When you don’t know who your ideal reader is, your writing business gets stuck no matter what you do.

Do you find yourself struggling with what to write in that Instagram post or if that blog idea you have floating around in your head is a good one?

Yeah, me too!

When you find myself drowning in ideas and just too overwhelmed with where you should start first there are three things you should think about:

The first one is your story as a writer or editor and if that content idea you have connects with your audience on a personal level.

The second is your brand and making sure whatever you decide to share online reflects that brand, from what you write to the images you use.

The third one is the center of the marketing universe. It’s literally the bread and butter of your marketing.

Your ideal reader.

When I talk to a client, this is one of the first things I ask about before anything else. We don’t talk about what cool things they want to do. We talk about the perfect person for their books or editing services. This ideal person we want to work with is so important because in order to create a business that is authentic, genuine, and profitable, you have to be of service to the people that you’re trying to reach.

You don’t want to skip this because it doesn’t work well for your marketing or your writing business as a whole.

When I published my first three books, those jokers went nowhere because I didn’t spend enough time figuring out who my ideal reader was. I was posting stuff on social media and had an email newsletter, but none of it was really working. My content wasn’t connecting with the people who needed to be reading those books because I didn’t take enough time to figure out who my ideal reader was.

And I don’t want that to happen to you!

I want you to have fun with your writing and marketing. I want you to be able to go out there and just share your story and share your work with that confidence, knowing that you are talking to the right people and the right people want to hear from you. Let’s walk through how your ideal reader can guide you in creating a marketing plan that works.

You Need to Really Know Who Your Ideal Reader Is

When it comes to knowing your ideal reader, you want to know these people as well as know the main character in your story. When you know who the character is, what they like, or how they will act in certain situations, your story moves forward. When you have no idea who this character is, you get stuck or end up with a story plot that feels forced.

The same happens with your marketing. When you don’t know who your ideal reader is, your writing business gets stuck no matter how much content you create.

If you have zero clue who your ideal reader is, it’s okay because a lot of authors don’t.

Trust me, we have all been there! What I would suggest you would do is first seek out some great resources (like this one from Well Storied) Another place to start is with yourself.

  • What types of books you like to read?
  • How often do you read?
  • Where do you read?
  • Where do you buy your books?
  • Where do you review your books?
  • Who do you talk to about your books?
  • Where do you hang out online?

Those kinds of questions will help you shape not only what kind of content you want to share, but where. If your readers are all on Pinterest for example, then there’s no need to waste time and money pumping on Facebook content. Other questions you can ask yourself that can help you generate content ideas: Where do you live? What kind of hobbies do you have? What are your favorite writing snacks? If you’re published, you can survey your tribe either on social media or in a newsletter.

For my editors, how do you figure out who your ideal client is?

If you have a few clients already, you can also do your own research. What were the editing services they booked the most (Full edits or coaching sessions)? How did they find you (so you can show up more there!) Are they recommending you to others? What do their testimonials say? What are the common editing problems you’re coming across? This information can give you a better insight into who your ideal client is. And if you’re a newbie editor, you can ask yourself the same questions that went through in the previous paragraph.

The Content You Create Has to Connect With Your Ideal Reader

Whatever content you decide to share — social media posts, YouTube videos, emails, images, pins, podcasts — has to connect with your ideal reader in some kind of way. For example, if you know your ideal reader loves drinking coffee, maybe you can always have a cup of coffee in your Bookstagram posts. You can ask your tribe what their favorite kind of coffee is in an Instagram story.

So when you’re going through your 20 million marketing ideas, ask yourself questions like:

  • Would my ideal reader open up this newsletter?
  • Would they like this Instagram post?
  • Would my ideal client find this YouTube series helpful with editing their work?
  • Will these emails help my client write their first draft?

I cannot stress knowing your ideal reader enough. That is literally one of the number one problems I come across when working with clients and all of their amazing ideas. They can be the coolest content ideas in the world but in the end, it will all fall flat if their ideal readers won’t consume them.

So how well do you know your ideal reader? What do they read online?