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Write for Your Target Audience

The Dream

Wouldn’t it be great if you started a business that satisfied a need for every single person in the entire world?

Think of the success you would have! You’d never have to find your clients, because everyone would be one! You’d be the wealthiest, most successful and sought after business in the world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Finding a product or service that everyone needs and no one else can provide is a dream many of us have. But because each customer has his or her own unique set of wants and desires, it remains just that – a dream.

The Reality

More realistically, each of us has started a business because we have a product or service that many people – not every person – but many people need or want. We have done our research and determined that a good many people will buy from us.

I’ve talked with business owners at networking events that tell me they market to everyone. Anyone is a potential client.

I think it’s safe to say that they would have more sales success if they marketed their efforts to those who really need what they have to offer. In other words, they would grow their business faster if they focused their energy on reaching their target audience.

Your Target Audience

Your target audience is the group of people who want or need what you have to sell. It takes some time and research to determine who that group is. It’s a group that has similar motives, and may have like backgrounds, education levels or locations.

For example, a daycare center may focus its marketing efforts on parents of young children, or soon-to be parents. They probably wouldn’t have much success tapping into the young professionals or retiree’s age groups. Similarly, an anti-aging company that sells wrinkle prevention products would primarily market to individuals of a certain age. Teenagers are likely not a target. They will make more sales if they focus on women ages 35 and older.

Write for Your Audience

Once you have determined who your target audience is, write with them in mind.

Here are some tips:

Know their needs. What kinds of problems do they have that your business can solve? Write blog articles that explain a concept or answer a question that your audience has.

Know where they are. Does your target audience live near you or in another country? Do they spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram? Or are they on LinkedIn and Twitter? Focus your efforts on where they are most likely to find what you have to say.

Write for their education level and background. Writing for an audience with a PhD in physics is different from writing to the average person. But long and complicated copy will cause your readers to lose interest no matter how educated they are. A good rule of thumb is to write for a fifth grade reading level.

Always make your content readable. Short sentences, short paragraphs, bulleted lists and subheadings all help to break up heavy copy into short, scannable chunks. Your readers will want to skim your information for the specifics they are looking for.

Identify what’s in it for them. Ever heard of show don’t tell? Don’t talk about how great your product is. Show them how what you offer can make their lives easier, eliminate stress or help them obtain a new skill.

Writing for your intended audience lets you be more targeted in your approach. You reach the people who need what you are offering, and avoid shooting in the dark, hoping your message gets read by the right person.

Ultimately writing for your target audience will save you time – something most of us don’t have enough of – and make your efforts more profitable. And who doesn’t want that?

Laurie Zinn is a Columbus-based freelance writer and owner of Line-By-Line. She helps businesses communicate with their customers through website content, blog articles, email marketing campaigns and social media. For more information about Line-By-Line, visit http://line-by-line.us or contact Laurie at laurie@line-by-line.us.

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