How do you know what people want?

The battle is won or lost, right here.

Put me up against the greatest writer in the world, and if I understand the audience better, I will kick his or her ass every time when it comes to connection, engagement, and conversion.

What do you need to know? Think back to that quote from Roy Williams.

You need to know the kind of people they admire, and what they aspire to, despise, fear, and cherish.

Instead of sitting around dreaming up stuff you guess people might react favourably to, tell an educated story based on one or more archetypal individuals who represent the whole.

Understanding your audience at such an intimate level makes creating buyer personas important. It also helps to be a part of the market you’re speaking to, which results in a more authentic story and easier leadership of the tribe you form.

It’s all about research.

Research doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s the foundation of any smart marketing plan, online or off.

The more time you spend understanding the people you’re talking to, the better story you’ll tell them.

With the combination of Google and social media, we’ve never had this much access to more information about our prospective audiences.

And it’s all free and incredibly valuable if you know how to focus on the right things.

Worldviews, frames, and stories that make people want to buy

“Marketing succeeds when enough people with similar worldviews come together in a way that allows marketers to reach them cost-effectively.”

–Seth Godin

When you know your audience well, what you’re really tuning in to is the way your people view the world. And when you understand the worldview your prospects share – the things they believe – you can frame your story in a way that resonates so strongly with them that you enjoy an “unfair” advantage over your competition.

Consider these competing worldviews, framed differently by simple word choice:

• Fitness Enthusiast vs. Gym Rat
• Progressive vs. Moonbat
• Businessman vs. The Man

These are extreme examples, and you can cater to audience beliefs and worldviews without resorting to name-calling.

For example, the simple word “green” can provoke visceral reactions at the far sides of the environmental worldview spectrum, while also prompting less-intense emotions in the vast middle.

Framing your story against a polar opposite, by definition, will make some love you and others ignore or even despise you. That’s not only okay, but it’s also necessary. You’ll likely never convert those at the other end of the spectrum, but your core base will share your content and help you penetrate the vast group in the middle – and that’s where growth comes from.

The premise is the way you choose to tell the story so that you get the conclusion you desire. It’s the delivery of the framed message with dramatic tension and one or more relatable heroes so that your goals are achieved.

It’s important to understand the difference between the beliefs or worldview of your audience (the frame), and the expression of that belief or worldview back to them. Think about your favourite novel or film … the same information could have been transmitted another way, but just not as well. In fact, stories have been retold over and over throughout the ages – some are just better told than others.

The premise is essentially the difference between success and failure (or good and great) when it comes to copywriting and storytelling. As we’re about to see, copywriting and storytelling are essentially the same thing when it comes down to it.