I’m putting together a course for authors on how to publish their own books.
I’m not a natural salesperson. I’m not a budding entrepreneur. I need all the help I can get.
And I’m getting an awful lot of advice on how to make people aware of the class.
Evidently, there are a few things I must do to be successful –
I get it up to a point. It’s true, if I’m teaching a course on how to self-publish and I already know how, I’m not going to sign up. But beyond that? It doesn't really make sense.
Here’s what I mean.
Just yesterday, I was given this guidance for finding my Ideal Customer.
Write down – their gender, age, location, job, education, homelife, entertainment, goals, role models, and shopping habits. What are their biggest fears? Their greatest desires?
This feels a little creepy. A little like what we’re trying to get Big Tech not to do to us.
The next bit of advice wasn’t any better.
I was told to figure out their "pain points." Understand "what keeps them up at night." What kind of "transformation" can they expect from my class?
To be honest. I have no idea. If they’re in pain and up all night, a class on self-publishing isn’t going to help. And offering transformation is asking a lot.
True, you can’t please everyone all the time. But just because a forty-five-year-old woman drives a Subaru and watches “Succession,” there’s no real way to predict she’s going to want to learn how to publish a book.
In fact for me, the only thing that matters is whether someone wants to learn self-publishing. Their gender, age, location, habits and hobbies don’t mean anything.
And yet. This ideal customer advice has somehow become standard.
Sometimes, when I feel like I’m the only one veering away from common wisdom, I check in with ChatGPT to see if it can do a better job of putting into words what I’m trying to say.
And this is what it told me.
Knowing your ideal customer is no longer adequate to understand today's consumer landscape. Instead of relying on a single profile, businesses should take a flexible and nuanced approach to understanding their target audience.
Exactly what I was trying to say. Flexible and nuanced. Just like me.
Photo by Microsoft designer
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