good stories are driven by both good archetype characters and those characters acting both aligned with and then different from the expected character archetype.

And always remember, adopting a character archetype is not about pretending to be something you’re not, but it is about knowing who you are to enable others to connect quickly on an emotional level.

So, what’s your character archetype? Let me know in the comments.