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Author Marketing Tips: Identifying Your Audience and What They Need

Like a business, there are certain things you need to do to market yourself as an author and launch your book successfully. One of the most important author marketing tips we can offer is that you must create an ideal reader profile – much like you would work to identify your audience and what they need; your ideal client.

It should go without saying that, as a writer, you must identify the audience you’re writing for if you hope to give them what they want. But many authors do not invest any time doing this. Instead, they hope and pray that their book will somehow magically find an audience. This is unrealistic and will almost certainly lead to a disappointing book launch and poor sales results.

Whether your goal is to entertain or educate, motivate and inspire, or something else, you need to reach an audience that is open to your message. To do this, you need to know who they are and what they want from you. Creating an ideal reader profile will enable you to attract, connect with, and convert potential readers into adoring fans.

Of course, this is going to take some research but it should pay off in the long run. Keep in mind, your goal is to figure out who would benefit from your book. This means you need to know what they like and dislike, how they spend their time, and what their other interests are. This will allow you to find them more easily, make deeper connections, and better serve their needs.

Who Are You Writing For – Creating Your Reader Profile

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself so you can identify your audience and know what they need:

Where does your ideal reader hang out?

  • Are they at offline locations? Does your audience hang out at Starbuck’s chatting with like-minded coffee lovers? Do they hang out in the library or at certain clubs or social functions? Do they travel to various business conferences?
  • Do they prefer online locations? Is there a “favorite” blogsite your audience prefers? What about online forums where they swap ideas or critiques of books they’ve read? Whose Facebook page is most popular with your potential audience? What other social networks do they love? Whose webinars are they unable to resist?

What does your ideal reader watch, listen to and read?

The readers you want to attract are already an audience for someone or something, so it makes sense to find out what they love to watch, listen to and read. Like most of us, they’ll be happy to share the things they enjoy or learn from. Be like a sponge and absorb all they have to say without judgment. Remember, you are not the audience – they are – and it doesn’t matter what you think of the things they enjoy for entertainment or education.

Who are their mentors and other influencers?

You’re going to find some trends among your potential readers; subjects, authors, and other influencers that will show up regularly in comments and shares. Who stands out among your audience and why? Once you identify the Big Names in your niche, you’ll be better able to provide insight and value that meets or exceeds what they are offering to your hoped-for audience.

What are their other interests?

Beyond simple stats (such as age, gender, location, ethnic background, education level, and career), your ideal reader will also have interests outside your niche. What else are they passionate about and how do they fulfill those passions? Where do they like to shop, eat, spend money on entertainment? A fully developed reader profile has much more value than a simple one, enabling you to better serve their needs.

What professional/enrichment trainings/events do they attend?

Real fans tend to invest their time, energy, and money in more than just books by their favorite authors. Many of them will travel to see and meet them in person. Others may invest in training to learn more about the subjects that matter to them. Attendance at speeches and seminars by well-known business authors is an indicator that your future audience will be committed to the person who speaks to their needs. Make that person be YOU!

By narrowly defining your reader profile, by gathering more information rather than less, you are much more likely to identify the perfect fans for your book launch.

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