Connecting with your audience through writing is a necessity in the work place in order to garner the needed response.
Investigating the audience’s background and enabling certain steps will position your message to deliver the greatest impact.
Knowing Your Audience
The ability to connect to your audience through writing is vital to the success of a message. It is crucial to know, identify, understand and communicate effectively with your target audience. There are some guidelines to follow that will allow you to develop a good, trusting relationship with your audience. This lesson will cover specific steps, such as identifying your audience, utilizing an emotional appeal, and embracing ‘you’-focused language, in order to attract and maintain your audience’s attention.Colin Worth has been tasked to write a proposal to send to three investors. Mostess Cakes is in need of some financial blood to keep their company from dissolving.
The pastry company makes the most popular snack cakes in the country and wants Colin to ask for an investment of three million dollars. Since this is a crucial assignment, Colin has spent time researching techniques on how to connect with an audience through writing. See for yourself if you think Colin has succeeded in his task.
How to Connect
Colin’s research has uncovered some excellent tips. These eight suggestions have been adopted in Colin’s proposal to the three investors:
- Know your audience – The important first step in creating your message is to know your audience. As a writer, you need to find out specific traits concerning the makeup of the audience and what their needs are in order to target a message effectively. Colin’s first step is to research the background of the three investors so he can learn how to tailor his message to each.
He Googles all three names (Rich Board, Shannon Share and Vito Long) to find out their demographics which are based on age, race, income, lifestyle, etc. Colin has a really good idea about who the investors are and how he can interest them in investing in Mostess Cakes.
- Capture the audience’s attention – It is important to be able to grab the attention of an audience. Colin needs to find a way for the investors to want to read his proposal.
He knows that all three are driven by prestige, success and money. He wants to identify with their needs and make an impact. Colin decides to open up his proposal with: ‘Would you like to invest in a world-known company that could offer you returns of over 40%?’ He thinks that with Mostess’ history of excellent financial returns, his opening will grab the attention of the investors.
- Use an emotional appeal – Colin already is appealing to the investors’ emotional attachment to making money. He also found in his research that all three started with no money and were from an immigrant household. His proposal will also contain an appeal to invest in Mostess because their bakery was started by Polish immigrants with meager investments. In addition, the proposal asks the investors to be heroes and save America by keeping the cakes on the supermarket shelves.
- Embrace ‘you’-focused language – Colin knows that he needs to write the proposal by using ‘you’-focused language. This means that the entire proposal refers to the investors as ‘you’.
For example, Colin says in a passage, ‘You alone can help save Mostess Cakes from closing, and you will benefit by reaping huge financial returns.’
- Tell them how they will benefit – Anytime you are asking for help, whether financial or otherwise, you need to tell the readers how they will benefit. Colin has made sure to address how the investors would benefit by helping Mostess, including achieving an emotional high related to helping an American company, prestige by coming to the rescue, and of course notoriety and a financial windfall.
- Establish a commonality – Another way to connect with an audience is by establishing commonality. This means that you share a characteristic or feature with the reader. Colin has accomplished this by showing that Mostess’ early beginnings were similar to all of the three investors’ early beginnings due to the immigrant and lack of money factors.
- Demonstrate credibility – In order for the investors to want to invest in Mostess, they have to believe in the company’s claims, financial promise and overall reputation.
Colin has provided supportive details in the proposal, including facts and figures that are confidential, to support his claims of 40% returns.
- Overcome objections – Colin’s must anticipate what the investors might have issues with and address those issues with detailed solutions. For example, Vito felt that the proposal did not address whether the product was still in demand or if it was in a declining market.
Colin was able to send a summary of a recent marketing survey that showed how kids loved the new flavors of Mostess cakes, which increased demand by 20%.
In the work place, the ability to connect with your audience through writing is an invaluable skill. Without the proper planning, research and guidelines, a message cannot be tailored correctly to communicate in an effective manner. Always remember to address each of the following eight steps in order to connect with your audience and deliver a message effectively and convincingly:
- Know your audience
- Capture the audience’s attention
- Use an emotional appeal
- Embrace ‘you’-focused language
- Tell them how they will benefit
- Establish a commonality
- Demonstrate credibility
- Overcome objections
Because Colin connected with his audience in his proposal, he was able to successfully get Vito Long to invest $3 million dollars in Mostess and save the bakery!
This lesson should prepare you to list and describe the eight writing steps you can take to connect with your audience.