Controlling Tone Part 1: Identifying Your Audience

written by Mikaela Cowles on January 22, 2013 in Tone/Voice with no comments

Identifying Your Audience

Estimated Read Time: Under 2:00 Minutes

Clear communication is key, but successful writing causes action. It engages your readers’ attention and makes them want something. Rarely are you writing to the general public. In most cases, your audience is a select group with predisposed likes and dislikes. By identifying your audience, you can control your tone to ensure your message is received with its intended purpose.

In Part 1, we’re going to discuss how to identify your audience in a three step process.

Step 1 – Identify What You’re Selling
The first question you need to answer is: What do you want? What is it you want your reader to do or buy?

Step 2 – Identify Why Your Buyer Cares
Now flip the scale. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Why would they want to buy or do what you’re suggesting? What in their life would make your message matter? This is very important because it’s the first group identifier.

Step 3 – Define Your Buyer
Selecting the initial subset in Step 2 allows you to now flush out who your buyer is. Are they from a specific part of the world? What’s their native language? How old are they? Are they financially stable? Do they have children? Do they practice a specific religion? Are they sports fanatics? How do they typically learn about you? How do they access the web?

Get as detailed as possible. You never know when it will come in handy. And if your list isn’t perfect, don’t worry. Over time, you will be able to refine and edit this list.

In Part 2 we’ll discuss how to utilize the work you just did so you can control your message’s tone and call your audience to action.

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