How To Sound Just Like Your Audience
Recently an email subscriber of mine sent me a great question.
Q: I am trying to appeal to busy women. Even more specifically: moms in their late 20s to mid-30s. I don’t have children. How do I write to relate to them?
A: There are three things you can do to appeal to your readers, even if they’re not in your own demographic. And luckily they’re fun and simple.
1. Write for one specific person. Don’t put pressure on yourself to write to all moms in their late 20s to mid-30s. That sounds overwhelming — and it is! Instead, imagine one mom that you know who fits the bill. This could be someone you know in your own life, or a former or current client. When you sit down to write web content or an email, imagine you’re writing just to her. Ask yourself these questions:
-Would she care about this topic?
-Would this help her?
-What else can I help her with?
-Is this how she speaks? Could I hear her saying these words out loud?
-Why is she interested in buying from me, anyway? (Write to appeal to that part of her.)
2. Be a detective. This part is fun! Investigate a little by Googling phrases like:
-“Top magazines for moms”
-“Top TV shows for moms”
-“Top blogs for moms”
-“Facebook groups for moms”
3. Watch your language. Now that you have an arsenal of magazine, TV shows, blogs, and social media, it’s time to do some reading (or in the case of TV, watch an episode of one of the TV shows. Also watch the commercialsso you can see who else is targeting your dream client. These ads are probably mostly from companies with mega-bucks, and they’re probably sinking lots of research dollars into figuring out what her problems are and how she’d like to be spoken to.)
Then read the blogs, online articles, and social media. But also dive into the comments and see exactly what they’re talking about. This will lead you to lots of topics — and you can also see how they’re speaking to each other, and speaking about themselves.
Even throwaway language seems to have a big subconscious effect on readers. For instance, I used to describe my business as “Copywriting services for digital entrepreneurs.” I just thought it sounded so professional, skilled, and — well, just cool. But it quickly dawned on me: have I ever heard any of my clients describe themselves as a “digital entrepreneur?” Nope. For whatever reason, that’s just not how they describe their profession, for the most part.
So I tweaked my description to say, “Copywriting services for online entrepreneurs,” and started connecting better with my readers/clients. It’s such a great feeling!
Bottom line: don’t worry about writing for every person out there who could be your customer. Choose one person to write for–and make it good.