Matt Schlegel presents to an SBA T.H.R.I.V.E group of emerging leaders on how to use the Enneagram to create marketing narratives.  Matt shares how to create a narrative for each Enneagram type, and then works with two leaders in the group to create specific narratives, one to market to Enneagram Type 4 clientele and the other to market to Enneagram Type 6 customers.

#leadership #Enneagram #marketing

[Video Transcript]

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Let me welcome Matt to the SBA Thrive group for entrepreneurship and all the CEOs of the group. Matt is going to talk to us about the nine market narratives for using the Enneagram to market your business. Is that correct? Right. Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

So anyway, I’m just going to introduce Matt Schlegel. I’ve known him for quite a while. I’m learning a lot through him through the Enneagram. He’s teaching me a lot, but anyway. So Matt, why don’t you just go ahead and get started. As the other people want to come in, I’ll just add them.

Matt Schlegel:

Sounds great. Thank you, Mari-Lyn for having me speak today. I’m delighted to be here. I appreciate the interest in your group for this powerful tool that I use called the Enneagram. This is a follow-up session to a previous session where we just talked about an overview of what the Enneagram is and how it can be used as a personality dynamic system to better understand yourself, better understand others on your team, better understand the interpersonal dynamics that occur. The Enneagram is a wonderful tool for that.

But, it can be used for so much more. One of the things that we’ll talk about today is how to construct a marketing narrative that will tune to specific Enneagram types. If you are knowledgeable about the type of person that you are marketing to, then you can craft a message that is specifically tuned for their Enneagram type that will really resonate with them, so it really becomes a very powerful communication tool as well. Each Enneagram type has specific things that they’re listening for and specific things that they’re motivated to do. In as much as we can craft a narrative designed to that, then it really makes a difference.

I will just jump ahead. Just a little bit about me. I have been using the Enneagram now for over 20 years. I started using it in the way that most people do with friends and family, found that it was very powerful. I introduced it to my team at work, and it proved to be a very effective communication tool there. Then, I asked this question, “Why are the Enneagram types numbers? Why not colors or letters or…” It turns out there is a reason why they are numbers. It’s because it describes the order of a process, and it turns out it’s the exact order… Those Enneagram dynamics are exactly in the order that they appear in human problem-solving, so I started using the Enneagram as a problem-solving system, and it works amazingly well as that as well.

It’s not a well known aspect of the Enneagram, which is why I ended up writing a book about that particular aspect, how to use the Enneagram as a problem-solving tool with your teams. This is my book, Is Teamwork 9.0. It’s available on Amazon. I encourage people who want to explore that side of the Enneagram to check it out.

Today we’re going to look at yet another aspect of the Enneagram as we dive into these lines that we see inside of the Enneagram. When we look about problem-solving in general, you can see it’s one through nine. But if you start with any specific point, say… Let’s start with seven. You can see that there’s these blue lines inside of the Enneagram that trace from seven to five to eight to two to four to one, and then back to seven. At an individual level, not necessarily as a team level, but as an individual level, that tends to be a trajectory that we will take as we work through individual problem-solving and as we construct narratives from our specific point of view.

That’s really what we’re going to talk about today, is how to construct a narrative out of these lines in the center. This is very good if you, say, understand that I’m going to be speaking to a group of sevens or I’m going to be speaking to a group of threes. In the broadest sense, if you don’t know what your target demographic looks like, then you probably want to stick with the one through nine narrative around the circle. But if you’re going to be marketing to a seven, then there is a better way to do it that will really resonate with the seven.

As you become familiar with the Enneagram, you will start to see that certain Enneagram types are drawn to certain roles. For instance, I find that at companies oftentimes a chief financial officer tends… There tend to be a lot of type ones in that role. Or if you’re a financial controller at a company, there tends to be a lot of type sixes and on, and on, and on. There’s specific types that are drawn to certain roles. If you know, “Hey, I’m marketing to CFOs at companies. I want to craft a narrative around that type one path of those lines in the middle,” so that’s kind of what the main idea is that we’re trying to do here.

