Writer’s Briefing

Use this Simple Question to Understand Your Audience

The question is what you’re selling.

A two piece teal pen that is masquerading as a stock photo of a MontBlanc pen. This needs to be snoped.
A MontBlanc pen masquerading as a MontBlanc pen

I write humor and it is a tough sell.

On Medium, the writers’ Hunger Games for eyeballs and influence, marketing you work is especially daunting.

If your funny article about cow flatulence is posted on the opening screen, awesome. That is until another like how a white woman called the police on Jesus in heaven takes you down.

Yet, for all writers, the mystery is how do you break through? How do you find an audience so you’re not caught talking to your navel.

Although the answer has many components, the simple question is what are you selling?

Take the MontBlanc pen. When MontBlanc raises prices, they sell more pens. You know why? The MontBlancers know what they are about.

A MontBlanc pen is not some crappy, plastic writing instrument to be left in a junk drawer. Bic sells those.

MontBlanc hasa brand that sells quality, exclusiveness, and luxury. They’re hawking a scribbling device to the hated 1%. These things are held in the hands of CEOs, power brokers, and anyone else who doesn’t see a Bic will do the same thing for $300 cheaper.

See, MontBlanc looks beyond the physical product. They understand their customer segment. They know what their buyers are thinking, feeling, struggles, tastes, preference, and money journey. Writers need write stories that address similar issues that concerns their readers.

They know what their buyers are thinking, feeling, struggles, tastes, preference, and money journey, all on a daily basis. This is the kind of understanding you, the writer, needs to write effectively.

….the simple question is what are you selling?

So you have to understand the reader as a customer, not a reader. You must look beyond the words and ask yourself what you are selling? and beyond thay question, why should anyone bother to even skim your piece? How does the context of your story connect to what your about, and, to go one step further, how does that connect to your readers?

For instance, if I wrote a piece titled “It’s About Time the Kardasians Don’t Matter Anymore!” What am I selling?” Values. And I’m connecting to the reader by asking is time spent reading about the Kardashian family? Can my time be spent otherwise?

How would I wrote such and article?

I would point out how, in these times of pandemic and protests, the Kardashians are living life just like the rest of us. However, while Kim makes millions off reruns, I’m stressing whether this post is worth a damn.

Anthony Fireman

Published in The Boston Globe Magazine; Trying to figure it all out by expressing ideas, fears, hopes, and dreams; I have a dog, a very influential dog. Very.