A Simple 3-Step Process To Win Your Readers’ Hearts


• By Jason Quey •

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Have you ever heard the phrase you need to “get inside your reader’s head?”

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If you are like me, you might be a little tired of hearing this statement.

Although you know you are supposed to do it, you don’t have any specific instructions on how to do it.

It’s important to understand your readers and those you are trying to attract with your content.

What are their fears? Their hopes and dreams? What keeps them up at night?

But doing so can be one of the hardest skills to develop as a writer.

In fact, it can take years of continuous improvement to become really good at it.

However, there are ways for you to get this information quickly and effectively using simple and strategic formulas and tools.

In this post, I’ll provide you a simple 3-step process I use to help immerse yourself inside your reader’s head to know precisely what they want and how to deliver that to them.

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They are:

1. List out your top competitors

2. Know PRECISELY who your readers are

3. Use 4 Jedi mind tricks to get inside your reader’s mind

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If you’d like to download a template I created to help you implement this guide, simply click the button below:

Download The Immersion Strategy Template

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Step 1: List Out Your Top Competitors

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To keep things lively, I’ll pretend I’ve been assigned the task to create content for a fashion blog to help you if you write on B2C topics.

If you write in the B2B niche, I’ll share what I’m doing for my web hosting startup, Decibite.

To start off, I like to do a little bit of competitor research.

This allows me to know what they are doing well (and copy it) and where I think I can improve on what they are doing.

Now you can spend all day doing this but the idea here is to give you a good foundation to start off. Later on as you get more research, you can add on to this.

So to start off by writing out four competitors in a simple spreadsheet.

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Not sure who your competitors are?

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The simplest way to find your competitors is to use some simple Google magic by looking up “top [topic] bloggers”.

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Looking at the Fashionista post, I found out four fashion competitors are:

1. Chiara Ferragni, The Blonde Salad

2. Aimee Song, Song of Style

3. Wendy Nguyen, Wendy’s Lookbook

4. Kristina Bazan, Kayture

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Note: I’m using these as an example for this article, not endorsing these writers specifically.

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I also will note that these are predominantly women authors.

As a hypothesis, they probably have an audience predominantly made up of women. So if my niche is targeted to men’s fashion, I’d look for the top male fashion bloggers.

To keep things simple, I’ll keep to women’s fashion though.

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Did you notice another golden nugget in the Fashionista piece?

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The author describes what social media channels each of these bloggers have a huge following on. In this case, mainly on Instagram and YouTube, though Twitter and Facebook are also mentioned for Kristina.

Alternatively, I like to use Buzzsumo to get some key insights on what’s the most popular content and channels:

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This allows me to know what channels to promote your content on once it is produced.

Facebook seems to be a great place, and perhaps Pinterest, given the 2nd article. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t touch LinkedIn.

Additionally, using Buzzsumo is how I treat my post like a startup as it gives me proof of success before even writing anything out.

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I could write about:

1. The best lipstick for dark lips

2. Talk about celebrity news or fashion

3. Fashion shows

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What about for B2B?

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The B2C strategy I gave above can also work for B2B.

However, you can also do product competitor analysis too (which we will do here).

You can do this by plugging in the product into Google to see how you can speak to your potential customer’s pain points:

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The initial competitors are going to be:

  1. GoDaddy
  2. HostGator
  3. SiteGround
  4. BlueHost

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Note: Again, I’m using these as an example, not endorsing these companies.

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Step 2: Know PRECISELY Who Your Readers Are

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If you want to know what your readers think, you first need to know who they are.

PLEASE. For the sake of all that it is good about marketing, do not create a fake customer avatar (i.e. a cute ideal picture of who you think your audience might be).

I know, I know, there isn’t much good to be said about marketing (we tend to ruin everything).

But there is a way to get good data about your audience in a quick and effective manner without playing silly guessing games.

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In fact, here are 3 tools you can use to get a plethora of insights about your audience:

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1. Sprout Social

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What I love about Sprout is it analyzes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, Instagram, and even Feedly. Facebook is a tough nut to crack for valuable data at scale. But Sprout provides this to you on a silver platter.

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Check this out:

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Step 1: Add all of your social profiles

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Step 2: Go to reports

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Step 3: Click on “Group Report”

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Step 4: Check out your freshly minted data

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Oh, yeeaaaah!

Since I hooked up this account today, this only shows you data that they already had on hand, not new data that will come as you continue to use Sprout Social.

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This is what the information looks like when you’ve been using Sprout Social for a while:

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Starting cost is $59/month. Sprout Social also has a 30-day free trial you can use. Plenty of time to get the valuable research you need if you don’t want ongoing insights.

