- Fri, June 27 2008
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
This week, a couple of colleagues of mine were out at nonprofit and technology networking events and miraculously, each met someone who reads this blog. This was nice ego boost to be honest. Some days, as all bloggers and writers must feel at times, I’m not sure who is actually reading the stuff, if anyone. Whatever the traffic stats say, it’s hard to feel the audience when you can’t see them.
But about five seconds after my ego started to puff up, it promptly deflated.
“Hmmm, there are people out there reading and I haven’t posted since Monday,” I thought.
Followed by, “Gee, I hope the last few posts were decent.”
Then I asked my colleagues about the people who said they read the blog. Interesting, smart people working for worthy causes, natch.
Then I felt inspired. Because I started getting the vivid sense of audience I have when I speak to groups in person.
My little thought process caused me to reflect on the importance of keeping our audience in our minds when we engage with them. I don’t mean audience in the abstract. I mean a few representative, REAL human beings. When we’re writing a blog post, fundraising appeal, annual report, whatever—it really helps to think of it as a direct communication to Bob or Nancy or Andre, rather than a missive to a sea of faceless folks. It inspires us, motivates us, improves our work and enriches our tone.
When Network for Good started marketing our services to nonprofits, I wrote little biographies of made-up people that represented key audience segments. I had Technophobic Tina, for example, with details on where she lived and worked, the many hats she wore at her small nonprofit and the solutions she was seeking. Whenever I wrote up product information for people who weren’t of the geek ilk, I’d think of Tina. It really helped.
It’s sort of like the Stanislavski method for audience-based communications. There are whole books on the topic, especially in terms of how it relates to customer experience. But you don’t need any special expertise to do this. Just sketch out the profiles of a few people out there, hang them over your desk, and talk to them when you address your audience.