Are You Writing for Your Audience or Are You Writing for Yourself?
Are you writing for your audience or are you writing for yourself? It may seem obvious—”my blog is for my business! Of COURSE I’m writing for my audience, I want them to buy my service!”
But are you really?
Because it’s easy to think that our audience is interested in the same things we’re interested. And many service-based businesses I see automatically consider themselves their ideal clients. Sometimes that’s true, but is that true for your business?
I see this especially in the world of “I’m a creative entrepreneur and I serve other creative entrepreneurs.” I’m looking at you—coaches, designers, photographers—and ahem, myself. But is your client in exactly the same place as you? Are you writing to their level?
Of course a blog is a blog and you need to write about what lights you up in order to truly make that emotional connection with your audience. I am ALL about using a personal story to drive home a point (case in point: This post right here). So yes, be selfish when you’re creating your content. One of my favorite ways to learn something new or master a certain technique is to blog about it (that’s what I was doing in my post about tracking Instagram referrals in Google Analytics, which ended up being one of the biggest drivers of traffic for my site). I was able to do research and record what I was doing, which helped me better ingrain that into my own head, but I also knew that this was something my audience was struggling to understand too. Don’t write a blog post because you feel like you have to. Write something that’s interesting to you, but make sure you’re drawing a deeper conclusion for your clients too!
One of my clients was getting her business set up just before we started working together. She realized that she needed to start writing on her blog more consistently, so as I sent her my initial questionnaire, she started blogging five times per week. I congratulated her on her dedication and consistency (I mean, damn! Five times per week is INTENSE), but once we started digging into who her ideal client actually is (this is a huge part of my content strategy services), we had to have an honesty moment.
Because the dream client she was describing in all the exercises we were doing would not at all care about the content she was writing in her blog. She was writing tips for entrepreneurs and tips for getting your own business and website off the ground. They were great posts, but they were meant for an entirely different type of client—they were meant for herself and for people who are on the same level and same place in their business as herself. And that’s a common mistake I see.
You write what you know. You write what you’re learning. You write what’s happening in your life right now. And you should. These are all things that infuse soul into your writing and what allow those words to come more easily. BUT, if your ideal client is at a point in their business that you were five years ago, or if you’re trying to snag well-established businesses that are beyond the point of caring about the types of posts that are helpful to where you’re at right now, then you’ve got to be a little more strategic in your writing.
Take what’s happening in your life. Take the lessons you’re learning. Take the things that are interesting to you now, but bend them into an ultimate lesson that is applicable to your clients right now. Ask yourself as you’re writing and before you hit publish, “Does my dream client gain something from this?” (a good laugh, an applicable lesson, a nugget of knowledge that they can apply to their lives?)
I really wanted to tell my ridiculous story about setting my oven on fire and having hunky firemen come over to my house. The story on its own isn’t necessarily giving my dream clients anything (I mean it’s entertaining, but wildly off-topic), so I considered how it could be a metaphor for something that I was having lots of conversations about at the time and that my clients were currently struggling with—being afraid to share content because someone might copy you. It’s a stretch, I’ll admit, but it makes for a good story. I could have just written about copycats and being afraid to share your content, but that wouldn’t have been enjoyable to me.
So think about it: Is that list of resources actually helpful to who you’re trying to reach? Is there a better story that you can tell with enthusiasm that will both showcase some of your personality (because people buy from people) AND provide an impactful takeaway for your audience? Is there a universal lesson to take away from this post?