Back in 2009, Molly decided to go out on her own as a voice teacher.
She put out ads on Craigslist to drum up business, and used simple headlines that read: “Voice Lessons.”
Obviously, she was hoping to attract people looking for, um, voice lessons.
The ads did attract people, but…
After posting the ad many times, and receiving three or four responses each time, only one person took the next step and actually became a student.
Can you guess Molly’s mistake?
Molly’s headline, and the rest of her ad content, was very general.
While Molly knew she could help many different types of students, she thought that keeping her content general would help her reach the most students.
This is a common mistake for businesses — by speaking to too many people at once it’s difficult for your content to engage and attract someone specific. The content ends up being ho-hum.
How do you fix it?
Molly and I chatted about how we could improve the content of her ad, make it more engaging, and have it work better at getting more people to become students.
The trick is to speak to one to reach many.
Identify the types of people you’re trying to reach and profile those people. Profiling means you find a real person who fits the criteria of a specific audience you’re trying to reach.
Then ask that real person a series of questions to uncover what’s going on inside their head and what they’re struggling with in relation to your business offering.
This makes it easier to create good online content to attract and engage the people you’re trying to reach.
Even if you don’t have someone to profile, at the very least, you need to be clear about who you’re trying to reach.
Molly came up with three ideal students:
1. A high school student looking to polish their technique before a conservatory audition.
2. Adults who used to sing and are looking to get back into it.
3. People new to singing who were afraid to take lessons.
By simply listing her potential students like this, Molly could already see how each person would have their own set of needs and struggles to overcome. These unique needs could now influence the headline and content of her ad to better engage the people she was trying to reach.
What was the response to Molly’s new ads?
Here’s an email Molly sent me:
Just wanted to let you know that the ads have been working! I have started three new students in the last week and a half! I’m trying to keep it up but I’m definitely feeling good about this! I’m thinking about making a new ad for straight actors who have always wanted to learn to sing.”
You can create more engaging content too!
Whether you’re creating ads like Molly, writing a blog post, an email, a guide, video, or podcast, be specific about one person you’re creating it for.
Yes, it’s counter-intuitive. But it works. Your content will resonate and move more of the right people to action.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
• Who are you talking to? Who are they specifically? Choose one actual person? (One of your best customers is a good place to start.)
• How will you help them?
• Why is this topic important to them?
• What do you want them to do? Why should they do it?
• What do you want them to do next? What’s the next step?
We’d love to hear how this approach works for you! Give it a try, and let us know in the comments.