You’re probably wrong 

There are at least 3 reasons why nobody is reading (or buying) your book, articles, blogs, products [insert your thing here]…

And it’s not because you’re not shouting loud enough.

The most likely suspects:

  1. You wrote (or made) it for YOU not them
  2. You didn’t speak to ‘THEIR’ most important problem
  3. You don’t really know who ‘THEY’ are

Let’s have a quick think about issues 2 & 3. Not knowing who they are and what their most important problem is will ruin your chances of success every time. You might have guessed who your readers should be, perhaps you did yourself a bit of psychographics & demographics, made up an avatar or persona, put yourself in their shoes – all the usual BS…

…and still people aren’t buying what you’re selling.

You can really only get close to having a bit of an inkling what your readers/buyers/clients need when you get up close and personal, ask them (multiple times) and watch them in their natural habitat (sorry, getting a bit David Attenborough on you now).

Don’t believe me? Listen to the science. We’re pants at guessing what other people want, think and need (we’re pretty useless at knowing what WE want, think and need!)

In “Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong” Eric Barker says:

“University of Chicago professor Nicholas Epley has found that when you’re dealing with strangers, you correctly detect their thoughts and feelings only 20 percent of the time. (Random chance accuracy is 5 percent.) Now, of course, you’re better when dealing with people you know . . . but not by much. With close friends you hit 30 percent, and married couples peak at 35 percent. In school that’s an F. Actually, it’s probably closer to a G. Whatever you think is going on in your spouse’s head, two-thirds of the time, you’re wrong.”

Now, think about your ‘prospects’ head’ how good are you at detecting their thoughts?

These imaginary people, with their imaginary thoughts, and imaginary money?

Probably pretty crap, right?

And this is why you don’t start with imaginary people, you start with one real person, you talk to them, ask them questions, listen to their feedback, get to really understand them – then you write for them, create for them, serve them – and you’ll still probably be wrong – but maybe a lot less wrong.

If not, then keep shouting at people to buy your book…

Ciao for now,

PS: My book, Stop Writing Books Nobody Reads – Learn how to write, publish, claim, and sell your best ideas, will be out in the Autumn – I promise not to shout about it!

PPS: Buy Eric’s book, it’s worth a read: Plays Well With Others

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