Writing is still one of the most powerful forms of communication on the planet. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can use it to connect with your target audience.
In the video tutorial below, I share five major ways that you can connect with your target audience through writing. If you choose three to consistently implement, you will begin to build relationships with those you have been called to serve and establish your reputation as a thought leader in your field.
Be prepared to take notes and pause for a moment. This tutorial is 13 minutes long. Enjoy and pay it forward!
The Video Tutorial
This is the series that is not about you. This is the series that is about your calling. There is a specific group of people who need the services and products you provide to address their problem, pain, or predicament and it is time for you to care enough to communicate with them. In this video, I will share 5 major ways that you can connect with your target audience through writing. Now, let’s get started.
Now, I want to take you back to the little red school house. You know the one that had all grades K-12 in one big room. If you are watching this video, I am sure you didn’t experience a little red schoolhouse education but perhaps you have seen Little House on the Prairie or some old school movie about the new frontier, pioneering days, so you can relate. Well, in those times, there were three fundamentals of a basic education called the Three R’s—reading, writing, and arithmetic. Being literate, mastering written communication, and knowing how to do the math were the three things that separated the haves from the have nots, the rich from the poor.
Today, it is no different. Reading, writing, and arithmetic play a strong role in our daily interaction. Writing is still very important in creating contractual agreements (when something really matters all parties want everything spelled out in writing) in email, texting, and even participating in social media. No matter how advanced we get with video technology, there is still nothing like the written word.
That being said, let me reveal to you the five effective ways that you can connect with your target audience and build a relationship with those you have been called to serve on a consistent basis. They are 1) Blogging, 2) Email Marketing, 3) Direct Mail, 4) Article Marketing, & 5) Publishing. Ultimately, these are ways for you to create content, establish yourself as a thought leader, and stay at the top of the minds of your niche. Now, go ahead and get a sheet of paper because I am going to briefly review each one and then ask you to choose three as part of your marketing plan.
I want to share a true story with you. In February of 2012, I received a voicemail message on the Ask Kellie line. I returned the call and it happened to be a woman who had never responded to one blog post, but when we talked she let me know that she’d created a folder and put my blog posts in it. She also informed me that she read every single book of every author that I’d interviewed on Books That Transform. She said she couldn’t remember how she found me but she had been following me for quite some time.
Just last week, she emailed me after I wrote a blog post about the fact that I am writing a book and told me that she was so excited about what God was doing in my ministry. She said she couldn’t wait for my book to come out & that she was also writing a book. Now, think about that. Without even knowing it, I have been building a relationship with that wonderful woman. When I returned her call, we had the best conversation for about 20 minutes.
We talked about my branding programs, her business, and after a few moments, it was not as if two strangers were on the phone. I don’t know about you, but I think that is powerful. That is the power of blogging.
So, Let’s briefly talk about the who, what, where, when, and why of blogging. A blog is a website that allows you to build a relationship with your target audience through frequent, consistent updates.
According to expert blogger and founder of the Blog Squad, Denise Wakeman, it is the place where you educate, entertain, engage, and enrich the readers. You see, the more frequently you blog, the more you demonstrate your own stability, consistency, belief and commitment to what you have been called to do by sharing your experiences, your views, and your expertise with your readers.
Think about something that you do every single week that involves at least on other person. It might be watching your favorite tv show which for me is none other than Shark Tank. It might be meeting your best friend for lunch every Wednesday or going to choir rehearsal every Thursday night or playing golf every Friday morning with your colleagues.
In the same way, that you look forward to connecting with that special person or that special group of people, your readers begin to look forward to connecting with you. So, if you choose to connect with your audience through blogging, commit to it. Don’t leave your target audience hanging, wondering when oh when you are going to share another post. After a while, they will not wonder anymore. They will just lose interest and move on.
Oh, Email! Oh, Email! Do they really need another? You may be thinking, people need another email like they need a whole in their heads. And, guess what? You are exactly, right. If you choose email marketing which is a great way to build a relationship over time, you will have to find a way to get into the recipient’s email inner circle.
What is the email inner circle?
The email inner circle is the group of people whose emails the recipient WILL open AND according to Nielsen NetRatings, there are only 16 people in that group. Now, how in the world do you get in it? It seems that you can only get into that inner circle if you publish a free, valuable ezine or online newsletter.
This means that you will need to provide good information that helps people. When people begin to see you as a trusted adviser or expert in your field based on the content of your ezine, they will click when they see your name in their inbox. Your ezine should go out once a month at the bare minimum & weekly at the very best.
Feel free to invite them to purchase your products or services but use the 80/20 rule—80% great content, 20% sales related. Now, you can maintain your position in that inner circle by sending updates in between the ezine issues, but keep the content level very high. Do not send an email just to “stay in contact”. Have a specific purpose in mind.
When was the last time you went to your mailbox and found postcards of all shapes and sizes from Papa John’s, a local realtor, Kohl’s, Stride Rite, or even Direct TV? It was probably recently. That is because direct mail is still one of the most effective ways to communicate to and then attract clients.
If you choose to launch a direct mail campaign, using a postcard as opposed to a sales letter or brochure is going to be more cost effective. You will also need to commit to mailing a postcard 9-12x per year.
Because marketing research says that a person must see a message at least 9x before he or she makes a purchasing decision. When you show up in the mailbox on a regular basis, when the prospect is ready to purchase what you offer, they will undoubtedly think of you.
Writing articles is a wonderful, non-threatening, non-salesy way to communicate with your target audience. It allows you to once again provide helpful information while developing trust. People are sick of being sold to, so it is no wonder that they trust articles more than advertisements. When you write an article, you are not focusing on yourself, but you are focusing on the reader. By providing news they can actually use, you enhance your credibility and keep them coming back for more.
If you really want to get your target audience’s attention, publish. Publish a book, an ebook, an audio book (which has hit the billion dollar status), a special report, a white paper, a home study course, a manual, a guide, a blueprint–anything that builds your reputation as a thought leader—someone who knows what he or she is talking about and is willing to share it. If promoted correctly, the book will also open up the door to seminars, workshops, keynotes, radio and television shows, and various speaking engagements that will take your message to the masses.
In this video, we skimmed the surface of 5 major ways you can connect with your target audience through writing. Your job now is to educate yourself on them and then choose just three to put into action. Remember that connecting, developing trust, and building relationships take time and unless you care enough to communicate, consistently, you will not reach those you have been called to serve.
If you are a small business entrepreneur who is struggling with aligning your business vision with your divine purpose…if you are not quite sure how to build a brand that resonates with your target audience, I invite you to learn more. Access your free Personal Branding Toolbox and let me help you build your brand one step at a time.
Until the next video, I’m Kellie Gardner encouraging you to keep watching & keep walking in your divine personal brand.