The Importance of Knowing Your Ideal Reader: Who Are You Writing for?
Have you ever read a book description on Amazon or watched a video and thought, this person is speaking to me? After reading the book description or watching the video, you most likely went on to purchase a product or service. Have you always wanted to know how do they do it? Do you want to know what compelled you to buy from them?
It’s time for you to understand what takes someone from Internet surfer to avid fan. And discover, how you can apply this principle to writing a non-fiction book. Before I share this information with you, I have an important question to ask. Do you know your ideal reader? Could you spot them in a bookstore or on social media?
Know, Like, and Trust
This marketing strategy isn’t about being sleazy or manipulative. Unfortunately, many first-time or aspiring authors have a negative view of marketing. Marketing has become synonymous with sleazy info-commercials, email spammers, telemarketers, or people who spam links on social media. Neither of these scenarios illustrates the marketing strategy I’m talking about.
Philip Kotler defines marketing as satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process. This is a far cry from the market tactic used in the examples above. This definition is based on the “know, like, and trust” factor. This strategy recognises that in order for a reader to buy your book, they have to know, like, and trust you; in a similar way, you build a friendship.
At the first stage of friendship, you were once strangers, and over time you got to know them. Then you started to like them, and e you built a sense of trust. This marketing principle works in a similar way, but before we go through the “know, like, and trust” factor, you must define your ideal reader. Without this step, you will have a broad book idea that appeals to no one.
I know this doesn’t make sense, but you need a highly targeted reader to make money with your writing.
Define Your Ideal Reader
The secret to feeling like you’re talking to an individual is to create an ideal reader profile. As you start this process you will notice the profile will seem a little broad. As you continue with the ideal reader profile, it will become specific. The readers biggest challenges will start to become clear as well. This process will make your marketing much clearer. It will also help you to identify which book ideas to pursue. Knowing your readers will help you to become more confident as you write and when you market your book.
So let’s get started.
It’s important to give your ideal reader a first name. This helps you to realise that you are marketing to people. Your book and its description are more than just words on the internet; real people are reading them. As you create your reader profile, consider the answer to the following questions:
- What gender is your ideal reader?
- What is their age? Be specific and give an age range.
- Where does your ideal reader live?
- What type of lifestyle do they lead?
- Are they single, living with a significant other, or married?
- What is their family situation?
- Does your reader have children or pets?
- What is your ideal reader’s career?
- What salary is your ideal reader earning?
- Describe your ideal readers current situation (give as much detail as possible).
- How does your ideal reader feel about their career and working environment?
- What does your ideal reader do in their spare time?
- What is your ideal reader passionate about?
- What does your ideal reader secretly daydream about?
What is Your Ideal Reader Struggling With?
It’s now time to dig a little deeper. Go back and look at your ideal reader profile. Ask yourself the following question: what keeps my ideal reader awake at night? The answer will reveal your readers biggest problem and insight into the solution. If you’re just starting out then this will be a creative process and you will feel like you’re just guessing. At this stage, this is what I want you to do, to guess. Ask yourself the following questions to help you become acquainted with your ideal reader’s biggest problems:
- What do they want out of life that they are not able to achieve for themselves?
- What kind of lifestyle does your ideal client want to have?
- What information do they need in order to achieve their goals?
- What actionable steps are they currently avoiding?
- What keeps your ideal client awake at night?
- What are your ideal clients biggest fears?
- What challenges is your ideal client-facing?
Be Future Focused
As you go through the list of questions you will feel tempted to focus on the next few months of your ideal reader’s life. Try to focus on the next two years as well. This will help your writing to evolve with your readers. Becoming future-focused will help you create ideas for follow-on books. This will keep your readers coming back and buying your books. Ask yourself the following questions in order to become more future-focused:
- After your ideal reader first reads your book, what new challenges will they face?
- What does your ideal reader what to achieve in the next 12 months?
- What does your ideal reader want to achieve in the next 24 months?
- After your ideal reader reads your book, how will their life change? What type of support will they require in the future?
- What new fears will your ideal reader face?
- What information will your ideal reader need to overcome their future fears and challenges?
As you create an ideal reader avatar, you will uncover more detail about your reader and their problems will become clearer. So, go back to your ideal reader avatar and dig a little deeper and give more detail. The more you understand your ideal reader the easier it will be to write and market your book.
As always, I have an important question for you. Have you become much clearer on who your ideal reader is? What was the most important thing you learned about your ideal reader that will help you write your non-fiction book? I want to hear from you. Let me know by sharing your answers in the comments section below.
I’m Amelia. I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Missing, the first book in the James Lalonde series. On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process. Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.