Knowing your audience is more than creating a persona – personas, psychographics and buyer profiles are fun to create and useful to direct your marketing, but for your blog, if you really want to get find what resonates, you really need is a big list of their problems.
The common approach
Topic —> solution —> problem —> persona/buyer profile –> a blog post
The clever content approach
Individual —> specific problem —> your solution —> headline —> a blog post!
To break it down:
Start here – behind most businesses there is a story. It is the story of you plus one other person who had a problem. And you started your business because you realised that if you could solve this problem for this person, then there would be other people with similar problems that you could solve.
For example – a sales trainer – who helped a friend take their Personal Training business from a hobby-job to a national franchise – and became a leading authority in sales as a result.
Find your individuals, get to know them really well – they are the key to creating valuable content and making a strong connection with your audience.
Go deeper – in their always online, time-precious lives, they are constantly connected but at the same time, aware that they have been lumped into a catch-all group called the ‘online community’ and what they REALLY crave is to be treated like an individual – as someone unique. They want to know they have been heard, and that their particular problem* has a particular solution.
*And for you, the chances are that if one individual has a problem, there is a whole queue of individuals with the same problem.
Building a business around a solution will only ever work if your solution is in direct response to an actual problem. Ideas are plentiful – but ideas that solve real world everyday problems are what makes a business viable and successful. Spend time finding out what the problems are. Make sure your solutions fit the problems – don’t try to convince people your solution will fix their problem – that way lies client dis-satisfaction and irrelevant content. When you are creating content for you blog, make sure you define the problem first, then show your solution.
Finally – your moment to shine! Imagine you are talking to an individual, about a very specific problem, NOW you can do what you do best, and solve the problem for them. Don’t try to solve other problems, or cover too much detail. All you need to do is let them see that you a) understand their problem, and b) you have the expertise to help them solve it.
The headline for your post is the enticement. Like the window display at an upmarket florist, if your audience is in the market for a bunch of flowers, they cannot help but walk in to the shop. To put it simply, if your headline give the reader hope (for a solution, satisfy a desire or peak curiosity) then they will most likely read further.
By focusing your posts on helping your client solve a problem, you are showing them that you’ve thought about them – the content is relevant, and it will resonate.