Write for Them, Not You: Copywriting Tips to Connect with Your Audience
This particular blog post isn’t about you. It’s about them. Your audience.
Do you care what they care about? You should.
Satisfying yourself is one of the most common mistakes a marketing writer can make. Don’t do it.
It’s way easier to communicate the way you prefer to communicate. The tone, the word choice, the benefits of your product that you find most attractive—when you write in your own style, the words flow and your copy sounds like poetry.
However, it doesn’t matter if you think your words are perfect, or if you believe you nailed that headline. Patting yourself on the back won’t actually accomplish anything. Besides wasting your time.
What matters is what your customers care about.
Identify the triggers and motivations your audience hold close to their hearts. Dig deep and find ways to reach out to them in the ways that they prefer.
Then, they will take notice of what you are selling.
Why is it easy to miss the mark?
Have you ever heard a hilarious joke…one so funny that you couldn’t wait to tell a friend? Yet after flawlessly delivering the same joke to your friend, you don’t quite get the reaction you’re expecting? And instead, they stare blankly back at you wondering why you just wasted eight seconds of their time with such an awful joke.
Why did the line you found so funny fall so flat with them?
Because they’re not you.
Not all jokes are intended for all people. Same thing goes with copy.
As intelligent as we may seem, we humans tend to look at life through our own lenses. Our individual experiences define how we approach situations and react to circumstances—or react to marketing messages.
Said another way—you and I are self-centered. And that’s okay.
But just because you think something you write is interesting, doesn’t mean other people will.
Make sure you account for your personal predisposition to be inwardly-focused.
By building the discipline of separating yourself from your writing—and intentionally relating to your audience—you can be incredibly successful.
How do you write so other people listen?
It’s tough to connect with your audience and understand their motivations, goals or pain points, especially if you have no experience with their industry or demographic. So get some.
To help you get into the mindset of your customers, so you can really speak their language, here are some simple yet effective things you can do.
1. Talk to them
Umm, yeah. It can be that easy. Whether you conduct in-depth, qualitative interviews or field robust quantitative surveys, you should ask your customers what they care about. Be direct. If you’re in a 1-on-1 discussion, ask a question and let them respond. Don’t cut them off—they’ll talk forever about the things they care about. Take copious notes. Armed with that intel, you can make sure you are talking to the rest of your audience about the things they care about.
2. Scour online forums
Read niche blogs. Stalk social media feeds. Find threads on Reddit where your audience is talking about the topics they care about. Notice the language they’re using. See what you can co-opt for your own use. You’ll find some incredible nuggets of knowledge lying there for the taking. Take them.
3. Walk the “factory floor”
Go and experience the product for yourself, if possible. Touch it, feel it, see how it’s made. If that’s not possible, because your product is intangible—like an event—then watch videos from previous years. Do whatever you can to put yourself in the shoes of the end user. That will help you articulate the benefits of the thing you’re selling.
Once you build the muscle of how to reach your audience, you’ll be more effective at communicating with them. Your writing process and speed will improve. Best of all, you’ll be happier and so will your customers.