When was the last time you talked to your target audience, and I mean really talked to them?
Or are you guilty of talking at your ideal clients?
I get it, I really do. You have heaps of skills, knowledge and expertise and you want to share that with people. You want to say ‘hey, look how I can help you!’.
Except, people don’t respond to that very well, do they?
When you’re walking down the high street and you see a shop manager on the street trying to get everyone walking past to go inside… how many cross the road?
I know I don't!
When was the last time you received an email with ‘Hi FirstName’?
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had them, and we’ve probably hit that junk button quickly too.
Because you know it isn’t directed to you. It’s generic, it’s a catch-all email sent to you because you hit one of their demographics – which could be as little as being under the age of 50.
There’s nothing personal, nothing that speaks directly to you. It’s no different to those flyers we get in the mailbox with our post.
Essentially, we all like to be made to feel special and we need to remember that when we write something for our intended customers.
Do you ever sit down to write, and immediately feel like you’re back in your English classroom?
If you struggle to get your head around conjunctions and apostrophes – chances are you’re not talking to your clients.
Y’see, the world of marketing (and particularly online) isn’t like high school English.
It’s a conversation between you, and your intended customer.
Whilst spelling and punctuation is important – grammar rules are there to be broken. Few of us speak in the same way that we write.
So, how can you make your copy and content feel like a direct and special conversation between you and your target audience?
The easiest and most effective way of doing this is to imagine that you are having a conversation as you write.
This is where having a target audience profile helps (if you've not made one yet, download my free 'Ideal Customer Worksheet' that will guide you through the process).
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When you can visualise your ideal customer, and you know what they’re interested in - you know how to talk to them.
Because you wouldn’t talk to your gran the same way you’d talk to your dog!
Sometimes it helps having a photo of what your ideal customer looks like and having it on your desk as you write.
Once you’ve finished - read it back to yourself.
If it sounds silly reading it out loud, then chances are high you wouldn’t say that in person – so it’s time for a rewrite.
And stop talking about yourself!
Go back through your writing and for every ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘I’, see if you can rewrite the sentence to make it ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead.
Your customers want to know how you can help them, so talk to them. You might be surprised at the difference it makes!
Zoe is an experienced content writer specialising in the health and wellness sector. Zoe now combines her writing skills with marketing and search engine optimisation to provide a complete content marketing solution to her clients.
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Get to know the writer behind Words by Zoe – Zoe Hughes