Last week I gave you an assignment – identify your reader (singular). How did it go? Did you have any trouble narrowing your audience down to one? Folks in the marketing biz call this one perfect reader an ‘avatar’ (not the movie kind) because this one ‘avatar’ represents the ideal individual in your audience. You reach your ‘avatar’ and you’ll be able to reach your entire audience, because, thanks to technology, you’re reaching your audience one to one, as individuals, even if you’re writing or speaking to 10,000 people at a time.
So, real quick, let’s create an ‘avatar’ for our soccer mom with the healthy cooking book – we’ll call her Jennie. Jennie is 36, she has two boys and a girl, the boys, Josh and John are thirteen and eleven and Jennie’s daughter Allyson is just seven. All of them are involved in soccer and because they all don’t practice and play at the same fields on the same days, soccer season is hectic! Jennie wants to make sure her family eats healthy and takes time for family meals in the midst of all this. Her biggest hassle is trying to find the time and the ideas to create fun, healthy home-cooked meals for her family while keeping up with the soccer schedule.
It was pretty easy for our soccer mom author to create her ‘avatar’ because she is Jennie. She really wrote the book for herself … and all those soccer moms in the same boat.
Reaching your avatar via websites.
We talked last week about the Internet and Social Media platforms we, as authors can use, to reach our audience. This week we’re going to drill down a bit on our first platform – websites.
Jennie remembers that when her oldest son Josh joined his first soccer team, she was lost – she didn’t know a goal kick from a free kick. Early on she found the website for US Youth Soccer and it was a lifesaver. The site had sections players, coaches parents, and referees. Jennie learned the lingo and the rules of youth soccer from this site. If she found the site a trusted stop for information on youth soccer she knows her ‘avatar’ probably does too. There’s a parents blog on the site, links to all of the organization’s Social Media pages and even a ‘marketplace’ where she can promote her books. Jennie joins the conversation by commenting on a few interesting blog posts and inquires about promoting her book on the site’s ‘marketplace.’
But our healthy meals soccer mom doesn’t stop at the US Youth Soccer site; she types ‘youth soccer’ into her computer’s Google search bar and Google returns the favor with a treasure chest of national, regional and local soccer organizations. Some of the websites have an internal search feature on which she can search the site for terms like ‘healthy eating’ and bring up articles, posts, and comments on ‘healthy eating’ as it relates to youth soccer. Those are the subjects Jennie can comment on with useful tips for the site’s readers.
At this point Jennie isn’t pushing her book at every turn; she’s just trying to establish herself as a part of the ‘community.’ Once she’s considered a valuable contributor to the online conversation, opportunities will arise for her to talk about the book. As a teaser, she signs her comments with her name and “author of Healthy Meals and Soccer Moms”
But Jennie doesn’t stop at soccer organization websites. The next search she types into Google is ‘youth soccer equipment.’ This search brings her to retailers and equipment suppliers who specialize in the youth soccer market. This is where soccer mom’s come to shop and many of these supplier sites may be great places to sell her book while soccer moms are shopping for cleats and jerseys.
Finally Jennie drills down her Google search to ‘youth soccer healthy eating.’ This search brings up anyone and everyone in the digital world that has weighed in on the subject.
In about an hour Jennie has identified and joined in the conversation on the top websites where soccer moms like her gather. It didn’t cost her a penny, just a little ‘sweat equity.’ As the conversation continues and she establishes herself in these digital communities, her potential soccer mom audience will get to know, like and trust her. That’s when they’ll buy her book and share it with fellow soccer moms.
Let’s talk about your book. What websites does your perfect reader, your ‘avatar’ frequent? What Google search terms would you use to find your audience? How would you become a known, liked and trusted member of those digital communities?
If you’re having trouble coming up with where your audience gathers in the digital world, drop me a comment here, tell me about your book and your perfect reader. I’ll be happy to suggest some places to begin.
Next week – Blogs!
I’m having trouble finding specific sites for my ideal readers. I write very Christian romances with realistic, everyday heroines and happy endings. On my blog, I mostly talk with Christian wives who are a little dissatisfied with their marriages.
I know a lot of readers are writers, so I’ve found several communities of Christian fiction writers. But what about the readers? I’ve found one group on Goodreads, (who are not interested in promotion) and that’s pretty much it.