To help you get into the minds of your clients, prospective clients and readers, I started to ponder what self-help readers want.
I used myself as an example (as an avid reader of self-help books, articles, websites and blogs), which I thought was a pretty good place to start……..
1. They want to feel at home. They want to see words they know and they want validation for some of the theories they’ve already come up with or accepted on their own.They want to have a pretty immediate grasp on the material – they’re not here to study, they’re here to learn.
Writing Prompt: Keep your language simple and straightforward. That will be far more impressive than an academic vocabulary.
2. They want a solution to their problem. They want their lives to improve, they want to get better, they want reassurance and hope that things won’t always be this way.
Writing Prompt: Tune into the unique, specific problems that your ideal customer wants to solve. Use the same language they would use to describe the problem and your solution.
3. They want to know they’re not alone. They want to hear you say that you’ve known and helped other people like them, maybe even that you were once like them and you found a way out.
Writing Prompt: Use examples, case studies and your own life stories. Balance theory with real-life experience.
4. They want to know that they haven’t wasted their money. They want to know this book isn’t like others they read and then shelved.
Writing Prompt: Provide lots of suggestions for real-life application of the solution, and follow-up options to get more support if they need it. Don’t leave them hanging.
5. They want to know, like, trust and interact with you. They want you to be an expert who is still approachable.
Writing Prompt: Offer a way for readers to interact with you, such as a blog or discussion forum. Invite comments and questions via your website and/or email. Share news about your new successes and offerings.