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Sell Yourself (without Selling Your Soul) – Who’re You Talking To?

Sell Yourself (without selling your soul) – Who’re you talking to?

One of the reasons you may be struggling to ‘sell’ yourself’ is you’re making the easy mistake of thinking the words are about you. Not so dear reader, not so. To ‘sell’ yourself you first need to think about who you’re selling to.

Language barrier

Before we get into it, let’s address the language we’re using here. ‘Selling’ is the language of the market. But ‘selling’ isn’t what we’re about and you needn’t be either. As a heart-centred or values-led biz, you know the importance of empathy and understanding. That extends to your content and how you get it across.

If we reframe the sell as ‘guiding and informing’, words flow more easily as the reframe fits our values system i.e. it is respectful, transparent and comes from a place of wanting to help and support.

Instead of our websites as shop windows (with copy as pushy sales assistant), your site could be the library of your business, with copy as librarian, guiding your readers to the place they need to be in order to obtain the information they want.

Curved library shelves full of books by Susan Yin on Unsplash

What are your readers looking for?

When your reader approaches the desk to enquire, they’re asking you questions and you’re responding to their needs. A good librarian doesn’t bark at the readers as soon as they come through the door,

I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED, TAKE THIS!

Your librarian listens and gives guidance. And that’s how we write copy – by listening and understanding the needs of audiences and giving them the information they’ve asked for. We put the audience first and we speak their language.

Two’s a crowd

Effective, empathetic, accessible copy needs to be written to one person. Just. The. One. So now you’re either you’re thinking a) I don’t know who my audience is, or b) but I have way more than one!

Who is my audience?

If you’re just starting out, rebranding or wavering – ask yourself ‘Who’s my ideal client?’ We define this a few ways, depending on the type of business. For us, the ideal client is:

  • Growing and expanding
  • Ready to invest
  • Excited to be in a relationship with us
  • Motivated by heart at the core of its business plan
  • Similar in values

We know our target audience and write solely for them. It makes our copy focused, effective and full of personality.  

To figure out your audience, ask yourself:

  • Who needs my service/product?
  • Who will invest in me?
  • Who do I want to work with/for?
  • Who aligns with my values?
  • Who will take me to the next stage in my business plan (be that increased income, take up of your services, engagement with your content etc)?

Really hone in on who the absolute ideal is. Picture them – can you personify them, give them a name? Do you maybe know them already? It’s so much easier to write to a real person.

But I have more than one reader!

Writing for one person makes copy more effective in bagging your dream client AND more attractive to other prospects. Writing in this clear, focused way whispers sweet nothings in the ear of your ideal client, but also turns the heads of the others that still fit much of your criteria but won’t take you to the next level. These prospects are still useful to business but aren’t a focus for your copy.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…

Once you’ve identified your target, get to know them. Audience personas these days are so much more than age and job title. What do you need to know about your audience in order to speak to their challenges and solve their problems?

There are lots of resources online for depicting your target persona; you can use a Pinterest board to gather image that invoke the target prospect, have a picture on your desk, create a venn diagram – we’ve taken the bits we find useful when picturing a client and put together a Target Questionnaire that we use as a starting point. It helps us to create and edit to ask:

What does this customer really want to know about? Have we considered their needs and wants throughout?

Evidence board with lots of information pinned to a wall

Getting to know your audience, obsessively…

Whaddya reckon? Do you already have an audience persona in your business plan or style guide? Is it a thorough depiction? What questions do you ask? Is our template useful? Let us know!

Happy brewing!

Moka Pot

We brew copy. It builds brands.

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