Back in 2009, Molly decided to go out on her own as a voice teacher.
When she was first getting started, she was putting out ads on Craigslist to drum up business.
Her headlines for the ads were simple: “Voice Lessons.”
It’s obvious she was looking to attract people looking for, um, voice lessons.
But was this headline going to have the most impact for attracting potential students?
The ad went on as follows:
As a lover of theater and voice, I possess a passion for teaching others to work their own craft.
First and foremost singing is about communication. Without a firm understanding of the words you are saying, it will be very challenging to reach any audience. I help by providing the technical tools so that a singer can feel comfortable using their instrument in any setting. The knowledge that they have the freedom to use the instrument to express any word or sentiment is one that provides ease of sound production and expression.
The song analysis is also a very exciting journey that I look forward to exploring with the students. Each song has a different meaning to every student and it is our job to find a way to allow the performer to express that to their full capacity. I look forward to sharing in this journey with you!
The ads were working a bit. But we’re looking for more impact, right?
Molly would get about three to four responses every time she would post an ad. Not bad.
But she posted many times. And only one person became a student.
What would you do to improve the impact of these ads?
There’s one thing that stands out to me right away. Perhaps you’ve noticed it too?
The headline, and therefore the rest of the ad, is very general.
General means you’re trying to speak to too many people. And trying to speak to too many people equals low impact. (Click to Tweet this!)
The problem stems from the fact that the ad isn’t actually focused on attracting someone specific.
In an ideal situation, you’d know the types of people you’re trying to reach, and you’d profile those people.
Profiling means that you’d find a real person who fits the criteria of a specific audience you’re trying to reach. Then you’d ask that real person a series of questions. This is so you can suss out what’s going on inside their head and what they’re struggling with.
The profiling process makes it easier to create content that attracts the people you’re trying to reach. And getting these people to notice is the first step toward getting them to read your content and eventually showing them how your product or service can help them.
Of course, life isn’t always ideal. But even if you don’t have someone to profile, at the very least, you need to be clear about who it is you’re trying to reach.
I asked Molly who she thought her ideal students would be.
She came up with three:
- A high school student looking to polish their technique before a conservatory audition.
- Adults who used to sing and are looking to get back into it.
- Completely new students who are afraid to take lessons.
By simply listing the ideal students like this, you can already see how each of these people would have their own set of needs and struggles to overcome. The headline and story that follows should be very specific to each of those ideal students. Each unique story would eventually lead to words similar to Molly’s ad above but by that point you’d have someone that’s much more invested in what you have to say because they’d feel like you’re speaking to them directly.
By focusing like this, each ad Molly writes becomes much more powerful.
Here’s the email I received after working with Molly:
Just wanted to let you know that the ads have been working! I have started three new students in the last week and a half! I’m trying to keep it up but I’m definitely feeling good about this! I’m thinking about making a new ad for straight actors who have always wanted to learn how to sing.”
Content that has impact starts with having a deep understanding of who you’re creating it for.
This is true whether you’re creating ads like Molly, or a blog post, a guide, a video, a podcast, or any other piece of content. You need to be clear about who you’re trying to reach, so your content resonates with them and has that impact that moves them to action.
Action plan for today. As in now. Just try it.
Here’s an exercise to demonstrate the difference writing with someone in mind can make.
Write down three real people you know. I’ll even help you:
- Your mom.
- Your best friend.
- Your boss.
Now, pretend you’re writing an email to each of those people about a recent date you’ve been on. What would your subject line be for each of those emails? What about the first few sentences?
If you’d like, you can leave your answers in the comments below. Just keep it clean.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. If you found this post useful, please do me a favor and share it. I’m sure someone you’re connected with would find it useful too!