Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
I gave a brief little talk on book promotion at our agency retreat yesterday. I was discussing the idea of moving from a “self-promotion” mindset, to thinking about gathering a community of readers. This is an excerpt.
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The only way to effectively build a community of your readers is to truly be interested in who they are. But first, you have to KNOW who they are.
Here’s a question. For whom did Apple create the iPhone. Everybody? I think so.
To whom does Apple market the iPhone? NOT to everybody. They’ve identified a specific buyer who is their ideal customer, and all their marketing has to work for this person. She is an Anglo female, 46 years old, has young children, is an entrepreneur or business person, loves Ted talks, and is a heavy social media user.
Are those the only people who buy iPhones? Of course not—but by being very specific in how they market the product, Apple sends a clear and consistent message—a BRANDED message. Their primary ideal customer is so well-served that they become raving fans. They don’t just buy iPhones, they get iPhones for their whole families. They talk about their iPhones. They endorse that product every chance they get.
By defining the ideal customer and serving that customer well, those customers then spread the word to a much bigger audience.
So what I want YOU to do is define your ideal reader. This is an exercise that feels limiting until you understand the beauty of it. Once you define your ideal reader, everything you write and everything you post is focused on that person, and this is what will crystallize your brand.
How do you define your ideal reader? Determine her demographic profile. Gender. Age. Income level. Lifestyle. Job or profession. Location.
Now answer these questions:
What are her primary values?
What are some characteristics of her personality?
What are her biggest interests? What are her hobbies?
What are her major issues or challenges?
How can you help her with those challenges?
What kinds of products, services and professionals does she use?
Who influences her most?
What does she read?
What social networks does she use most?
Once you’ve answered all these questions, you have a sort of rubric through which you can filter all your writing and all your promotional activities, always asking yourself whether what you’re saying or doing will appeal to that ideal reader. If you are doing that well, the ideal readers will soon become your raving fans—the ones who will always read what you write online, who will always buy your next book, and most importantly, talk about you with their friends.
By knowing your ideal reader, you’ll also have some great ideas for the kinds of content you can post online, whether on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, everywhere. You’re not longer just hyping your books – you have a whole world of ideas – things to talk about – based on knowing who your ideal reader is.
Do you know your ideal reader?