Is your content connecting with your audience?
If you don’t know your audience, chances are the answer is a resounding NO! A couple months ago, I began volunteering with a local entrepreneur group. As I sat at a table with a group of entrepreneurs one afternoon, I heard the same problems over and over. None of them were connecting with any audience in a meaningful way.
When I got down to the problem, all of them had a broad audience that they felt they were serving. After getting down to the key question, “who is your target audience,” here were some of the answers:
- Anyone who wants to be happy.
- Anyone who is looking for mentors for extreme sports.
- Anyone who wants help with human resource issues.
- Anyone who wants tutoring for their child in science.
- Anyone who wants to be healthier.
All of the audiences were vague and many were ambiguous. None of them were niched down. Let’s take the first one… “Anyone who wants to be happy.” As I queried further, the woman said, “Everyone wants to be happy, right?” Well… no! There are many people who hold on to patterns that keep them stuck and those patterns serve them in some way. Further complicating the happiness niche is the fact that happiness is subjective. If you ask ten different people what makes them happy, you are likely to get a multitude of answers.
Here is the crux of content disconnect: not knowing your audience.
The content you create must match your audience’s needs and interests. Not in a broad, general way. The content must connect in a meaningful and specific way that creates actionable bites of information that differentiates you from your competition.
What does that mean? That you must be able to conduct an in-depth audience analysis before you think about selling products, services, or writing a book. Conducting an audience analysis begins by building a client/reader avatar with demographic and psychographic profiles. In other words, connecting with your target market and asking questions.
- Who are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their activities in their spare time?
- What is important to them?
- What do they struggle with?
- What do they lose sleep over?
When I first started out in the publishing industry, I thought I was serving all writers and potential authors. I quickly discovered that there were a lot of starving artists out there who wanted everything for free. Those artists were not going to be my ideal audience if I wanted to create income from my dream business. As I talked to more and more people who were bringing their books to me to publish, I realized that most of them write their book to establish themselves as experts. They wanted to create more income in their business. The problem was that many of them had not communicated with an audience before penning the book. The result was disappointing book sales that did nothing for establishing themselves as experts. They wrote the book that they thought an audience needed, not the book that people really needed.