As I was writing my book, a consultant friend “adamantly suggested” (how’s that for some nice words to cover a little butt kicking?) that I get very clear about my target audience. He asked me to get focused. I wanted to reach as large of an audience as possible – men and women of all ages, in both business and education. Quite a reach. I was all over the place.
“You cannot write for everyone and expect to have an impact,” he said. We talked more as I sat in my own discomfort knowing he was right. After a bit more discourse he said, “You light up when you talk about young women, I think they are your audience.”
After our session, I went home both energized and bit depleted knowing I had far more work to do on a book I thought was nearly finished. The next day I opened the most recent draft of my book, then pushed way from my computer. Before I could change another word, I had to envision the young woman I was writing to and write to her as if it were a letter.
I tossed the shot gun approach and picked up a scalpel to unleash the story that needed to be told. It worked.
A year later I released my book and my story hit my target audience – young women across the country. One young woman, Emily, wrote to me recently describing the impact my book had on her life:
“A couple of weeks ago, my mom left me a book on my desk. I did not think much of it until I saw the title: Flight Lessons. My mom bought me this book because I was just about to have my first flight lesson. So, because anything involving the word flying grabbed my attention, I began reading your story out of pure interest. Your story is not just a read for aspiring aviators, naval officers, or women in STEM but for every woman with different aspirations. Because of your honesty and vulnerability, I felt that every sentence I read was genuine and relatable. Just like you, I hope to continue to advocate and inspire young females to chase their dreams and never let ‘turbulence’ hold us back.”
Funny thing, my book began to resonate with older women and men, too. My male classmates from the Naval Academy needed to hear my story and reconcile my experience along with theirs. An executive coach who read my book wanted to share it with his clients. One man wrote to say he had never done anything like this before – after hearing me speak, he bought my book, read it in one sitting, then bought nine more book for all women in his life.
I’ve used my book in my #Vanderbilt leadership classes, too. I’m getting the larger audience I originally desired, by focusing on a single target.
So put away the shotgun approach. Get focused on your target audience. Aim clearly and become surprised by your results. Resonance happens.
Want to know more? Check out my book: Flight Lessons: Navigating Through Life’s Turbulence and Learning to Fly High.
#Resonance, #mentor, #mentorship, #leadership