Who is Your Ideal Reader?
Who are you writing for? So the people that I've mentioned so far, Lauri, knew she was writing for other families who were suffering from suicide and who had people with mental health issues in their family. Tracey Cleantis, the psychotherapist, was writing for people going through some kind of grief. All entrepreneurs are not writing about such dark topics, but these particular women were. But the thing you wanna start with is who is your book for? So, this is an ideal reader worksheet. It's included in the downloadable materials for this course. And it's just a really key thing for any entrepreneur to do. You know who your customer is, but your ideal reader might not necessarily be your customer. It might be somebody who's never heard of you before. Or it might be somebody who's new to what you're doing. Might be somebody who's read a million books on this topic, but never known about you. You wanna get really clear on who the book is going to be for. And that's not as easy as it sou...
nds. One of the things Lauri struggled with in her book a lot, was whether or not to reveal the end of her story. So the end of her story was that her mother was not murdered. But her story is a murder investigation. And it spoils it, in some ways, if you know that. So she had to be really clear on her ideal reader, because the book would've been structured differently, depending on what her answer was. And she came to the conclusion, it was a back and forth debate until it wasn't, and when it wasn't, it was very clear: she wanted to write to people who were suffering from issues of mental health in their family, and struggling with suicide. So she decided that it would not be a secret in the book, what the end was. It doesn't ruin the story in any way, that we know the end before it begins. 'Cause it's such a riveting tale, and a riveting story of this Orange County soccer mom who solves this case that experts on two continents, or two countries, were not able to solve. It's riveting. So, knowing her ideal reader, though, helped her make that decision. So I wanna just go through what one person did, who I helped, to work on this. This is Dan Blank, he runs a company called WeGrowMedia, and he's a friend of mine. And what's interesting about Dan's case is that he runs a company helping writers find their ideal readers. That's actually what he does. And, still, he needed help in doing it for himself. He needed to step back, and be very intentional about, who am I writing for? And the way he came upon his ideal reader and his story, I think, is just very instructive for a lot of people. So a lot of entrepreneurs maybe out there already blogging or doing podcasts, or reaching their audiences in some way already, and the really key thing you wanna do here is listen, to who is listening to you, and who is responding to you, and who you're really touching. Because what happened to Dan was, he runs a mastermind group for writers who are trying to find their readers, and in this mastermind group he does videos every day, responding to questions that they have. And one day, in a video, he used this term, and it was called, the phrase was be the gateway. So he was saying be the gateway for other people, be the gateway to invite them into what you do. Be the doorway. It was this idea or metaphor that just came to him, and he said it in his daily video. Well people sort of latched on to it in his group, and started using this term, be the gateway, Like, "I'm gonna be the gateway." And he's like, "Oh, that's interesting." So then he wrote a blog post called Be the Gateway, and he kinda dug down more into it. And this is all the process of discerning who's my ideal reader, and what do they think of this? Who's reading my blog? How are they responding to me? And he wrote this blog post, and he got this amazing response to the blog post. And if you're blogging, you're writing a lot of stuff all the time. Blogs are, you're kinda just cranking 'em out, all the time. Sometimes they're very well thought out, sometimes they're off the cuff. And then you wanna be listening, as I said, to see what really hits. So this one really resonated with people. And he thought, "Oh, that's interesting." And he started seeing people use that term, be the gateway, on social media. He paid attention to that and he thought, okay, I'm gonna write a book to capture this idea. So he did the ideal reader exercise, and he came up that his ideal reader was named Deborah. A 48 year old woman who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. In her spare time, she can often be found writing. In general, she is a compassionate person. Sometimes Deborah stays up at night thinking about how to give her kids hope when they are down. So here's a woman who's in his universe, who helps children, who lifts them up somehow. More than anything in this world, my reader wants a path to share her story. So, he's really honing in on, who is this reader, what does she want? And my book will help her get it because it focuses on the one to one connection between a writer and a reader. So he's really starting to think about who his book is for, it's for somebody who's trying so hard, like Lauri Taylor, to connect over an issue. To connect one on one with people. They want their message and their story to be heard, but they don't really know how to do it. And his idea is, you just do it one person at a time. One at a time you just start, and you connect one at a time. So with that knowledge of who his ideal reader was, Dan wrote a book called Be the Gateway. So Be the Gateway has allowed him to bring people into his universe, and into his ideas and into his programs, it's kind of like a first stop for people, before they're willing to commit. So his mastermind is priced, I'm gonna get it wrong, I apologize Dan, if you're out there listening, let's call it around $300, $350 a month. That's a big commitment for people to make. The book is something like $12. Anybody can buy a $12 book, and know who he is and what he does and how he reaches those people. And, what Dan says about it, I love what he says about it. He says, "The book itself is a gateway. "You can put it into someone's hand and say, 'Start here.' "It introduces someone to my worldview "and gives them a practical way to lay the foundation." So that's a big difference between what we saw at the beginning, Michael Stanier, who was saying "My business is up 82% because of my book." Here's Dan just saying, "I've got a thing to put into somebody's hand, "so they can say this is what I do, "this is who I am, this is what I'm about." That's really powerful. And Dan has begun to use his book to amplify his reach, and spread out from there. So it's a fantastic way for anybody to bring people into what they do.