Let’s start with the seven. If you look at those lines, it will start with the seven, then it will go to the five, then the eight, the two, the four, one, and back to seven. Now, we’ve talked about that seven personality dynamic. One of the main things that the seven wants is to keep things fun, and positive, and light. They tend to be friendly, talkative, charming. That’s the starting point. In crafting your narrative, you want to start with something that is fun and positive because that will catch their attention.

Then, the next step in that will be to go to the five. Sevens love information. They love to have their brains tickled, so you want to provide them with information. That’s in that Enneagram type five dynamic. Then, going from there, you want to show them how you can use this information to take action. That’s the type eight. Then, you want to show how that action that you’re taking is going to be very helpful, and that’s the type two dynamic. Then, you want to know from there how that helpfulness will let them stand out as being special or unique. That’s that type four dynamic. Then, it goes back to the type one where sevens really resonate with principles. So you can bring it back to the principle of why you did all of that, so you ground it in principles. That’s the type one dynamic. Then you bring it back to, “Wasn’t that fun? And we had so much fun doing it.”

You can see how just following those lines around you can create and craft a story that will really resonate with that type seven personality. Does that make sense, Mari-Lyn, when I describe it that way?

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Mm-hmm.

Daniel:

Yes. Thank you.

Matt Schlegel:

Awesome. Awesome. In this slide here, we deconstruct each one of those elements from that type seven point of view, so you’ll be able to refer back to this slide, but it’s essentially what I just described.

Then, as you move around, each one of these types has a different starting point. Now, the order when you’re looking at the blue lines connecting the seven, the five, the eight, the one, the four, two, it follows in the order of the direction of the arrows. It’s just the starting point is different for each type. When you start with the five, you want to lead with, “I’m going to provide you with lots of information.” Fives love that information. Then, you start there and then you follow it around through the eight, the two, the four, the one, the seven, and then back to the five. That is the way you craft a story with the fives.

Now, fives, engineers. They tend to be researchers. Anybody in academia will kind of fall into this five category. Whether they’re a type five or not, it’s kind of the world that they live in, researchers, that type of area. If you’re marketing to folks in that area, you want to use a five strategy.

Then, let’s go to the next, so eight. The eight strategy is starting with action. When you’re marketing to a type eight… And a lot of CEOs are type eights, very action oriented. You want to lead with, “We’re going to get stuff done here. We’re going to take action,” and then you go through the remaining steps of, “It will be very helpful. It will make you stand out. It’s really based in principles. It will be fun. It will be informative. And we’re going to get a lot done.” That’s how you build the narrative with the eight. But just remember to start with action with them.

With the two, this is starting with caring about other people and that being helpful. That’s how you resonate with the two, is you start off with appreciation, and kindness, and giving, and caring. Now, Mari-Lyn, I know you’re a type two, and so I know that this really would resonate with you. What do you think of this approach for the type two?

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Yeah, pretty close. Pretty close. But as you’re talking, too, I see myself in other roles, in other numbers, too, so [inaudible 00:15:18]. But, that’s true.

Matt Schlegel:

That’s exactly what this speaks to. This is one of the reasons why I love the Enneagram, is because we do move through all these dynamics in our… As we move through our lives and we move through our personal problem-solving, we are all cycling through these. That’s why crafting a narrative in this way will just really speak to each Enneagram type, and knowing that starting point is really helpful.

For twos, we know if you’re marketing to caregivers, lot of twos in caregiving. Actually, lots of different service roles, fire firefighters, police, the military, a lot of twos are drawn to those types of service roles. So when you’re marketing to an organization that is really based in providing services to their customers or their community, you can use this two narrative because it will really speak to them.

All right. So, same thing. I think you get the idea with the four. You want to start off with the uniqueness and the emotional impact that you’ll have. Then with the one, I mentioned before, a lot of CFOs in the one category, so you want to start off with precision, and accuracy, and competency, and principles. These are things that resonate with type ones, like it will resonate with CFOs because that’s kind of their world.

That kind of gives you a way of crafting messages for all of the Enneagram types that are connected by these blue lines, because you can see they’re all interconnected. But now let’s go over to the red lines. This is the triangle, the three, the six, and the nine. The same idea will happen here. When you’re going to start with the three, you want to start off with a success narrative. Threes are drawn to success. They want success, so they want to see how whatever you’re presenting is going to be successful. So you lead there, and then you move to the six dynamic, which is predictable. You want to have something that’s essentially a system for continuous success.

