Who is Your Ideal Reader?

I hope you’re already marinating on the book you’re going to write this year. It’s important to define one key thing before you start: who is your ideal reader (a.k.a your avatar)?

Do you know, even before you start, for whom are you writing your book? Sometimes when I ask someone who their avatar is, they say “this book is for everyone!” While everyone might benefit from reading your book, take these words to heart:

You get rich in a niche.

A specialist makes more than a generalist.

A brain surgeon makes more than a general practitioner, and when writing your book, you stand a far better chance of making an impact and selling lots of books when you write to one particular person, rather than the whole universe.

Here is how to develop your avatar:

Imagine you have your ideal, most favorite, and wonderful client or customer sitting in front of you. You are giving them the advice they have asked for, and you don’t have any problem doing that, right? Of course not, because (drum roll please) you’re the expert!

If I asked you a question about financial planning, or forming a new entity, or how you handled office politics back in the 80s, you wouldn’t hesitate; you would simply speak. When you craft your avatar, keep in mind you are giving advice to your favorite client.

Next, list the qualities and characteristics of your ideal client. Describe the perfect person, couple, or company, whose custom would make you ecstatic. Use your very favorite client as an example, and they become the model for your avatar. Here’s an example, a short take on my ideal reader for You Must Write a Book. And yes, it’s an actual person, one of my favorite clients:

As I wrote about why my readers should write and self-publish a book, I had Eric in mind. He’s a long-time client and friend, and yes, we’ve had multiple conversations about why he should write a book. When you remember what your ideal client needs to hear, you will give targeted advice.

Your advice to your ideal clients works perfectly as advice you might give to a wide range of other people. Having an avatar focuses your thoughts. While each individual’s situation might be somewhat unique, 95 percent of the advice you give in your book will apply to almost anyone you would be giving it to, right? And, it’s exactly what you need to write in your book!

As a side note, you might have a few other people in mind as well as when you’re writing your book. But when it comes to giving real advice, you will think about what, in particular, you would tell your ideal reader. This helps you make decisions about content (should I include this?) as well as the prose (is this the best way to describe this concept?).

Who is your ideal reader? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!



~ Grammarly.com. I recently upgraded to the annual subscription, and I’m convinced I’m writing better, faster, and more succinctly.

~ Sell More Books with Less Social Media by Chris Syme. Whether you’re writing your first or fiftieth book, this reference guide will save you time and help you make more money. Bonus: it comes with a free course!

~  Not sure if you should self-publish? Don’t take my word for it (ahem). James Altucher weighs in.


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