Are You Writing To Suit Your Audience?

Writing To Suit Your Audience

Whether you are speaking with your clients through social media, blog posts, emails, websites or other forms of media, you want to be able to make a connection.

There’s various ways you can do that, but the most important thing is to speak with them in a way they can understand. Don’t complicate your message with big words that make you sound impressive or with technical jargon that’s not relevant to your readers.

Here’s how you can do this in a way that will compel them to act by following a few simple steps:

1. Who do you want to read what you are writing?

Knowing who you want to read your tweet, blog post, book, email or whatever it is you’re writing will determine what voice you convey and which information you share. If you are writing to women who are in their mid-40s and want to change careers you will need a much different conversation than you would with those in their 20s who want to make a career change.

In a similar way, you’re writing style for holiday travel ideas for students will need to be different to how you’d write – or communicate in general – with a group of science professors interested in the latest industry technology.

So understanding who you’re communicating with is the first step.

2. Where are you publishing this?

This focuses your writing on where you will be publishing your work. Will it be published in a periodical, online, in an email, as a blog post, or as a social media post?

Will there be a possibility that a potential client or potential peer will see the article or visit the site?

Knowing how and where it will be published will help you find the voice of the writing more precisely and help you connect with the correct audience.

Before you begin writing you also want to know what the concerns or problems are that your audience is facing and what you want them to do as a result of reading the article or post. This allows you to speak directly to your intended audience when you focus on solving one problem or concern.

Once you know the who, how, and what of your writing you need to begin building a connection by grabbing their attention, engaging them and entertaining them all while maintaining your professionalism. Use vivid imagery wherever possible and allow your personality to show.

It may seem like a lot, but as you practise you will find that these aspects are all found naturally in your writing.

Grab their attention

You need to grab attention as soon as possible so that your readers will continue reading.

Having life changing information in your writing will not matter if your intended audience doesn’t read it. Use a title that catches their attention and causes them to want more.

Where appropriate, include images or videos too.

Engage Them

After you have gained your readers’ attention, engage them in the writing. This is going to differ depending on what you’re writing. The general concept here though is to create a scenario where they answer questions and begin to relate the material to themselves.

Keep them Entertained

Now that you have their attention and they are engaging with your content, entertain them. Unless your audience is looking for only facts and numbers, giving them the information in an entertaining way will keep them from falling asleep.

Stay on topic and use vivid, descriptive words – where that’s appropriate to do so.

Remain Professional

Although you are connecting with your audience and working on building a relationship, you still need to remain professional. You want them to see you as an expert in your field and trust that you can help them. One of the quickest ways to lose trust is through poor grammar and spelling.

So make sure you double check or have someone else check your work before publishing. You want your audience to easily read your material and get the meaning and answer they need.

That said, I wouldn’t be too concerned if there are one or two minor errors once in a while.

Yes, I know this is going to upset some people but hey, nobody’s perfect! 😉

Mostly, readers will forgive the odd typo, especially if the content is worthwhile. But content that is full of errors doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.

I also recommend keeping yourself professional if someone posts something you don’t like in reply to your content. Sometimes misunderstandings happen … and sometimes you’ll come across someone who’s just downright nasty! Either way, you can address their statements or complaints without getting into an online slanging match.

There are ways to disagree with people in a polite, adult way and you should always make sure you don’t let your emotions take over and start saying things you may later regret.

Show Your Personality

One way to keep from boring and losing your audience is to let your personality through. Your readers will be able to build a deeper connection with you when they feel they know you. If you are a bit quirky, let that show through. If you are more serious, let that come through in your writing.

Your audience can feel your honesty in your writing. When they feel you are not being honest, they will lose their trust and connection with you.

Not everyone is going to like you or appreciate seeing your personality shine through in your content. That’s perfectly okay! You will attract more people who DO like you and feel they connect with you and these are the people you want around you.

The most important thing to remember is to get to know your intended audience and to write directly to them.

I know a lady who curses constantly throughout her marketing and makes no apologies for it. She’s also very spiritual (which is just a little too ‘woowoo’ for many). Some people are offended by this or thinks she’s off her rocker and don’t want anything to do with her.

But for others interested in her area of expertise – particularly others who curse a lot and are more spiritual – they absolutely LOVE her. Where some had felt they didn’t fit the stereo-typical “professional” within their niche, they see her as an example that they can be successful without having to change who they are or how they behave.

This lady has built a huge following and has earnt millions from being herself and connecting with others like her. These are the people she focuses on, not those who don’t like her or think she should change her behaviour.

It can take a little practise to get this right. Over time though, you’ll find it easier and easier to write in a way that best suits your particular audience(s). Following the guidelines above will help you to be able to build a solid connection and understanding with readers. With this, those people will keep coming back to hear more of what you have to say.

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What Are The Best Times To Post On Social Media?

best times to post on social media

Recently I shared some tips on what social media your customers are hanging out on and how to choose the best social media platforms. That is, the best social platforms for your market and your niche.

In this post I want to take that one step further.