Then, after that, you move to the nine dynamic and show how this success will end up creating harmony within the community that the three is working with so that success will reflect well on them. You don’t want conflict or discord where… The three would be very sensitive to things not going well, so you want to show how whatever you’re presenting is going to be very harmonious. Then you come back to that success. You can see how if you are a three, these are the points that are going to be really important to the three, which is why it makes it such a powerful narrative when you’re marketing to threes. All right?

Now you get to the six. Again, we’re just now sticking to that triangle in the middle, and we’re… Sixes are looking for consistency, for low risk. They want it well thought out, all these things, so with an eye towards predictability. You lead with that, and then you show how the community will embrace that system, that predictableness, and allow things to continue on in a predictable, non-chaotic way. Then you show how all of this leads to successful outcomes. Then, you finally draw back to that predictableness. This is the narrative that would work really well with the six.

Then, the nine is leading with the harmoniousness. You remember nines, they want to minimize conflict in the community, and they want to make sure that everybody’s perspectives are taken into account. You lead with that part of your narrative of how everybody is going to feel really good about this solution, and then you go to the success. It will lead to success, it will be predictable, and it’s very harmonious. Everybody will love it. That’s the narrative that you want to construct for the type nine.

That gives you a brief overview of how to think about narratives for each one of the Enneagram types. Then again, if you don’t know, or it’s early on, or you’re working with somebody new that you haven’t met and you don’t know their Enneagram type, then you can fall back on the generalized form of the narrative, which is to simply follow the numbers from one to nine. You can use essentially a problem-solving narrative, a generalized problem-solving narrative when you’re constructing that because everybody will resonate with that. You start off with the problem and the goal. You show what stakeholders are impacted and who will care about that problem and that goal. You’ll want to show all the great ideas for success, so that’s step three. You want to show how you’ve taken into account any emotional feedback from those ideas and how you’ve vetted the most positive ideas with the community.

Now you move over to five, which is where you analyze the ideas, so you want to show how the idea that you’re presenting has been validated and will be effective. You move then to six, and you want to show how you have a plan in place to implement the idea. Then, essentially, in a marketing narrative, you’re working on steps one through six, and then your action is the seven. You’re promoting this plan to get something done, and you want to get your buy-off from your clients or customers, and then you want to act on the plan, and that’s step eight. Then, you want to make sure that the solution was effective for your customer or clients, and that’s nine. You could see how you can essentially follow this generic marketing narrative one through nine just around the circle. Those are the different ways to construct a marketing narrative using the Enneagram just really, really briefly. I hope you enjoyed that, and love to hear your thoughts on it.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Thank you. Actually, I think after your presentation, I actually learned a little bit more about the other numbers. It was like, “Oh, okay.” That was very good. Thank you.

Matt Schlegel:

You’re very welcome.

Daniel:

When you’re engaging in this process, what’s the timeline between one through nine? How much time are you putting into it?

Matt Schlegel:

It really depends on the situation. In the case where you are presenting to a customer or a client or a prospective client, you can construct this narrative and lay it out in 30 minutes. That means you’ll have had to do all of that work beforehand to validate the ideas and all that. But when you’re laying it out, you can just lay it out very sequentially. If you’re actually working with teams to solve a problem, that’s a different thing. Does that answer your question? Do you want to talk about team problem-solving or just using it as a marketing narrative?

Daniel:

No, the marketing narrative, I mean, that’s really what I’m keying off of, and that makes sense. I appreciate the clarity. Thank you.

Katie:

Thank you so much for that information. I own a dance studio, and this week I wanted to roll out a couple key things for… Not necessarily Black Friday special, but it is a special. I wanted to target people who had taken first lessons but never really continued, maybe because of price, because we are pretty pricey, or those people who had taken four lessons, which is the first layer, and never really continued. When you talked about doing a marketing narrative that covers all across, that was super helpful.

