In my previous article we began to put together a customer profile of your reader based on demographic, that is to say, location, age, and gender. But as an author you know such basic information is only the first part in character creation. To continue to build a profile of our customer we next need to look at how they behave. Understanding this shows us where and how we should be looking to reach them.
We could have the most amazing advertising campaign, but if it is appearing in the wrong places and not being seen by our intended audience then it is failing to generate leads, interest, and custom.
Who are you really?
So now we know the estimated age, gender, and location of our reader we now start some guess work and assumptions. We need to know their habits, interests, personalities, lifestyles, behaviour, and motivation. This is never finished, your book will appeal to a wide range of people. Refinement of the customer persona, and even the development of more, will be required to help streamline your marketing and focus your efforts towards people more interested in your work, and thus help generate more leads and some of them may convert to buyers.
Habits, Interests, Personality, Lifestyle, and Behaviour
These are all important factors in identifying your customer. If you know what they like, what they are passionate about, what they need, you can form an idea of how to reach and entertain them. One of the most important questions you can ask is not, how do I sell you my book, but what value can I give you. Someone who feels valued, like you care about them and are adding something to their life (even if that something is only a smile or a useful tip), is more likely to become a lead than someone who thinks you have only connected with them for the sole purpose of selling to them.
To discover what is important to your customer it is always important to start with what you know. If you’re trying to sell a book, one of the key interests of your target audience will be they like to read. With this in mind we have to ask ourselves what we know about readers.
If you’re a writer, you most likely read a lot too, so think about what you like to do, and how that ties in to what you write. Think about what you like, what your interests are, and apply them to your profile.
As with most thing we have to make assumptions, but these can be refined as we learn about our audience. This is one area that can be more difficult when it comes to fiction. In non-fiction, you can make some educated guesses based on the book’s content. If you’re writing about herbal medicines and the use of herbs in magic, then you can guess the kind of things your customer would like. Those interested in the herbal side of things would likely visit webpages that sell remedies, look at blogs for tips, applications, and information. They would also likely be interested in holistic therapies and medicines. Those interested in the magic side often have a lifestyle centred around their beliefs, and would also be found searching for information relating to their practises, various cycles, and could even be part of a larger online community. So straight off, you are developing an idea of how the customer lives and where they spend their time.
For fiction, however, it is a lot trickier because your assumptions aren’t based on something that directly impacts lifestyle, unless your profile is those who attend conventions, Comicon’s, etc. This is where your own experience comes in. When you were writing the book, think about all the resources you used. If you have a lot of survivalist information, then look at that as part of the profile. Think what has gone into your book, and how it reflects into real life and interests and you have a strong starting point.
The next step is to think about ways to reach and entertain these people through these channels. Remember, Marketing is not just about thrusting your product in someone’s face, it’s about courting them, entertaining them, and getting their interest.
So I have my customer profile, what now?
Now you have created this profile you have an insight into who this person is, what drives them, and where you might find them. Now for the fun part. When you write a book you immerse yourself into your world, you become your characters, so too must you now become this customer.
Put on their mask. Think and act like they would. What websites would they visit, what social groups are they interested in? Immerse yourself in their world, and while doing so ask yourself if these avenues of interest can be used as another pathway to engage and reach your customer.
Finally, create content to entertain them, not just sell to them, reach out and talk to them, start or join a conversation, and listen to what it is they are after. If your interests don’t align, then you can start further refining your profile. It is important that there is an overlap between you and your customer. The customer goal, in this case to be entertained by a book of their favourite genre, must align with your goals and product. In the marketing world, this is known as share value, because you are both adding something to each other’s lives. The customer is being targeted and entertained by something they have an interest in, and by reaching the right audience you are increasing your potential leads into a higher level of conversions by offering the customer something they want.
Remember, a reader is giving you one of the most important things they have, their time. They are spending their time reading your work and investing a part of their life in your story.
I hope to see you here again.
Article by K.J. Simmill (KS the Dreamer)
Since I still have your attention, and this is a marketing post, it must be time for some shameless self-promotion – check out my award winning books here, and have a great week x