How to Write a Hero's Journey (& Using It To Increase Sales)

In this article, we go in-depth on how to write a hero's journey and how to use it to increase sales via sales copy, advertising, and so on.

Storytelling is essential for any type of business, whether it sells physical goods or not. The art of telling good stories engages the reader and increases brand engagement. The Hero's Journey is a technique for improving this strategy.

The Hero's Journey can be applied to any media, including videos, marketing emails, and sales letters. We'll go over how each stage of the Journey works and how you can use it to increase brand recognition and sales.

What is the Hero's Journey?

The Hero's Journey first appeared in Joseph Campbell's 1949 book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." The concept was later adapted in Christopher Vogler's book "The Writer's Journey."

The Hero's Journey is divided into three major acts, which are further subdivided into 12 stages that represent the main character's journey throughout a good story:

Act I

  • Ordinary World
  • The Call to Adventure
  • Refusal to Call
  • Meeting with the Mentor

Act II

  • Threshold crossing
  • Tests, Allies, and Enemies
  • Approaching the Deep Cave
  • Approval
  • Reward

Act III

  • The Way Back
  • The Resurrection
  • Return with Elixir

Many movies and books follow this structure to capture the audience's attention. However, the method can also be used in content marketing for your business.

How The 12 Stages of the Hero's Journey Work

1. Ordinary World

The main character is introduced and the audience relates and connects with his daily life, relationships, and characteristics. At some point, the protagonist's talents and weaknesses are show.

Then, the talents and weaknesses of the protagonist are shown.

2. The Call to Adventure

Conflict is some challenge that takes the protagonist out of his current situation and introduces something unexpected and unusual in his routine.

This can be caused by external factors or internal uncertainties.

3. Refusal to Call

The Hero (protagonist) refuses the call to adventure. Either because they are not ready to move forward with life, or they don't feel that they measure up to the challenge.

4. Meeting with the Mentor

Amid all doubt, a mentor emerges. The mentor is experienced and will help the protagonist and encourage him to fulfill the mission.

In addition, it is at this stage that the character can receive supernatural aid. All of this helps you to overcome your fears, accept the call and strategize. Remember that if the challenge is not accepted, there is no way for the plot to continue.

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5. Threshold Crossing

It is at this stage that Act II begins. The character has already left the world that we presented in the first stage to enter the new reality that was presented to him. This is a decisive point in the story.

6. Trials, allies, and enemies

Here is where most of the story takes place. The character begins to face minor challenges and setbacks.

These situations are intended to prepare The Hero for greater challenges that will arise along the way. In this context, they begin to develop and show the audience his skills, which makes the audience start to create a relationship with the protagonist.

7. Approaching the Deep Cave

This is when the biggest challenge is about to arrive. Tensions rise and the character returns to feeling the same fears that permeated the story's beginning. This can happen due to an inner conflict.

8. The Ordeal

It's time for the biggest challenge we mentioned in the previous step. This ordeal can be, for example, a fight with the greatest of his enemies or with himself. The situation is going to be extremely difficult, spiritually and psychologically.

These are the scenes where the viewer doesn't even know what to expect. However, everything learned in the previous stages, with the mentor, allies, enemies, and the challenges experienced, will be very useful, and the character will win the battle.

9. The Reward

This is the stage in which the protagonist is rewarded for everything he has lived through. This can be done through an award, an achievement of great value, or a reconciliation with a loved one.

10. The Way Back

This part is usually concise, and, in some cases, it doesn't even exist. It is the moment when the protagonist returns to the world that we presented in the first stage. The plot usually reflects on the protagonist's past life and the feeling of accomplishment in the present.

11. The Resurrection

This is where the protagonist is called to fight one last battle with his enemy. It's a rebirth, where the character achieves a significant change for everyone.

12. Return with Elixir

The end of the journey has come. The protagonist finally returns to his reality, but different, much more integrated, and admired by everyone. Overall, it's the moment where the audience gets the moral of the story and is left with some food for thought.

Why & How to Write The Hero's Journey in Content Marketing?

The Hero's Journey can be used to get a potential customer's attention and guide them through the purchasing process by convincing the customer that they have an unfulfilled need.

Act I

At this first moment, the entrepreneur needs to imagine the customer's pain point and apply it to the Hero's Journey. With this, you will make the customer aware of a need and show them how your solution can help them.

  • Ordinary World — Awareness of the problem is still limited;
  • The Call to Adventure — The individual understands that he has that need because his company or something external has shown it;
  • Refusal of the Call — It is the reluctance to do or acquire that;
  • Meeting with the Mentor — This is when you start to trust your brand and understand that the company can be your “mentor.” Or even it could be when you have contact with an influencer.

Act II

Here, the individual has already accepted that he needs it, but he is still reluctant. Therefore, you can work on the reciprocity trigger to build commitment.

  • Threshold Crossing — This is when the commitment to change emerges;
  • Tests, allies, and enemies — It's time to experience the first change or small doubts;
  • Deep Cave Approach — Here, the customer is getting ready for a significant change, which could be the purchase decision;
  • The Ordeal — It is the attempt to convince the client;
  • The Reward — These can be the benefits acquired by the customer after making the purchase.

Act III

In the last stage, your lead is already highly qualified. That's when he's already been convinced by his speech, achieved a big change, and wants to make the road back. That is, he achieved the desired objective from his solution.

  • The Way Back — The client wants to dedicate himself to greater change;
  • Resurrection — This can be considered the moment of the client's last attempt to achieve a greater goal;
  • Return with Elixir — this is the final domain of the problem.

Understanding the Hero's Journey seems easy, but applying it correctly requires a lot of study and dedication.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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