Are You Really Talking To Your Prospect?

Are you talking to your audience or to the industry? Blogging and online marketing is hard work as it is. There is a combination of elements that need to work together such as design, technology, content, sales strategy and the list goes on and on.

But there is one thing that will determine if your online business is successful or not, it doesn’t matter if you have mad eye candy on your website, all the latest technology or a great sales strategy ready to ship products out the door. It’s a very simple concept and yet, probably one of the hardest to nail down…

You need to know your audience.

But in this case let’s assume you know who your audience or your target market is.

Let’s do a quick exercise and answer the following two questions:

  • When you write a post, are you writing to your potential client or are you writing to the industry?
  • When you engage in conversations on social platforms, are you talking to your prospect or are you talking to people in your industry?

It’s very easy to get confused. It happens to me.

Sometimes I don’t write about a topic because I see other bloggers out there already published something before me. Sometimes I don’t post stuff that I think is too basic in the industry.

If you feel the same way sometimes I’ll tell you this: You are making a mistake. Most of this has to do more with your ego than anything else.

Who Should You Write For?

You should write for the person that needs your advice. The person that says thank you because you just shared a quick tip that was valuable.

In fact I think that you, as a publisher of content, are responsible for that audience. If you are a blogger in the travel industry and there is a group of people that have subscribed to your blog, is because those folks are relying on you for information on traveling tips. They like you and your content and they have made you one of their choices, if not their one and only choice.

Quick story. When Google+ launched the amount of blog posts published was overwhelming to me (and it still going on…), to the point that I didn’t want to write about it. There was nothing else to say. There was also that ego whispering in my ear that, what if my post is not as good… But in the meantime, the SocialMouths reader or subscriber that enjoys the content and the style here, or hopes to get their advice here, didn’t get anything on the topic.

Blogs have audiences and they are not necessarily the same ones, your audience knows how to google and they know they can find information but if they subscribe to your blog is because they enjoy getting this kind of advice from you. I don’t read all blogs about minimalism, I only read a couple of them that I made my favorites over time.

You have your own audience and and your potential buyer. Write for them.

Who Should You Ignore?

Ignore the industry. Unless you are an industry publication or course.

While you engage in conversations with individuals in your industry, and don’t get me wrong it is a thing of beauty, when it comes to producing content you should completely forget about them. They probably already know what you’re talking about, there is no value in it for them.

When you involve yourself into creating a great piece of content to impress everybody in your industry, you are doing it to feed your ego. If you are focused in delivering epic shit with loads of value in it for your audience/prospect, the content on that piece will be completely different.

Don’t worry if it’s too basic for your industry or if the topic has been covered before by other bloggers. The industry, your peers, collaborators and competitors are NOT your target market, they’re not even your readership.

The people that need your advice is the people that are likely to convert into a subscriber or a potential buyer, not the people in your industry.

Focus

In other words, forget your industry and focus on answering those questions presented by the consumer in your niche, by your audience or community. Focus on adding value to their lives and forget about keeping a good image in front of your peers and competitors.

Put all your knowledge, talent and experience together and deliver it to the people that needs it. If somebody says “I already knew that” then that person is not your target.

Producing content for the wrong audience is very time consuming and leads you to no sales.

How about you, is it easy for you to keep the focus on your audience when you write content?

  • Super fantastic advice! It can be really easy to get caught up in writing for your industry. But if you’re in this for a business, you want to be writing for your customer, regardless if it’s already been said. Everyone is targeting different people, different locations, etc. It’s not wise to not post about something because you saw someone else do it. 

    Great post, Francisco! 

  • This post looks like a finely tuned retrospective of Google’s suggestion to webmasters: Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

    Whatever, solutions(not repeated) are always the best things to get maximum exposure to your content!

  • Great post Fransisco, and something that hits home for me this week.  To answer your question, “Yes” it is easy (and should be) for me to write content for my own audience.  Its mostly the stuff that I already know!  But of course – like you mention – My ego gets in the way and I try to write something to impress.  That usually leaves me feeling frustrated instead and then I end up not shipping.  Much better to focus on the people I can help instead of trying to look cool.  Thanks for the re-affirmation. 

  • Great post Fransisco, and something that hits home for me this week.  To answer your question, “Yes” it is easy (and should be) for me to write content for my own audience.  Its mostly the stuff that I already know!  But of course – like you mention – My ego gets in the way and I try to write something to impress.  That usually leaves me feeling frustrated instead and then I end up not shipping.  Much better to focus on the people I can help instead of trying to look cool.  Thanks for the re-affirmation. 

