Who is your ideal reader? Do you even know?
(If your answer is “No frickin clue,” don’t worry. You’re not alone).
Identifying your audience is a vital step to connecting with your audience and building a tribe of life-long fans. But the reality is, most authors have no idea where to start! Today I’m taking you through a few simple steps to identify your ideal reader and begin making those connections!
Tip #1: Get to know yourself!
You're going to find it easiest to connect with readers who (*shocked gasp*) are most like you. Amazing, right? I always tell my coaching clients to think of marketing as less like selling a product and more like making new nerdy friends and fangirling with them.
So, what do you like? What hobbies do you enjoy? What books have you read recently or what tv show/movie did you binge last weekend? Think about how the things you love come out in your story. These are all potential connection points with your ideal reader. What are common characteristics of people you like to hang out with? Why do those interactions feel natural?
Most of the time, our ideal reader looks a lot like the face in the mirror.
Action Step: Make a list of 10 potential connection points with your readers.
Tip #2 Get to know your reader demographic
People go through different stages in life, and those seasons dramatically affect what characters and stories will resonate with them. Think about your genre and niche. What age is your main character? That is often about the same age (or a few years ahead) of your ideal reader.
For example, if you're writing YA fantasy, you are writing for teens 13-18 years old. What life issues are relevant to that age range? Common themes are identity, self-image, finding purpose in life, acceptance, and social issues like bullying or racism.
Action step: What is the age of your ideal reader? What life stage are they in? What life issues are they dealing with right now?
Tip #3: Get to know your ideal readers' fears, desires, and struggles.
What fears and insecurities are your characters in your books facing? What are your potential readers struggling with right now? What do they desire most?
You want your readers to have a strong emotional connection to your story and your characters' journey. Your reader loves your book because they experience the hero's journey and, in the process, find courage to overcome their own life challenges. Touching on your readers' fears and struggles help your reader to become emotionally invested in your story.
You have to know your readers at a heart level to speak into their lives in a meaningful way.
Action Step: What are your ideal readers' top three fears, struggles, and desires?
Now that you know a bit more about your ideal reader, I challenge you to dig deeper. Get even more specific. Create a detailed profile of your ideal reader, just like you would a character in your novels.
The better you know your ideal reader, the more you'll be able to make lasting meaningful connections. Remember, it's all about relationship! In your books and marketing, your goal is to make your ideal reader feel like you can see into their mind and are speaking directly to them, so they emotionally connect with you and your stories!