Knowing your targeted business prospect makes writing content and copy much easier. While that’s well known, many copywriters and their clients don’t dig deep enough into their prospects’ overall image. Visualizing the reader makes the finished product even more effective. A worksheet that I use helps build a 3-D business prospect image. Starting with a blank slate, I fill in the blanks until the reader appears as a living, breathing person.
This process takes time, but it’s worth it.
Building a 3-D model
I’m a big fan of science fiction TV shows, even the so-called reality style. In this type of program, the team was always in search of something, often in the field of crypto-zoology or monster hunting. Two that spring to mind are Destination Truth and Monster Quest.
So what does monster hunting have to do with visualizing a business prospect?
A lot more than you might think. In these programs, the team of experts would assemble all the information about reported sightings and compile it. They would compare all of this data, noting the similarities and differences. The step that followed is quite interesting.
They would develop an actual three-dimensional model of the beast, usually a computer-generated image or CGI. They would take this CGI model and rotate it, make it walk and even add sound effects. The result was a monster that you could actually see. They now had a great image of their quest’s target.
I don’t know if they’ll ever find one of these creatures, but they definitely know what they’re after.
They can “see” it in their mind.
Build an image of your business prospect
It’s time to apply that concept to your business writing, content and copy. Gather up all the information you can about the prospect from “reported sightings” and compile them into a composite model. I do this, with help from my clients and with research, when writing any marketing material. While there is other information I collect, business prospect data is important for writing effectively.
There are three areas to explore:
- Demographics: Lifestyle information
- Psychographics: Interests and hobbies
- Emotions: The feelings that make them tick.
Let’s look briefly at these areas.
In demographics, you design a picture of the prospects everyday life. Some of the things to describe are:
- Gender (pick one to start with)
- Where they live
- The type of house and whether they rent or own
- What they drive
There are other characteristics to include, but I think these give you some idea of what’s included. The more completely you describe your prospect, the easier it will be to write copy for them.
When you list the psychographic information, you’re looking into your prospect’s mind. You might want to contact some people to see how they answer questions about:
- Favorite books or magazines
- Past purchases and why they bought them
Many business to business writers tend to shy away from emotions. After all, emotions are the realm of consumer marketing, not B2B, right?
Wrong . . . dead wrong.
While facts and figures, and charts and graphs are important when presenting your product or service, it’s still emotions that drive the sale, even in B2B. This idea holds true for both ad copy and other content. When you realize that content – blogs, articles, instructional materials, etc. – are all forms of content marketing, you’ll begin to understand the importance of appealing to emotions in all business writing.
Build a profile of your ideal prospects hopes and aspirations. What are their deepest fears? What makes them happy, or what frustrates or angers them? How do they feel about where they are in their company, and do they want to move up the ladder? What business problems keep them up at night?
You’ll need to think hard on this, but the reward is worth it.
Finally, give your prospect a name
A lot of writers build a profile, but they stop too soon. They often fail to give the business prospect, their reader, a name.
And yes, I mean a real name like Bill or Sue or John or Stephanie. If you’ve understood the ideas above, you should have at least two profiles built, one for each gender. When you attach a name to your prospect, you find that the person becomes real to you. And that makes writing an easier process because the “prospect” transforms into a real person.
Here’s an interesting exercise: Ask yourself why you chose that name. The answer may tell you a lot about yourself. But more importantly, you may find that you’ve been building a profile of your ideal business prospect based on someone you already know would be interested, perhaps a friend or business acquaintance.
With this 3-D image, the writing takes on a completely different tone. Instead of reciting facts to a stranger, you’re chatting with a friend.
And talking to your business prospect, not speaking at them, is the key to effective copywriting.
Author: Steve Maurer
Article: Give Your Business Prospect a Name