In a sense of timeline, most of the marketing tactics are either email. Some of them are even texts. This is the first time I’m going to go through texts. I have to really shorten that into, I don’t know, four sentences with a visual. Anyways, that was super helpful to me. If you have any other tidbits on specials that’s happening, especially for the holidays, to just incentivize people to continue or purchase, that would be great.

Matt Schlegel:

Yeah. Well, I love that because I think that you probably have a sense of the type. How old? Are these junior high school level students or high school students, adults?

Katie:

Oh, these are adults.

Matt Schlegel:

They’re adults.

Katie:

Yeah, these are adults.

Matt Schlegel:

You might have a sense for the types of people who are coming to your class, are they mostly sevens or are they… I mean, that would probably be one group that you could construct the marketing narrative to. I would imagine that there might be some fours in there as well, just people who are very artistic and expressive and want to use different forms of emotional communication. You might have some fours in there as well. Do you have any sense of the types of Enneagram types that are your clients?

Katie:

Absolutely fours, people who appreciate music and connecting in a different sense, people who are… As of right now, I think most of the people who didn’t purchase maybe are a little bit more money… or budget focus. That’s why the incentives are there, like sweeter deal to start dancing, just so that they can try. Because sometimes it’s, unfortunately, you have to try it for at least… Not just four lessons just to get it in and really fall in love with it because you can only feel a progress over a little bit longer period of time. You do get a little bit of progress in a sense of one month, but imagine if they were there for three months or six months. They would feel a lot more progress, and they could see fuller the investment if they’re very short term like that thinking.

They want things quick and easy, right away. But if they could see just a little bit longer to be part of the community, to improve a little bit longer, longer sense of time, I think they would have a better idea and maybe be more lifelong students. That’s really my goal. I don’t want 100%. Maybe 80% lifelong students. No matter what, that dancing… Ballroom dancing is what I do.

Matt Schlegel:

Oh, okay.

Katie:

Ballroom dancing and partner dancing is going to be a part of their lives in a positive way. It just takes a little bit of time, like learning a language. You learn a language for, I don’t know, four lessons, and it doesn’t really impact you as much as you would in a consistent basis. It just takes a little bit of investment, and time, and money.

Matt Schlegel:

Let’s imagine that we’re marketing to a four or a group of fours. Some things about the fours that you’ll want to know are that they really want to be able to express themselves in emotionally impactful ways. That would be where you’d want to lead, is, “We’re going to give you the tools and the platform to be able to fully express this very beautiful and emotionally impactful dance.”

Then you might want to say, “We don’t want…” Now we move to one with the principles. “We don’t want cost to be a barrier to you having fun with this amazing form of dance, and so we want to give you…” Now I’m moving to five. “We want you to be able to have access to all the resources that we have that will help you achieve this,” and then you’re moving to eight, “and then be able to dance and fully express yourself.” That’s the action. “Then imagine as you grow how helpful that will be to your partner, and you’ll be helping each other.” That’s the two. Then you get back to four. “Then you and your partner will be able to create something beautiful and unique together.”

Katie:

I love that. Thank you.

Matt Schlegel:

Does that make sense?

Katie:

Yeah. Yeah.

Matt Schlegel:

When you construct it that way that, you’re just following the way the four naturally thinks, and that story will like, “Oh, yeah. I want to do that.”

Katie:

That’s great. Super helpful. Thank you.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Hey, Kate. I don’t know about Matt, the promoter, would they be a customer too or not?

Matt Schlegel:

I think you’re talking about the seven.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Yeah.

Matt Schlegel:

I think you find sevens in any social community. Sevens are very social. They like being in community. The nice thing about the four narrative is that it does overlap with the seven narrative. It’s just the sevens will be leading with the fun as opposed to that uniqueness of their personal creative emotional expression. The fun is more important than the emotional expression. For the four, the emotional expression is more important. But you can see the narratives overlap, so the sevens can be drawn into that as well.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Cool. Daniel, did you have any questions far as marketing or…

Daniel:

No. Matt was able to answer the questions I had. I’m going to be working with this in our marketing department and see where we go from there. But if I have something else, I’ll reach out directly. Thank you.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Great.

Matt Schlegel:

Perfect. What kind of folks do you tend to market to, Daniel?