Now you (hopefully!) have chosen the best social platforms for your business, do you know the best times to post on social media? Knowing this can make it easier and much more effective for you. Wouldn’t it be great if you could know the best days and times when your customers and potential customers are likely to be online, giving your posts a better chance of being seen?

The Infographic below, courtesy of Quick Sprout, gives and excellent summary of the best times to post on each of the most popular social media platforms.

What Are The Best Times to Post on Social Media
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Summing Up

Keep in mind however that this is a very general guide only. These best times to post on social media may vary depending on who your target market is. It’s worthwhile testing this out yourself by posting at different times throughout the day and measuring the response. But using this guide above is an excellent starting point.

Once you have a clearer idea of the best days and times to post to the social media platforms you’re using, chances are it won’t always be possible for you to be online at these exact times. So… what to do?

Where possible you can set up scheduling, so your own posts are shared at the best times. Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Edgar can help you with that.

Following these suggestions and the ones on how to choose the best social media platforms to post on should give you clarity on what to do. The only thing left is to plan some time to take action and just do it!

 

 

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What Social Media Platforms are YOUR Customers Hanging Out On?

social media platforms

Over the last few years social media has become an important part of many business’ marketing strategy (and if it isn’t part of yours yet, it should be).

It seems like every day a new platform is popping up. You can very easily get overwhelmed and confused deciding which ones to use. And unless you’re happy to outsource this part of your business, it simply won’t be possible to use every social media platform effectively.

Before you can decide on which one is best for you as a way to reach your customers, consider the following two questions:

1) Which ones do you feel most comfortable using; and

2) Which ones are your customers using?

Answering these questions will automatically put you leagues ahead of your competition. You will be able to focus on the platforms that give you the most results for your time. However, you also need to be aware that simply because Twitter is your favorite platform, it doesn’t mean that your customers are going to be there.

You need to pick the social media platforms that you are comfortable with – or comfortable outsourcing to a social media marketer – and that your customers are hanging out on. Sometimes this means that you may need to get a little more familiar with one of the platforms.

As an example, if you are wanting to communicate with women looking for new clothes and styles, out of all of your choices, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn are likely to be your best choices.

Here’s a quick run-down on some of the most popular social media platforms:

Facebook

Facebook has the largest user base with 1.71 billion active users and 1.31 active users each day. That is a large population of people that could possibly hear about you or your business. Unfortunately, these same stats may make it difficult to get the attention of your potential clients. Facebook is a good place to reach members of all age groups, especially those between the ages of 20 and 50.

Pinterest

If your ideal customer is a woman, then Pinterest may be your choice. Having 82% of Pinterest users being women, you are truly missing out if your marketing is targeted to women and you are not on Pinterest.

Instagram

The teens have truly taken to Instagram; 32% of teenagers choose Instagram over Facebook. So if you are marketing to teenagers, then you need to be on Instagram.

Another demographic that has key impact on Instagram is the 25-34 age group. Instagram is a very visual platform. Therefore, with society becoming more and more digital, if you are trying to reach teens or Gen X-er’s then you need to be on Instagram. Remember, Instagram is not just an image platform; it is also a video platform.

YouTube

YouTube has over 1 million viewers each month; it follows second to Facebook. If you want to reach a large group of people, using YouTube could be your answer.

You will have a great advantage reaching adults between the ages of 18 and 34 by integrating YouTube into your social media plan. Another great thing about YouTube is that it shows up in Google searches.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not like other social media platforms. You will find highly educated people and those who fall into the higher tiered income on LinkedIn. Over half the users of LinkedIn have an income of over $75,000.

This is also a great place to find business professionals and businesses who need your expertise. If your target market is business professionals or businesses, you need to add LinkedIn to your social media plan.

Twitter

Do not leave Twitter out of your plan. Twitter has a user base of 313 million, with 100 million of them using Twitter each day. Again, you will find you easily reach those between the ages of 18 and 34, however there are people of all ages using Twitter. Since you can only use 140 characters in a tweet it is more difficult to get your message across, so it’s important to learn how to use Twitter effectively to get the most from your time here.

Before you begin changing your business strategies, take time to answer the important questions. Decide which platforms you are comfortable using, or which you will need to learn to use. And, determine which social media platforms your potential customers are hanging out on. You want to find the common ground between the two.

If you love Pinterest, but your customers are not there, then you will need to go to another platform. You can easily find where you customers are by doing some additional research. Search for groups that fit your perfect customer, search for posts related to their problems, and ask your current customers where they hang out.

Although each platform has its larger demographics, you may find that your customers are hanging out there even though they are in the lower percentage.

The most important thing though is that you are using social media to connect and engage with your customers (and potential customers).

If you’re just starting out with using Facebook for business, or social media in general, Dani Taylor’s Social Active webinar will be worthwhile attending. Not only will Dani share her expertise to help you get started with Facebook, she’s one the sweetest, most genuine people I have the pleasure of knowing.

Click the banner below for more details and make sure you take lots of notes!

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