When you start a new business, create your own blog or make a decision to build a list of subscribers and market your informational products to them, one skill you will have to learn is online communication.
“Having a way with words” is no longer enough to have your message found, opened and read. To achieve your business and career goals, you will have to become a pro at communicating ONLINE.
One of the keys to successful online communication is to have a clear idea of who you are writing for. Many great stories go unread, promising businesses unnoticed and talented writers undiscovered for the single reason – they fail to get to know their audience. But what does it take to analyze your audience. Let’s take a look at some tips and suggestions.
The keys to understanding your audience
Understanding your readers is the first and most important step to successful content creation. Knowing your audience will help you determine your business writing style, tone of your document, the content you choose to include or omit and the medium you select (paper report, Website, e-mail, PDF file, and so on) to convey your message.
Therefore, before you begin writing anything, be it a blog post or an email to your client, make sure that you are clear about three things:
- Who you are writing to?
- For what purpose?
- What you want to communicate about yourself?
Who are you writing to? Creating reader’s “Avatar”
To make your message heard in the buzz of email pop-ups, phone calls, friend’s suggestions and Facebook messages, you have to deliver top-quality content that is both relevant and interesting to your readers. And to do so, having only theoretical knowledge about your audience will not suffice.
You will have to take the time to get to know your audience and develop your customer “avatar” – a crystal clear image of your ideal prospect, client or your reader.
Why get so specific?
When people first start to write online often their natural desire is to reach as many readers as possible. When you ask them “What is your perfect reader’s description?” or “Who do you write to?” they usually say, “My readers are so different. It is hard to come up with a description. I try to reach everyone with my writing”.
Big mistake! Because when we aim at reaching a generalized group of people, our writing style changes and comes over as indecisive and uninformative.
People do not want to read something that addresses no one in particular. This is not the strategy that will get people excited about your product or your message. In fact, it is a sure-fire strategy to instantly turn off 98% of your potential customers or readers and have them looking for the “x” or “delete” button.
This is why we should make decisions about what material to include, which communication tone to choose, how to organize our ideas, and how best to support our argument based on what we know about our online readers.
Questions to ask about your audience
If you are still unsure who your perfect reader is, here are a few questions that will help you to gain some valuable insights:
- Who is my average reader (name, gender, age, marital status, number of children)?
- What is their cultural background and level of education?
- What are their biggest frustrations and fears?
- What are their greatest aspirations and dreams?
- What topics, skills, information are they interested in?
- What do they come looking for on my website?
- Why do they leave my website, ignore my emails or resist buying my products or services?
- What are their biggest resistance blocks? How can I address and overcome them?
- What values and beliefs about similar topics or products do my readers hold?
Take time to reflect upon these questions and create your perfect reader/prospect ‘avatar’. Doing this exercise alone will not only noticeably improve your communication skills, but will increase your chances of reaching your goals.
If you want to learn more about how to boost up the communication with your customers, then “Improve Your Writing Skills” written by Arina Nikitina is the right book for you.
Download the free eBook “Improve Your Writing Skills“