One of my mentors told me a long time ago “The truth will set you free, but first it will p@%s you off!” So this month I thought I would start with a liberating truth that may annoy you, but when you know that truth, it will set you free.
The most common error I see when I critique people’s writing is… they are trying to be everything to everyone. The biggest problem with this is… they are not speaking directly to the reader who is ready for them and they are trying way too hard to connect with people who aren’t interested in them. (This is the truth part. It wasn’t too painful was it?)
I have a lot of people say to me that when they read what I have written, it feels like I was talking directly to them. Well, this is no accident because when I write, I only write to one person.
There is a popular technique people use to hone in on who they are marketing to. They use a series of questions to create an “Avatar.” This is a great technique, but my friend and mentor Lorrie Morgan Ferrero creates what she calls a “Tarket” and I use this approach.
You see a “Tarket” is your Target + Market combined into one. It is a singular way to look at one person rather than a group of people.
For example, when people choose an age for their Avatar, they will say things like… “they are a woman between the ages of 30 and 65.” This is an age spread of 35 years which is huge. Think about it for a moment… this one group of women contains daughters, mothers, grandmothers and possibly great grandmothers.
Not to mention this age group covers 3 different generations… Y gen, X gen and baby boomers. And they all have a very different way of communicating. Words which connect with one generation will repel another.
So when you do a huge age spread, you make it difficult to know how to communicate with your market. This is why a specific “Tarket” is a more solid strategy. Lorrie even goes one step further by writing a personal description of the “Tarket” and naming them to make them more human.
The most heartfelt and connecting communication comes when we are talking to one person. People often have no problem writing an email or message to a loved one… but when it comes to writing to their market they freeze.
Well, next time you write to your market, don’t write to everyone. (You wouldn’t start an email with “Hey everyone!” and if you do… Stop it now!) Change the market to a “Tarket” and write to them like you are communicating with a loved one. The authenticity and care for them will be palpable. They will feel as though you are talking directly to them.
Business is all about relationships and trust. The best way you can connect with your market is to treat them as individuals and respect them. People buy from people, not from generic, clinical and unfeeling communication.
Write from your heart to their heart. You will like the way you write and they will love reading it.
The above article was featured in the September 2014 ddition of the YMagazine.