A downside to Sprout Social is it only gives you info about your target audience (or your clients), not your competitors.

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Here’s an alternative tool you can use to snoop on the competition…

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2. Keyword Display Planner

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Betcha didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

Not only can you get a lot of great information by mining keywords and topics, you can also plug in a website to get some great knowledge about your audience.

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Start here:

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On the next page, you’ll get a whole bunch of suggestions for keywords. Ignore them.

That’s a whole ‘nother topic.

If you want to learn about keyword research, I’d recommend reading:

    1. How to Research Keywords: Tips, Competition and Squirrels” for SEO and
    2. 27 Keyword Research Tools To Dig Up More Conversions” and “21 AdWords Bidding Strategies Your Competitors Don’t Know” for PPC.

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The only thing we care about is the panel in the center of the screen that breaks down the demographics of people who search for the terms you entered.

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Neat, eh?

Now here’s the best strategy I recently untapped:

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3. Ask them

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I know, it’s so simple, it’s kind of crazy.

Asking your audience can be a time consuming challenge if you’ve got a big site.

The easy solution?

Setup a Typeform and ask them when they subscribe. I now do this in my intro email to my newsletter.

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I ask the audience 3 simple questions:

1. How would you describe yourself?

2. What interested you in joining my list?

3. What other marketing sites do you frequent? Please tell me their name?

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(And if you would be so kind, I’d love to learn more about you to help me deliver even better content to you. Here’s my 3 question survey. No newsletter signup required if you aren’t interested. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you are ready.)

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Instead of guessing about your audience, you can now know precisely who they are.

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Step 3: Use 4 Jedi Mind Tricks to Read Someone’s Mind

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What if I told you, you could read someone’s mind using marketing superpowers?

Yup, I’d label myself a nutcase too. But there is a way to do this that will win the hearts of your audience to promote content for you.

In fact, one of my recent articles I wrote on my personal blog had three people tell me I read their mind.

Truth is, I’m a marketer, not a mind-reader. So how can you unlock the secret to what your audiences is thinking?

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Learn the precise words your audience uses.

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If you want to know what someone is thinking, the best place to start is finding out where your audience is genuinely speaking from the heart.

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What am I looking for when doing research?

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I want to know:

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1. What are my audience’s pains and fears?

They may say something like, “I’m sick of being out of shape and tired all the time.”
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2. What are their hopes and dreams?

Figure out what they truly want for themselves.

They might say “I really wish I could just code up a cool idea really fast” or “If only I could fit into my jeans from high school again!”

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3. Any other interesting tidbits, stories, catchphrases, and metaphors they use.

If you find two people saying the exact same thing, it’s a good idea to take note of this.Look for words they use that are unique to them. This makes you seem just like “one of the guys” (see what I did there?).

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Where can you find your target audience?

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Blog comments (both on your site and a competitors) are a good starting place as people don’t often filter themselves through an editor. You can also tap forums in a similar manner.

Amazon book reviews are another place I like to tap for ideas. Simply browse for the top books in your category and check out the 2 and 3 star reviews to see what people say.

Reddit has been a great tool for me to learn how my audience speaks.

Yes, reddit does have its oddities and aversion to us marketers. But this simple trick requires very little knowledge about the platform.

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Here’s what I do:

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Type in your area of interest into reddit search.

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Click on “limit to subreddit” and browse through the different subreddits (i.e. categories) they list out.

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Click on the comments links and peruse through what people say.

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Here’s an interesting nugget I found in the first post:

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Given it received 10 points, I already know this is a concern my potential audience has.

Heck, if I were creating content for a fashion blog, I’d even use those precise words in my article.

Alternatively, for a product or service, you can ask your audience what they’d love someone to do for them. This is precisely what I did for my web hosting startup and got feedback like this:

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This allowed me to figure out the best competitive advantages for Decibite by offering $110/month of services for free that the other competitors charge for, such as:

– Site backup

– Upgrade to https

– Antivirus and malware removal

– Traffic surge protection and monitoring

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That’s what we in the biz call, “Money”.

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Final thoughts

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Now you’ve learned who your audience is and what they want to hear about from you.

The better you understand your readers, the more you’ll be able to write exactly what they want to see (and value).

I recommend trying a couple of these strategies out. But if you really want to get a clear picture of what your readers think and care about, use them all.

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Which strategy do you plan to try?

Write it down in the comment section below as a simple commit to yourself. Then go out and take action!

 
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Guest autor: Jason Quey

Jason Quey is the founder of Cofounders With Class and helps business owners connect with influencers so they can rapidly grow their business together.

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