There’s always so much talk about the importance of finding out who your ideal audience is before you do anything. Honestly, it drove me crazy for a long, long time. I didn’t want to narrow my audience down. What if we wanted to work with both fiction and non-fiction writers? What about children’s authors? When Peter and I were working on our Avatar (ideal client) worksheet, I keep straying away from the “ideal” situation. I’ll always remember one thing Peter said to me, “It doesn’t mean we can’t work with those people, but we have to know who we are going to market to…” Okay, that made me feel better.
Below I’m going to debunk a few myths you have in the back of your mind (or won’t admit you do – that’s okay for now!).
Myth #1: I can serve everyone…
Wrong. Well, in reality I guess you can try to serve everyone, but you’re going to waste your time, your money, and you won’t be of value to the people who need you the most. Why? Because as Larry Levitt said,
We can’t be everything to everyone.”
Figure It Out and Be Consistent
There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to accomplish let alone try and write to everyone who will want to hear our story. Talk about exhausting. No one can be an expert in everything so we can’t write about everything.
One of the issues Peter and I had in growing our list of ideal clients was inconsistency. We offered three different free downloads for people to join our email list at different times throughout the year. We were trying to market to three different audiences; talk about a problem. We went back and forth, back and forth. Where did it take us? Not so far.
One way we decided to find our ideal clients was to learn more about them through strategy sessions. Potential clients are asked to schedule a complimentary 30-minute strategy sessions with us. Why? Our coach taught us if you ask the right questions you can tell within seven to ten minutes if the potential client is your ideal client.
When a potential ideal client books a strategy session with us, we send them an initial questionnaire which takes them about five to ten minutes to complete. We ask questions about why they’re writing a book, what’s the topic of the book, what are their goals for the book… They send the form back to us 24 hours before the call.
During the strategy session with the potential client, we ask certain questions depending on the answers they sent back to us. For instance, what’s your goal for publishing a book? If they’ve started a book, we ask them how far along they are in the process or if they haven’t started yet we ask them what’s keeping them from starting. One of the most important questions we ask is how motivated are you to seeing your book through the entire process – manuscript creation to publishing to marketing? If the number isn’t a certain level this is a red flag and we ask them why.
This information helps us determine if they’re the ideal client we want to work with because we can’t be everything to everyone. We have to know who we want to work with and if it isn’t a fit, it’s okay.
Do you know how long it took us to really figure out who our ideal audience is… two years. Two very long years, but now we know! We work with conscious thought leaders to help them tell and share their unique story by publishing a book.
Myth #2: I don’t have money to market
Ever Hear of Video, Blogs, Social Media…
You don’t need money to market. Sure, it’d be nice to have money to market and it’s a great idea to start an account for the future. You must not let lack of funds stop you or be your excuse for not finding your ideal audience. If you don’t know your audience why are you writing your book, your speech, your blog?
We didn’t have a marketing budget when we launched our new business and at times we had to shuffle things around but guess what… Video is free, blogging is free, social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest – the basics of all of those platforms are free so no excuses. You can also take your videos and add them to your YouTube channel – free.
Video can be daunting, especially if you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera or speaking period. Believe me, I know. I did my first video about 20 months ago and I was shaking in my boots; okay tennis shoes. It was a five-day video challenge hosted by Katya Varbanova and the two reasons I joined are:
- I knew video was up and coming and a great way to reach more people and develop a personal relationship with them, and
- I’m a Professional Speaker and the best way to become better is by practicing, a lot!
When you have a few extra bucks and want someone to help with video editing, Donna Clark of DC Video Creations, is fantastic to work with; she is professional and full of tips to make your videos better. Here’s a sample of her work on one of our videos. (We don’t receive any kickback; Donna is a true professional and why I mentioned her here!) As a conscious thought leader, it’s very important to start letting people see you on camera.
I haven’t shot any videos in about three months because I had surgery so my goal and deadline to start doing videos again is the week of June 10. The way we market our videos is we add it to our YouTube channel, add it to our Thursday email newsletter, and then put the link on our other platforms on the days it makes sense according to our social media guy, Peter. Again, being consistent is the key.
Blogging takes commitment and time, but if you put it into your plan, you can sit down and just do it. I’m not saying it’s easy or convenient and yes, something can always stand in the way. However, when you blog, you can reuse the information in several places and go back several months or years (if the information is still relevant) and use it again in short blurbs, tip images… I started my first business in 1996 and I’ve been going back and using information from some of those blogs for short tips or motivational quotes, etc.
Here’s a tip on how we use blogging to market: Our Tuesday Tip blog goes out on Tuesday and we are starting to write a blog for Thursdays. Let’s use Tuesday’s blog as my example here. After the blog goes live, we add the link to our Tuesday Tip email newsletter and again, we’ll send out the link to the blog on our other platforms when it makes sense to Peter. It’s all about those algorithms.
Social media ties into all of the above, but you can use social media more than by only adding links to your videos or blogs. The most important thing is to be consistent. If you aren’t on social media yet or don’t dabble in it much, pick one or two platforms to start with and when you’re comfortable and consistent after three to six months, add another platform. You don’t have to do all of them at once; if you do, you’re asking for unneeded stress.
- Figure out and follow your ideal audience
- Interact with them
- Communicate by answering any comments or questions they have on your page or group or if you are in another group, be active
- Be social; let people know who you are
- Provide helpful information
Putting It Together Brings Value
When you’ve discovered your audience and realized you don’t have the time or energy to serve everyone you can concentrate on bringing your true value to the people who need you most. When you realize not having a large budget to market isn’t necessary (yes, it would be nice, but should’t hold you back), nothing can stop you from spreading your message to your ideal audience. So many ways and ways to save time!
Finally, when you know the people you want to work with and you know your marketing plan, you can provide better value because you can concentrate on how to write your copy for videos, webinars, speaking engagements, blogs, social media posts, and the list continues. We’re finally there; it’s taken us longer than we’d hoped. Maybe this post will help you figure it out sooner than we did and you’ll be on your way to building your ideal audience so they’re ready to buy your book when you’ve finished it.
Who is your ideal audience and how do you find and interact with them? We look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time,