When you started your creative small business, I bet you didn’t expect how much content writing came as a result! Blog posts, social media, email campaigns, website pages, business proposals, sales quotes, and product descriptions; the list goes on. However and wherever you communicate with your target audience, it’s important to keep an image of who they are in your mind. In short: who you talking to?
You can be the best speller in the world, and know all the English grammar rules like the back of your hand but if you're not thinking about who you're writing for, chances are you're not reaching the right people. It’s not enough to say “I’m talking to people who want to work with me”. You need to have a clear image in your mind of your target audience, every time you sit down to write content.
But, how do you figure out who that person is?
It may very well be a literal person. There might be someone in your life who can benefit from what you’re about to say, or what you’re selling or promoting. Try to picture that person in your head and act as though you are speaking directly to them.
But more likely, your target audience is not just one person. In this case, you can start by writing down some audience profiles. These will be:
- Who your existing clients / customers are
- Who your dream clients / customers are
Write down anything you think is relevant about who these people are - and remember what’s relevant for me and my business may not be relevant for you and your business:
- Age, sex, location (a little millennial throwback to the old chatroom days!)
- Education, occupation
- Values, politics, religion
- Hobbies, activities, interests
- What they want
- What they need
- Why they can’t get it
- How you can help them with that
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It’s pretty likely you’ll end up with 2 or 3, maybe 4 different types of people as a result. From here, I find it helpful to associate these profiles with a literal person in my life. This way when I'm writing content, I’m speaking to someone I know instead of a faceless customer that I imagined. For example, my best friend is actually very close to my target audience. By spending a lot of my content writing acting as though I’m talking to her, I’m able to write with authority and confidence. But, because I actually know her, I can also be friendly and a little more laid back than I would be if I imagined I was talking to my old boss!
This is why it’s important to know who you’re talking to. If I didn’t, I’d end up slipping back into the hyper corporate, formal style of writing I’m used to from my former life!
Everyone can write decent content, you've just got to know what you're trying to say and who you're trying to say it to!
So, who are you talking to?