Your Ideal Audience (Reader)
KNOWING WHO YOU WANT TO HELP IS CRITICAL
YOUR BOOK IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!
Who is your ideal audience? This question is two-fold. First, who do you want to serve the most? and second, who needs the information you have to offer? One of the biggest mistakes new (and mature) writers make is they think their book is for everyone. It’s not. We will discuss this in more detail in another article on Avoiding These 7 Mistakes New Writers Make but for now let’s look at how to identify your ideal audience.
This is another important consideration just like “why are you writing” that can potentially make or break your success as a best-selling author.
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE
Are you writing for your colleagues or your patients?
Are you writing for the general public?
Are you writing for women? or men?
Are you writing for young people (children, tweens, or teenagers)?
Are you writing for adults (college, young professionals, or mature managers, or business owners)?
You could be writing to attract more potential clients who need your services or information. You could be writing for people who want to find a solution to their problem and who will gladly pay for your services and products if it provides a solution or results they are seeking.
Get specific or drill down as deep as you can. For example, don’t just choose Teachers, is it elementary, middle school, or high school? Is it the person who teaches social studies, language arts, science, math, reading, art, or music? Maybe it’s the principal, librarian, nurse, coach, or counselor?
Identifying your ideal audience and why you want to write your book should significantly influence the format in which you write your book and also the ways in which you market your book.
This is the real reason your book is NOT for everyone. You, like most people, probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing.
If you have never even put a marketing budget on your writing and publishing “to do” list, now is the time to add it. You may spend hours and hours creating your masterpiece and then have no idea as to how to move forward so you can get your book into the hands of your ideal audience and achieve the ultimate goal(s) for writing in the first place.
For example, if you are writing about “Buying a Home for the First Time” your information might be as valuable to Teachers as it is to Truck Drivers but you probably would not market it in the same way. I don’t believe they are hanging out at the same places or getting their information from the same sources. Such considerations are important aspects of your overall publishing and especially your marketing plan.
You can always choose a second, third, or even fourth audience (market) once you have established reasonable success with your first, most ideal, practically perfect audience. The time to move to the second niche is after the first audience is generating significant revenue for you. That way you can then reinvest that revenue or income back into the business or next niche audience you want to explore.
Remember it is not about you but about your ideal customer or client. This is another big mistake I see people make. How much more clear is it to the customer if you say, “First Time Home Buying Tips for Teachers.” If you are a teacher looking to buy a home for the first time you say “Oh, that’s for me or I need that” or some other positive mental conversation and you are much more likely to investigate that information or offer. Catching the potential customer’s interest is the first in a series of mental steps they must go through before they will buy.
I know you are thinking but if I just say “First Time Home Buying Tips” then everyone will buy it. But NO they won’t. That is NOT the case at all, in fact, the exact opposite is true! The problem is people are predisposed to say NO or react negatively not positively. They are not jumping up and down saying “Oh goody this is for me...or that is for me. Finally, someone is offering me something I need.”
Unfortunately, our society has been “pitched” the perfect solution or product more than once but often been left disappointed. This makes them suspicious, and untrusting. They are saying to themselves, “I wonder if that is for me?” while at the same time identifying three or four negative reasons why it is not for them. Or they are saying “That probably doesn’t mean me, that’s for everybody and my situation is different.”
So again start with the end in mind. Who do you want to work with? What do you want that audience to do and how will you get them to do it. How will you eventually reach them ... targeted marketing is the key and knowing as much about your reader as you can is critical.
In a future article, I will go deeper into how you can create your perfect avatar (or reader profile) and how that will help you write better.
If you have any questions about any of the topics please post them in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.