Daniel:

We run private security consulting firm, so we’re working with larger industries, production, and manufacturing. We do colleges and universities. We work with hoteliers, car dealerships, work with municipalities, and small government.

Matt Schlegel:

Nice. For that type of business, you are likely to be marketing to the type sixes for the most part. Because you can see one of the things that the six likes is to minimize risk. Essentially, that’s what you’re doing, You’re a risk minimization firm.

Daniel:

Absolutely.

Matt Schlegel:

You want to build, I would say, a narrative around you’re going to provide predictability, you’re going to create a harmonious environment for everybody that is conflict-free because you’re there to make sure there’s not conflict. You’re going to allow your customers to maximize their success, and you are going to just be that predictable service in the background that is making sure that they can achieve their success.

Daniel:

Matt, and I think you’re spot on, especially with the predictability part. What our clients love is knowing we’re there and not needing to talk to us. They don’t want to be bothered. If they know we’re there and we’re on the job, I mean, that’s a huge selling point for us. No, I think you’re spot on, man. This is good stuff.

Matt Schlegel:

Awesome. Awesome. I mean, it’s pretty remarkable once you know what you’re targeting how you can distill down that message that will really hit all of the main points.

Daniel:

I love it.

Matt Schlegel:

Well, great. I’m glad that I was able to share this and hopefully offer some tidbits of advice that will help you achieve your successes.

Daniel:

Matt, we can get ahold of you on LinkedIn?

Matt Schlegel:

Absolutely. I’m on LinkedIn. I’ll have my contact information on these slides. I’m happy to share those as well.

Daniel:

That’d be great.

Katie:

Thank you.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Hey, you’re welcome, guys. Well, thank you so much, Matt, for coming back on and going through your presentation. I certainly really enjoyed it. I learned a lot, too, but anyway.

Matt Schlegel:

I really appreciate the opportunity, Mari-Lyn. It’s always a pleasure.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Hey, you’re welcome.

Daniel:

Happy holidays, sir.

Matt Schlegel:

Yep. Happy holidays.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Happy holidays, everybody. In that ending, we’ll just maybe end the call, unless you have something else you’d like to say, Matt.

Matt Schlegel:

No. Again, it’s just been a real pleasure. I think we all can learn so much from the Enneagram and the different aspects of how you use it. It’s one of those tools that the deeper you go, the more you learn.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Yes.

Matt Schlegel:

I encourage people to explore it, and play with it, and learn, and grow with it.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Are you still doing your community Enneagram groups or-

Matt Schlegel:

I do. I have a monthly group that meets. We discuss different topics related to the Enneagram. Well, it’s not just beginning Enneagram. Most of the people who come to the program are very familiar with the Enneagram. We come up with these different applications, just like the one we went over today, how to apply the Enneagram to marketing. The one that we did this last month after the election was how does the Enneagram relate to politics. That was a very lively discussion.

We’re going to take a break in December, but we’re going to come back in January, and we’re going to talk about empathy and sympathy. Each Enneagram type has a different take on empathy and sympathy. I’ve come up with a model that goes over the different empathy and sympathy levels of each Enneagram type and put that into a framework that’s easy to understand. That, I think, will be really helpful.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Especially for a lot of workplaces or people that need the extra boost or how to cope.

Matt Schlegel:

Yes, yes. Type twos, I’ll say right now, Mari-Lyn, type twos are the most empathetic and the most sympathetic.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Yes. Yeah.

Matt Schlegel:

You’re firing on all cylinders there.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Yeah, yeah. Well, certainly for the type of work I’m doing right now, certainly need it.

Matt Schlegel:

Exactly. That’s why you’re drawn to the work that you do.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Great. Thank you, everybody, for showing up today. You will be able to get a recording of this call, because I did record it. I’ll send you out the links. Okay, everybody. Have a great day. I guess we’ll see you soon. Happy [inaudible 00:40:54].

Matt Schlegel:

See you guys soon. Thank you.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Have a great-

Katie:

Thanks so much.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

… happy Thanksgiving.

Matt Schlegel:

Thank you.

Mari-Lyn Harris:

Bye-bye.

 

 

 

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