4 Ways to Hook your Ideal Readers, by Christine Sheehy

4 ways to hook your ideal readers

Next time you sit down to write a blog, consider this: Who are you actually blogging for?

If you think it’s your ideal customer, you may need to think again. Because your ideal reader is not necessarily the same as your ideal customer – or at least, not yet.

Say what?

Effective blogging starts with understanding who you want to reach and where they are in their personal journey.

While your ideal customer knows she has a problem and is ready to do something about it (preferably by hiring you), your ideal reader may not have that level of awareness – yet.

She might be irritated by the same pain point, but she might not understand how it’s holding her back. She may not realise the extent of the problem or she may not even know that a solution (such as your product or service) exists.

That’s where your blog comes in. Your blog is a way to catch her attention, and show her what that pain point is costing her right now. It’s a way to educate her about the solution you offer and show her how her life could look different, after she’s worked with you.

It’s also a way to build buzz around your product or service, so that she’s excited to hear what you have to offer. It’s a way to inspire her to take action – to join your mailing list, book a discovery call, or purchase your product or service.

In other words, your blog is one way you can help her make the transition from curious reader, to paying customer. The key is to provide her with content that she will find useful and helpful at every step along the way.

So how do you create content that will attract and intrigue your ideal reader? It’s about catching her attention, hooking her in and opening her eyes to a new way of seeing her problem.

Here’s a few questions to get you started:

  • Why would she read your blog? What kind of information is she searching for – and what does she think her problem is?

 For example, if you’re a money coach, your ideal client may think she needs help with budgeting, when you know the real problem is about mindset.

If you focus your blog solely on mindset, she’s not going to notice you. But by exploring budgeting topics, you have the opportunity to catch her attention. You can shake up that pain point, show her how it’s holding her back, and then introduce a new perspective she may not have considered before.

  • What questions does she have about your area of expertise? Where are the gaps in her knowledge? What does she need to learn or understand, so that she can move forward in her life or business?

Consider how you could fill this gap with simple tips, a step-by-step tutorial or a cheat sheet. Give your readers a quick win or an innovative solution to something that’s been driving them crazy, and they’ll want to stick around for more.

For example, one of my most popular blogs was written in direct response to the question – “How can I introduce myself at my regular networking events, without repeating the same old speech, week-after-week?” It’s a practical blog that offers a simple solution readers can go out and try right away.

  • What does your reader believe about your field of expertise – and where is she going wrong?

Is your reader making assumptions that are holding her back? How is she blinding herself to different ways of achieving the end result? How could you help her see things differently, or achieve more than she currently believes is possible?

For example – In the early days of my online business, many potential clients would tell me their ideal customers were “corporate people” – not because they especially wanted to work with corporate employees, but because they were tired of attracting clients who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. They figured corporate people would have the money to hire them, but there was often a disconnect between the clients they were trying to attract and the service they wanted to offer.

I also found many entrepreneurs were trying so hard to be “professional”, at the expense of genuine connection and authenticity.

In each case I blogged about what these “mistakes” were costing my potential clients and invited them to look at their challenge from a new perspective.

  • What content would your reader love to share?

People like to share content that make them look good and feel good. That’s why we share content that contains useful tips, sheds light on a common struggle, inspires us or makes us smile.

Another reason we share is to define what is important and meaningful to us. If a blog touches your soul or expresses a view that is seldom heard yet resonates deeply with you, then you may feel inspired to share it.

As a blogger, it can feel scary to share a strong point of view or a controversial opinion, because it may turn some readers off. The flipside is that those who share your view will feel heard and validated. That helps build the vital sense of trust and connection that helps readers become customers.

What content could you create that would make your ideal reader feel heard, connected, inspired, or helpful? These kinds of feelings will make her want to stick around.

Over the next few days, take time to explore these questions. Take one question at a time, pick up your journal and free write for ten minutes – you’ll be amazed at the potential blog topics that come pouring out.

If you found this blog useful, sign up for my ‘Write to the Heart of Your Message’ workbook – 12 Essential Questions to Refine Your Core Message, so you can write for your business with clarity, focus and passion.

Christine
[email protected]

Christine Sheehy will help you refine your core message, find your authentic voice and show up boldly online, so you can grow your tribe of loyal followers AND your business. She teaches women entrepreneurs how to consistently create engaging content and stand out in a noisy online world, through journalling challenges, messaging coaching, copywriting and intimate writing retreats. Originally from New Zealand, Christine currently writes, dreams (and persistently tries and fails to give up coffee, baguette and cheese) from an alpine village in the south of France.

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