Write It Sideways

Why You Need to Trip Out Your Readers

Today’s post is written by Matthew Turner of Turndog Millionaire.

Editor’s note: These days, authors are also business people. Keep these tips in mind if you’ve been thinking of writing an eBook, designing an online course or membership program, or offering writing/editing services through your blog.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you to take your reader on an acid trip. What I do ask is for you to take them on a trip they’ll never forget.

What might such a trip include?

In the business world, we have something called CRM. It stands for Customer Relationship Management, but it’s far too stiff for my liking. Instead I refer to it as “The Customer Journey.”

As an author, it’s the journey you create for your readers. It could be the readers of your book, blog, or scrapbook. Make no exceptions—they all take a particular journey. Whether or not you intend for this to happen—well—that’s up to you.

Control The Journey

When I think of my readers, I aim to do three things:

The journey my readers take can vary, but it always focuses on these three aspects. Keeping this in mind allows me to create a journey that grabs their attention, helps them, immerses them, and leads them closer to me.

They get more out of it, and so do I.

Being Discovered vs Discovering

Sometimes readers will find you, and sometimes you’ll find them. Whichever route a reader takes, you have certain control over their journey. Here’s how:

Being Discovered

  1. Awareness. Catch readers’ attention through social media, SEO, advertising, word of mouth, etc. Grab them by making your message irresistible: you have something they desperately want or need.
  2. Content. Once you get readers to come to you, keep them there by creating great content. Whether it’s a blog post, landing page, or interview, all that matters is creating something great. Something your reader wants to read.
  3. Call To Action. You’ve kept their attention for a while. Now what? A call to action directs your reader to where you ultimately need them to be. That might be a sign up form, a product launch page, or a list of your services.
  4. Capture & Segment. Once they get there, you need them to sign up. Whether it’s their email or money you desire, give them an incentive to give it you (perhaps a free eBook, discount, or limited time offer?).
  5. Communicate. If you get them once, chances are greater that you can get them again. Continue to communicate with your readers via automated emails, newsletters, and special promotions.

Discovering

  1. Discover. Find your desired readership via social media, search engines, and word of mouth. Keep a spreadsheet of these people and their contact details.
  2. First Contact. Reach out to your potential audience. My personal choice is email, but sometimes a tweet or comment is more appropriate. Whichever you use, make sure your goal is not to sell, but to connect.
  3. Involvement. The conversation has begun and now’s the time to get them involved. It’s still not time to sell, but here you can ask them for something. Maybe it’s to provide feedback, to answer a question, or leave a comment. Reach out and get them involved.
  4. Segment. Because each of your readers is unique, each type of reader requires a slightly different message. Maybe you talk to your book readers in a different way to your blog readers. What group does this person of interest fall into?
  5. Customise. You’ve created a conversation and it’s up to you to keep it going. Make it personal, even if it’s an automated campaign. It has to be aimed at that person, not every person. What are you saying to them? How are you keeping them interested?

The Journey Is Key

Every potential reader you meet follows a particular path. You can’t control everything, but you can control a lot. What journey do you want them to take? The first step is to discover what you want, the second is to point the reader in the right direction.

What type of trip do you envision for your audience? How do you point your readers to where you want them to be?

Matthew Turner (aka Turndog Millionaire) is an author of both fiction & non-fiction. Part of his life includes helping fellow writers build an Author Platform & Brand Story. You can find out more about him by visiting his website or downloading his free ebook, How To Build An Author House.