First 5 Step #4: Test Your Theory (Re-Air)
Now that you’ve figured out who you’re writing your book for, how can you know that you are answering their questions and solving their problems? How can you be sure that you haven’t gotten the persona wrong? If people only buy books that they believe will help them, how can you convince them to pick yours over all the others out there?
If you’re worried about making the right connection with your ideal reader, this episode is the one you need! In Part 4 of the First 5 series, Coach Tam walks you through the process of testing your theory, so you can be confident that your book will accomplish its purpose.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- Your #1 job as an author
- What every aspect of your book – from the description to the book cover to the introduction – must communicate if you want people to buy it
- What your readers really care about – and what they don’t
- Questions to ask yourself about your ideal reader, and how to test your answers
- The only way to write, publish, AND profit
If you missed the previous episodes in this series, be sure to check them out here!
Make a Connection
Here’s the hard truth: people only buy books if they believe those books will help them. That means your #1 job as an author is to make the connection between what a person needs and your book.
Readers are looking for two things:
- Answers to a question (such as, “How do I lose weight?”
- Solutions to a problem (such as “How do I bring love and intimacy back into my marriage?”)
So if you cannot communicate — from your book description to your book cover to the introduction — that your book answers those questions and solves those problems, then you will not have a market for your book.
Last week, we talked about picking a persona — in other words, deciding on the type of person you are called to help and the problem you are called to help them solve. In many instances, because you are a purpose-driven person, this problem is one that you have already solved for yourself or helped other people solve. And that’s great, because that positions you as the expert.
But here’s the deal: People don’t really care how much you know until they know that you care about how they feel. Until they feel truly connected to you.
Really getting in touch with that persona helps you make that connection. You need to be able to:
- Come across in a way that connects with readers on an emotional core level
- Use the words they use
- Describe situations they have been through in living color
Being able to do these things will position you head and shoulders above your peers.
Put Your Hypothesis to the Test
But after you pick your persona, you also need to test your theory. See, much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we’re wrong. And that means it’s possible to get that persona wrong — either because you have the wrong idea of who that person is that you’re trying to help, or because you aren’t describing their problem in the right way.
The thing about personas is that they’re actually just fictional depictions of your ideal reader. The persona represents the behaviors, attitudes, and pain points that your ideal reader has, and it’s true that you want to pick that persona and define the problem that you believe you can help them solve. But then you need to actually talk to some people who match that description.
Remember in school how you were taught to form a hypothesis and then test it? Believe it or not, that applies to how you approach your book, too.
Take a few moments and write down the information you have about your ideal reader persona:
- What is the biggest result they want to achieve in their life?
- What would they describe as the barrier between them and that goal?
- What is the biggest challenge they are facing?
- What solutions have they already tried?
Start by brainstorming answers to those questions. Then find someone that you think is a good fit and ask them the questions to see if you get the responses you’re expecting. This will help you test your theory so that when you sit down to write, you’re writing in a way that’s really going to connect with your audience.
Remember: you don’t want to just write and publish — you also want to profit. And the only way you can do that is by making a connection with your reader.
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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