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The #1 Best Way to Understand Your Audience—And Why This Matters for Your Content

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“The best way to understand the mind, the hopes, the fear, the dreams, the desires—everything that’s inside your clients, you’re customer’s brain—the best way to understand it is to actually be it.” – Dino Dogan

We often talk about creating a profile, an avatar of sorts, for your audience members so you understand who you’re creating content for. This is important whether you’re a blogger, podcaster, web series creator, or even business owner. If you don’t know who your audience is, it’s extremely hard to create content for them.

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At NMX 2013, Dino Dogan spoke on turning your audience into extremely loyal fans, and this is one of the topics he covered during his session. But he took a step farther. Don’t just think about who your customer is. Be your customer.

The NMX Story

If you’ve ever seen our NMX co-founder Rick Calvert speak before a keynote or if you’ve ever had a personal conversation with him, you might have heard him talk about why he decided to start NMX (previously BlogWorld). Rick was a blogger himself in the early 2000s and being someone who has always worked in the trade show and conference industry, he decided to attend whatever trade show or conference was out there for bloggers.

Except there wasn’t one.

Rick was astounded to find that there was no event out there to provide more education for bloggers and others in the new media industry. So, he decided to create one. This was the birth of BlogWorld, which has now evolved into NMX. Rick is his own customer, and this is one of the things that lends to the success of this conference.

Why Being Your Customer Matters

I use the term customer as Dino has in his presentation, but very loosely, to also not just mean people who are buying from you, but to also mean people who are doing anything you want them to do (read a blog post, listen to your podcast, etc.). You have to be this person to truly understand this person.

Creating an avatar is great, but it’s impossible to truly understand another person through research. You don’t understand what it’s like to be a mother until you’re a mother (or so I’ve been told…I am not a mother). You don’t understand how it feels to lose a loved one until you’ve experienced that loss yourself. You don’t understand the frustration of not finding clothes that fit if you’re someone who always walks into a store and finds several options.

And if you don’t understand what your customers are going through, what they truly feel, you can’t do the best possible job creating content or products for them.

Over the past two(ish) years, I’ve watching the freelance writing industry change drastically from what it was like back in 2005-2006, when I first started writing online. At that time, it was very easy to find content writing jobs. To make ends meet as a recent college grad, I wrote about everything from lawn care to oil rig jobs. Today, those jobs are nearly non-existent. Why? Because people realized that someone who doesn’t own a home with a yard can never truly write a great article about lawn care, no matter how much research she does. At least not compared to someone who is passionate about that topic.

Become your customer if you aren’t already. You’ll be amazed at what you learn and how that affects your decisions.

More from Dino

Being your own customer was just a small piece of Dino’s 2013 NMX presentation on insane loyalty. But the good news is that you can still attend the session virtually, even if you missed attending live in Las Vegas! Become an NMX University Premium Member and you’ll get access to our complete 2013 Virtual Ticket, which includes a recording of Dino’s session, along with sessions from hundreds of other speakers!

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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