Whether you are writing as a professional or an amateur, it is possible that you can reach and transform your audience. There are three simple steps that will help you improve your writing and if you follow them, you will move your audience.
Amateur writers write simply for the sake of writing. While this may create copious amounts of inconsequential content or even provide personal pleasure, it does nothing to increase business prospects, improve the world, or move their audience to take a particular action.
What is the goal of great writing and how can it change your presentations? Professional writers always have one goal in mind with everything they write. That goal is to transform their readers, to help them see the world through different eyes, to think differently, and to change the way in which they interact with the world at large.
Anyone can put words together to form a complete sentence. But if you actually want your writing to make a significant impact, you must learn to write for transformation. That is the difference between being merely informative and being compelling and persuasive. There are three simple steps to transformational writing: 1) writing for a specific audience, 2) using the right venue, and 3) choosing and executing the right type of transformation.
- THE SPECIFIC AUDIENCE
If you want to reach your audience, it is absolutely essential that you understand them. Get out of your own perspective and write to appeal to their perspective. It is important to identify your target audience. What is the average age and the gender of your target audience? Know other factors about your target audience such as race/ethnicity, location, income level, hobbies, talents, and interests. When a writer knows who his or her target audience is, then the writer is able to use words that resonate with them. For example, words like, “revolutionary,” “cutting-edge,” and “fresh” are far more likely to resonate with the 18-25 age group. Conversely, the 60-70 age group is more likely to have a negative response to these words. This group tends to respond well to things that are proven, practical, and safe.
2. THE RIGHT VENUE
By venue, I mean the medium used to convey your message. Newspapers, magazines, professional journals, radio and TV advertisements, blogs, and websites are all venues for good writing. The venue that you choose is determined, in large part, by your audience. For example, if I’m writing a lengthy article on monetary policy intended for scholars and economists, the best venue would probably be a professional journal. On the other hand, if my content is concise, simple, and intended for a broad audience, then perhaps a newspaper article would make sense.
Writing for transformation requires utilizing the best venue for our subject matter and our audience.
3. THE RIGHT TRANSFORMATION
There are three types of transformation: know, feel, and do. A know transformation seeks to give the reader new information, or old information arranged in a different way, thus helping them to learn and know things they didn’t know before. A feel transformation obviously seeks to evoke strong emotion in the audience. A do transformation tries to get an audience to take very specific, immediate, and tangible action.
Amateur writers may look at this list and attempt to do all three transformations. While professionals focus on one and then nail it and doing so, it affects the readers. How do you want people’s lives to change because they read your article? What is it that you want to see occur in them? Do you primarily want them to know, to feel, or to do something? Say yes to just one of these ideas and execute it well. The readers will take care of themselves.
If you want your message to have impact, you must learn to write for transformation. Know who you’re writing to, select the right venue to reach your target audience, choose the right transformation and execute it well.
Remember, transformational writing is the only writing worth reading!