If your computer dies and you never receive another lesson, this one tip alone will put you in a different league from your competition.
The first step is simple, but not always easy. Decide who your perfect customer is. (Keep in mind that for your project, a "customer" might be a nonprofit donor, a fellow blogger who adopts your ideas, etc. A customer is just a person you have motivated to take action.)
Now you may actually have a perfect customer now. Maybe you've got an individual who refers lots of business to you, buys everything you put out, and brings your employees flowers because he loves you so much.
If you're not lucky enough to have a customer like this, you'll have to use your imagination. What would that kind of customer look like? Male or female? How old? Where would she live? What does he drive? Kids? Grandkids? Family oriented or party animal? There is a saying in marketing: "You want to breathe the air of your customer." In other words, you want to know as much about your ideal customer as possible.
Don't just do this exercise in your head--write down every detail. Keep a running list, and add to it as new ideas come to you. If you have a trusted business partner, or a friend or a spouse who really understands your business, share your portrait with that person. Does it ring true?
A surefire way to find out more about your ideal reader and customer is by polling or surveying her. There are free plugins on your WordPress site that allow you to create a poll or survey. Download a poll plugin on your site and create a poll. Ask for the age, gender, income, marital status, etc.
Then write a blog post and add the poll to it. The headline of the blog post could read, "Can you do me a favor?" Ask her to help you out by answering a few questions. This is a great way to get to know who your ideal reader and customer is.
Always Write Directly to That One Person
In marketing jargon, you've created a "persona" or "avatar." Give your avatar a name, to make her even more real to you.
Then write everything directly to that person. Imagine her sitting across from you in a coffee shop, as you share news with her about what's going on in your business.
(By the way, in most industries--including some you might not think, like electronics and auto purchases--women make more purchasing decisions than men. Only you know for sure in your own business, but think seriously about making your avatar female.)
If your ideal customer is a little formal, write to her like you'd send an email to your Great Aunt Susie. If he's casual, write like you'd write to an old college buddy. (It's probably smart to keep it rated-G, though.)
Your ideal customer isn't just a customer, she's a friend. Write warmly and directly to her. Every time you put your fingers on the keyboard, visualize that friendly, caring face.
Use "You" and "Your" as you talk directly to her. Don't use "We" and "Us" like you are talking to a group.
Don't Get Distracted
You will be tempted to write for your other customers, too. You'll feel like you're leaving someone out. This feeling may actually induce a little panic--your business can't afford to leave any money on the table by "ignoring" some customers.
Talking to a group is a mistake that will cost you a lot of money. Don't do it.
Keep yourself laser focused. By writing directly to that one ideal customer, you'll automatically find all the customers who are on the perfect wavelength for you. Even if they look a little different from your "avatar," the personal, genuine way that you write is going to bridge that gap naturally.
You'll take customers who could be ideal, and make them actually ideal. You'll create a memorable, heartfelt connection. You'll find your raving fans.
You'll create a referral and repeat business engine that will propel your business to success.
Until you receive your checklist at the end of the course, get up right now and write up a Post-it for yourself.
"Write to One Person."
Stick it on your computer, and maybe an extra copy or two around your office or someplace else where you'll see it often.
It isn't always easy. But any of us can do it if we keep working at it, and you'll find that it transforms your business.