Two Crucial Steps to Getting to Know Your Prospect
Yesterday we talked about a key secret to freelance writing success: developing empathy with your prospect.
Reminder: In freelancing and copywriting, your prospect is the person you are writing to.
Recall Jay Abraham said, “Empathy … is having a heartfelt understanding, appreciation, and need to help fulfill a problem.”
This need to help comes to life when you get to know who your prospect really is. Not some faceless “customer” but a real, breathing, laughing, crying person whose life will be made better by what you write about.
Here’s what I told my COS Blog readers about how I get to know my prospect:
1. Your first step
You make your first step to know your prospect by getting data called “demographics.”
Demographics tell the basics about your prospects: average age, income, education. Do your prospects own or rent their homes? Are they married or single? That sort of thing.
You get demographics from your client. He’s done research on who’s buying his product or service. Or who’s donating to his cause.
If you’re writing for yourself (i.e., for your own product), look at websites for similar products. What images of people do you see there? These images give you a good sense of the demographics.
When you combine demographics with knowledge of the product, you get your first inkling of the real person you’re writing to.
Let’s say you’re selling a joint-care product. Your prospects are mostly married or widowed women, ages 45 to 75 with an average annual income of $35,000.
Bingo! Your Aunt Mabel. Or someone similar. But your prospect is more than just demographics. This is where the digging gets more interesting … and more fun.
2. Digging deeper
Your prospect is a complex person. To know her more completely, you must dig into that complexity.
What does she read? What TV programs does she watch? What are her hobbies and recreations? This type of data is called psychographics.
Back to the joint-care product. If you discover your prospect subscribes to Modern Knitting, you get a better sense of her deeper needs.
Sore, stiff hands make knitting for her grandchildren difficult. You get a personal sense of the loss sore joints have caused her.
You can get this type of info from your client. But the Internet also provides great insight into your prospects’ psychographics. Find a product/service similar to the one you’re writing about. What other products do they sell on their website? What products do they link to?
Google the key benefit of your product. What Google keyword links (the ones on the right of the page) come up?
What other products and services are listed in the top search results? Click on these to learn how other companies are marketing to your prospect.
Go to Amazon.com. Search your subject. Click on hits with the most customer reviews. There you’ll read what your prospects are not just saying about the product, but also other key facts about who they are.
Then look at the part that says “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.”
When I did this for joint pain, the links included books about dieting, cooking, tidying up, and lots of disjointed but compelling ideas about the type of person my prospect might be.
You’re on your way to really getting to know your prospect.
Your imagination can go a long way in fleshing out the real person you’re writing to. But it can’t tell you exactly how she thinks or feels.
The only way to do that is to ask her directly!
And, that’s what we’ll talk about tomorrow.
I’d love to hear your comments about this article. Please put them right here in the comment section below.
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