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Are you struggling to get started in this crazy world of sharing your message online? This post is based on my podcast interview with Zeena Regis.
Zeena is a grief counselor and hospice chaplain who wants to know how to start a faith-based community where the members can connect with one another and share resources about end-of-life care and about how to handle grief. She is considering a blog, podcast and/or web portal where people can share best practices on what has worked for them.
The first step is to get to know your audience. As you get to know your audience you will find an opportunity that will become your product.
Here are three suggested exercises:
1. Create a narrative.
Zeena’s avatar (ideal reader) is a person she has named Anne. Anne wants to support her friend whose mother has passed away. Write a narrative of “Anne” from the point when Anne heard that her friend’s mom is sick until two years after her friend’s mom passes. Describe how Anne assisted her friend so that her friend felt supported. Begin with the end in mind and create an ideal picture of this scenario in the narrative.
Apply this same exercise to YOUR avatar. Write a narrative.
2. Develop a framework.
After you create the detailed narrative, you’ll notice benchmarks and milestones along Anne’s journey, which becomes the framework. The good thing about having a framework is that you can identify the stage a person is at and then identify the stage you need to get them to. Example: If you determine that they are at Stage 3 then your job is to get them to Stage 4.
Apply this same exercise to YOUR narrative. What is the framework for your ideal reader/customer?
3. Develop a list of questions to get your ideal reader from one stage to the next.
Look at each milestone and brainstorm a list of questions that people might have about how to get from one stage to the next. Example: a person overheard something going on with a family member but does not know the best way to bring up the topic. That person might ask “What should I do?” “Should I text or call?” Write down all of the questions he/she might have.
Apply this exercise to YOUR framework. What questions does your ideal reader have that YOU can answer?
After you’ve completed these three exercises, this is how you build your blog! Let your blog be the place where your ideal reader can come, have her questions answered, and have step-by-step guidance through her problems.
Click here to listen to the complete episode.