I’ve now been blogging for just five months, here and at Psychology Today. (Having read that, you now suspect that I just bought my first cell phone, right?)
Being late to this game, I often read advice for bloggers. It’s hard to miss on the internet.
Many of these advisors recommend that you first ask, “Who is your target audience?” Good marketer that I am, I get it. I always encourage clients and audience members to develop a strategy before advancing. But in this case, I’m not so sure.
I just completed world’s busiest speaking tour–18 speeches in nine days–and every day I heard myself sharing with financial advisors a key lesson I’ve learned about marketing a service: People do business with people with whom they feel an affinity.
These people represent your key target market. They feel comfortable with you immediately, enjoy your company, and recommend you to others. They make rain.
So I say, give the world the real you. Write about your passions. If you sometimes deviate from your area of expertise, as I did Wednesday when I blogged my valentine to South Africa, you will reveal yourself. People who feel an affinity with you will read that message and respond well.
They will follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They will retweet your tweets to their followers. Eventually, they will contact you.
Your wave will grow.
It’s not because these readers are in your target market; it’s because they are attracted to you–and just happen to be in your target market.
A colleague in South Africa, Rich Mulholland, is brash, sometimes profane, and unpredictable. His previous Twitter avatar looked terrifying. His entire profile there reads, “a guy, some tattoos, and a big mouth.” And while he is not the first blogger to use the words “shitty,” “ass,” or “balls”, Rich is undoubtedly the person ever to write those words consecutively in a single tweet.
People who like Rich seem to love him. His transparency appeals to almost everyone. They can sense that working with him would be fun, as would breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The prospective clients who would never work well with Rich don’t contact him; he effectively screens them out, which saves his valuable time. Meanwhile, those people who will ultimately become Rich’s loudest fans contact him, enjoy him, and months later recommend him to other people.
This seems like an ideal strategy, doesn’t it?
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