Atlantic Draft

Who's Reading Your Content?

Content for BusinessNina Cudney
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Imagine your audience was filled with 8th graders.

I remember a mentor of mine telling me that and it stuck with me to this day. Unless you are writing to appeal to other professionals on the same academic level as you are, you may want to take your content down a notch. 

I have reviewed many forms of content. As a teacher, I had to read the literature and then make sure I was able to capture the minds of 10th graders for 42 minutes. Clearly, I had to make it a bit more entertaining than a classic textbook and I certainly was not going to spit out stats and expect the crowd to roar with excitement. When it comes to content, one word comes to mind...FLEXIBLE. Although I am not asking you to do a round-off back handspring (although that would have totally grabbed the attention of my former students), I am asking you to really pay attention to exactly WHO your audience is. An example, shall we?

You are an attorney - A Harvard Law school graduate to be exact. You have your own practice and your own website to draw traffic. Now, if you were to write your own content, chances are you would write it as if you were...oh I don't know...a Harvard Law school graduate? Here's where things can get messy. Now, unless you have a contract with Harvard Law school that gives you exclusivity with all legal matters pertaining to Harvard Law grads - you will be writing to people like me...clearly not a Harvard Law grad (much to my father's dismay). 

There will be circumstances, however, where you may be targeting an audience that is more of an academic crowd and you will need to adjust the content accordingly. For example, you own a start-up that targets Dentists (pretend you sell dental chairs). You are not a Dentist. As a matter of fact, the only clinical knowledge you have is how to properly put a band-aid on your 3-year-old. Your website or marketing material will have to be adjusted to the level of your audience. 

The easiest way to do this is to have someone take a look at your website and do a review. Having an outsider look at your site as if they were your target audience is a great way to get a feel if you are on the right track or not. 

Take some time to think about who your audience is. Then, ask yourself if you are writing to them or someone else. Remember that your audience will not always be clones of you - although that would be much easier, right?