This guest post is by James Chartrand is the owner of Men with Pens.
One of the greatest challenges of writing for your business is figuring out your ideal reader.
It’s tempting to think that everyone will read your work—and that creates a problem, because your mindset shifts to thinking that everyone is your audience. After all, you reason, everyone is a potential customer, right?
Nope. Not even close.
Let’s say I started writing exclusively about training horses. Now, you might like horses. You might enjoy riding them.
But unless you’re intensely interested in the actual training of horses, my words and my business aren’t for you.
The same is true in any industry, and especially so for any niche. Only a select group of people will care about what you write, simply because it directly applies to their interests.
No one else gives a damn.
This is a very good thing.
What would you rather have? 500 loyal customers constantly spreading the word about you, your products and your business because they love what you write?
Or two million faceless consumers who show up to your website, read what you have to say and realize it doesn’t concern them?
Think further. What would you rather have? Customers who rave about your business after buying your products because it was exactly what they expected and needed?
Or people who buy and then demand a refund because your content wasn’t supposed to loop them in and this was the wrong product for their needs?
If you’re thinking, “Hey, but at least I got sales!” then you’re clearly missing the point.
Building a successful, sustainable business isn’t about scooping as many random people as you can into a giant net. It’s about targeting a specific group of consumers at the intersection of their problems and your solutions.
And your writing is the key to unlocking that place.
How to unlock the intersection
To help you unlock that mystical intersection, you need to figure out the exact type of potential customer you’d love to meet there.
- Go through a list of your best customers—the people you loved working with, the ones you can’t wait to do business with again.
- Write down what you liked about working with them. Why are they your best clients?
- Write down commonalities—are these people all in a specific industry? Do they come from the same age group?
- Write down similar traits these people share. Do they all act a certain way? Carry a similar tone of voice? Behave in common ways?
Figure out as many similarities as you can. Figure out what you liked about these people and working with them.
Maybe they have go-getter attitudes and make decisions quickly. Maybe they give you clear instructions and pay on time. Maybe they’re friendly and warm, or helpful and forgiving. Maybe they’re Baby Boomers. Or Gen Xers. Or work in a field you find interesting and challenging.
List it out. Build a portrait of your ideal customer, the type of person you wish all your customers would resemble.
This is your ideal reader—the person your content should attract.
The list you’re building can be as long as you want, but the key is to learn what you love about these people so that you can decide how to write in a way that pulls in more potential customers just like the ones you love working with.
For example, writing in a bold, authoritative style might attract the go-getters… and turn off the simpering, unsure customers you dislike dealing with. Or maybe writing in a warm, friendly way pulls in kind, caring souls that make you feel good about your job and wards off the authoritative, pushy types.
List in hand, you’ll be able to formulate a very accurate portrait of your best possible reader—and your most ideal customer.
Then you can begin writing in a way that appeals to them, reaches them, and attracts them closer to you—and to your business.
James Chartrand is the owner of Men with Pens, and the writer making waves at Damn Fine Words, the most innovative writing course completely designed to help bring you business results. Sign up now for the DFW newsletter for more writing, blogging and content creation tips and techniques.