Have you ever experienced the utterly flat feeling of sitting down to write a blog post or an email to your list and nothing comes to you? Or worse, you write the blog post or email and read back over it and you're like "whhhhhat? am I talking about?".
Yep, this used to happen to me. And confession: it still does from time to time. But I have a way to sort it all out in my head that allows me to get back to writing quicker, and in a much more efficient way!
My method is to create a story for my ideal client.
WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE YOUR CLIENT STORY
When you are writing any brand communications - be it a blog post, email or your website copy or even a Facebook Ad - it can feel like a really abstract task. And I think that this is why so many people struggle with this and also why so much branded communication falls short of it's mark and fails to engage the people that it's intended to reach.
Writing your client story can help combat these frustration for three main reasons:
It's easier to write branded copy.
Knowing your client story will give you an instant foundation on which you can write your branded copy. No more throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks - you are actually talking to someone.
One of the biggest reasons branded copy fails is because the intended recipient either doesn't connect with it or doesn't even notice it in passing. Why? Because it's not speaking to them.
When you have a client story outlined, you create that connect by speaking to that person directly and you're intended audience will feel it too!
It's like you are reading their mind.
When a potential client or audience member reads your website homepage or engages with a Facebook ad and they feel like you are reading their mind, they are exponentially more likely to not only sit up and listen, but they are also more likely to engage with you by responding to whatever call-to-action you put forward.
This feeling that someone truly understand you is one of the biggest benefits of writing your client story. It puts you into their shoes, requiring you to look at life through their lens. And when you can do that, it is very quickly made clear to your ideal client that you are in fact talking to them. There's no confusion - just complete clarity that you are for them!
Others wont be attracted to you.
I know that there's rather a lot of anxiety about missing out on part of the market, and I could talk all day about why this is a fallacy. So if you feel that anxiety when it comes to not being for everyone, then I know you'll struggle with this, however: when you are really specific about who you are targeting and you speak directly to that person, then the people that you are not for simply will not be interested in or attracted to you.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR CLIENT STORY
STEP 1 | RESEARCH
Before you start writing your client story you will to have an idea of who your target market is. So prior to this, you'll want to conduct target market research and establish who this person is. I recommend that you start by spending time in the communities and locations that your ideal client hangs out.
This might be online communities like forums or inside Facebook groups or it could be in a physical location like the gym, trade shows, clubs or societies. Often it would be a combination. So for instance, if you are targeting new mums, you'd want to spend time both inside Facebook groups and support forums and also at mother's groups and around prenatal lessons and clubs.
Spending time in these environments allows you to learn who your people are, what they are struggling with and what success and happiness really means to them. It allows you to learn their language and identify with the ups and downs they experience.
STEP 2 | THE BASICS
Now that you have spent some time just hanging out with your people, it's time to start building out the framework of who they are. I like to create a persona for my ideal client. Think about the basics first and be specific - and that means giving her a name, age, address and perhaps even find a picture on the internet of someone that looks like your ideal client. Remember that this is only for your use, so you don't need to worry about copyright or anything like that - no one else will ever see it!
When you start to give your ideal client more tangible elements like this, it allows you to be far more focused when communicating with them. When I am really stuck with a blog post or an email to my list, I take a look at this client profile and it helps me to write as if I am talking to that one person - suddenly the block is gone!
STEP 3 | CREATIVE WRITING
Now it's time to write! Using the research you conducted and the understanding you gained from spending time with your ideal client, plus the basic persona that you created for them, you'll now start to craft their story.
It can be overwhelming to try to sit down and write their whole story in one go - where would you even start with that? Instead, try discovering your client slowly.
Set yourself a timer for 5 minutes and practice a little creative writing. There's lots of topics you could write on, but it's important that you do this from the perspective of your ideal client. So when I say 'I', 'me' or 'my' in the triggers below, you would want to be thinking as if you are your ideal client. Try to go into as much detail as possible, really get creative. There's no right or wrong way to do this! Not into creative writing? That's ok! Write lists instead! Anything that crosses you mind when you think of one of the following triggers:
- What I do on the weekend.
- My morning routine.
- How I feel about [insert topic].
- A day my the life.
- What I do at work.
- How I relax.
I recommend taking your time with this. You may be able to write all of this out in one afternoon, but there's no rush! Perhaps do one trigger a day for a week.