  • Great post Fransisco, and something that hits home for me this week.  To answer your question, “Yes” it is easy (and should be) for me to write content for my own audience.  Its mostly the stuff that I already know!  But of course – like you mention – My ego gets in the way and I try to write something to impress.  That usually leaves me feeling frustrated instead and then I end up not shipping.  Much better to focus on the people I can help instead of trying to look cool.  Thanks for the re-affirmation. 

  • Great post Fransisco, and something that hits home for me this week.  To answer your question, “Yes” it is easy (and should be) for me to write content for my own audience.  Its mostly the stuff that I already know!  But of course – like you mention – My ego gets in the way and I try to write something to impress.  That usually leaves me feeling frustrated instead and then I end up not shipping.  Much better to focus on the people I can help instead of trying to look cool.  Thanks for the re-affirmation. 

  • Great post Fransisco, and something that hits home for me this week.  To answer your question, “Yes” it is easy (and should be) for me to write content for my own audience.  Its mostly the stuff that I already know!  But of course – like you mention – My ego gets in the way and I try to write something to impress.  That usually leaves me feeling frustrated instead and then I end up not shipping.  Much better to focus on the people I can help instead of trying to look cool.  Thanks for the re-affirmation. 

  • Awesome post Francisco! I see many businesses forgetting all about their customers and taking a “me, me, me” attitude, it is great to read a post that reminds us why we are in business, the customers who buy our products because our products solve a problem they are having.

  • Spot on, Francisco!  I advise clients that all the time — talk *to* site visitors — not *at* site visitors.  Big difference in intent and tone.  Then I tell them about my 3X rule.  I’m asked something once; I make a mental note.  The second time, the topic is added to my “To Do” list to write a post or add a resource to cover that dilemma so that by the third time I’m asked, I have a URL handy to send folks to that answers their concerns in detail.  Keep up the great work!

  • Christine Pietrowiak

    Just to say it one more time – great post. Couldn’t be more timely for me. I am in the process of finding my voice on my own site and another for a new client. While you would think writing for your audience is common sense it is easy to get caught up in your own world and forget about who actually reads your work.

  • Fantastic post Francisco, I have to keep reminding myself of this.

  • Thank you Coy, always a pleasure having you stop by =)

  • Thank you Coy, always a pleasure having you stop by =)

  • Christine, finding your own voice can be hard work sometimes but finding somebody else’s…

    As you say, this stuff is common sense yet, I think it happens to all of us blogging in a specific niche. I sometimes find myself stopping in the middle of a post thinking “wait a second, who am I talking to here?”

  • Judith, great tip!

    It reminds me of how we treated complaints in customer service at my old company, by the third similar one we knew we had a problem we needed to address.

    What you’re talking about is a great system for producing content your audience truly wants. As @chrisbrogan:twitter said a few years ago “grow bigger ears”.

    Thanks for your comment, glad to have you stopped by. Just followed you on Twitter at @istudio:twitter 

  • Glad you liked it Karla, it’s really a matter of going back to basics. Writing it was a good exercise and a good reminder for me too.

    Thanks for visiting!

  • Hey Bryan, couldn’t agree with you more, that frustation comes from feeling we are not being of service to others. I’m with you.

    I just read your very cool bio on http://about.me/bryanmwilson and realized we share the same dreams, I’m hoping to move my family (I also have to pack kids…) to Chile for a while. Hope to stay in contact with you, just followed you on Twitter.

    Thanks for swinging by!

  • Although I think you’re talking about a different subject, I agree with you and I think it is a great addition to the post.

    Writing for search engines is even worse, writing good content that provides value makes you relevant, of course it is more of a long term approach and, sadly nowadays we seem to not have the patience for that.

    Thanks for your great comment!

  • Hey let me know one thing. If I want to start blogging for a “make money online” niche. And analyzed that lots of blogs are already there or published very well. So what can I expect from my blogs which I will publish in few days. They can be establish very well or they can beat already published blogs… I am little bit confused.  Please help

  • This is something that can’t be said enough Francisco, and especially relevant when you’re blogging for business. I worked with a client who, after seeing some of the blog posts being written for her, told us she didn’t like them. What it came down to (after a lot of questions) was that she wanted to write for her peers. Silly us, we thought we were trying to get her clients – not the people in her industry.

    This same advice can also be used as guidance on content creation. If you write with the assumption that people don’t know what you know then you’ll have more to write about.

