Have you ever gotten into a book and thought, Oh my goodness, this author is writing directly to me! And from cover to cover, you marvel at how he or she has spoken straight to your struggle, your experience, and your current situation. Was this by accident or fortunate coincidence? No. That author has simply discovered their target audience.
They have narrowed down who is reading and why. And then they have tailored their style, content, and even cover design to speak directly to that person.
In a post for Forbes, marketing expert Jayson DeMers put it like this:
[Writing] without a clear understanding of your audience is a bit like setting a boat adrift without navigational tools. You’re out there and you’re taking action, but you’re not working toward a specific goal.
Every person… has something that keeps them awake at night. It might be a persistent problem – such as an inability to get an entrepreneurial venture off the ground, find the willpower to be healthy, or sustain a healthy relationship. It might be a momentary issue such as insomnia, the need to hire a great personal assistant, or a desire to figure out how to deal with a difficult client.
Whatever the issue – whether longstanding or short-term – it’s the entrée into the discussion and your invitation into their lives.
So how is this done? How can you define your target audience and offer that same wow moment for your reader?
Dig into who your reader is
Begin by asking yourself these general questions:
- Who buys your books?
- Who reads your blog?
- Who follows you on social media?
- Who comments on your posts?
- What problem(s) does your book solve?
- Who needs to read it?
- What do they really need to hear about?
Next, content expert CoScheduler suggests that you find out as much demographic information about your reader as you can, such as:
- Family life
- Job title
- Job function
Once you have discovered the answers to these questions, you can begin to create an audience definition.
Here is what a simple audience definition could look like once you’re finished analyzing your audience:
“[INSERT YOUR BRAND] creates content to help and inform [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC] so they can [INSERT ACTION] better.”
How to obtain reader insights
Not sure where to start digging for insights on your readers? Here are a few suggestions:
Assuming you have an author page on Facebook, we suggest you take advantage of Facebook Insights. You’ll be surprised at all the info they collect and freely share on the people that are visiting your page. To find this info, head to your author page (not your personal profile) and click “Insights” at the top. In the left menu, click “People.” Scroll through all the great info they offer and take notes!
Social Media Groups
If you haven’t already, join some social media groups relevant to your topic. Do you write about divorce recovery? You’ll find plenty of Facebook groups to join! Do you write for worship leaders? Check LinkedIn for worship leader groups. Once you join, do not, do not, just spam the group with info about your book. That’s a quick way to lose credibility and even be kicked out. Instead, take the time to become an active, contributing member of the group. As you do this, you will gain valuable insights. What resources are divorcees sharing with each other? What issues come up most often in the group? What are the demographics of the members?
The old-fashioned way (kind of)
Do you know who some of your most loyal readers are? Ask them if they will sit down face-to-face (or screen-to-screen through a Skype-type service) for an interview. You might be surprised how eager your fans will be to do this. Then ask them all those questions mentioned above. The insights you gain will be priceless.
At Certa Publishing, we know that there are readers just waiting to get their hands on the perfect book, your book. The one that will speak to their heart and help them walk out their journey. Contact us today so we can partner with you in getting your book into their hands.