Many writers will tell you that they try to picture their ideal reader and write for him/her. Many times it’s actually themselves they are writing for, but that’s a whole Freudian discussion for another day. They do this because it’s hard to write for the 1,000 different people that might be their readers.
You will never make all 1,000 people smile, no matter how clever your content is. But if you can make just a few people smile, then like dominoes they can tip from one person to the next.
The hard part is figuring out whom this ideal group is and how to make them smile.
I struggled for many years to create an emotional connection with my readers. They understood what I was trying to convey, but I was missing the mark. I didn’t give them the value that they were looking for mixed with entertainment.
Once I figured out how I could create a connection with my readers, the smiles came more often and my work became more shareable. I’m going to explain how to do this in a 5 step process.
Before I do, the first thing you must learn is…
Story is King
People are hard-wired to be captivated by stories. We’ve read, listened, watched and basically consumed stories since before we can remember.
I read and tell my son a story before bed every night. He can never get enough. He always wants another story from me.
When you write about your product or service, you must mix in a storyline to create an emotional connection, and then give them something to take away to improve their life. You have to do this from your connection superpowers (passion, focus, and strengths) so you can target the people that can best use your content.
Step 1: Know Your Reader Avatar
Start by thinking about who your perfect person is. What do they like? Is she a nerdy girl who loves to share content? Is he a small business owner who is struggling to close sales? Does she like reading Eckert Tolle? Does he like watching X-Men movies?
My ideal person is a small creative business owner who sells products online. When I picture my ideal person they enjoy writing, 5 star food trucks, silly jokes, and they struggle with measuring and refining sales results.
Once you can befriend your ideal reader, then you can begin the process of making him or her smile.
Step 2: Understand Your Reader’s Trigger Points
Your reader has certain personality traits as we discussed above. They might like humor or to be inspired. It’s finding these emotional trigger points that will help you develop your connection.
Look at your past successes. Have you created content in the past that got a lot of Facebook or Twitter shares? Was there anything different about the more successful content? When you can spot a pattern, you can learn from your success and recreate it with future content.
When I was trying to improve my connections, I noticed my blog posts that I wrote from a personal point of view received more attention, so now I use that technique a lot more. I received more comments and more shares on social networks. The same goes for emails and social media. I try to write in a conversational tone that hopefully sparks engagement from the reader.
Step 3: Make It a Journey Worth Joining in On
When you’re writing, you have to walk up to people, give them a smile, ask to hold their hand and lead them through your story…in the best virtual way possible.
It starts by knowing where in the story your emotional connection will take place. This will come through practice, but the more you write the better you’ll get at knowing where in your content the emotional connection will be formed.
In my content, the emotional connection typically gets formed when they like the story and want to take a chance to deepen the connection with me. They join my email list, letting me know they want to learn more and stay in touch.
Once you have their trust, you can have a little fun. Every journey should have a twist. Give them something a little unexpected, and that will develop more engagement.
Step 4: Give Them a Takeaway
You have them on your emotional hook, reel them in and whisper something insightful in their ear, then throw them back into the Internet ocean.
You’ll need to give them something that they can use to help them grow. This could be monetary, personal or relationship growth. Whatever it is, make it so compelling that they have to try it out.
Once they try it out, they should see positive results if it’s quality material. This is where you are deepening the connection. They will want more from you. They will share you with their friends.
You’ll see the power of giving someone information that helps them. This is where you’ll see your smile. It’s nice to make someone laugh, but to deliver something that they can use to improve their life, that’s where you’ll see the smile build your business, blog, career, etc.
When I started providing takeaways throughout my posts and creating questions that would make them pause and think, my readers started sharing more of my posts on social media.
Step 5: Measure, Adjust and Repeat
Now that you’ve found the smile magic, you’ll want to add more smiles to your emotional bank. The more smiles you collect, the easier it is to ask for the sale. That’s why it’s so important to have a system to measure your results.
Look at where you are seeing the most engagement. If it’s driving sales for your business, this is the type of content you need to create more of. You now have a formula that works. But don’t stop there.
You can always improve.
If you see that a certain type of content is getting you a lot of attention and is driving email sign-ups and sales, then adjust and try out a different CTA (Call to Action) to improve your conversion rate.
I had first started out I focused on talking like other people in my industry. People didn’t care about what I said, but when I added personal stories about my business the connection was easier and more fun. I tell more stories about myself like how I had cancer and that I’m in remission and how it changed how I view my business and life. I like sharing my story with people because it explains my passion. People will connect with you easier and the referrals increased and helped me reach more people.
Making small improvements will help you repeat your success and keep your site and business growing.
When you are working on developing an emotional connection, with your visitors, it’s important to connect with people through stories. Whether it’s how you started your business or a mistake that you learned from. People want to be able to relate with you.
Look for stories that you can share with your visitors. What happened in your past that you think your readers can relate with and learn from? Use these to help create teachables (builds trust) and connection points.
Once you have their attention the next step is to make a compelling offer that helps them improve their lives. This isn’t easy, but when you listen to the feedback you’ll understand what triggers a sale and what stops them from continuing through the buying process. Turning visitors into sales means getting them excited, earning their trust, and asking for the sale when they are ready to buy.
What type of content has helped you generate an emotional connection with your visitors? (Tell us a story in the comment section.)