  • Awesome, I’m glad to hear it man!  We are currently in Mazatlan, Mexico but heading to Denver in another 2 weeks.  Chile is definitely on the list after a couple of months back in the states!  Maybe we’ll meet up down there.  Seriously though, I appreciate everything you write on this blog.  Totally look up to you and what you do. 

  • Good advice here. I think this often gets ignored. I don’t think it’s bad if you’re peers read your blog. And, often in writing for your prospects, you’ll still attract your peers. However, if you have a blog to build a business, you really do need to think about who your primary audience is – and that’s often not your peers. (Unless that’s your target audience, like Spin Sucks, for example.)

    I love the point about Google+. I was in the same boat. I held off on writing about it because I felt it had already been hashed to death. Then, I remembered that my clients and prospects may still be wondering about what the implications were for THEIR business. I wrote it for them. While a number of peers shared it or commented, I heard from others who told me how much they appreciated it because they weren’t sure what to do.

    The bottom line is you have to know your goals – that makes a big difference in determining who you write for.

  • That’s great advice, it’s an easy trap to fall into. I find myself trying to write the next biggest and best thing. And it’s really all ego. Trying to impress peers. Not writing for the audience. 

  • Hello Laura, You’re completely right and I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression about this point. One of the things I love about the social web is the sense of collaboration in a particular niche, we comment and interact even with our competitors. We actually support each other.

    I believe the key here is knowing how to identify who’s who, specially when it comes to producing content. You’ll still get the support from your peers if you produce quality.

    Great comment. Happy to have you stop by.

  • Good point Rob.

    And about your client, I guess there is nothing wrong with that if that’s the goal… and you know how to communicate it. =

    Cool of you to swing by!

  • Tough question there. I guess at this point you’ll be lucky to find a niche that’s not saturated, on the other hand, that doesn’t mean you can’t position yourself in the marketplace.

    My advice, like I said in this post, is to focus on providing value to your audience and don’t pay too much attention to other bloggers. Focusing on how your competitors are doing is a huge waste of time in any kind of business.

  • It would be cool Francisco if we hadn’t formed the plan of action with the client after telling them the content would be focused on acquiring customers. It’s been handled though and we’re back on track.

  • You’re touching on a very important topic here, Francisco. I also think Judith’s comment below is one of the main things we should remember when writing a blog post. Clearly you have mastered it – well done!

  • Nope – you didn’t give the wrong impression at all. The collaboration from peers is the icing on the cake, isn’t it? It’s the best part. 🙂

  • I go through from your blog its really so interesting and very knowledgeable,Thanks to sharing here,I would like to appreciate you to post some more blogs…

  • I am absolutely amazed at the stuff you know. I just found this and I am hooked! Thanks again Francisco!

  • Well put, It sometimes helps to engage discussion with prospects first on sites like LinkedIn and then you will get a better understanding of who you are writing for  

  •  I totally agree with this post Francisco. It really feels great to receive good feedbacks from customers who are more than satisfied and thankful for the efforts that we do when we talk to our prospects. It makes you do even better.

  • Very sound advice here, I think many people confuse this. It does not matter how many times a topic has been written about, your subscribers want to get your spin on it. 

  • Hello,
    Thank you for the tips. sometimes blog contents address the generic audience, which can be misleading and neglect the specific audiences that will gain more benefits from the content. addressing the specific queries of the audiences is truly helpful in order to provide personalize services.

  • If a person talking with you nicely than you also should talk nice in return… If you are a blogger in the travel industry and so there is a group of people that have subscribed to your blog..

  • Well today customer is the king of market! thus forget your industry and focus on answering those questions presented by the consumer in your niche, by your audience or community.

  • I believe it is all about “passion”

  • Anonymous

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  • It’s a very simple concept and yet, probably one of the hardest to nail down…

  • But in this case let’s assume you know who your audience or your target market is.

    Let’s do a quick exercise and answer the following two questions:
     

  • business is successful or not, it doesn’t matter if you have mad eye
    candy on your website, all the latest technology or a great sales
    strategy ready to ship products out the door. It’s a very simple concept
    and yet, probably one of the hardest to nail down…

  • I make a mental note.  The second time, the topic is added to my “To Do”
    list to write a post or add a resource to cover that dilemma so that by
    the third time I’m asked, I have a URL handy to send folks to that
    answers their concerns in detail.  Keep up the great work!

  • It’s a very simple concept and yet, probably one of the hardest to nail down…