Know your audience. I’ll say it again for the people in the back, “Know your audience.”
Whether writing for yourself or someone else, you need to know who’s reading.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. That doesn’t apply to me.
But, but, but, I don’t want to limit myself. I’ll write for everyone.
Be honest, does that sound like you?
Yeah, I know. I’ve been there. I thought it didn’t apply to me, either. And guess what happened? Nothing. No one read my stuff. No one cared.
Because I wasn’t writing with my reader in mind. I was writing with myself in mind, and that is pretty selfish. You agonize writing the perfect story, blog post, or article. You send it out into the world wanting people to read it and love it, but it is all about you. People only focus on themselves. That’s human nature and there is nothing wrong with it. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will always ask, “What’s in it for me?”
If you are struggling to come up with what to write about, you don’t have a clear direction of where you want to go. If you struggle to tell someone what you write about, you don’t know who you are writing for. It’s true that you can’t please everyone, and your blog or writings are no exception. Not everyone is going to want to read your stuff and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get to those that really do.
But, no one reads my stuff so how do I know who to write to?
Excellent question, my friend!
Keep reading to find out the exact steps I took to “know my audience” and uncover my person.
1. Talk to Yourself First
Folks, you have to talk to yourself first. Sit down and say, “Self, who do I want to read my stuff? Who can I help solve a problem?”
If you are creating your audience from scratch start by asking yourself these questions:
- Is your person male or female?
- How old is your person?
- Is your person married/single/divorced/committed without a ring?
- What does your person do for a living?
- How much money does your person make?
- What problem or problems does your person have that you can help solve?
2. Make It Hurt
“For most people, the fear of loss is much greater than the desire for gain.” ― Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
If you are reading this it is because you want to know how to find your audience before you even one. The pain of not having an audience, to read your writings, is something you want to avoid. Because without an audience you have no readers. Without readers you have no people to help. Without people to help, you have no one to buy from you. Without people to buy from you, you don’t have a business. Without any business you don’t make any money and that is painful. Ouch! That hurts!
Your person has the exact same kinds of pains. Maybe not exactly this one, since you may write about different things and want different readers, but the process is the same. What is your person’s pain or pains?
- What does your person want solved that you are going to help him or her with?
- What keeps your person up at night?
- What drives them to distraction?
- Makes them want to pull their hair out?
- What do they want to know that they don’t understand?
Get to what hurts your person and what they want to avoid at all costs.
(Download the free guide for more questions.)
3. All Together Now
You answered your questions and gathered the pains. What now?
It’s time to put it all together so the image is crystal clear in your mind. You can follow the action steps below or use this handy worksheet.
Action 1: Name Your Person
Very important step. I call my person Ready Rachel because I know she is ready to make money writing. Your person’s traits will determine the name. Is your person:
Action 2: Write a Short Story About Your Person
This is where it all comes together. Where you really get to know your person. Write out his or her story. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, but you must write it down. Don’t just think about it in your head. Seeing your person in black and white is clarity and you can reference back to it as much as needed. I keep mine above my desk so I can always read about Rachel.
Step 3: Break Down Your Person’s Pains
After you write the story you will want to break down your person’s pains.
You’ve already figured out what your person is trying to avoid or what they want solved. Now you need to go a little further and answer clearly, for yourself, what you are going to do to get them there.
- My Person’s Pain: Not being more positive about life.
- Why is this a pain for your person? My person knows and feels that being more positive about life is a good thing and will help them to live a better life.
- What does being more positive and living a better life look like to your person? They will be happier, friendlier to others, more caring of others, love themselves more, and achieve their goals.
- What does my person want or need from me? Motivational quotes, solid plans with actionable steps for them to achieve, and stories of others who have found ways to be more positive in life.
Now, you know your person’s pain. You know why it is a pain for them and what it would mean for them to avoid this pain. Most importantly, you know things that your writings will do to help them solve this.
If your person has more then one pain, you need to do this step for each one. The more detailed and concise you get, the better it will be. The more you can solve your person’s pain, the more indispensable you are to them. They will be your forever reader.
Download the free guide to break down your person’s pains.
4. That’s Not All Though
You’ve done it! You now have a clear, concise, and detailed description of who your person is. You know your audience. You know exactly what their pain is and how you can help them. You have direction and purpose in everything you write.
There is one last step.
- Use it!
You took the time to do the work don’t forget to use it. Reference it often until you know your person like the back of your hand. Always keep your person at the front of your mind when writing anything.
Because it’s not about you. It’s about them.