Have you run out of ideas of what to say on your Facebook Page? Has Twitter got you in knots because you’re (frankly) bored, and have hit a content brick wall? Does Periscope leave you cold and Blab with hairs standing up at the back of your neck?
Fear not my friends. There is a simple solution.
My best guess is that you have forgotten who you are talking to (or want to talk to for that matter). In fact, I would lay my bets that you haven’t even thought about WHO you are writing for. Your main driver to date has more than likely been, “What can I share about me? What’s interesting enough about me to share?”
Can I let you in on a secret (that’s not so secret)? It is NOT about you.
Identify your Avatar
The reason you are stopped in your tracks with producing content for your blog, social media channels and indeed, more than likely for your email marketing – is because you have either forgotten – or never formulated your Avatar.
And no, I do not mean the blue people from the big James Cameron blockbuster. (But how cool would that be!)
An Avatar – or Persona – or Ideal Target Audience – is the one person you are writing a specific piece of content for. Once you nail that, and I mean properly nail that, the content just flows and flows.
Follow my 5 Avatar Tips below and I promise your content will be overflowing.
Tip #1: Get to know your Avatar like he/she is your best friend
Write out exactly who your ideal target audience is – you may have a few different audiences who you target (to perhaps align with different services or products) – choose one to start with.
Answer these few questions about your Avatar:
- How old is your Avatar?
- What is their home life like?
- What car do they drive and where do they live?
- How much do they earn?
- What traits do they have – that are interesting to note?
- What hobbies do they have?
- What does their typical day look like?
- Who do they hang out with?
- Where do they hang out? (Virtual and physical places)
Colour this picture in as much as you can – so you can tell the story of your Avatar like they are a person standing in front of you.
Once you are done – name your Avatar.
Let’s call him Robert for the sake of this exercise.
(Mmm…I should have found a male blue person image.)
If you need more help on this score – I highly recommend listening to Amy Porterfield’s Podcast on this subject: “Are you Repelling or Attracting Your Potential Customers?” Amy interviews Jasmine Starr who introduces us to her Avatar called Elle.
You really feel like Jasmine is talking about a close friend of hers. This drives her every move when shaping anything for Elle.
Tip #2: Map out what your Avatar likes, wants, desires and needs
This is a fun exercise – so literally draw it out. (Get out those coloured markers and highlighters). Start with your Avatar’s name in a circle in the middle of your paper and then move branches outwards from the centre (like a mind map or huge spider).
Things to consider:
- Does Robert have any daily / weekly / annual challenges?
- Weaknesses – what knowledge is Robert lacking to get a certain task or job done?
- Strengths – what are the tasks or skills that Robert is really good at?
- How does Robert make decisions about selecting who he works with?
- What or who influences him in the workplace?
- What or who influences him outside of the workplace (that you know of)?
- What is the one thing he really desires?
- What is his burning need (might be linked to his challenges)?
- What gets him up in the morning?
- What keeps him up at night?
- What kind of language does Robert use? (What words or phrases does he use frequently? Are there specific terms he uses because of his industry / what does he call his staff, customers and products?)
And anything else that springs to mind…
Note it down – don’t stop until everything you know about Robert is on the paper.
Tip #3: Identify themes
From your very detailed understanding of Robert’s lifestyle and his needs and wants – you should be able to stand back from your map of him and clearly identify themes.
These themes will give you a content plan for next 12 months to work from. Your themes could look something like this:
- Robert’s challenges are: 1,2,3,4
- What Robert is really good at, but could do with the resource to do even better is: 1,2,3,4
- Robert is lacking these things to move his business to the next level: 1,2,3,4
- How you can help Robert is in the following ways: 1,2,3,4 (use his words to describe his needs)
- These are the measures that Robert uses to select suppliers/providers: 1,2,3,4 (and you position your solution-based blog post on the ‘measure’ – turn the subject around on how you fulfil or deliver on that measure)
Tip #4: Flesh it out
Take one of the items within each theme and flesh it out completely. So, for example, in the Challenge Theme above, let’s choose Item 1 from the first point that you listed.
Let’s say that Robert’s biggest challenge is recruiting the right team members to help him deliver a quality service to his clients. You are a specialist recruitment consultant. Your piece of content (preferably a blog post) is going to talk about or be positioned as follows:
- Providing a ‘lay-of-the-land’ of what it feels like to have the wrong team in place (all the extra pressures, extra management time, losing other great staff members because of a bad team member; having a long standing client say they will need to go elsewhere; etc.)
- Provide practical guidance on how to take control of such a situation – bold, but sensitive advice on how to take the reigns back and how to put good, solid performance management processes in place. Research the correct HR advice (if you don’t know it) and give a general framework to follow.
- Include a sentence now and then about how you have helped a client in a similar situation resolve this specific issue. Very subtly – do not bolster yourself at all…just relate a story within your story.
- Close the piece with some compassionate advice and an offer to converse with you, if the reader is experiencing this issue in their business. Give them a private way to communicate with you (email) as well.
Now you can do this for every one of the items you have in TIP #3.
Can you see that you will have at least 20 bulky blog posts out of that?
Tip #5: Vary the format, method and delivery
Now take the meaty blog post you have written above – and slice and dice. Take parts of that blog post and do things like:
- Run a Facebook Live Q&A session on that subject and invite participants to ask questions about that issue
- Co-host a Blab session with an HR professional who specialises in assisting clients in dealing with difficult staff members. Promote this to your existing clients, as well as across your other social media channels to get an audience to watch, listen and have their questions answered
- Create about 4 different graphics and images around statistics on this specific issue and perhaps some quotes from successful business people who have been quoted on this specific subject. Create the images yourself (but obviously give credence to the quote author) – add your logo and flair to them.
- Write 4 to 6 individual tweets – pulling nuggets from the post – and add the link at the end (you now have up to 6 unique tweets that you can use to recycle going forward)
- Create two attractive Facebook posts with images (optimised for Ads) and share on Facebook – test them through the ads platform and target them at the audience you want to reach
And I could go on – but you get where I’m coming from.
Can you see how…if you start at the beginning and really understand who you are communicating with on your channels (and it may be that you have Robert for one platform and Sally for another) – it gets easier?
You should have a good idea of how to plan out your content now – based on who you want to speak to. Remember that over and above the work you have done above, you will have some very targeted campaigns planned to promote a specific product or service or solution – but you will always need to know who that campaign is directed at.
Get your Avatar(s) in place before you do anything else – and you will always be able to go back to it when planning a fresh year of content.