Last month, I spent two weeks far from home. My husband and I drove nearly 1,900 miles from Idaho to Louisville, Kentucky.
We split our time between two apartments, but we essentially took up residence in the city for the two weeks we were there.
Two weeks isn’t really enough time to get to know a new place, to learn the nuances of its culture and rhythms. But it is enough time to start to get a feel for it.
Sure, we did the tourist thing. We walked the bourbon mile and drove the bourbon trail. We visited the local history museum and the Muhammad Ali Museum. We went on a ghost tour.
But we also just walked around. We went grocery shopping. We struck up conversations with bartenders and cashiers, waiters and guides.
Because of those conversations, I know that the city of Louisville cultivates a pride in being from there. The history. The music. The traditions.
I know that the people there are polite and helpful and welcoming. I know that family-owned businesses are viewed with an extra measure of respect. I know that there’s a lot of resolve and strength in the community.
I know these things because I chose to dwell a while. I chose to split my time between tourist activities and the everyday rhythms of life.
That’s how you get to know an audience, too. You have to find where they’re at, and dwell a while. Spend some time reading the books they read. Visit the forums they visit. Listen to the conversations they’re having. Ask questions, but mostly just listen.
You’ll start to discover what they’re passionate about, what they get dug in about, what motivates them, and what moves them. You’ll see how they treat each other and how they speak to each other.
Take some time to dwell with your audience, and you’ll be able to connect with them on a much deeper level. Ideally, you’ll come to care about them and maybe even love what they love.
If you can do that, you’ll level up your copy… because you won’t be talking at your audience anymore. You’ll be talking with them. It makes a huge difference.
Next time you land a project with a client, think about how you can spend time with their audience. Not just researching them, but actually getting to know them. When you do, it’s a safe bet you’ll find it easier to write… and that your work will be better, too.
New on the Site
If you want to land clients, you have to let your prospects know you’re out there. That means going out of your way to be seen as a writer… becoming a blip on your prospect’s radar, so to speak. In this latest Reality Blog, Suzanna Fitzgerald shares her realization that she’s been flying under the radar as a writer… and what she plans to do about it.
When it comes to creating content for your blog, using proven blogging post types can help you keep your idea pipeline full. In this article from Erin Fedeson, you’ll learn about four blog post types readers love and that give you a way to frame — and reframe — your ideas.
Have you tried marketing your writing services only to be disappointed in the results? See if one of these common marketing mistakes is to blame… and how to fix it for a better outcome. In this article, I discuss five mistakes writers make when marketing themselves… along with ways you can adjust course for a better response.
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That’s all for now. Make it a great week!