How’s your week been so far? Mine has been pretty good.
I’ll admit, this has been a very long time for me to put a Codex out there–which for those of you who may not know, a post specifically geared to help write-to-persuade-and-sell copywriters get better at their craft. But you fiction writers don’t have to pass on it, if you don’t want to.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
I got out yesterday and shopped, which included a stop at Dunkin Donuts (darn those doughnut holes!) But, I have to say I do enjoy my doughnut holes.
What was interesting to me is that the server waved to me–I mean, the kind of wave that says you’ve recognized someone you’ve seen before (maybe it’s because I was just in there about 5-8 days before). This wave almost bordered on genuine interest to see me or curiosity (but maybe I’m stretching too far on that one). And then she got me my doughnut holes, and that was that. I booted up my laptop and got to work.
I realized something that had popped into my head alongside the e-book I was reading on sales letters that day.
That cashier gave out a key to helping people get more interest in, and sales for, products and services.
This concept had been stacking up because yesterday morning, I’d just listened to an audio presentation by a marketer explaining this concept, but with a different approach to getting the job done (and I’ve written about this before–one of the first posts ever on this blog, in fact–it’s that important). And then, that afternoon, I saw the concept in action for myself.
Okay, enough suspense.
The key here is:
Usually it breeds contempt, but in the world of e-books, marketing, and what-have-ya, it breeds sales and engagement. And yes, it was hinted at in the post title. But I’d like to expand on things a teeny bit.
You can get familiar with people by observing them, listening to them, and more. (But not in a stalkerish way!) Asking questions is great for this. So is curiosity, because one drives the other. When you find out what people value, you can also find out what they need and/or want, which can be based on problems they have, favorite topics, and more. If someone has a shirt that says “I like roses,” it might be obvious (unless they have a friend, dog, or cat named Rose).
Listening to what people say is very important (which could be the subject of another post). Do they have a lot of stops and starts when they talk? Do they use slang? What do they talk about? Cars? Kids? Kids driving cars? Retirement savings? Coffee? Sugar? Travel? (See? Doughnut places are great for writers, over and above all that sugar).
Back to analyzing what people want.
How do you actually go about this?
First, you figure out what people want, compile it, and then interpret it. You can email folks (with permission), put up a survey, and what-have-ya. Are there patterns that emerge? Maybe that brown dogs only like to chew yellow roses?
Second, you put something together that addresses that issue (blog post, podcast, Q&A, interview, what-have-ya). Maybe someone has figured out how to mask the roses’ color so dogs won’t chew (and if I’m not mistaken, dogs do see in some colors).
Third, you put it out there. You can offer it as a download, giveaway, as part of a larger product, a bonus, and more.
If you know what people want, and then give it to them, won’t they be more likely to buy it, because it’s what they want? And, more importantly, you’re someone who communicates that you understand what they want? I think so.
But knowing what people want is only part of the equation (even though it’s a big part). One of the other parts is a group of folks who want what you have to offer. We all have to start somewhere.
Tomorrow’s Triple F, and the prompt. Be sure to stop by.
Until next time,