A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called Don’t Photoshop your story! I have a trusted person who reads my work before it’s published (as you should – emphasis on the trusted, with a subtext of respected) and ran it by him before setting it loose on the world.
“It’s good,” he proclaimed. Then, “Just one question: what if some people reading this think the piece is about portraiture? What if when you’re telling them not to use Photoshop or filters, they actually think you’re talking about their photos?”
He was referring to the metaphor I used, where I alluded to my experience of getting my professional shots done, and my decision to not doctor the pics in any way, being akin to presenting your story in its singular glory. (Hey – it’s what I do.)
Fair question. And one that demanded a perhaps not-so-fair answer for whoever is out there reading my blogs.
“Big deal if they do. Anyone who thinks this piece is about Photoshop isn’t my market. I don’t care about them. They can go read someone else.”
Let’s pick this statement apart a bit, lest you think I am unfeeling and uncaring and unworthy of your listening ear (even if I did punctuate what I said with a couple of exaggerated shrugs).
My first point: you can’t afford to create content for everybody. The moment you set out to write something for everybody is the precise moment you begin to write something that won’t mean much to anybody in particular. Good content, and good communications, involve risks: if you’re not risking, then your work will be worse than bad – it will be bland.
My second, and most important point: I intimately know who my market (and therefore my audience) is. I know they have the kind of minds that can not only handle a metaphor, but also suss it out all on their own without me writing the equivalent of, “Metaphor! Here! Here, you guys!” That’s who I’m writing for. That’s who I work with. No one else. I know these people because I know who I want to work with; and I can write to them because I’ve gone to the trouble of finding out who they are and what they need from me.
Do you intimately know your market?
If you don’t, you must. I can guarantee that until you do, all your content and comms are falling on deaf ears and blind eyes. Create your personas. Create your communication and content strategy to match them. And when you deliver your blogs, emails, books, vids, social media posts, and what have you to your people, trust that they’ll get it.
Just like you did this blog here. Get it? Of course you do.